A Sustainability thread
Space Studios has initiated...
A new series of residencies, talks, workshops and training opportunities exploring the convergence of art, media culture, technology and sustainability.
Details of the programme can be found here.
There seems an obvious overlap between Sustainability and permaculture. However, both are broad topics with an added layer of interpretation. This page will serve as a space to explore that overlap and develop a proposal that meshes respective aims and objectives.
Aim of PermaCultures
Aim of Sustainability
Things to do
Relevant quantities for meshing
Permaculture - an approach to designing human settlements and perennial agricultural systems that mimic the relationships found in the natural ecologies - Wikipedia. Once established systems are generally understood to require a low level of maintenance.
Sustainability - Meeting the needs of an individual or community in the present, without compromising the ability of future generations or communities to meet their own needs - Sustainability
Creativity - New ideas or concepts, or new associations of the creative mind between existing ideas or concepts. - Wikipedia
PermaCultures - A general philosophy for design of sustainable systems with particular attention paid to the interconnection and relationships between differing areas or objects. It alludes to networked technologies through the prefix 'perma' (see permalinks) and has the aim of exploring the impact and sustainability of creative technological practices.
Case Studies - The Sustainability project refers to ethnographic Case_Studies in which specific creative 'ecologies' are 'mapped' to gain insight into benefits and deficits to creativity. The mapping will promote awareness of sustainability in creativity and inform the continuing development of guidelines for open, networked and collaborative practice. These guidelines are intended as a tool to better appreciate and nurture subjective creative ecologies. !!connect to open-source, commons and open-organizations!!
It will be interesting to see whether methods of ecology 'map' to a social context (social far less predictable) so readily as the ethics.
The implied objectivity is dubious (but this doesn't seem to bother economists!). As the sub-prime crisis illustrates, systems must be implemented in order to evolve. The aim is to serve the national interest. There will be casualties.
Candidates for case studies may be instances of creativity or individuals and organisations that seek or derive some sort of value from creativity. In the vocabulary of the Creative Industries (sic) these might be Fashion Designer, Screenwriter or Musician. Less familiar (but perhaps more relevant anthropologically) might be Lawyer, Banker or Accountant.
These case studies will provide a valuable metaphor to engage with the principles of interconnection and interdependence that underpin the philosophy of permaculture.
Democratising technology - access to means of production and distribution. Competitive advantage in agility at local level. To be viewed as sustainable a less finance-oriented economic model is necessary.
No-dig Gardening - low maintenance/low intervention approach to horticulture and aspect of permaculture offers tempting metaphors for this project. Some ecologies/habitats are better left alone. Once they artificially established the plot will naturally produce desirable crops.
Social analogies to permaculture - No-dig, nutrients, soil/medium, plot, beneficial organisms, perennial weeds
Intangible value and sustainability - In overtly technical practice, 'producers' are more sensitive to the inputs embodied in outputs, the less invested the 'users' (the old audience) the less (accumulated) time to appreciate intangible outputs. Historically the remedy is to fast-track the user/audience with information and explanation, or leave them to 'make their own meaning'. The turn toward co-production and collaboration concentrates investment and value. Bottom-up Localism and top-down placemaking both have aspects of permaculture about them and some knowledge-sharing relation to the philosophy of open source. The former would seem to more tactical (powerless) and the latter more strategic (powerful).
PermaCultures Residency Proposal
Deadline: 5pm March 23rd 2009. Documents should be sent in pdf format with images as jpg or pdf documents and video as URL links. Applications should include:
A short proposal (2 page A4 maximum)
An outline of the project
If creativity is the "oil of the 21st Century", what are the conditions necessary to nurture it?
The residency kicks off with an audit of SPACE as a structure that supports creativity within the cultural ecologies of Hackney and the arts. Through audit the biology of SPACE is examined and attention is drawn to its intangible inputs and outputs. The audit is a celebration of subjective notions of value intended to contest conventional ideas of production, economy and ecology. Efficiency is not necessarily the objective so the temptation to quantify intangibles will be resisted. Reflecting on the permanence of SPACE, the audit asks to what extent is the source of these intangibles a renewable component of the SPACE ecology? How sustainable is SPACE?
With reference to Is Google Making Us Stupid? the proposal also seeks to question the determining effects of technologies old and new. In an effort to restore the scale of participation achieved through technology a physical experiment is proposed to render the mechanics and intellectual ethic of the Internet visible. A 'slow' Internet performed in situ - users come to the space with their needs. The response is made in 'old time' with the knowledge available and delivered by mail. In keeping with the principles of Free (Libre) Open Source Software (FLOSS) the project will be developed in an open forum, the stated aim being to critique the productivity of technological creative practice and its sustainability. Current proposals refer to the arboreal structure of the Dewey Decimal System, reading events and Internet detox.
Through a BarCamp knowledge and experience of sustaining creativity will be shared and a common vocabulary of criteria described. Contributors will be drawn from the creative cultures of Advertising, Art, Finance (Ecological Economics), Law and Architecture. BarCamps are user generated unconferences — open, participatory workshop-events, whose content is provided by participants — often focusing on early-stage developing projects, and related to open source methods, social protocols, and open data formats.
Support / equipment you will need
How the project relates to PermaCultures
Critical Practice is in itself a creative technological practice. In addition to the specific project outputs it is 'the research' supported and in part 'the artwork' produced by the residency.
What you think you will gain from the residency
The project builds on the work of Budget Guidelines for Open-Organizations and Sustainability, exploring what the discourses of 'sustainability' might reveal about creativity, creative practices, and the structures that support them. The residency will re-invigorate practitioners and renew commitment to these concerns.
Individuals doing the work will benefit from the experience through developed capacity to facilitate valued, innovative, practice-led research.
An idea for a workshop with our Youth Trainees
A Sustainability thread