Category: technology/tools

the P2P Food Lab project

The project develops a Collective Awareness Platform for peer-to-peer urban food systems, called P2P Food Lab. The platform supports urban gardening, collective decision making, citizen science, and knowledge creation for all aspects of urban food.
A P2P Food Lab integrates open greenhouses, sensors, DIY processing boards, telecommunication networks, pattern recognition, statistical analysis, phone apps, wikis, and visualization tools. The platform uses social media for the bottom-up organization of cooperative activities and the gathering of knowledge. The project develops viable economic models and paradigms for governance based on participatory democracy and self-organization and incorporates them in the platform for the community planning and food distribution.

The project networks cases in Barcelona, Brussels and Paris and studies the social innovation triggered by P2P Food Labs in new or existing urban food communities. All communities consider the full cycle of urban food systems (from production to waste). The project tests whether P2P Food Labs improve the quality of food production, lead to greater sociality, and provide adequate data for citizen science. Artistic methods are used to create a space for the needed disruptive action and to produce effective representations of the results.

The Urban ArtFarm community participates in the P2P Food Lab project :
valldaura permaculture project

more info:

research in La Molina

La Molina, a nice ski resort in the Spanish Pyrenees, is a great place to join workmeetings and sports.
We brainstormed on the P2P Food Lab and the Intelligent Beehive projects, enjoyed homecooked local food specialities and tried out sledging and langlauf.

We discussed a few possibilities to design a complex system for measuring the temperature in a beehive while following the bee-nucleus in winter:

first hand diagram for thermistor temperature measurement

la Molina, the Catalan Pyrenees

research : bee monitoring in the OpenGreens

The enhanced beehive is a gateway to a honeybee colony and its environment. Numerous possibilities for observing the bees’ behavior and important measured values from within the hive are provided as well as measuring data for the climate and vegetation in the honeybee colony’s direct environment. Storing all of the data over a period of several months allows not alone a very well detailed observation but also the ability to discover and follow long-term trends of complex relations between the superorganism and its environment.
moviefragment 01: bee swarm starting to build their nest – infrared camera, filmed inside the hive
moviefragment 02: honey bees storing honey, filmed through hive observation window – close

The ecysystem of the hive and garden is monitored by many measurement systems on its biotic and abiotic elements.
Two webcams, equipped with infrared leds, make it possible to film in the hive in the dark. They monitor the behaviour of bees (and their movements over the frames) in the hive.
Since the hive was populated with the swarm on may 4th 2011 (, the 2 webcams record at 15 fps the life in the hive: the comb building, the bees’ movements and action.
In the top of the frames (in the hive body box) there are 3 temperature sensors capturing the temperature in the beehive, as well as a CO2 sensor and a sensor recording the humidity in the hive.
Outside of the hive, the temperature and the humidity of the immediate environment are also measured.
The webcams are connected to a PC board that is configured as a streaming server. It makes the images of the hive in real time available on the internet:
The data from the different sensors are (via the arduino) also stored on the internet.

The ascellus, the aphids and the nasturtium together form a biotic community as they all are interacting organisms living together in one habitat or biotope (the nasturtium that is still alive and kicking).
Together with the rest of the above pictures (the bees, the other plants in the garden), the wind, the soil, the air, the sun and/or temperature, the rain … they form the ecosystem of the rooftop garden. it is a combination of the biotic and a-biotic elements of that place.
The more diversity we have in the ecosystem, the less fragile or vulnerable it is.

the plant cell, the golgi apparatus, the orange and the coffeebean

Fotosynthesis in 2 steps: from the anorganic elements H2O and CO2 (water and carbondioxide) the chloroplasts in a plant build organic matter via the energy of the sun. In the first step ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and NADPH2 are created; in a second step this ATP is used to free energy (->ADP+P+energy) to create glucose (C6H12O6) en oxygen (6O2). It’s a balance of anabolic and catabolic reactions – the (anorganic) fluids go up (water, minerals) and the organic matter (glucose, starch) goes down to the roots of the plant where it is used for its growth or stored as future nutrients.
Cellular respiration is the set of the metabolic reactions and processes that take place in the cells of organisms to convert biochemical energy from nutrients into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and then release waste products. The reactions involved in respiration are catabolic reactions that involve the redox reaction (oxidation of one molecule and the reduction of another). Respiration is one of the key ways a cell gains useful energy to fuel cellular changes. The cellular respiration process takes place in the mitochondria.

Some pdf’s as an introduction to the world of biology:
overview of cytology
overview of metabolism
overview of ecology

Diffusion is a non-energy consuming proces between 2 substances. In the picture above, 300 gr sugar is diluted in 750 ml vodka. The proces takes place in a bottle containing an orange with 40 incisions (in which 40 coffeebeans are stuck). Leave the set-up for 40 days (christian) or for 21 days (pagan). The result should be a delicious drink for the upcoming holidays. Cheers!

robot bee colony

Scary but true: in Harvard University they are working on a colony of robotic bees, the robobees.

Pollution, pesticides, genetically modified crops and monocultures are, in combination with parasites and pathogens, contributing factors to the disappearance of the honeybees. According to Albert Einstein, if all the bees disappeared of the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.
Fact is that honeybee populations are declining around the world and so far there seems to be only one other way of pollinating mass numbers of plants. It involves employing people to go round with feather dusters, brushing the insides of plants with pollen. They are already doing it in parts of China to pollinate pear trees in areas where the insects are extinct.
However, the scientists of Harvard University are developing the ideal robot honeybee, called the ‘robobee’. The researchers state that coordinated agile robotic insects can be used for a variety of purposes, including the autonomous pollination of a field of crops.

Open Archives, Active Archives?

On Friday 10 december Constant continues to interrogate the active potential of online media archives. After a short introduction to the work done at Active Archives* so far, Michael Murtaugh tours us through the Active Archives Video Wiki software he is developing.
We will than speak with Pieter Geenen about his work-in-progress using the Active Archives system to experiment with displacement, both in text and image. We also invited Annemie Maes to present, “an online archive of densely text-annotated video material, primarily footage and not-finished films”, and she will explain how it is being employed in the OKNO project The Time Inventor’s Kabinet.
Last but not least, Peter Westenberg demonstrates how and why he worked on multiple transcriptions/translations using the Active Archives Video Wiki. We’ll conclude the evening with a toast to the pre-release of the AA software: a developers version is available for testing as of this weekend.

outlining the Open Green database

Meeting at Danielle’s place in Breda to define the framework for the Open Green database :

discover the beautiful silence project

all info on :
artist : Danielle Roberts

padma : web-based video archive is a web-based video archive, launched as a public website in February 2009, that works primarily with footage and not finished films.’s interface offers some exciting new ways in which moving images, timelines, text and maps can be linked. It offers a practical technical and legal framework through which footage can be shared. It makes an appeal for thinking about film and video “production” in a number of different ways: as a filmmaker publishing video that is not a film, as a film editor organising footage using the archive, as a writer across one or many video clips, as a scholarly researcher or film student contributing notes or using links to clips as references, as a filmmaker reusing another’s material, as a programmer building further applications using’s open source software base, for example. a collaborative project initiated by five organizations: from Berlin, the Alternative Law Forum from Bangalore, and three organisations from Mumbai: Majlis, Point of View and Chitrakarkhana/CAMP. The entire archive is searchable and viewable online, and is free to download for non-commercial purposes. This offline exhibition reveals the many potential ways in which can be used.

pw:betelgeuse – portrait of a young moroccan woman

May 1st, Labour Day, my computer and me made this short experimental movie: ‘pw:betelgeuse, portrait of a young moroccan woman at okno’.
Big HardDisk didn’t like the footage too much, and I had to call Little HardDisk for help to bring it to a displayable result.

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I tried to apply a respectfull approach towards the portraying of people in Islamic culture, and at the same time take the digital culture of Okno into account.
Big HD made the selection of the images and gave them their specific rythm and rendering, little HD and myself gave a little help to finalise the experiment.