Grote Aardappelruil – statement Vrijwillige Verschijners

https://fieldliberation.wordpress.com/

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 ZIJN GEEN PROEFDIEREN !

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

OPEN, O SESAMI. OPEN, O GREEN. OPEN, O FIELDS.
A chance meeting in the name of Green Rush http://greenrush.net

Transmediale2013
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

more info on: http://annemariemaes.net/presentations/urban-corridors-presentations/the-scattering-of-seeds-lecture/

barcelona workshop : urban bees, environmental sensors.

This workshop offers the opportunity to work at the intersections of artistic, scientific and technological practices in the field of urban beekeeping. Urban bees are quality sensors of the city where we live but, how can we capture and decode all the information they provide? During these two days, we will build and install a kit of sensors on a hive from the Three Dragon Castle, in Parc de la Ciutadella to obtain data from the inside and outside of the hive. Later, we will analyze and visualize data from a scientific and artistic point of view.
This first meeting aims to be the beginning of a community process among people looking for a sustainable city and committed to multidisciplinary and horizontal research.


home of the bcb bees : three dragons castle, parc de la ciutadella, barcelona

13 December (10-14 am, room N07T, University of Barcelona):
-Meet-up
-Open Green in Brussels (Annémie Maes, OKNO)
-Smart citizens (Tomás Diez, Fablab)
-Introduction to monitoring urban bees (Annémie Maes, OKNO and Tomás Diez, Fablab)
-BCNBees as sensors of the city.
Brainstorming to define the next meeting. What do we want to monitor? Why? When? Where? How? (All participants)
13 December (15-18 pm, room N06M, University of Barcelona):
-Theoretical introduction to the building of sensors (Tomás Diez, Fablab)
-Building the sensors
14 December (10-14 am, Ciutadella Park):
-Installation of the sensors on the beehives from Three Dragons Castle, Parc de la Ciutadella (Annémie Maes, OKNO and Maria Prestamo, beekeeper, Museu de Ciències Naturals)

more info on: http://annemariemaes.net/presentations/bee-laboratory-presentations-2/urban-bees-barcelona-workshop/

the urban artfarm : politics of change


Today we no longer have the right to pretend that we command a unique position
from which we can view the truth about the world.
We must learn not to judge different areas of knowledge, culture, or art,
but to combine them and to establish new ways of coexistence with those
who enable us to meet the unique demands of our time.
Ilya Prigogine & Isabelle Stengers, Man’s New Dialogue With Nature,1979

Urban ArtFarm: growing food for the hungry city
The Urban ArtFarm is an experimental station for Urban Agriculture. It researches and analyses the pro and contra’s of growing food in the city on rooftops of bigger buildings, with the help of green DIY technology. How does a rooftop ecosystem deal with energy, water, soil and green technology? What does the project represent financially? How do plants and animals (city honeybees) interact with this artificial ecosystem?
UF-[O] is an open air laboratory that interacts with the city. The [Original] station is built on connected rooftops in the historical center of Brussels, [Replicas] of this model can be started on any other rooftop that is suitable for the purpose. The groundlevel location of UF/O is the place on the Brussels’map where a network of medieval market places and monasteries intermingle. The UF/O farm, set on the 6th floorlevel of this place, on the roof of a parking lot, is a place where artists and urban gardeners can develop new strategies for sustainable living in the city. An artistic approach, green DIY technology and a permaculture philosophy should present new opportunities to the (city)people to connect to food, food security and sustainability.
More and more people are living in the cities. We have to search for new modes of sustainable living, new ways of food production. Re-examine the link between the city as consumer and the countryside as provider. In this context, we are researching how to make a network of intensively cultivated city rooftopgardens where we can grow our own food for the neighbourhood.
Besides the food-function, the Urban ArtFarm is set up as our open-air laboratorium. In this project, we want to blend the natural and the digital in one and the same nature. We study and document how to set up a middle sized rooftopgarden (± 700 m2), all with recycled materials.
Artists occupy the public space and develop activities with a specific ecological focus: hack the top level of city and give it another destination. Connect different rooftops in a network of OpenGreens with city honeybees as connectors and bio-indicators.
The UF/O project blends nature and technology. By digital means it explores how the growth, blossoming and decay of plants occur while they are submitted to different abiotic elements as wind, rain, sun, etc.
Can we learn something from the data resulting from the monitorings? Is our environment programmable? Does the fusion of natural and artificial matter produce new organisms, new environments, new natures? Elements of the garden, plants as well as technology, become nodes in wireless networks. This happens both on rooftop level as on city level.
The connections between people, plants, sensornetworks and utilities of the rooftopgardens are mapped for further study. We research the collected data in the context of the 3 ecologies (Guattari, 1969) : ecological, social and political.

UF/0 : stadslandbouw als artistiek project
De Urban ArtFarm (UF/0) is een onderzoeksstation voor stadslandbouw. Het is een openlucht laboratorium van 750m2 dat gebouwd is bovenop platte daken van grote gebouwen. Hier onderzoeken we de interactie met de stad op verschillende niveaux: sociaal, politiek, economisch en ecologisch, en dit alles vanuit een artistieke invalshoek.
Hoe gaat een artificieel opgezet ecosysteem om met natuurlijke resources als energie, water, grond en hoe wordt groene technologie hierbij betrokken? Het project test de pro en contra’s, de voordelen, problemen en knelpunten om voedsel te verbouwen in de stad, en maakt de resultaten publiek via artistieke interventies.
De locatie van UF/0 kent een rijk verleden: tijdens de middeleeuwen was de plaats een belangrijk knooppunt in een netwerk van kloosters, kruidentuinen, boomgaarden en stadsmarkten. Voor het UF/O-project hebben we echter de begane grond verlaten en hebben we ons openluchtlaboratorium ingericht op een knooppunt van aaneengrenzende daken. Hier ontwikkelen kunstenaars, DIY-wetenschappers en stadstuiniers nieuwe strategieën voor duurzaam leven in de steden van vandaag en morgen. Een creatieve benadering, groene technologie en een filosofie die haar oorsprong vindt in de permacultuur liggen aan de basis van dit project. Het netwerk van daken wordt omgevormd tot OpenGreens. Artistieke interventies maken onverwachte verbindingen tussen de stad en haar bewoners en creeëren nieuwe invalshoeken met betrekking tot voedselzekerheid en duurzaamheid.
Meer en meer mensen leven in de steden. Daarom moeten we zoeken naar nieuwe vormen van duurzaam leven, maar ook naar nieuwe manieren van voedselproductie. Het verband tussen de stad als consument en het platteland als leverancier moet herbekeken worden, uitgaande van een creatieve samenwerking. In dit kader onderzoeken we hoe we een stadsnetwerk kunnen opzetten van intensief gecultiveerde rooftopgardens, waar we ons eigen voedsel verbouwen voor de buurt.
Maar de UF/0 is meer dan enkel voedsel. De UF/0 is opgezet in een artificiële omgeving, met gerecycleerde materialen, biologisch zaaigoed en respect voor de natuurlijke bronnen als water en energie. Tiijdens de duur van dit project willen we deze processen monitoren, archiveren en beschrijven. De 4 seizoenen worden gelinkt aan data en timelines, er wordt gewerkt met DIY meetapparatuur, de dagen worden beschreven in klank en beeld. Het natuurlijke en het digitale gaan deel uitmaken van 1 geheel.
Kunstenaars bezetten en connecteren de daken en ontwikkelen activiteiten met een specifieke ecologische focus. Ze hacken het hoogste niveau van de stad en geven het een andere bestemming. De verschillende daken vergroeien tot een netwerk van OpenGreens.
Deze OpenGreens schakelen aaneen tot bio-corridors. Ze worden druk bezocht door stadsbijen die tevens ageren als bio-indicatoren. Met digitale en analoge middelen onderzoekt het UF/0 laboratorium de cycli van groei, bloei en afsterven van planten en honingbijen in dit specifieke ecosysteem, terwijl deze zijn blootgesteld aan de tijd en aan elementen als wind, regen en zon. Biotische en abiotische elementen worden knooppunten in onze groene observatie- netwerken.
Wat kunnen we leren uit de resultaten van deze observaties? Is onze omgeving programmeerbaar? Kan de fusie van natuur en techniek leiden tot nieuwe omgevingen, nieuwe materialen, nieuwe oplossingen? Kan dit onderzoek bijdragen tot het ontwikkelen van duurzame steden?


een kunstproject op een dak in de stad
De daktuin in het midden van het stadscentrum is het resultaat van een mix van disciplines: een kunstinstallatie, landschapsarchitectuur, poëtica, stadslandbouw, tegencultuur, transitie en duurzaamheid. Deze zijn de basisconcepten voor een nieuwe benadering van een ongewone plaats en van de mogelijkheden die deze lege ruimte in zich draagt.
De experimentele tuin op het dak van de parkeergarage etaleert een complexe esthetische en formele gevoeligheid die in harmonie is met zijn omgeving.
Het project wordt gedocumenteerd en beschreven in termen van zijn compositorische modaliteiten, maar ook de technische realisatie, de biotische en abiotische factoren en het proces van transitie komen aan bod.
Het boek beschrijft de creatie van een nieuwe en totaal andere ruimte voor deze ongebruikte plaats; de transformatie van leeg dak naar openlucht laboratorium symboliseert een nieuwe aanpak die bijdraagt tot het onderzoek naar duurzame steden en het creëren van biocorridors in het stedelijk landschap.
Dit stukje kunstmatig gecreëerde natuur, opgebouwd door een collectief van kunstenaars, denkers en doeners, transformeert de ongebruikte dakruimte tot een locatie die een intensieve dialoog uitlokt met de gebruikers.
De subtiele aanpak van de kunstenaars formuleert een ecologisch bewustzijn dat focust op het geheel van nieuwe mogelijkheden. De experimentele tuin is een installatie die laat zien hoe kunst een broedplaats kan zijn voor andere invullingen van de stedelijke ruimte. Een ecologische visie waarin kunst en (landschaps)architectuur hun mogelijkheden combineren.
Deze installatie maakt het onzichtbare zichtbaar: dit is de missie van kunst en tegelijkertijd de rol van de architectuur. De vraag wat natuurlijk en wat kunstmatig is verliest haar absolute betekenis.
In de loop van het proces maken de kunstenaars de verborgen schoonheid en kwaliteiten van deze plek zichtbaar. De essentie ligt niet meer in de vormen en gebruikte materialen, maar in de kracht en de intensiteit die van deze plek uitgaat.
De natuur leert ons hoe we op een kunstmatige plaats dezelfde ruimtelijke sensaties kunnen reproduceren als degene die uitgaan van een natuurlijk landschap.


urban artfarm, rooftop Brussels citycenter

een plaats om te ontdekken
Het UF/O – dak is de ruimtelijke vertaling van een concept, een levende sculptuur.
Het realisatieproces onthult in poëtische beelden de relatie van de locatie in het verleden tot zijn plaats in het hedendaagse stadsbeeld. De open taal is in lijn met de trage, natuurlijke evolutie van de daktuin.
Het project formuleert een radicale kritiek op de urbanisatie van de jaren ’70, de beton explosie tijdens het olietijdperk en de realisatie van tal van parkings in het stadscentrum die afbraak van woonhuizen en roofingwoestenijen tot gevolg had.
De UF/O en de ‘Tuin van Eten’ willen de tegencultuur een hart onder de riem steken, en staan volledig achter het toeëigenen van ongebruikte publieke ruimtes en de guerilla-gardening. We moeten toe naar een herdefiniëring van de publieke ruimte, met inbegrip van een herdefiniëren van instrumenten die nodig zijn om deze ruimte in te richten.
We moeten de openbare ruimte opnieuw analyseren, en ze op een nieuwe manier gaan waarnemen, opmeten en in perspectief zetten tot de stedelijke structuur.
Van verlaten en marginale zones die opnieuw worden ingenomen door de natuur kan een verleiding uitgaan die zijn kracht kan overzetten op de rest van de stad, het ontstaan van een osmotische relatie met de omgeving.
Het werk van de kunstenaars is gelimiteerd tot het conceptuele en artistieke gebruik van de ruimte. Daarom is het belangrijk dat toeëigening en verandering van bestemming gedocumenteerd worden, het proces moet beschreven worden. Hiervoor wordt een specifieke visuele taal ontwikkeld die aanleunt bij urbanisatie en (landschaps)architectuur.
Dit transdiciplinair onderzoek documenteert dus gedetailleerd het creatie- en groeiproces, waarbij ook reflectiemomenten een belangrijke plaats toegewezen krijgen.
De kritische analyse van dit experiment vloeit voort uit de noodzaak om de stedelijke structuur en publieke ruimte anders te benaderen. Met nieuwe onderzoeksinstrumenten, nieuwe talen, waarbinnen de participatie van de burgers een belangrijke plaats krijgt toebedeeld.
Een nieuw kijk op ‘urban voids’ die reeds lang over het hoofd werden gezien, en deze letterlijk ‘bezetten met andere betekenissen’.

more info on: http://annemariemaes.net/projects/the-urban-corridors-project/

heerlijke hernieuwbare wereld: urban artfarm on canvas.be

Dirk Draulants kwam in juni 2012 een kijkje nemen op de Urban ArtFarm voor de documentaire reeks Heerlijke Hernieuwbare Wereld. De reportage wordt uitgezonden woensdag 21/11 op Canvas.

De mens eet elk jaar naar schatting 50 miljard dieren op. Het terugdringen van het vleesverbruik zou een grote stap in de richting van duurzaam leven en een hernieuwbare economie betekenen. Maar het is een moeilijk proces.
Daarom wordt er gezocht naar alternatieven voor een puur vegetarisch bestaan. Dat kan door middel van doorgedreven wetenschap, die het mogelijk maakt vlees te kweken zonder dat er een dier voor nodig is. Het kan ook door aangepaste consumptiemodellen, waarbij smaakvol vlees als een garnituur naast de groenten terechtkomt, of waarbij insecten de doorslag geven.
De moderne consument is verwend. Hij wil alles op elk moment. Maar wat is energetisch het gunstigste: in de winter appelen uit Nieuw-Zeeland invoeren of appelen uit onze fruitstreek maandenlang invriezen? Een duurzaam leven vergt moeilijke oefeningen, waarbij er een tweespalt dreigt tussen de grootschaligheid, die de massa moet bevoorraden, en de kleinschalige aanpak van de voedselteams.
In samenwerking met de Ovam, Leefmilieu Brussel en de Federale Overheidsdienst bevoegd voor leefmilieu.

the transparant beehive in the drying room


city honeybees in the tranparant hive
Inspired by the flight routes of the bees, and looking at where they are going and what they are bringing back, we are thinking of yet another project.
It is remarkable to see how a bee population functions and evolves, very much in accordance to the human activites we are developing around them: gardening and doing (urban) agriculture.
The production of honey is different related to the flowers we grow, the plants we like, the garbage or pollution we produce. So bees are very responsive to the different biotopes that we share, they are considered to be good bio-indicators. 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.
In previous projects we developed different tools for identifying the specificity and relatedness of the changing assemblages of plants, animals, insects, reptiles, and related human activities. Adding new sensor networks to our Connected OpenGreen distributed garden database, and gathering the audiovisual data with our annotation database Padma/Pandora, we hope to portray the surround Canal Zone, as it is changing over time into a continuous productive urban landscape (Cpuls). It is a diverse area where a lot of activities, from accidental nature to collective and community gardening and urban agriculture, develop between the industrial buildings, office zones and living areas.
With this new project CORRIDORS, in which city honeybees play the leading role, we want to research how the sustainability of cities can be increased in the future, and how citizens can be actively involved. http://padma.okno.be/Vt3myazz/00:02:55.000-00:03:48.000

social sculpture – Gesamtkunstwerk
Concretely, we put forward ecological CORRIDORS in urban environments as a new medium of social sculpture, a Gesamtkunstwerk that relies on the creative participation of many.
Corridors are ephemeral living structures in the form of green spaces connected through animal life (such as bee colonies). They are set up and maintained by urban communities to regenerate areas of the city, particularly areas which are subject to social and urban stress. Corridors are here seen as art works that contribute to social cohesion and sustainability by raising awareness and minimizing resource waste.
Ecological corridors rely partly on methods of urban agriculture, guerilla gardening, ecological management and social anthropology. Corridors can also make good use of avant-garde technologies, so that such projects become experiments on the edges of art, science and technology.
With the “bee-mapping” of the connected biotopes around the Brussels canal into a Corridor, we hope to come to a new but sensitive representation of our own living environment, not only providing insight in the constantly changing conditions we live in, but also bringing forth a new material from which new ecologial artworks can be created, be it installation, performance, media art or literature…
Together, the research becomes a fragmented but growing territory where everyone can connect and contribute to, and where slowly relationships and patterns emerge from. We want to work with creative ways to raise awareness, not only about our shared surroundings, but also about the ways we can spread a change that makes sense with a wider than anthropomorphic view only. In a world we share. Guided by social insects, the bees, following them on their flights across the land and cityscapes we live in.
We see this – in the OKNO tradition – as a multifaceted work made over time by artists, technicians, and scientists together, but also involving an audience, by now skillful with ICT and interested in ecological and urban issues.


ICT for the monitoring and mapping of the corridors
The project will develop the ICT components necessary to support the bottom-up emergence of ecological corridors in urban areas.
Several ICT technologies are crucial to achieve such corridors: Embedded systems, novel sensors, low energy computing, and sensor networks are needed for monitoring soil quality, plant growth processes, animal activity, pollution and the movement and interaction of people within the local environment. Mobile communication and geoinformatics are needed for aggregating sensory data and projecting it in real time onto maps. Complex systems analysis, low energy computing, and machine learning are needed for detecting patterns to allow prediction and the shaping of ongoing social and biological processes, and novel user interfaces are needed to make embedded technologies accessible and usable without requiring sophisticated background or training. The project will be highly innovative because it opens up a new application area for a whole range of ICT technologies and because it generates deep challenges that will push the state of the art for each technology as well as their integration into a complex distributed system.

the importance of bees in the corridors
*introduction of bees/honey ⇒ stands for transformation in habits, in society
*honey (analysis) ⇒ can give diverse info on the habitat, on the available plants and food (urban agriculture) in the perimeter of the hive (connected OpenGreens)
*honey analysis ⇒ compare the polluants in the different OpenGreens of the corridor

corridors as a social sculpture
*social sculpture ref. Beuys: The idea being that every decision you make should be thought out and attempt to make or contribute to a work of art which in the end is society. This point of view invites followers to humble themselves by realizing that they are an important part of a whole not only an individual. (link with the honeybee colony)
*corridors as a social sculpture ⇒ community, bottom up (the social, cultural and political function and potential of art) occupy public space.
*potential of art to bring about revolutionary change (Beuys) transformation (metaphore = honey)
*affect environmental and social change through this project
*participating gardens ⇒ active creative expressions of the participating inhabitants, communities, neighborhoods
*social awareness raising : human activity that strives to (re)structure and (re)shape society and the environment
*knowledger building of cities as complex ecosystems


more info on: http://annemariemaes.net/works/bee-laboratory-works/the-transparent-beehive/

monitoring of the transparant hive colony

bee monitoring technology
The word ‘beehacker’ has been entered into the lexicon of popular culture. A beehacker has been defined as:
(noun) A beekeeper who uses digital tools and technology to help monitor and manage a collection of hives.
Also: bee hacker and —beehacking.

Get the Flash Player to see this player.
monitoring the bees in the transparant beehive, sept.2012

what can we monitor?
Which sensors do we need for it? And Where do we have to integrate them?
visual: webcams inside hive (infrared) or outside behind window
heath sensitive camera to spot the ‘heather bees’
sound / vibrations (contactmicrophones – piezo’s, other small microphones)
temperature inside / outside
humidity inside / outside
airpollution / Co2
moving of the bee-blob/nucleus inside of the hive (very important in winter)
number of bees flying in/out (summer)
landing of the bees on the landing strip before the flighthole (theremin? Aluminiumfoil?)
weight of the hive (growth of the colony, hive filling up with honey)


graph representing the humidity data in the beehive#3 at okno, from august 2011 to february 2012

graph representing the temperature data in the beehive#3 at okno, from august 2011 to february 2012

temperature and humidity
Brood Chamber & Environmental Monitoring. Warming up and cooling down.
Temperature and humidity inside and outside the hive are important indicators of hive health. A design for an environmental monitoring system is proposed able to log temperature and humidity inside the hive brood nest and measure temperature, humidity, and solar activity outside the hive.
Mammals shiver to generate heat. Likewise, some worker bees have a role as ‘heater bees’ [TAUT2008] that can dislocate their wings from their flight muscles and flex those large flight muscles to generate heat. These heater bees are easily identified in images taken by heat sensitive cameras because the temperature of their thorax can reach over 109 degrees! This contrasts with the normal temperature of the brood nest of 92-98 degree Fahrenheit. Even when the temperature outside is below freezing, the center of a healthy hive can be 92 degrees.
If the outside temperature falls below 54 degrees F., bees cannot fly and they will be confined to the hive. If the bees either run out of honey or it is so cold that they cannot crawl from the edge of their warm cluster to the honey (below 50 degrees F, they cannot move), they will starve or freeze.
Cooling in the hot summer is just as important. Wax softens if the hive temperature exceeds 93.2 degrees Fahrenheit. Beside structural problems, this negatively impacts vibration-based communication between bees inside the dark hive[TAUTZ2008]. In the hot summer, mammals sweat and pant to cool off. Bees collect water, spread it over the comb, encourage evaporation by mechanically creating air currents inside their hive to cool it down. In both cases, the evaporation of water into vapor provides cooling.
Research [FERR08] suggests that temperature of the hive increases immediately before a swarm occurs and drops below ambient temperature at the time of the swarm itself.
Humidity inside the hive and outside can influence how quickly the water in nectar is evaporated and transformed into honey. It may also indicate environments that favor fungal (Chalkbrood) growths that can devastate hives.
http://www.beehacker.com/wp/?page_id=84
more info on: http://annemariemaes.net/monitoring-the-transparent-beehive-colony/

Co2
Do not completely seal the hive off. Always leave the varroa-drawer out. The bees produce moisture and CO2 and they will suffocate if there is not sufficient air circulation and ventilation.

solar activity
The prediction of when flowers bloom (nectar flows) is more accurately estimated by counting the number of sun-days than by looking on a calendar. Solar activity also indicates how many days bees have available to forage for honey.

vibration based communication
I’m an electronics engineer doing a similar project. My motivation is on automated species detection and detecting the early signs of swarming. I find it’s easier to do sound recordings and analyse them later on a PC using Audacity or Matlab. Alternatively I’m sure you’ll find an IPhone/Android app for spectrum analysis.
If you want to build a real-time spectrum device, I would consider an arrangement of analogue filter banks, comparators and LEDs. Quite doable for an amateur.
For your information, I have found, the dominant frequency is approximately 220-240Hz followed by the first harmonic at 440 – 480Hz. According to literature this corresponds to the wing-beat frequency which varies depending on whether the bee is flying or stationary. Moreover, accordingly to unconfirmed reports, a newly hatched bee will have a higher wing-beat frequency due to incomplete forming of the wings.
Queen piping is an interesting sound; I have recordings which place in the 400Hz – 4KHz range. Sounding much like a duck.
http://www.beehacker.com/wp/?p=240#comments

hive and colony weight
The purpose is to build a low cost scale for monitoring the weight of the increasing honey over the foraging season. In the meantime we can also monitor the growth of the colony.
A nice DIY example can be found here: http://www.beehacker.com/wp/?page_id=55 : the portable hive scale.

preliminary research
city honeybees – piezo recordings with hive 03 at OKNO, Brussels – June 2011
2 piezo sensors were inserted into the hive: one in between the comb frames, and one right in front of the entrance.
The piezo’s were connected to a small mixing panel, in order to normalize the soundlevel.
In the video we can see rather well how the sound is connected to the bees’ actions. Purpose is to experiment further with piezo sensors connected to the hive, and to make a soundperformance together with the bees.
http://padma.okno.be/Ve2c67x2/00:00:00.000-00:04:37.0000

bee monitoring workshops
(theoretical, practical) to design a monitored beehive:
http://timeinventorskabinet.org/wiki/doku.php/bee_monitoring_workshops

During 2 workshops in february and march 2011, we discussed a digital survey of the honeybees. Beekeepers, artists and engineers joined their knowledge to come up with a design that offers a realtime, online monitoring of the beehive.
A swarm was put into the hive on may 4th 2011. Since than 2 webcams record the colonies’ behaviour. Simultaneously the data of inside and outside temperature, humidity and Co2 level are logged.

Bee Monitoring Research 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, soil, 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.
The life in and around the hive is monitored by many measurement systems.
Two webcams , equipped with infrared leds, make it possible to see in the dark. The monitor the movement of bees over the frames in the hive.
Since the hive was populated with the swarm (may 4th 2011), the 2 webcams record at 15 fps the life in the hive. Comb building, movements and action.
In the top of the frames (in the hive body) there are 3 temperature sensors capturing the temperature in the beehive, as well as a CO2 sensor and a sensors recording the humidity in the hive.
Outside of the hive, the temperature and the humidity of the direct 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 also logged and available in realtime.

analysis of the video data collection
Custom Software Video Analysis
Since may 4th 2011 we record at 15fps with 2 webcams, and we will continue the recordings till the start of the new bee season beginning of march.
This will give us a total of 10 months of recordings, which we will process as follows:
Videos: 160x speed-up ⇒ 24h becomes 9 minutes
1 month = 04:30 h ⇒ 10 months will be 45 hours.
Once we have processed all video material in 45 hours, we’ll run a last change-of-speed process to finish with a total of 24 hours. This means that we will finally represent the colony’s season (10 months) in the timespan of 1 day (24 hours).

A possible research of the images could include the relationship between the outside t° and the inside t° and the behaviour of the bees. With the start of the cold weather we discovered that the bees are not visible anymore on the outer comb-frame (the one closest to the camera). They go all to the inner comb-frames to form their ‘cluster’ for hibernation. Once the t° rises again, the bees spread over the different comb-frames.
Also the relation between the changing light density/frequency and the bee activity is a subject for research based on the video images.

analyse and recode the video images
analyse stills
analyse tekst, data – other input
position in the image (bees)
position in the garden (GPS OpenGreens)
enlarge the image (or part of the image) to maximum resolution and scan each pixel’s brightness
change brightness of pixels in realtime according available realtime data info
the higher the — the faster the — or other relations between realtime signals
render the invisible space of data flows, give it a structure, poetics and politics.

sonification of the data, information mapping

Apis mellifera carnica – okno observationhive#03
http://padma.okno.be/Vfrbe85n/info – testmovie for sonification

Musician Joeri Bultheel is testing the sonification of the bee colony behaviour in Supercollider. Beneath his neural networks-patch, in which the visual information from Processing determines which pattern-sequence of the four sequences stored in the connection-weights is being played. In a later stage of the project certain visual states would also be able to trigger a certain amount of noise into the connection-weights to create novel patterns based on the stored ones. The incoming visual date would determine what sequence is being played, how much it differs from the original one (by perturbation of the connection-weights through the use of noise) and also when the current changed network is skeletonized (is considered to be the actual new connection-weights-structure ). In this way an ever-changing, not-too-direct musical production mechanism controlled by the visual data of the bees can be realized. Communication between Processing (openCV) and SuperCollider is done by using OSC.


sonification of the recorded webcam-data in supercollider and processing, Joeri Bultheel

We make more tests on bees and sound.
From may 4th, 2011 till now beehive #03 at OKNO is monitored in a continuous way. Several sensors (t° inside/outside, humidy in/out and C02), but also 2 webcams at 15fps.
With the webcam movies we are doing some experiments on image/sound relation. The movielinks below are an excerpt of a concatenation of time-fragments over the bee colony season. The total movie is 4hours and 30 minutes, and documetns the building of the nest from the moment the colony was put into the hive.
Now we are trying to find a sound which represents the volatility and the lightness of the bees, a sound which respects the bees behaviour.
Joeri is trying some sonification patches in a neural networks supercollider patch, opposed to a patch that works with blob recognition an where the image/sound relation is more obvious.
http://padma.okno.be/Ve3447ya/info
http://padma.okno.be/Vh5xeh6y/info

harvest from a rooftop farm – brussels

What is the taste of your neighborhood? Sweet, sour or a bit rancid?
Did you ever eat flowers out of your back yard garden?
What about growing your own food in city rooftop gardens?
Are you familiar with guerilla gardening, wild food foraging or short chain economy?

Visit us during the streetmarket of the Vlaamse Steenweg where we are presenting our OpenGreens Ecological Art Project. Taste your neighbourhood, and enjoy the fresh okno honey, collected by our city bees this summer.
september 1 and 2, from 9am>7pm

growing food for the hungry city

The UrbanFarm is an experimental station for Urban Agriculture. It researches and analyses the pro and contra’s, the advantages, problems or bottlenecks to grow food in the city, and more specific: on rooftops of bigger buildings. How does a rooftop ecosystem deal with energy, water, soil and green technology? What does the project represent financially? How do plants and animals (city honeybees) interact with this artificial ecosystem?
UF-[O] is an open air laboratory that interacts with the city. The [Original] station is built on connected rooftops in the historical center of Brussels, [Replicas] of this model can be started on any other rooftop that is suitable for the purpose. The groundlevel location of UF-[O] is the place on the Brussels’map where a network of medieval market places and monasteries intermingle. The UF-[O] farm, set on the 6th floorlevel of this place, on the roof of a parking lot, is a place where artists and urban gardeners can develop new strategies for sustainable living in the city. An artistic approach, green DIY technology and a permaculture philosophy should present new opportunities to the (city)people to connect to food, food security and sustainability.

More and more people are living in the cities. We have to search for new modes of sustainable living, new ways of food production. Re-examine the link between the city as consumer and the countryside as provider. In this context, we are researching how to make a network of intensively cultivated city rooftopgardens where we can grow our own food for the neighbourhood.

Besides the food-function, the UrbanFarm-[O] is set up as our open-air laboratorium. In this project, we want to blend the natural and the digital in one and the same nature. We study and document how to set up a middle sized rooftopgarden (± 700 m2), all with recycled materials.
Artists occupy the public space and develop activities with a specific ecological focus: hack the top level of city and give it another destination. Connect different rooftops in a network of OpenGreens with city honeybees as connectors and bio-indicators.
The UF-[O] project blends nature and technology. By digital means it explores how the growth, blossoming and decay of plants occur while they are submitted to different abiotic elements as wind, rain, sun, etc.
Can we learn something from the data resulting from the monitorings? Is our environment programmable? Does the fusion of natural and artificial matter produce new organisms, new environments, new natures? Elements of the garden, plants as well as technology, become nodes in wireless networks. This happens both on rooftop level as on city level.
The connections between people, plants, sensornetworks and utilities of the rooftopgardens are mapped for further study. We research the collected data in the context of the 3 ecologies (Guattari, 1969) : ecological, social and political.
http://wiki.opengreens.net/doku.php?id=urbanfarm-original_or_uf-o

edible plants, herbal experiments – sideways

Okno collaborates with Sideways to animate a walkshop on edible plants in Brussels.
Annemie Maes and Nathalie Hunter are both artists and herborists. They will take the particpants on a 2-day journey.
On Saturday September 1st they will walk with a group of participants through the urbanized environment of Brussels, starting from the forest of Laerbeek until the green oase of the city farm of Parc Maximilien. Together they will track edible plants, collect, name and archive them in a herbarium.
On Sunday 2 September, the collected plants will be treated and made into products. Which products depend of the found plants. This could be drying plants for infuse-mixtures, till developing macerates to make oils or alcoholatures to make tinctures.
Also make herbal oil, vinegar, a balsam against insect bites, a cream or a lotion can be produced.
Sounds like something is brewing? OKNO takes you along an explorative and exciting journey on spots and places where you did not expect it!


walkshop edible plants : september 1 and 2, from 12pm till 6pm

sideways : trage wegen
A multimedia donkey with GPS-tracker, laptop & solar panels? An artist walking with a painter’s canvas on each shoe? Edible plants discovered along slow paths? The backbone of the Sideways Walking Arts Festival is a 4 week expedition through Belgium, from West to East, between August 17th and September 17th 2012. During the weekends, the mobile laboratory takes a halt at 5 festival locations: Menen (19 Aug), Herzele (25-26 Aug), Brussels (1-2 Sept), Turnhout (8-9 Sept) and Zutendaal (15-16 Sept) and unfolds a programme of talks & walks, performances, site-specific interventions and walkshops!

Sideways sets out to explore a series of sidetracks. Fairly removed from Belgium’s metropolitan arts centres and academic strongholds, it opens an artistic research on the cultural meanings of being on the road. Not as a driver or passenger, but on foot. Sideways takes as a starting point what in Belgium has become called ‘slow ways’ or ‘slow paths’: a meshwork of footpaths, alleys, tracks, backroads and ‘desire lines’ to be discovered by artists and audiences in the margin of the ubiquitous car infrastructure.

Far more than a connection to move from point A to point B, a trail is tantamount to a movement, an act of crossing, the performance of the passage. Sideways postulates no destinations; only variations of stillness and movement. Art on site, but occurring along lines (of movement) rather than situated at specific locations. Step by step, the expedition unfolds: passing by, with detours, fortuitously, pretty much sideways.
http://www.sideways2012.be/