This is the first blogpost for Superflux. We will be doing a soft launch in July this year, but I am excited to start blogging here!
Medialab Prado in Madrid had an open call for projects and papers that reflected the theme of ‘Garage Science’ for this year’s Interactivos. Alex’s and my short paper ‘Life and Death in Energy Autonomous Devices’ was accepted for the seminar. Also, it turned out that ARCO, Madrid’s International Contemporary Art fair had chosen India as its theme country, and the Medialab graciously invited me to present our paper, and also speak at a round table of Indian Artists at the end of Interactivos09. The projects around the theme of Garage Science brought together a hugely talented and passionate bunch of people for two weeks and culminated in some great projects, for instance Alejandro Tomayo and his team of collaborators built a ‘fruit computer laboratory’: investigating how organic material (fruits) could be used for representing binary information and how it could be possible to use it for implementing logic decision devices, that in sum, constitute the building blocks of computers. More information about all the projects can be found here. Given the current environmental and economic crisis, the enthusiasm of the participants, and the DIY tools and methods they used to address their concerns, within a very limited time, was inspiring. If one were to repeat such exercises in different parts of the world, the results could be fascinating. Making our streets and gardens our laboratories, building bottomup tools, could these be the social collapse best practices? Or probably more likely that they reflect social optimism best practices.
From the state perspective, the Medialab is a radical model, allowing the intersection of art, science and technology to thrive with minimum resources yet incredible creativity and openness. What might be a comparable space in the UK, or here in London? Another thought that came to my mind was to see how this model of a ‘collective’ and short collaboration of multidisciplinary teams, could enter the design school, which already has the resources, the infrastructure and the laboratories? Superflux is exploring different models of collaboration, and the spirit of the Medialab has been truly inspiring. Thank you Medialab, for hosting me!
February 24th, 2009