Visual artist Melle Smets and researcher Joost van Onna followed the travel of discarded cars from Europe to Ghana and ended up at Suame Magazine, near the town of Kumasi, in Ghana. In this area, 200,000 artisans are working in 12,000 workshops, stores and factories to repair and give a new life to European disused vehicles.
Smets and van Onna then collaborated with local craftsmen and mechanics to build a African concept car in three months
By bringing together works by artists, designers, scientists, meteorologists and engineers STRANGE WEATHER asks questions such as: Should human culture be reshaped to fit strange weather or should we reshape weather to fit our strange culture? Who is going to take advantage of climate chaos and how will strange weather benefit me? How will you choose to work, celebrate, live and die when weather gets weird?
A People’s Archive of Sinking and Melting is a growing collection of items contributed from places that may disappear due to the combined physical, political, and economic impacts of climate change, including glacial melting, sea level rise, coastal erosion and desertification. Through common but differentiated collections, the contributed materials form an archive of the future anterior; what will have been
The show goes from the very absurd (the Halliburton survivaball) to the very dark and dramatic. But the adjective that pervades the show is ‘fun’. While visiting the exhibition, i’ve been drinking cloud, watched a 1959 film that speculates on how weather control departments would use satellites and met with little child mannequins in Hazmat suits in the most unexpected places
The Tornado Diverter is a device built by artists Bigert & Bergström to intercept and stop a tornado. The sculptural machine radiates 100,000 negative volts and has the power to repel the positive charge of the tornado that causes twisters to touch down
Over the past few years, Martin Howse has been investigating the possibility to build a computational device that would not only be constructed solely from the earth but would also be embedded within the earth as a critical monument to human technology
Recent travels have brought Peter Cusack to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, Ukraine; the Caspian and other potentially dangerous places. Most are sites of major environmental/ecological damage; others are nuclear sites or the edges of military zones
The book moves through the various levels of artists’ engagement, from those who act as independent commentators, documenting and reflecting on nature, to those who use the physical environment as the raw material for their art, and those committed activists who set out to make art that transforms both our attitudes and our habits
On the interplay between a snail (a messy biological entity under scientific observation and the subject of experimentation) and an algorithm (dating back to 1887 and the development of tabulating machines) that sorts and orders data sets
The young photographer traveled to Norilsk, one of the biggest cities above the Arctic Circle. In Norilsk, inhabitants live in darkness 45 days a year, temperatures can drop to minus 53 °C in the Winter and the air is one of the most polluted in the world. There is no green space in Norilsk and even leaving the city is a challenge. The easiest way to get away is by air (Moscow is a four hour flight away) and for most residents, plane tickets are barely affordable.
The reason why people would want to live there is that most of them work for the biggest metallurgical and mines complex in the world
Virtually every stage in oil’s production process, from discovery to consumption, is greased by secret connections, corruption, and violence, even if little of that is visible to the public. The energy industry, to cite just one measure, violates the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act more often than any other economic sector, even weapons. This book sets out to tell the story of this largely hidden world
A thrilling remake of a 1904 experiment in which live trees antennas act as antennas for radio contact. Simple and magical at the same time: the combination of nature and technology. This concept was not developed any further at the time, but now BioArt Laboratories has decided to take up the challenge again
Loop.pH’s work speculates on near and far future scenarios as a way to probe at the social and environmental impact of emerging biological and technological futures. Some of their most renown projects include collaborating with a Nobel prize winner to communicate the functioning of molecular machines, designing a curtain made of algae that produce bio-fuel, setting up an edible DIY bio fab-lab for the video of an Aussie band. creating a sound and light performance that explores the field of neuroscience and investigating the possibilities of living architecture
The book contains 17 articles (in both English and Finnish) that report and meditate on the research, reflections and activities that took place during the scientists and artists’ stay in Kilpisjärvi, Lapland. The event was organised by Finnish Society of Bioart and offered one of the very few residences that allows people who engage with art&science to work and experiment directly in a natural environment and not exclusively in laboratories or galleries
Ice Lab presents some of the most innovative and progressive examples of contemporary architecture in Antarctica, drawing together projects that not only utilise cutting-edge technology and engineering, but have equally considered aesthetics, sustainability and human needs in their ground-breaking designs for research stations
Michiko and Michael’s work is never without surprise. Whether they entrust opera singers to produce food in a future world where algae have become the world’s dominant food source or explore the possibility of a city that would be isolated from the wider environment and where food, energy, and even medicine, are derived from human origin and man-made biological systems.
Suzanne Lee is the Founder of BIOCOUTURE, the first ‘living materials’ design consultancy. The last time i met Suzanne, she was cultivating bacteria into green tea and harvesting layers of cellulose which, once dried looked like leather that she then used to make garments.
Suzanne’s work has now taken an even more ambitious dimension as she is building an open innovation resource to enable collaboration within the global biological materials community
In the face of impending climate crises, environmentalists are standing with the Bio-Conservatives or with the Techno-Progressives.
However, a number of emerging factors suggest possible alternatives for the relationship between environmentalism and science. Among these are the DIYBIO or Biopunk movements and the campaign for open access to science, as well as headless and cell-based networks of activists such as Anonymous
Sitting somewhere between criminality, deceit and disruption, each scheme seeks to exploit the unique infrastructure, ecology, potential for dispute, and legal ambiguity of the Arctic region to provide devious financial rewards
A discussion with Rasa Smite about “Biotricity No.5”, a project that experiments with “green energy” technologies and sonifies the process of generating electricity from bacteria living in water
HeHe took the invitation to turn FACT (the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology in Liverpool) inside out literally. Their new piece used the exhibition space to extract gas from the ground underneath the gallery and suggest that in the future we might want to bypass big energy companies and extract our own fossil fuels ourselves in our back garden
Oil City takes audiences into the underbelly of London’s oil economy, looking at UK finance for Canadian tar sands projects. By eavesdropping on business people and seeking out secret documents hidden in dead-drops, you will help piece together a puzzle that interweaves government files with financial deals
La Cosa Radiactiva is a “research on transparency and nuclear secrets. A performance to demystify radiation while building awareness of its risks. An imagination exercise to reflect on how it would be like to live with radiation and above all this, a call about the importance of citizens having their own tools to be able to verify public health data provided by governmental authorities.”
Today is the last day to witness the week-long performance from Liberate Tate at the Tate Modern gallery. Filming devices strapped on to their bodies, performers are reading aloud sections of the transcripts of the trial which started in February in New Orleans and sees BP stand accused of gross negligence over the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry
Michail Vanis’s project suggests that our romantic ideas and ideals regarding nature – a nature that has to be preserved exactly as it is- are holding us back from finding new ways to interact with the world surrounding us. Vanis’ Neo-nature project invites us to reconsider our relationship to nature and adopt a more rational approach to ecological thinking and to conservation
Today i’m stuck in Turin, it’s been snowing all day long and i’m not complaining but i don’t feel like going out to see exhibitions. I’m thus going to point you to an online exhibition over at dARTboard, a digital art space that the Vilcek Foundation created to ‘celebrate the accomplishments of foreign-born artists living in the United States and working in the realm of digital art.’ This year’s featured artist is Marc Böhlen who’s showing two works that investigate the relationship between people and automated systems
I’ve interviewed Lisa about her farmification project for the blog last year but this time, we’ll be hearing about the fate of the joystick factory workers one year on (clue: it doesn’t involve many game controllers), obsolete technologies and eating pigeon wings as a contraceptive measure
Often both playful and critical, Benjamin Gaulon’s projects involve printing messages on walls using a PaintBall Gun, collecting video streams from wireless surveillance cameras, turning your videos into animated GIFs, developing radio controlled cars that physically react to messages sent on Twitter, giving an architectural dimension to the 1970s game PONG, circuit-bending, hacking, deconstructing and re-purposing “obsolete” electronic devices
Where i eat soup containing vegetable “grown on Ruskin’s grave”, meet Welsh farmers worried about the inadequate prices paid to them by supermarkets for their milk and finally find some ‘socially-conscious’ satisfaction at the art fair
After Agri is a collaborative investigation between Michiko Nitta and Michael Burton. Their collaboration looks at the future evolutions of our food systems, asking What new cultural revolution will replace agriculture? How will our species and civilisation be transformed?
uring my short stay in Amsterdam, i enthusiastically entered the exhibition
Yasusuke Ota: The Abandoned Animals of Fukushima. What had i imagined that i’d see? Birds flying over beautiful urban ruins? Pets sauntering gaily on car roofs and pigs fooling around empty supermarkets? I couldn’t have been more mistaken
Five Thousand Generations of Birds was an exhibition located in the archipelago of Fitjar, on the West coast of Norway, – a landscape consisting of 381 islands, isles and reefs.
Curators Silje Linge Haaland and Andrea Bakketun assigned an island to each participating artist with the mission to produce a temporary and site specific work
The Cold Coast Archive project investigates and explores human beings’ efforts to preserve civilization and defy the inevitability of its demise. We look at the vault as a whole: its practical, political, historical and symbolic structure, its arctic location, as well as its infrastructure and cultural nuances, with all the research concentrated at this site, as a backdrop to explore the human relationship to time between now and eternity
KULTIVATOR was founded in 2005 by 3 artists and 2 organic farmers in the village Dyestad, on the Swedish island of Öland. This cooperation of farming and visual art practice involves an organic farm with where pigs are raised, cows are milked, potatoes are harvested and linseed oil is pressed. But Kutltivator is also a space for artist residencies, exhibitions, performances, installations and screenings. And in between are activities that draw in both the artist and the farming community. The result looks both experimental and remarkably productive
With HORTUS, the architects from ecoLogicStudio are inviting the public to become cyber-gardeners and “invent new protocols of urban biogardening.”
There’s a bright green carpet on the floor and hundreds of intravenous-style bags are suspended above our heads. The bags are in fact photo-bioreactors and they form a ‘greenhouse’ that hosts nine different species of algae, from chlorella to algae found in London’s canals. Visitors can blow into flexible plastic tubes, fostering the growth of the algae with their carbon dioxide and activating the oxygen production
The culture of green tech is a timely publication. 2009 saw plethora of festivals, exhibitions and conferences dedicated to sustainability, ‘greener planet’ and ecology. I attended so many of them i ended up turning into a cynical eco-phobic. The following year, culture moved to other issues but the relevance of an artistic reflection on green tech is as high as ever. The magzine proposes an intelligent, critical view that goes beyond the monolithic ‘green is beautiful’ moto and looks into the dilemma and contradictions of green tech
The exhibition at Somerset House shows 28 projects shortlisted for a competition that invited architects, engineers, students and designers to submit proposals that reclaim overlooked spaces across Greater London. Inspired by success stories such as New York’s High Line, the competition aims to demonstrate how alternative way of thinking about urban space can inject new life and energy into some of London’s most neglected corners.
The selected entries range from underground climbing tunnels to Atlantic salmons in the Thames, firepits in Crystal Palace, bee keeping, rooftops of tower blocks turned into social hubs and artist studios nested inside church spires
Summer is back in London and dozens of bees have now settled in the middle of Spitalfields. Real bees passersby don’t try to wave away. They are dead and hang on fishing lines as if they were caught in mid-flight inside a giant glass case, surrounded on all sides by office blocks
To enter garden installation EXOTE, part of Kris Verdonck – EXHIBITION #1, visitors have to wear protecting clothes. They can then walks on the bark soil between plants and parrots, just like a nature explorer. The terrestrial plants, crustraceans, insects, fish, amphibians, birds and other organisms they encounter are all “Invasive Alien Species”, they thrive outside their natural distribution area and threaten biological diversity
This week, i’m having a chat with Lieven Standaert, the designer behind Aeromodeller2, a project which explores the possibility to build a 90-meter, zero-emission, airship that will never need to land to get its fuel, creating hydrogen from the elements it encounters and anchoring when it needs to replenish its energy in a renewable way. Aeromodeller2 might not be the most efficient nor the fastest airship but it leaves more space to imagination, dream and aspiration than anything Boeing can come up with