Tag: media ecology

desert numerique 2011

Annemie Maes participates in the workshops, presentations and experiments of the festival Desert Numerique. She will present okno’s OpenGreens project. Desert Numerique is an artistic event gathering media artists, curators, producers, scientists, activists and publics around practices linking art, science and technologies; an invitation to bring digital arts in a unusual place, the village of Saint-Nazaire-le-Deesert (Drome, in France). It aims to transform the village into an electronical oasis, an effervescent laboratory.Desert Numerique combines a summer’s professional network meeting in the countryside and an exhibition made as an extension of the host village itself.
all info: http://desertnumerique.incident.net/2011/

wasteland soundwalk

A soundwalk in Thurn & Taxis + workshop: create your own OpenGreen and connect to the database.

In the morning Jonathan Prior guides us through the sounds of the city during a silent soundwalk on the wasteland of Thurn & Taxis. How does Brussels sound? Can sound create a space? These questions are asked and explained, while we listen to the ecological aspects of public spaces. During this guided tour Jonathan Prior lets us experience the public space in another way. Take your waterproof shoes and your camera to register the sounds as images.
In the afternoon Danielle Roberts and Annemie Maes introduce you to the OpenGreens database. With the image material of the silent soundwalk we ‘recreate’ the wasteland of Thurn & Taxis in the OpenGreens database in a collective way.

We gather at OKNO – Koolmijnenkaai 30/34 – 1080 Brussels at 9am.

ecological restoration, urban nature, and the reclamation of public spaces

Jonathan Prior (University of Edinburgh, Institute of Geography) gives us insight in the ecological restauration of landscapes. The previous decades there has been a slow adoption of ecological restoration principles within the built (urban) environment. During his lecture ‘Ecological restoration, urban nature, and the reclamation of public spaces’ Prior wants to guide us in the methods and underlaying values (esthetic, social and political) of the recovery of damaged ecosystems and habitats.

Ecological restoration is the practice of assisting the recovery of damaged ecosystems, habitats or landscapes, to a point in time before the degradation occurred. Ecological restoration can therefore be conceived of as both a spatial and temporal human intervention within non-human nature.

Since the ‘mainstreaming’ of ecological restoration over the last 30 years or so, there has been a slow adoption of ecological restoration principles within the built (urban) environment. Using examples from Europe and North America, in this presentation I want to reveal the types of values that play a role in the construction of ecological restoration policy in urban environments, including aesthetic, ecological, and social values, as well as the notion of the public good. Further, I will look at how these values – sometimes competing, sometimes harmonious – need to be considered within urban green space projects, so as to ensure that they are socially as well as ecologically sustainable.

The lecture is followed by an introduction to the OpenGreens database, by Danielle Roberts and Annemie Maes.

lectures @ okno, thursday june 16 – 8pm

autonomous robots for okno’s OpenGreen

An experimental and playful hands-on workshop by Ralf Schreiber and Christian Faubel.

…it is a lot of fun to build your own robotic creature. As soon as the circuit starts working the robots begin to sing and jerk – there is always a great Hello.
It’s a magic moment and the constructor’s pride is often mixed with a little fear, that continuing soldering could possibly damage the just created little robot.
Time and again it is amazing to see, that such a wimpy, handcrafted creature can arouse empathy, can even activate a certain care in the builder…. (rs)

The most simple way to create and build “life like” machines or robots is by the use of analogue oscillator circuits. Oscillations can be feed-backed and thus simple interactions will happen and simple neuronal networks behavior can be simulated.
In this workshop we will build different kinds of machines. In combination with tiny motors and loudspeakers (piezos) they will generate smallest movements and soft sounds. All these machines are based on extreme low energetic circuits designs and get powered by the electric energy from tiny solar-panels or wimpy diy batteries.
All the finished machines can be exposed / set free in the garden. Furthermore some “creatures” can be connected or integrated to botanical or fungal organism (the plants resistance/capacity will get an integral part of the oscillating circuits).
For the design and look we will recycle & reuse wimpy stuff and elements direct from the garden: leaves, thin twigs, wax from the bee hives…

honeybatteries and a soundmodule – materials of the OpenGreens

Candlelight robots, a project developed by Christian Faubel.
The project consists of tiny mobile robots based on the suneater-circuit. They can be driven with just the flame of a candlelight. The light of the candle is transformed into electric energy that is stored in a capacitor and then released to a motor, producing movement. Christian will experiment with the workshop participants to make candles that move autonomously with only the energy from the flame. The circuit and motor will be casted in beeswax, with just the motor shaft and and the solar panel sticking out.

double spread OpenGreens workshop@ okno, from 9 to 10 june 2011

désert numérique 2011

Adhérant au concept communautaire mis en place par le projet international « Window Farms », un véritable jardin, recyclé, suspendu et vivant…
Nous créerons ensemble des jardins suspendus. Ce projet DIY, faisant partie du projet en réseau Window Farms, consiste en un jardin hydroponique, très esthétique, et élaboré à partir de matériaux récupérés. L’artiste Kyd Campbell (CA/DE), rejointe par les artistes/écologistes Annemie Maes (BE) et ingenieur Jérôme Lauer (FR/DE), vont collaborer pour construire un jardin suspendu au village de Saint-Nazaire-le-Désert, et offrir plusieurs présentations d’approches créatives et écologiques et vous assisteront pour créer votre propre jardin suspendu.

NOW WHAT – about getting out of here

Nowadays, we are treated to a wealth of information about the current global crises — poverty, environmental destruction and all those finance markets supposedly teetering on the edge of the abyss. Yet the time for far-reaching political change is long overdue. After all, despite the dramatic consequences of a consumerist lifestyle, the goal of non-stop growth continues to be propagated. Natural resources are being wasted as though there were no tomorrow, while the international finance markets seem to operate free of any legal or ethical restraints. Is the public sector today ruled by economic interests and nothing else?

Continue reading »

dortmund filmfestival

If we really want to reshape our urban way of life on a sustainable and ecological basis, we will have to take tangible measures. But how and where can we create green oases in the concrete jungles of our towns? On the window ledge, the balcony or the rooftop?

The multimedia artist and activist Annemie Maes will use her workshop to give us some answers and practical tips. She has long been involved in eco-technologies and grass-roots activism and, in 2004, she and Guy van Belle set up OKNO, an artists collective that aims to develop innovative cultural projects linking art and technology. For example: Connected Open Greens – the outskirts of town where culture and nature can come together symbiotically, where regenerative energy technologies meet traditional gardening and where art projects might make new biotopes. The question is this: to what extent can new organisms, new surroundings and new landscapes be generated by merging the artificial with the natural?

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OKNO members operate two Open Green Rooftop Gardens in Brussels. They observe and record the growth, flowering and decay of plants as well as providing a habitat for insects and keeping bee colonies. They organise related workshops and an »Adopt a Bee« scheme (a bee hive, to be more precise). Here in Dortmund, Ms Maes will be talking about her Connected Open Greens project, one feature of which is urban bee-keeping. There will also be instructions on how to roll seed bombs, which we will subsequently put to practical effect during a city stroll … and so help Dortmund’s urban bees make more honey.


graz : eco-conference time inventors’ kabinet

Das Symposion EcoConference2 am 9. und 10. April wird auf folgende Themen fokusieren: Wahrnehmung von Zeit, Erinnerungskonzepte und -modelle, Bedeutung und Definition von Zeit.
The symposion /EcoConference 2 on 9th and 10th of april will focus on the following topics: perception of time, concepts and modells of memory, meaning and definition of time.
Konferenzsprache/conference language: english.
all info on: http://esc.mur.at/index.html

Sunday, 10th of april / 11am – 4pm / Annemie Maes: OpenGreens
OpenGreensGraz: wasteland research and mapping session
OpenGreensTik: introducing the Tübinger mix monitoring project

leonardo windclock

Version 2 of the windclock describes the OpenGreen rooftop garden in the center of Brussels. The wind-values, registrated by the photosensor, are linked to the description of the plants in the rooftop garden. The stronger the wind blows, the more present the plantnames are – expressed in fontsize.
The overall movie gets a voice-over by the bees of the garden: they comment on their foraging area and add another layer to the wind movie.
More on padma.okno.be …

free seeds for all!

Seed Sovereignity: International Days of Action, Brussels, 17-18 April 2011.
Tens of thousands of people throughout Europe are actively demanding that the right to produce seeds remains in the hands of small farmers and gardeners. A diversity of crops has nourished mankind for thousands of years. Seeds that we have inherited from past generations are the basis of life and are essential for food sovereignty.
more on: http://www.seed-sovereignty.org/EN/index.html

Video on the Navdanya Seedbank of Vandana Shiva:
and http://padma.okno.be/Vt332bqm/00:00:00.000-00:11:46.561

and Vandana Shiva on The Future of Food:
This video gives a summary of an interview I conducted with Vandana Shiva during the workshop and seminar ‘The Future of Food’ on the Navdanya-farm in Dehradun, India – early october 2008.

See also: how to make seedballs