Luminous Green Workshop 2007

In a time when energy use and electronic waste production should be rapidly decreasing, can media artists comfortably use arsenals of computers and their peripherals in the name of art? Several artists and designers came together for four days to explore the opportunities and challenges of working to minimise our ecological foot-prints, while maximising our cultural hand-prints. Should we gather together to design and deploy new strategies for functioning independently of power grids, proprietary networks and established waste disposal networks? How will our artworks change when we can only count on low-power computing for processing and presentation? What kind of displays can we use for audiovisual works, without relying on power-sucking projectors and amplifiers? And – what are the low-power, renewable aesthetics of ecologically sustainable media arts?

Using a collaborative methodology, we learned about designing miniature solar power plants and discussed a waste processing system using microwave ovens. We built solar-powered singing robots and looked at designing artworks from a whole-systems perspective. Each day started with a theoretical presentation or a technical tutorial, while the afternoons were reserved for hands-on experiments in small teams. The evenings were filled with screenings, discussions and salon-type presentations, where participants had a chance to get to know each other, spawn new collaborations, or just chill out in good company.

Workshop participants were Angelo Vermeulen, Olu Vandenbussche, Patrick De Koning, Robert Brecevic, Geska Anderson, Vahida Ramujkic, Annemie Maes, Steven Pickles, Bart Vandeput, Rachel Wingfield, Matthias, Gmachl, Carole Collet, Cristina della Giustina, Toby Borland, Marko Peljhan, Goran Kuzmanovic, S. Srinivasan Rajan, Tapio Makela, Andrew Morrison, Idunn Sem, Herve Gouget, Nik Gaffney, Lina Kusaite, Rasa Alksnyte, Pieter de Wel and Maja Kuzmanovic.