Category: media

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

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the BEE monitoring project

Since 2009, Okno is researching the co-evolution between city honeybees and urban ecosystems in its OpenGreens and Bee Monitoring programs. Bee colonies are now threatened in all industrialized nations. Given that the survival of bees is crucial for human sustainability, there is a great urgency to improve by all means the ways in which colonies could thrive.
The research program surveys in an artistic way the multiple fields of interaction between honeybees and the (urban) ecosystem. It is remarkable to see how a bee population functions and evolves very much in accordance to the human activities we are developing around them: gardening and (urban) agriculture. The production of honey is different related to the flowers we grow, the plants we like, the garbage or pollution we produce. Bees are very responsive to the different biotopes that we share. Though we seem to have rather few insight into what constitutes the diversity of our surrounding living place, and that’s something we want to research on a deeper level. As bio-markers, bees can give us valuable information about living conditions in our continuous productive urban landscapes.

To monitor the bees in a non-intrusive way we are building Intelligent Beehives. These are hives that are augmented with sensors and sensory processing algorithms that analyse the quality of pollen and propolis as well as the behavior of the bees in order to monitor the state of the ecology in the surrounding areas. In a first research phase, the people’s hive of Abbé Warré was adapted to the grid of the Open Structures project. The new Warré-hives are a collaboration between OKNO Brussels, Fab Lab Barcelona and Sony Computer Science Lab in Paris. The Intelligent Warré Beehives are distributed in a European network, the data are available online and the creation of local biological Corridors can be consulted in realtime.

Okno Brussels, media – art – ecology : and
Fab Lab Barcelona :
Sony Computer Science Lab Paris :

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Valldaura Bee Monitoring – part02

In April, OKNO organized a two-part bee monitoring workshop at Valldaura Self Sufficient Lab in Barcelona.
Prior to the event some of the Fab Lab Academy students had been building several beehives – one of which will be put in OKNO’s rooftop garden – making use of Warré’s principles and the OpenStructures system to make them more sustainable.
They had equally been developing a sensor-equipped measuring device that tracks the temperature and humidity changes on the inside and outside of the hive and as such reveals how ecological factors affect the bees’ behavior.
The Valldaura interns had been using material found in the surroundings to create a natural structure that will offer coolness and shadow to the Valldaura beehive on hot summer days.

During the first part of the workshop, the hive was assembled and placed in the area that had been prepared for it, and the appropriate technology was fabricated. The second series of working sessions was used to transfer a colony of European dark bees from the Catalan inland region to their brand-new home on the Valldaura premises. The pieces of technology were connected and set to work using solar panels, ready for studying the bees as bio markers disclosing environmental health.
Self Sufficient Labs, Valldaura, Barcelona

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dancing with the bees!

During the past three years, OKNO has been exploring the potential of sensor-equipped beehives. Making use of innovatory technologies, we are studying bees as biomarkers providing information about the ecosystem they are part of. The collected data are stored in online databases, mapping the urban landscape and raising awareness of this shared living environment, and are used for the creation of ecological works of art.
Earlier this month, OKNO is organising a bee monitoring workshop at Valldaura Self Sufficient Lab in Barcelona.
On 18 and 19 April, the collaborators in the research on sensor-enriched beehive design are meeting at the OKNO premises for some brainstorming and working sessions on new and artistic approaches to sustainable, non-intrusive bee monitoring. In which ways can new media contribute to ecology and vice versa?
The sessions are closed on Friday evening at 7 with a screening, drinks and a bee dance workout.

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Valldaura Bee Monitoring – part 01

Can Valldaura, located on the border between city and forest, between technology and nature. It houses the Self Sufficient Labs of Barcelona, working with local business, cutting-edge technology, leading academic institutions and grassroots Permaculture activists. The project reaches out to anyone wanting to explore the dynamic edge created as these different worlds collide. And to those inspired by the idea of studying the interface and interactions of urban and natural landscapes, to develop ecologically designed systems that have the stability of nature while still providing the daily needs of the Valldaura community and leisure and resources for the local population.

A workshop on the monitoring of bees and their immediate ecology is part of the permaculture master course.
The workshop is developed by Annemie Maes (OKNO, Brussels) Jamie Nicol, Ana Martinez, Claudia Nieto (Self Sufficient Labs Valldaura), John Rees, Ferran Masip, Jonathan Minchin (Fablab Barcelona).

Can Valldaura – the Self Sufficient Labs and Green FabLab.

thursday 11/4
- introduction to bee monitoring
- introduction to the Intelligent Beehive project
- introduction to the production of Intelligent Beehives at the fablab
- installation of the OpenStructures Warré hives at Valldaura (search for best place)

friday 12/4
- about sensors and smart citizen shields for beehives
- install sensors in the Warré hives
- connect the sensors to the internet
- map the hives on the smart citizen map
- reconnect the Ciutdella beehives

saturday 13/4
- map the vegetation of the foraging areas at Valldaura
- map the vegetation of the foraging areas at Fablab BCN and Ciutadella
- build a herb spiral with melliferous and medicinal plants (permaculture)

permaculture magazine UK

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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

le journal du patrimoine on the virtues of the Urban ArtFarm

download here the pdf, article by Emmanuelle Dubuisson :

Grote Aardappelruil – statement Vrijwillige Verschijners

Wij zijn Europese burgers van alle windstreken, beroepen, leeftijd en geslacht, en hebben deelgenomen aan de “grote aardappelruil” op 29 mei 2011 in Wetteren. Sommigen waren effectief aanwezig, anderen hebben elders informatie verspreid over deze openlijke en geweldloze actie of gingen akkoord met deze actie.
Met zijn allen wilden we duidelijk maken dat we geen genetisch gemanipuleerde aardappelen nodig hebben; er zijn immers al gezonde en goedkope aardappelvariëteiten beschikbaar die bestand zijn tegen de aardappelziekte.
Met onze actie wilden wij de politiek aanklagen, die ongewenste genetisch gemanipuleerde organismen uit het laboratorium – waarvan de gezondheids- en milieueffecten onvoldoende getest zijn – op de borden en de velden wil toelaten. We verzetten ons ook tegen de steeds verdergaande privatisering en monopolisering van de voedselproductie, waarbij gewassen gepatenteerd
kunnen worden en de markt wordt bepaald door slechts enkele grote spelers.


Wij betreuren dat wetenschappelijk onderzoek onvoldoende gefinancierd wordt uit publieke middelen, en klagen aan dat wetenschappelijke instellingen daardoor afhankelijk worden van multinationale ondernemingen wiens bestaan draait om het maken van winst, ongeacht de volksgezondheid, de socio-economische gevolgen of het leefmilieu.
Of we nu in Wetteren aanwezig waren of niet, allemaal dragen we mee de verantwoordelijkheid voor deze actie, in de overtuiging dat de wereld geen behoefte heeft aan een streven naar alsmaar grotere productiviteit en de winst van enkelen, wel aan onderzoek dat gericht is op het welzijn van iedereen.
Daarom vragen wij vandaag om samen berecht te worden met de 11 personen die opgeroepen werden om voor de rechtbank te verschijnen op 15 januari 2013. Daarom zullen ook wij aanwezig zijn voor de rechtbank van Dendermonde, hoopvol dat het hof ons recht om mede te verschijnen zal erkennen!

4 januari 2013
De Vrijwillige Verschijners

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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research in practice – workshop st.lukas brussels

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