Participants: Dave Griffiths, Steven Pickles, Maggie Buxton, Cocky Eek, Theun Karelse, Auriea Harvey, Michael Samyn, Adrian Hon, Maja Kuzmanovic, Nik Gaffney, Lina Kusaite, Rasa Alksnyte
These directions are an agglomeration of topics that came up most often in the Reality Check session of the design week. During later sessions (in October 2007, May & July 2008) the directions have been (re/de)focused into the following:
Purpose: Re-integrate realities of plants and human societies & Generate realities in which we can exercise mutually beneficial HPI.
Aim: Developing an awareness of the green, vegetal mind (collectivity of organic life), opening channels of interaction with the planetary other. Working with plants as food, shelter, clothing, as well as sources of imagination, education and spirituality.
Method: Begin with looking at plants more deeply, closely & open-mindedly (1); move onto stories, games, education, infiltration, rehearsal, living, celebrating, slowing down, inventing futures with plants as organisational principles.
(1) Collecting seeds, plants, movies, books, music… & learning from them; inviting botanists and gardeners and learning from them; experimenting with plants - indoors, in gardens, on abandoned sites; translating plants signals into sensory stimuli for humans (a smell microphone); making fire, food, clothing and shelter out of plants; taking care of plants; surrounding ourselves with plants; enjoying their scent, colour & flavour; photographing, drawing and simulating plants; ingesting psycho-active plants; working on a botany of imaginary solutions (patabotany); modelling future (scenarios) based on plants as organisational principles, while finding ways to satisfy our physiological and psychological needs; rehearsing botanic culture - simulation, storytelling, ornamentation;
(A few introspective notes)How? Participation and entanglement, watch out with intentionality… Right and wrong are a part of the same whole, pay more attention to observation. Learn by doing & experiencing. Kama Yoga - working towards a particular end through a set of repeated movements. Taking care of something / someone; working on rhythms and seasonality (routine & suspension of normalised behaviours; integrity of the work - what do we do & not do? / recycling / using toxic materials / balancing energies… ;. “THE PRACTICE” (buddhism). Moving from making things to growing systems. Total lifecycles of our works.; prototyping & testing with different players; it shouldn't feel like we're working 'hard' - knowing when not to do things;
Different ways of looking at gardening - as a subject and as a medium; meditative aspects of gardening; turning cities into villages; weedscapes; edible plants; balance between cultivation, mastery and wilderness; old monastery gardens; de wilde bertram; gardens with character (old gardens) - how do you get history in a garden?; disrupting gardening centres; shaping shelters out of growing things; (air) seedballing - carried by the wind; a growing wooden clock; birds nests; people going around doing odd jobs & gathering a community around themselves; agriculture as co-evolutionary development; gardening is a time for speculation; gardening from a species p.o.v. - eco-system service - eco-systems agriculture (non-cartesian); getting food from the earth & regenerate it at the same time; mushrooms - earth's natural internet; mushrooms for co2 sequestration & using radiation as source of energy
Greening the city; urban hunting and gathering - recreated wilderness and hunting surplus animals; existing allotments, new gardens & gardeners; cities as living organisms; collecting things from surroundings to make a comfortable house (foam's kitchen); seeing cities from a different perspective; human shelters as plant compost; more purpose built buildings; plants you live in; working with plants for natural dyes and solar cells; tree houses for humans, insect houses on plants (plants as hosts & food); abandoned gardens - human built structures overtaken by nature - how does nature destroy buildings?; houses under roots of trees; cities from above - mapping gardens and green landscapes; foam houses - spray-on shelters & clothing;
groWorld gardens - experimental urban gardens (a'dam, molenbeek), edible gardens, cleansing soil through plants, seedballing (as education), guerilla gardening, roof gardens (vines, wind, hanging gardens), vertical gardens, green roofs (weedscapes), glass-houses, guild planting, urban foraging, wild plant gathering, bonsai rehabilitation project; connecting initiatives in urban gardening - edible city maps, visualising continuous landscapes (google-earth, website…); permaculture for potplants; learning to observe and interact (and follow other permaculture principles); designing permaculture guilds for benelux; listing possible guild members online (for foam gardens and for others); de wilde bertram; extending private edible gardens into parks and between roads; working with city councils for pilot edible public gardens (see futurefarmers / slow food garden in san francisco); seed banks and seed exchange; working in existing biological/biodynamic farms; learning about roof gardening (difference green roofs / roof gardens); best time to start a roof garden - in spring; growing berries for food and solar cells; loop.ph biowall for roof gardens; learing to recognise urban plants; making herbariums; gardening workshops;
social networking site; document and database - garden growth online; meteo-station; web-feeds from gardens; making a guide for plant spotters; online gardening databases; observational database; for travellers – a doppler for hr gardens and gardeners, new sightseeing spots on google maps new sites and venues for different events (including an ARG); adding to the “encyclopedia of life” (e.o. wilson) - to search, understand and preserve life - tools to inspire conservation of biodiversity; ecological stewardship; collect observations - community turns stories into numbers that can be used in the game; stories are forum threads, perhaps about particular plants; how to combine the two worlds (physical gardening & plant simulation / game); monitoring emotional states of your plant - observations based on both physical and virtual plants; collective reporting, online map of wild urban edible spots.
ARG - a story that happens all around you; planning + player agency; in-game education & instruction; what is the intention? frame the context; what happens with spontaneity and improvisation?; as a medium to tie things together; unwittingly getting tricked into situations of experimenting with possible societies; stories about plants and eco-systems - plants as raw material for paper & stories themselves; plants myths and histories; plants in love letters; Integrating characters and realities; Tricksters to help the creative juices - curiosity and mischief; Working site-specific with narrow places and desolate spaces; working with non-verbal, pre-linguistic modes of communication; carnivals; look at trickster plants (in today's mythology); what games do plants play?; puzzles to communicate with the vegetal mind - looking for things that are not there; creative competitions - live action replays of elements of the garden; events: seasonal festivals; map - permaculture diagrams? formalised structure (pataphysics); robotic musical boxes mimicking crickets in city-parks; pairing: flavours, scents, pair programming, companion-planting; plant myths - soma plant (Indian), persian myth about medical plants, pre-helenic poppy-goddess, Celtic family living in a plant, sweet potato god; satisfaction from re-incorporation of different elements (recognition); multiple story arcs going on at the same time; gameplay & narrative gestalt; social aspects, multiple entries & paths, re-runs; atmosphere, poetry, multiple perspectives, RT; patterns - through repetition (recognition & novelty); a magic circle - safe zone to come out of character; what are the points of intimacy; transformation: personal, spatial, cultural; technologies as a storytelling device; ARG as a tool to become more aware of everyday life; recognition through emotional contact; who is the observer if the audience becomes the player?; characters are the ingredients and their relationships, long term patterns - structures over time - a character is something that engages u, through an emotional response; a character is expressed through action - what can a character do - a pattern of verbs evoking emotions; a character causes changes of events; physicalisation defines characters, relationships are shown through actions; ; narration through intensity (Pelkin) - it's not important what's happening in the image, but what's the relationship between the images; a live game needs spontaneity to incorporate mistakes; “adjustifying reality”; character in performance ↔ character in game; role-playing & socialising (not many people roleplay any more); stories as atmospheres; listening to trees - a hidden message inside - using trees as transducers (implant something while the tree is small (for fast-growing trees); stories to help us think ecologically; Goal ARG: reconnecting with / opening channels of communication and interaction with the planetary other, viriditas, the mind behind nature (& bring about thalience), by encouraging a vegetal human culture - meta-stable, with inward values; How: gathering communities together on: events/festivals/sabbaths; ARG episodes and future prehearsals; education (seminars, workshops, rest-shops, playshops), online simulations, working on public gardens, spaces and shelters; tricksters - guerilla elements in industrialised cultures; mapping and connecting
LARP - westland's core of larp: equipment, technology & costume / socialising, coziness & comfort / drama, effects & story / physicality, openness & lay participants; + locative - walk through dramaturgy, networks of possible discovery
improvisation (notes from Bronwynn on Narrative Strategies workshop: http://timesup.org/laboratory/NarrativeStrategies/) - what is the story that's in the room - being spontaneous together; 'word at a time story; building a house together, everyone brings one brick; always furthering ideas, not bringing them down; audiences will create narrative bridges; work with myths and archetypes - true across cultures; monomyth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monomyth) vs. science fiction (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_fiction); think about the dramatic arc - it depends on the energy level in the room; audience constructs a story, actors play it out; characters - have to be people we care about - stereotyping, with depth; played out honestly (think about which aspect of yourself relates to the character); people always have an anticipation & expectation - reaction is either satisfaction or surprise; characters and people are always developed in relationship to someone / something; what's fun in a game - taking risks that we wouldn't in real life; “there are no mistakes”; cross-cultural improv - more physical, almost dance-like, using visual forms; it's much more exciting to make a claim than to ask a question in improv
Patabotany - Starting from real plants, growing increasingly more fictional; the healthier your physical garden, the more fantastic your virtual plant; patabotany is an exercise in reality integration. Living & non-living → plants and minerals (ornaments); plants & maths (simulation - internet = human mycellium); plants & stories (stories, characters, myths); plants & plants (guild gardening); plants & animals (lifecycles & food-webs); plants & machines (bionic organisms & biomimicry); growing ships in a forest…; create pataphors of the 7 layers and 5 functions of a permaculture guild - pataphor = assuming a metaphor is true & creating a metaphor on that; the voice of hildegard; plant signalling - more pata- aspects - the language of plants.
Exercise in HPI - things that didn't exist but could… ; how do you make people feel like plants (maybe a whole forest, rather than an individual plant); looking at longer time-scales; a shirt that grows on you; rooftop gardens that grow new roofs; butoh dancer next to a cactus plant - how do we as humans get into slower time cycles?; how do plant fluids / human fluids circulate? How to make a HPI tactile?; plants as organisational principles - looking at large scale eco-system shifts (deforestation, custody of the amazon rainforest; recolonisation - who is responsible for natural resources (buying up, or public preservation - is privatisation ok?); if 1/2 cuba would be covered by solar cells, there would be enough energy for the whole world (but still a distribution problem); hydrogen economy - plants are storing energy in form of sugars (batteries) - human society mimics plant structure on a global level; Hildegard von Bingen & St. Frances - a spiritual element of HPI; ethnobiology and development of human mind; a pre-historic viriditas'
Hybrid reality gardens, for a closer interaction between plants and humans. Connecting existing initiatives together - how do we learn from each other?; games and connections - can we take care of a physical garden?; games - cultivation, growing, meditative place, community in game design.; a science fiction story to teach life cycles, where characters are based on facts; Different axis of hybridisation - physical & digital, game & life, fact & fiction; self-assembly (from biomimicry, cellular automata); using movement of wood for small robots; plant-insect hybrids; tension - what is real and what isn't; augmentation – technological, cultural?; cultivation of humans and plants; what can we do? mapping, bundling, integrating hr gardens around the world, providing systems, kits and techniques for augmented gardening; why? coming in contact with others interested in hr gardening, building up the competence, learning things from each other; using the network to get access to technologies and people; simulated gardens facilitate connections, they can be used for speculations on HCH ideas, as fictional, more 'futuristic' extensions of the garden; playing music to plants to enhance proteins (joel sternheimer) - can we design a game melody that can be transmitted to plants from servers - 'plant radio'?; enhancing the 'gardening experience'
Sensing (in-plant, in plant's environment) - in plant - moisture - activation potential, soil Ph, pickup mikes (for in-game ambience), cameras - expensive; for growth - best with rulers and cameras, for chemicals - look at DIY chemistry (both could be a part of the ARG); plant communication - sophisticated biochemistry; calibration of sensors is a problem - what do we do with uncalibrated ones?; observation - activity & using imagination - no need for sensor-kit? see plant sensing in wageningen. see also; plant sensing
MR elements: additional layer of textual information for people who prefer experience to reading overlays for physical gardens; interesting MR connections (appearance and disappearance of physical gardens depending on their network & sensor availability); solar projection; cell phone overlays;
to do (nik, maja, lina, theun):
Plant simulation; different models for plant growth (hormonal - elongation & contraction, division), circulatory systems (phloem & xylem) - plant metabolism; recordings of physical plant growth looks artificial (L-systems) - what do we do to make it more interesting; biomorphism & fantastic botanical morphologies; botanical.com - botanical drawings, medicinal plants, witchcraft & mythology; look at plant movement (on libarynth); different scales in simulated gardens; cliffsnotes.com - looking at different cycles of plants - cellular, hormonal, circulatory, diurnal, seasonal, generational; what do plants make choices about (see plant neurophysiology); how do we get people into the 'vegetal mind'?; growth simulation - you start underground, then viewpoint changes as you grow (camera zooms out); which plant activities can we abstract?
Plant game; how do we engage players? are they 'authors' of the garden?; a mixture of world-building and art-worlds - gardening a particular aesthetics; where is the cybernetic regulatory system of the garden?; how do you make things appear like stuff is moving all the time?; patabotanic garden “forcing” people to get into the vegetal mind (vegetable mind is specieist); role playing a plant, not gardening; how do you perceive different types of time in the garden?; playing a species, rather then a single entity. Start as a creature → resource management; bees - fertilisation (autonomous characters?); non-players can look at a garden through a window, e.g. from a website (can only watch, not interact); time-lapse movie could appear at the end of each day; autonomous characters are actual gardens & plants; game-play is a continuous finding of balance; game should have elements of sacrifice; discouraging monoculture; encouraging more sustainable behaviour through game dynamics; synthetic nature - algorithmic (mathematical, generative) + ornamentation (growing gothic, or art nouveau ornaments) - new hybrids, stylisation; evolution of the garden - through hybridisation; curatorpillars - preserving style and consistency; slow evolution through generations; cyclical nature of seasons - there is a particular time for particular things; time-based resource allocation; different geographic regions in the garden; what are different plant behaviours? (tricksters, seducers,…); can several players play one character (plant grows lopsided if a player decides to disengage); very large trees - a group of players has to become a community) - trees provide shadow for new plants (mushrooms, epiphytes…); parasites or disease for 'ugly' plants; cycles of high & old growth; computational resources - asking players to share their servers/processor time - stronger plants can grow; the game is not about wanting, but about being - competition (through persistence and slowness) & collaboration; plants in the game have 'real' origins, becoming more fictional as the game progresses; make players be like plants - not scientific visualisation; we're all vegetal, just don't know it; making the interface irrelevant; using different interfaces to engage in the game - email, cell-phones, wikis…; a slow game - you have to be there & persist; (internet) radio could broadcast weather reports from the garden (transmitted from a sentient eco-system); phone the garden and hear the weather (nick herbert, quantum typewriter); aggressive plants - do you have to pay to be a bramble?; distributed client game; who will be responsible for the maintenance?; which aspects can be commercialised - “grow your own player” kits, merch., voluntary payments, subscriptions by sms; moo-cards of plants (if you subscribe) - flip-books & time-lapse movies; how can we make sure that the garden is sustainable (not dependent on us only)? - opensource, community IRL & in-game; servers (back-end of eco-system has to be open for new clients), easily replicable; long term; inter-gardens communication protocol (things growing on different servers); each client as an incubator; how do you experience the world as a plant? - visual interface - stylised interpretation of plant perception; when playing a plant, you only experience one small part of the garden. when the wind blows, there are more pheromones in the air, some parts of the environment become clearer - 'first plant shooter'?; what is the viewpoint?: how do we encourage emphatic connection with multiple plants; a generative database that can be visualised through different games - a window into the garden through “guest visualisers” - you can be in the garden, but can't BE the garden; at night, in the game, consciousness descends underground - a different game is played; special moments at dawn and dusk; cycles of colours of flowers depending on the season; what kinds of games can you play online - passive multiplayer online games?; looking at the world from another species p.o.v. (cure for disease of human self-importance); do players need a potplant? - you either have to be a very good in lying, or (easier) get a potplant (see myfolia) - but we should make it not too easy to cheat; only humans start as seeds?; non committed players turn into compost; time and space in the game: fast processes - microscopic, the pata-aspects - only temporary effects - asymetric, shimmering, fantastic / slow processes - macroscopic, resource management, slow game based on plant decisions & neurophysiology –> does this mean designing two (or more) sub-games?; people should be forced to collaborate; stationary adventure - travel by moving earth; having a feeling that the system itself is alive; how do you choose to be a plant? perhaps all plants start the same, new player comes in, attraction to regions where they're needed; playing a species - 5 types of seeds (based on guild functions), that grow into a variety of plants - depending on place, decisions, interactions; environment of the garden - complex - different types of soil & microclimates; no centre, two centres, infinite centres; plants create soil by activity (that's how the garden grows); magic the gardening - change the rules & make simple interactions quickly - prototyping without a computer; what actually happens? - inputs & outputs - how do you keep 1 plant alive; history of neglect affect the shape of a plant; there should be no end; plants that are not managed die off - first sustained, but different weather conditions kill it over time; inhabited / non inhabited plants; what happens when you go on holiday? - autopilot that is slowly heading for the ground, the plant doesn't grow, but sustain itself - gaia processes take over; how does a plant die? what happens to non-player plants?; logic and rules based on guild functions & layers;
Prototyping - simple rules, see if the interaction & experience design work; to prototype for the game: logic, visuals of how things would grow
Possible programming environments:
Purpose of workshops - to raise awareness, to (un)make things (watch out with usage of materials - how does found material influence shape?)
Food events - to glue community together. Test & study dinners. Markers & milestones - try outs & rehearsals.
De-installations - working together with artists to design & de-install (take apart into re-usable components) their artwork. A service for trade-fairs, museums, festivals. Make a manifesto for de-installation & self-dissasembly (talk to Etoy about this). LIREC - looking at robot disassembly. Unmaking things - where there is excess of consumption - reduce it! De-installation of design festival in Singapore - (Utter rubbish - post-consumer waste) Leave no trace aesthetics. Against gadgetisation of culture. How do we communicate this as a part of our work? Doing a series of de-installations - redistributions, recycling, re-tailoring absorption (collaborative project). Creation by destruction. Moving from objects to experience, products to services. Edible arts. What is a software equivalent of de-featuring devices?
NNNI - focusing on possible inventions (when future happens) - e.g. camping on water (lifeboat camping) - focus in inspiring things that can grow out of disasters, rather than disasters themselves; prehearsals for future societies; future rituals (wine festivals, seasonal festivals) - plant-based celebrations - what are the new plant rituals - combination of organic and futuristic
For a later stage…
to do (maja, theun, cocky)
to do (cocky, lina, theun):