During my 7 days at DiNaCon I want to build myself wearable studio gear that will allow me to go into the ocean to spend time there fishing for materials, diving for details, weaving with water and etching salty circuits in my datasheet-swimwear.
By trying to realize this unlikely combination of moving to stay afloat while moving to make, I want to see if I can dive deeper into the experience of what it means to be able to “make while moving through the world”.
Precisely because this endeavor may sound silly, it appeals to me. I have hopes that by distancing myself from reason – in this case “reasonable modes of making” – I can create an opening in the fabric of optimized experience to slip through and experience the other side. Looking back at our lives shaped by optimized experience I might catch a glimpse of something one can only see from underwater.
I have no idea where this initial idea for A Swimming Studio Practice will take me, but if it appeals to you, or if it does not, feel welcome to join.
Since I probably can’t spend all my time in the water, I will also be very interested to observe and study other people’s “dry studio practices”. Collecting ideas ideas and sharing these with you. If you would like me to follow you around for the day to study how you work in the wild, let me know, I would love to.
* * *
An Underwater Studio Practice lead me to write this tale of Crochetteering:
Pearl Ryder is a cell biologist who came to DinaCon with the goal to explore the natural world to revitalize her life as a biologist and to learn more about creating audio stories. She has created DinaSound to collect her stories and sounds of the jungle. So far you can listen to an audio diary and a fun conversation about weaver ants. Stay tuned for interviews with participants and lots of “stumbled upon” conversations at DinaCon!
Follow Pearl on Twitter @pearl_ryder for more stories from DinaCon and glimpses into the life of a scientist in training.
Dani sneakily crafted this wonderful device as a present for our node leader, Kitty Quitmeyer, the renown mobile hiking knitter. Stay tuned as this post updates to see how she made it (and how you can too!)
Vanessa Rosa is a Brazilian visual artist and art historian. She creates projects that mixtures public art, community activities, technological experiments and historical research, usually having painting as her main medium. Currently she has been developing a research about ethnocomputing/ethnomathematics, studying the algorithms embedded in traditional arts from worldwide cultures. Vanessa has worked as project coordinator for different organizations and is an illustrator and art director for Viajante do Tempo publishing company, being one of the company’s owners. She has done mural paintings, residencies, exhibitions and other projects in different countries across South and North America, Europe, Africa and Asia.
Project: Rupesh will be working on a children’s’ storybook project. The storybook features true stories of local individuals in Kathmandu working in technology.
Bio: Rupesh is an educator and a writer living in Kathmandu.
A primary school classroom is one of his most favorite places to be in. Rupesh started reading child magazines in kindergarten, developed a love for writing in the second grade, an unquenchable awe and enthusiasm to learn science when he was a fourth grader.
His interests have pushed him to become an educator working to foster modern thinking skills in his students through STEAM education, with “Karkhana”.
He is a part of the “Word Warriors”, a local spoken word poetry community in Kathmandu. He performs in local poetry gigs, and experiments with different aspects of poetry with “Kavindrapur”, a little poetry collaborative that he co-founded.
Me and Tasneem really won with the venue we scouted out. Everyday is full of hard work that’s constantly offset by impromptu adventures and side-quests:
A gigantic gecko appears in the house and we drop everything to get good macro-shots of its fascinating feet,
we left something on the ship and we need some intrepid kayaks to retrieve it,
the dragonflies are suddenly congregating around the solar panels for some mysterious reason,
or you are putting out a small fire on your off-grid power system, and suddenly a golden tree snake wrapped in a wriggling death match with a monitor lizard plummets 20 meters down onto the ground next to you.
The monitor lizard is now inside the snake
I am convinced that one could work any boring job forever if there was constant, curious entertainment always being provided from a thriving, natural surrounding.
One thing I have learned about myself though, is how much joy i take from setting up creative spaces.*** A favorite aspect is how when setting up a maker space you constantly develop mutating philosophies about everything:
If the electronics bench is closer to the entrance than the biology bench, does that mean that we are saying it is somehow more important?
Oh it’s kind of nice working in the secluded biology area, maybe i will do some soldering there.
Is it TOO easy to setup a naturalist workstation on a porch of a house?
I need to set up ways to stop birds from stealing my tools.
If i set the lab up here, i can watch hornbills fly by at 6pm, but only after the 5 pm wave of mosquitoes make it unbearable.
All walls should be covered with tools, or else it is useless space.
Oh it would be nice to have some wall space for some pictures or maps
A lab is a complete failure unless everyone can access any tool within 2 seconds
A lab should have categorization clues in its layout that can guide you to finding something
In a good lab you at least KINDA know where things might be?
This box will just be labelled “miscellaneous “ (i promise i will limit this to one box)
This section of the house will be labelled “miscellaneous “ (please stop it from spreading)
A messy lab where you don’t know where everything is one of the most important tools for sparking creativity
It’s kind of nice having to kayak to the boat lab to get tools for the jungle lab
The soldering irons are all the way across the room? Screw it, I’ll just tape these wires together
We can’t put THOSE tools into drawers because they aren’t used enough and everyone will forget about them
THESE tools are used too much and can never be put in drawers because it will be too cumbersome to keep opening and closing them
Maybe drawers are awful? Abolish drawers!
Ahh! scrap fabric is perfect for drawers
I like having the endless challenges of having to adapt some vague models of human movement styles, information displays, and ergonomics to the ever-changing needs of the environment, the living creatures, the anxiety of the landlords, and basic spatial geometries. Even the tools themselves have very particular needs which become even more apparent as laboratories move into the wild. You quickly learn which equipment can’t deal with high humidity, or salt water, or being carried over rough terrain, or being dropped and lost in grass, or deafeningly loud cicada calls. It’s a tiring practice, but one that puts you deeply in touch with both your tools and the living world surrounding you. It’s refreshingly humbling.
***Through my dealings at various institutions, I have also learned that the opposite is true, and seeing places of creativity crushed meaninglessly is enraging.
Erik Zepka has a wide field of interests, with having previous experience as a lab biologist, artist, media creator, writer, and hacker. He is open to all of DINACONs themes, with a slight preference for creating an art project while being here on the island, throwing his background in the mix. With this, he will attempt to create ‘ science fictional environments’ for the viewer, that will combine critique of bureaucratized science, open research speculation and play, taking advantage of what the immediate environment best affords.
Project(s)- Interspecies communication with plants and collaborative mapping of Dinacon.
Hi! I am Shreyasi, an artist from Bangalore, India. I study New Media Design at Media Lab Helsinki, Aalto University and live in Helsinki, Finland. Some of the projects I am currently working on are – robot petting zoo, ecosystem songs, interspecies communication.
During my my time at DiNaCon, I want to set up a communication network between Tree 0 (in Helsinki ) and Tree 1 (on Koh Lon). Over time, I am hoping that this communication will reveal to us how trees/plants sense and respond to their environment and changes within it.
I would also like to make a collaborative map of DiNaCon. The map is in 2 parts, one which is bound by the geography of Koh Lon based on peoples experiences at DiNaCon and the other, a map of the network and collaborations that arise out of DiNaCon. Ideally this will be online and searchable and will have all kinds of amazing filtering possible but maybe an analog mapping workshop will be a good place to begin from 🙂
Some of my work can be found on http://shreyasi.in/.