about so-on

Annemie Maes, short bio
Annemie Maes, media artist and activist, holds master degrees in fine arts and cultural studies. Her artistic research and cultural activism projects are publicly presented as ‘politics of change’ with a focus on actual topics as ecology and women empowerment. Most of the projects are linked to the problematization of new art in public space, from a socio-cultural background.
Annemie Maes is co-founder of Okno, an artist-run organisation working with media art and ecology. Her recent research work focuses on Connected OpenGreens : a transdisciplinary project at the intersection of art, biology and green technology, including artistic research on topics as urban agriculture and city bee-monitoring.

Annemie Maes, longer bio
Annemie Maes, media artist and activist, holds a masters degree in fine arts and cultural studies. She lives and works in Brussels and is founder of the organisations Pix & Motion (1986-2000, filmproduction) and Looking Glass (1998-2004, art in public space), and later of the collectives So-oN (2006 – …, visual anthropology) and OKNO (2004 – …, a group of artists working with image, sound and technology). All organisations and collectives focus on a transversal media approach and most of the developed projects are linked to the problematization of new art in the publicspace. The focus is to identify innovation and change while doing artistic research and to develop new projects starting from a socio-cultural background.

As an artist and active member of the artist collective OKNO, Annemie Maes takes a fierce interest in communities which are able to establish durable changes in society due to their structure and exceptional philosophy.
A first research phase documented the project Politics of Change: a series of documentaries, anthropological films and online database projects in which the connections between grassroots activism, eco-technology and women networks were investigated. This attention for gender-based approaches in art is key to the work of Annemie Maes, in which she also wants to address the question how female artists deal with new technological media.

A more recent research phase focuses on connected OpenGreens, a transdisciplinary project at the intersection of art and biology. Here she investigates liminal urban zones where culture and nature overlap and enter into a symbiotic relationship.
The OpenGreens project covers different bottom up approaches for designing human environments that have the stability and diversity of natural ecosystems. Integration of urban agriculture, honeybees and their role in urban ecosystems, renewable energy systems, food sovereignty systems, natural building, rainwater harvesting and urban planning along with the economic, political and social policies that make sustainable living possible and practical.
How can these ecosystems be generated, controlled, enhanced or imagined in artworks?

http://opengreens.archive.okno.be => projects since september 2009 onwards
http://so-on.be => archive of projects before september 2009
http://okno.be => okno, artist-run mediacollective
http://opengreens.okno.be => database of the connected opengreens
http://padma.okno.be => videodatabase of the opengreens movie-collection