We connect local OpenGreens in an international network of experimental gardens where artists work with natural processes.
These gardening situations serve especially to look into microsociological and ecological systems related to time as starting points for the development of new artistic practices. The OpenGreens allow us to study the implementation of contemporary art in an ecological context and to observe and draw content from eco-data and natural patterns and processes.
Using media technology and electronics as research tools in these shared laboratories, data from various ecosystems are collected over a period of time. The artistic output of this data collection process will be the creation of electronic interfaces that will then be used to reinterpret the data to explore time-related poetics such as synchronicity and irregularity through electronics, and of developing a common language about time.
The synonyms for an OpenGreen are many: the experimental Hortus, the OpenAir Laboratorium, the Vivarium, the Kabinet of Wonders. But all OpenGreens are zones where culture and nature overlap and where these two enter into a symbiotic relationship with research and experimentation.
In the OpenGreens, the Time Inventors document the beauty of nature in data. They classify and archive their notes and findings in OpenGreens databases. They compare and develop concepts, interpret complex biotic shapes and research repetitive natural patterns. They connect nature with media art.
There are architectural models that are made after biomimesis of e.g. hexagonal honeycomb cells; data are extracted from plant-connected sensors and are converted into algorithms that generate abstract visualizations. Analogue or digital approaches: the Time Inventors make use of a diversity of methods to study the art forms in nature.
But, how can the OpenGreens’ evolution be visualized or made audible in artworks? Can the gardens’ (a)biotic organisms’ processes provide new artistic environments or new forms of representations of ‘the artificial/nature’? How can art and technology today present a different view on nature?
During the TIK-time of the project, artists delve into the matter and with the mutual aid of scientists and engineers they open an investigation that may lead into some unexpected artistic results.
The Brussels OpenGreens have a strong urban embedment. In two related urban rooftop gardens artists carry out long-term observations on the growth, blossoming and decay of plants exposed to natural elements such as wind, sun, rain and pollution in an urban context. The close monitoring of social insects, in this case several colonies of city honeybees, is an important part of the study.
These urban OpenGreens are artiﬁcial environments, hybrids of nature and culture. They are set up to research different bottom-up approaches for designing green human environments that have the diversity of natural ecosystems. The OpenGreens database keeps accurate track of the monitoring of these ecosystems. Technology is inserted in the gardens and allows the gardeners to take a closer look at biotic matter. The harvest is about collecting data of any kind, both on a micro garden level and on a macro city level, and using the data for organic and media applications.
All Time Inventors interested in monitoring their city gardens or urban edgelands and compare their observations are invited to become contributors to the OpenGreens database.
Everybody is free to use the open data format in the OpenGreens database (xml) for their personal artistic projects.
In this section we will gather information and develop methodologies on how to work with the gardens and describe them on defined moments of the season’s timeline.
* Plants as inspiration for a changing mindset. Plants are sustainable, they recycle their own waste, they produce their own energy (photosynthesis). They fertilise the soil (organic/anorganic matter) and clean the air (Co2/ photosynthesis)
* neon sign works / plants / photosynthesis
* storytelling on the graphs of the bee-monitorings
* Study the farm as a living organism, the skin of the rooftop, equipped with sensors to measure all weather conditions. Working with intelligent materials that can adapt to changing conditions (try-out in controlled environment as greenhouse) and situations. Make sculptures with meteo-sensors and stylized models (drawings and/or computer generated models) that are realized after microscopic studies of of flowers and vegetables. These digital models can react in realtime to weather-sensor-data (ex. the seedpod of the Daucus carota).
* Artforms in nature, biomimicry, biomimetics. Integrated organic and sustainable design, optimal use of materials (harmonious, balanced, efficient). Exploration of forms and structures (electronics, computer, wireless technologies). Dynamic buildings and building methods, adapted to changing environmental conditions. The rooftop as a skin, a living organism (programming, coding, 3D printing & modelels, simulations).
* City honeybees: patterns described in algorithms of packing/blending/flocking/tiling/spiralling/weaving. Building libraries of natural behaviours distilled into algorithms. Transforming the natural into the artificial, into the digital.
* make a taxonomy of urban agriculture and rooftop garden language. Set up an annotated knowledge base of artefacts and projects, useful for understanding and learning from their evolutionary lines, their timelines. Learn out of the intersections and cross-pollinations.
* pollen pantone charts: find the neighborhood’s algorithm – space/time
* introduce the questionnaires of Politics of Change, introduces same questions in book UF-[O]
* transparant beehive, bee-appartments simulation/ models
* topography of a garden: series of macro photography (specific presentations)
* floating gardens on the canal at OKNO
* pictures in urban context: reflections of the greenhouse, green dot in the landscape (14th storey muntcenter), parking 58, baraka
* filmed fragments, extreme close ups, abstractions becoming diagrams and code
* on the rooftop: a meteo weather station as a sculpture, autonomous on sun- and/or wind energy, linked to arduino and internet, with a constant dataflow with realtime visualization online
* check also the plants pollution on cellular level: talk to biologist and find out about sensors to measure plant pollution
* detection with heat camera
* ethnobotany: narratives, stories and interviews
topics to research
* pollution (air, soil) pollution in plantcells
* pollution meters:
* light pollution meter
* electromagnetical pollution meter
* air pollution meter : air quality (optical→dust, O3, CH4, CO2) (optical dust sensor)
* carbon monoxide pollution meter
* lead pollution meter
* exhaust gasses pollution meter
* noise pollution meter
* soil pollution meter ⇒ check with lab
* bird attacks
* meteo-set (temperature, sun, humidity, wind, rain)
* micro-ecosystem greenhouse
* plant intelligence / stress management (contact microphones on leaves)