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MICRONATION/MACRONATION Democratizing the Energy

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

How can a social cultural organisation take on issues that are creating social unrest? Earlier this year Indonesia experienced demonstrations and clashes between protesters and police over proposed price hikes in fuel.  Indonesia, like most of the rest of the world, is highly dependent on fossil fuels.  Whilst the immediate crisis was averted by a the Government withdrawing the price hike, the challenge remains.

HONF (House for Natural Fiber) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia has responded to the energy crisis and the results are presented at the Langgeng Art Foundation.  The project draws on local knowledge of plants as well as ways to use new media and technology.  They have framed the project as follows:

The presentation—as a sustainable design prototype—consists of 3 core components: a) Installation of a fermentation/distillation machine to process hay (raw material) into ethanol (alternative energy to substitute fossil fuel); b) Satellite data grabber: to obtain data related to agricultural production (weather, climate, seasons); c) Super-Computer: to process data (weather, seasons as well as ethanol production capacity), which is also capable of predicting when Indonesia can reach energy and food independence if this MICRONATION/MACRONATION sustainable project design were to be implemented as a public strategy and policy to achieve the condition of energy and food independence in Indonesia.

This presentation is a good opportunity for us to reassess basic performative premises of various practices combining science, technology and arts. HONF’s project—as with their previous projects—actually blurs the boundaries that have thus far been setting apart science, technology and arts. They combine all three, which to us brings home the question: where is the boundary between aesthetic experience and function? What possibilities could the relationship among science, technology and arts bring when confronted to actual problems in today’s communities?

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.
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Sculpting clouds

Artist-in-residence at UCL’s Environment Institute Martin John Callanan has completed his artwork A Planetary Order, a terrestrial globe showing clouds around the planet from one single moment in time. Working with satellite data provided by the Institute, he’s created a 3D representation of the data to portray this thin mantle of water vapour that shields the earth. This delicate, pale globe will be on public display soon at the institute’s Pearson Building. Callanan says, via email:

A Planetary Order is a terrestrial globe showing clouds from one single moment in time, thereby subtly highlighting the fragility and interdependence of the Earth’s environmental systems.”

The Globe was digitally manufactured (SLS) in a single piece measuring 300mm diameter with clouds scaled to 1-12 km above the Earth’s surface. Landforms are absent from the model, but cloud formations will give glues to the continents located below.

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0906/09062303
http://greyisgood.eu/globe/

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