Category: festival

the green rush at transmediale berlin

A chance meeting in the name of Green Rush

Global café stage
11:00 – 13:00, january 31, 2013

This chance meeting on the occasion of composting the city/ composting the net launch at transmediale2013 brings together partners and projects of green rush. In 2009, Nomadisch Grün launched prinzessinnengärten at Moritzplatz in Berlin Kreuzberg, cultivated a wasteland into a vibrant, self-sustainable urban farming/gathering site. In 2012, a ‘Let it grow’ campaign calls for public support to stop the land from being sold by the Property Fund.
ALOTOF, A Laboratory On The Open Fields, is an okno (Brussels) initiative to develop framework and structures, seeking open labs/fields possibilities for the practices of media art and ecology. Yo-yo (Prague and Hranice u Mal_e) supports experiments at the intersection of art, ecology and media, across the rural and urban contexts.
RIXC (Riga Centre for New Media Culture) organizes TECHNO-ECOLOGIES (since 2011) , part of baltic-nordic initiative RENEWABLE NETWORK, takes into account the environment, social relations, and human subjectivity. Planning for Riga Culture Capital 2014, FIELDS further maps the expanded fields of artistic practices that merge politics, technology, ecology, gender, semiology.
Composting the city (2012) investigates urban farms and cycles of composting system. In search of biotechnological food production, Hu.M.C.C (2012) creates a brand new productline, Maya YogHurt.
Inviting catch up chats among the acquaintances and the strangers; the artists and the organizers; the builders and the schemers; the techno-minded and the dirty earthy hands, this meeting serves as a depot for information drop-off, pick-up, take-away and tag along, walking us into a rhizomic rooted forest-scape.

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harvest from a rooftop farm – brussels

What is the taste of your neighborhood? Sweet, sour or a bit rancid?
Did you ever eat flowers out of your back yard garden?
What about growing your own food in city rooftop gardens?
Are you familiar with guerilla gardening, wild food foraging or short chain economy?

Visit us during the streetmarket of the Vlaamse Steenweg where we are presenting our OpenGreens Ecological Art Project. Taste your neighbourhood, and enjoy the fresh okno honey, collected by our city bees this summer.
september 1 and 2, from 9am>7pm

growing food for the hungry city

The UrbanFarm is an experimental station for Urban Agriculture. It researches and analyses the pro and contra’s, the advantages, problems or bottlenecks to grow food in the city, and more specific: on rooftops of bigger buildings. How does a rooftop ecosystem deal with energy, water, soil and green technology? What does the project represent financially? How do plants and animals (city honeybees) interact with this artificial ecosystem?
UF-[O] is an open air laboratory that interacts with the city. The [Original] station is built on connected rooftops in the historical center of Brussels, [Replicas] of this model can be started on any other rooftop that is suitable for the purpose. The groundlevel location of UF-[O] is the place on the Brussels’map where a network of medieval market places and monasteries intermingle. The UF-[O] farm, set on the 6th floorlevel of this place, on the roof of a parking lot, is a place where artists and urban gardeners can develop new strategies for sustainable living in the city. An artistic approach, green DIY technology and a permaculture philosophy should present new opportunities to the (city)people to connect to food, food security and sustainability.

More and more people are living in the cities. We have to search for new modes of sustainable living, new ways of food production. Re-examine the link between the city as consumer and the countryside as provider. In this context, we are researching how to make a network of intensively cultivated city rooftopgardens where we can grow our own food for the neighbourhood.

Besides the food-function, the UrbanFarm-[O] is set up as our open-air laboratorium. In this project, we want to blend the natural and the digital in one and the same nature. We study and document how to set up a middle sized rooftopgarden (± 700 m2), all with recycled materials.
Artists occupy the public space and develop activities with a specific ecological focus: hack the top level of city and give it another destination. Connect different rooftops in a network of OpenGreens with city honeybees as connectors and bio-indicators.
The UF-[O] project blends nature and technology. By digital means it explores how the growth, blossoming and decay of plants occur while they are submitted to different abiotic elements as wind, rain, sun, etc.
Can we learn something from the data resulting from the monitorings? Is our environment programmable? Does the fusion of natural and artificial matter produce new organisms, new environments, new natures? Elements of the garden, plants as well as technology, become nodes in wireless networks. This happens both on rooftop level as on city level.
The connections between people, plants, sensornetworks and utilities of the rooftopgardens are mapped for further study. We research the collected data in the context of the 3 ecologies (Guattari, 1969) : ecological, social and political.

winning hearts and minds – critical art ensemble

Winning Hearts and Minds, one of two projects by Critical Art Ensemble, is a daily encounter in which individuals can engage in whatever free speech they want. It takes place at a house at the far end of the Hauptbahnhof, close to the railway tracks. In this area, reminiscent in its remoteness of “free speech zones” recently established in the US (Guantanamo Camp X-ray, for example), a lecture takes place every day at noon, for the 100 days of dOCUMENTA (13). Lecturers can sign up through an “open call” system on OKNO submitted following :


In the spirit of Joseph Beuys, this salon discusses how art can be relevant again for shaping society in positive ways, as opposed to catering to the speculative interests of a small circle of rich collectors. Concretely, we put forward ecological CORRIDORS in urban environments as a new medium of social sculpture, a Gesamtkunstwerk that relies on the creative participation of many. Corridors are ephemeral living structures in the form of green spaces connected through animal life (such as bee colonies). They are set up and maintained by urban communities to regenerate areas of the city, particularly areas which are subject to social and urban stress. Corridors are here seen as art works that contribute to social cohesion and sustainability by raising awareness and minimizing resource waste. Artists create the safe spaces that enable the disruptive activities required to make corridors and they make the internal structure and activities of corridors visible through visual and auditory representations.

Ecological corridors rely partly on methods of urban agriculture, guerilla gardening, ecological management and social anthropology. Corridors can also make good use of avant-garde technologies, so that such projects become experiments on the edges of art, science and technology: Embedded systems, novel sensors, low energy computing and sensor networks are useful for monitoring soil quality, plant growth processes, animal activity, pollution and the movement and interaction of people within the local environment. Mobile communication and geoinformatics are useful for aggregating sensory data and projecting them in real time onto maps. Complex systems analysis, cloud computing, and machine learning are useful for detecting patterns to allow prediction and the shaping of ongoing social and biological processes. And novel user interfaces are needed to make embedded technologies accessible and usable without requiring sophisticated background or training.

This salon discusses the theoretical bases and ecological and technological foundations of corridors and challenges us to think how corridors act as art works. It then looks at concrete examples of ongoing projects that are in the process of realizing the vision of corridors, particularly the Open Green project by Annemie Maes of the artist collective OKNO in Brussels.

science festival Barcelona – june 16>17

burning ice : hortus Erasmus house

Hortus is an interactive ecologic and economic installation in a garden, and a Salon where a discussion will take place about (im)possible futures. The salon sessions are at 12am and 5pm every day at the Erasmus house in English and/or in Dutch. Each session will have between one and 3 speakers and one moderator and will be recorded to be viewed on the website of Kaaitheater and prolong the discussion online.
Two texts specially written for this Salon will reflect two hypothetical scenarios for two different periods: 2020 and 2084. Their structure is similar but their content suggests different political, cultural, environmental and social approaches to the same issues. We would like to invite experts for each session from different scientific areas like researchers, members of the Green Party, marketing leaders of green – or very polluting – companies, writers and philosophers to read and comment these texts, from a general point of view, or choosing one specific item to discuss in detail, according to their experience and expertise. 
In an informal atmosphere we would like to open the discussion to everyone present, motivating the exercise of debating utopia by imagining the impossible and therefore, make it happen.

WE 6|6 12.30 PM (NL)
Bruno De Lille (Collegelid van de Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie (VGC), belast met Cultuur / Membre du Collège de la Commission communautaire flamande (VG C), chargé de la Culture) & Koen Haagdorens (mod.)
WE 6|6 17.00 PM (EN)
Maja Kuzamovic (FoAM) & Koen Haagdorens (mod.)
TH 7|6 12.30 PM (EN)
Luc Deleu (T.O.P. Office), Philippe Vandebreuck (shiftN) & Koen Haagdorens (mod.)
FR 8|6 12.30 PM (EN)
Jean Paul Van Bendegem (VUB), Gauthier Chapelle, Gaëtan Dartevelle, Michka Melo (Greenloop) & Koen Haagdorens (mod.)
FR.8|6 17.00 PM (NL)
Annemie Maes (OKNO) & Koen Haagdorens (mod.)
SA 9|6 12.30 PM (EN)
Guy Gypens (Kaaitheater) & Kurt Vanhoutte (mod.)
SA 9|6 17.00 PM (NL)
Andrea Carafa (Green Young Economy) & Kurt Vanhoutte (mod.)

burning ice #5 – 5>9/06/2012

Nature and culture; this has always been a tense relationship. Whereas culture was once meant to protect man from nature, we now have to protect nature from culture. In spite of all our ecological intentions, we even now consider that nature exists ‘for us’. Climate change, the world population explosion and diminishing stocks of many natural resources are putting increasing pressure on this anthropocentric attitude, but there is still no sign of any about-turn. Nature must in the first place be of economic use, and should furthermore provide us with a degree of aesthetic pleasure.
In the fifth Burning Ice we are showing the work of artists inspired by the rising tension between nature and culture. As always, we also let scientists and theorists have their say.

5>9/06/2012 @kaaitheater #burningice

imagine 2020 : art and climate change

Climate Change is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. For the eleven arts organisations making up the IMAGINE 2020 – Art and Climate Change network, 2020 is a realistic date to work towards for making changes necessary to stabilise the climate and secure a sustainable future.
Art should provide a physical and imaginary space where people can take a step back, away from the corporate, the commercial and the educational, to exchange and engage with each other. It can address and involve more targeted audiences, such as young people, in playful yet serious ways. And above all it can create a positive energy and momentum for change through a sense of common purpose and hope.

slow art manifesto

So what can we do? Be bold? Make statements?

— The value of art is neither predictable nor calculable.
— Art is not consumption. A work of art does not become scarce when it is ‘used’. Therefore economic laws do not apply to art.
— Art is not a matter of supply and demand. The market can only demand what is already known. What the public wants can therefore never become a creative or artistic factor.
— Art is discipline. It demands dedication of both artists and audiences.
— The artist should not take part in competitions. Undermine competition by looking at both the weakest and best things of each other and join in to formulate something completely different.
— Pragmatic solutions are always second best.
— If you apply for something and you need to fill out a form, first change the form to accommodate the work of art you have in mind, then fill it out.
— If you care for something, create yourself the conditions in which to develop it. Don’t adapt your ideas to time frames, formats and procedures imposed by institutions and managers.
— Formatting leads to monocultures. Life and evolution rely on diversity.
— A cultural field without artist-run organizations is unhealthy. Distrust artist communities that rely on the already existing institutions. Also distrust governments that claim that art is important, but subsequently fail to recognize artist initiatives.
— Art is not meant for ‘target groups’, art is for everybody.
The text entitled Slow Art is the result of discussion, reflection and collective writing, carried out by a group of people as part of the Open House team. It is a starting point, an invitation to think collectively about artistic practice and how we organize it in the here and now. “Slow” is our matter of concern. Equivalent toSlow Science or Slow Food, it makes a case against the product oriented and economic supremacy of the neoliberal society we live in.

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TIK festival : Brussel Deze Week

TIK festival : the RAW and the COOKED

In the context of the TIK festival (Time Inventors’ Kabinet) we host a round table THE RAW AND THE COOKED on urban agriculture and other bottom up solutions for future cities. What is the commitment of the people behind these ecological projects and communities?

Diverse topics will be discussed :
urban voids, open source, DIY, appropriation of space, guerilla gardening, water, food sovereignty, GMO, information, sharing of knowledge, bio diversity, (city) ecology, community building, urban planning, urban agriculture, the food chain between the city and the countryside, bio-corridors, … and many more — and what art has to do with all these initiatives.

The ‘format’ for the round table discussions goes as follows:
Setting : we start at 3pm, we will share around the long table at the meeting-place of the festival center @ okno. During the presentations, we will serve homemade snacks and drinks.
To open the discussion, we will ask all the brussels organisations to present their projects in a very short, condensed way. We ask you to focus on one specific quality of the project, an element that is very important for you in the process of realisation.

the “Brussel’s “projects are:
– barbara van dyck / field liberation (on food sovereignty)
– jeroen verhoeven / bral (on guerilla gardening)
– stephane Kampelmann / centre d’ecologie urbaine (on awaress raising and information)
– sofie van bruystegem / citymind (on water)
– trudo engels and loes / nadine (on vertical gardening and other strange solutions)
– filippo dattola / potager-toit (on community gardens and community building)
– aurelie de smet / urban planner (on urban voids and appropriation by the citizens)

After a short break, we will ask the TIK artists to comment on the above presentations. TIK memebers represent art/social organisations working around similar topics as the presented ones.
We ask following people to comment on your presentations, to start the discussion.
To the people below: please comment on 1 quality that struck you the most in the presentations, and tell us why. How do you do it? differently? the same way? why?

comments by:
– verena kuni (Goethe University Frankfurt) ecology, bio diversity, time, art
– kyd campbell (berlin), eco-artist DIY
– lenka dolanova (praag) eco-curator, beekeeper
– lorena lozana (Gijon, Spain – ecolab laboral) biologist and artist
– reni hofmueller (graz, austria) gestettnerin and eco-artist, satellite specialist
– stefan (ljubljana, slovenia) architect, artist with DIY electronics and community gardens
– ralf schreiber (koln) eco electronics artist
– christian faubel (koln) neural networks specialist, inspired by robo-kids
– stefanie wuschitz (miss balthazar) eco-artist en DIY
and of course the whole OKNO-crew, and especially Annemie, Guy en Luea.