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News from Renewable Network (Summer 2010): Long Bean WindowFarms in Riga

Via Rasa Smite:

News from Renewable Network (Summer 2010):

Food as Energy events, and The Long Bean opening in Riga

Here is some info about recent activities of Renewable Network -- the Network for Art and Renewable Energy Technologies was founded in 2009 in a result of event series, that took place in Riga and Latvia, as well as in other Baltic and Nordic countries, focusing on the issues of sustainability -- exploring artistic strategies, alternative approach and ecological use of renewable energy and information technologies. Network is now opening up, and those who are interested in "art and renewable energy technologies", are very welcome to join the network and to subscribe to the Renewable mailinglist (initiated and hosted by RIXC, administrated by members of the network):

As for more recent activities by the network participants, this summer various events took place in different locations, that was related to specific kind of energy -- the FOOD as energy:

* The Herbologies/Foraging Networks programme -- that took place in Helsinki, Kurzeme region of Latvia, and ISEA2010, exploring the cultural traditions and knowledge of herbs, edible and medicinal plants, within the contemporary context of online networks, open information-sharing and biological technologies. Project was initiated by Andrew Gryf Paterson (SCO/FI), Ulla Taipale / Capsula (FI/ES) and Signe Pucena / SERDE (LV).

* The Wedding Between Art and Agriculture -- an event celebrating five years, since the experimental platform Kultivator has initiated, attended to- and executed projects that examines the context and cross-fertilization between agriculture and art. It took place in July,Dyestad, Öland, Sweden.

* Super Meal -- an art project by Erik Sjodin that revolves around growing, cooking and eating the super-waterplant Azolla -- one of the world fastest growing plants. The project explores the idea of Azolla as a future fast food.

* WindowFarms Finland -- that introduced "windowfarms" concept into the Finnish context. They are vertical, hydroponic, modular, "low-energy high-yield" window gardens built using low-impact or recycled local materials. Mikko Laajola, Andrew Gryf Paterson and Niko Punin produced and developed a grand 81 bottle installation in Kiasma takaikkuna for 5 weeks, preluding and part of Pixelache Helsinki Festival 2010.

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is the opening of an other "food as energy" project - Windowfarms Riga project, entitled "The Long Bean" - see below more info. The exhibition will be opened till September 11, 2010.

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(sorry, currently most info is in Latvian, but pictures are nice - RIXC Media Space now looks like botanical garden! :)

THE LONG BEAN (WINDOWFARMS RIGA) is a social art campaign with the aim of creating an impressive city environment installation consisting of potted plants and vegetables that people grow on their windowsills, balconies or backyards. City inhabitants of Riga participated in the creating of this installation and it will be on display during White Night 2010 contemporary culture forum on September 4, 2010.

Anyone was invited to participate in THE LONG BEAN (WINDOWFARMS RIGA) project. The only conditions were: the plant should be grown in a pot and be a vegetable or a seasoning plant. Everyone was welcome to bring these potted plants to the Artists' Union House at 11. Novembra krastmala 35 on September 3 and 4 from 12:00 till 18:00.

In the six-metre-high windows of RIXC Media space, the pots now are arranged on a scaffold, thus creating a spectacular wall of greenery in the very middle of the city, which will also be lit up in the hours of darkness. Each pot with a home-grown plant provided by the cityfolk will become an important element in this common piece of art - the more pots, the larger the installation!

During the night from September 4 to 5, in the framework of Survival Kit 2 festival and White Night forum, THE LONG BEAN (WINDOWFARMS RIGA) installation windows will be made accessible both from the outside and the inside, with additional events on the inside:

* Windowfarms Finland activists and designers Niko Punin and Mikko Laajola (FI) are invited to meet with Windowfarms Riga team and to present publicly their Windowfarms Finland project that took place in Kiasma, Helsinki at the beginning of this year and in particular to talk and introduce the technology of it - hydroponic gardening systems and the lighting used in Kiasma.

* Windowfarms Riga installation will be also complemented by video interviews with contributors of the project, filmed throughout the summer.

* Furthermore, in cooperation with Survival Kit 2 festival, a cook of Mexican origin Javier Garcia will offer an original campaign - performance for Riga White Night - "White Night for a rainy day!". His intention is to create compositions/pictures out of groceries with the help of a team of assistants and a vacuum packaging device and package them into ecological and artistically designed "survival kits". The result will be on display at the venue of the performance during White Night. At the end of the event visitors can take the lovely survival kits home or eat them on the spot.

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The installation will be exhibited in RIXC Media Space, 11. Novembra krastmala 35 (entrance from Minsterejas street), Riga, September 4, 2010, from 20:00 till 2:00

The project takes place in the framework of White Night forum (September 4-5, 2010) and Survival Kit 2 festival (September 4-11, 2010). White Night forum this year will feature more than 25 art, music, theater, survival, performance events in Riga, while Survival Kit 2 festival, organised by the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art for a second year, will exhibit more than 70 artists that reflect and produce different survival strategies in the contemporary world.

More information about the LONG BEAN (WINDOWFARMS RIGA) project in progress: http://www.garapupa.info

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The project LONG BEAN (WINDOWFARMS RIGA) is collaboration between RIXC (the Centre for New Media Culture) and NTI (the New Theatre Institute of Latvia)
Idea by RIXC, concept developed by NTI, PR by NTI.
Producers: Raitis Smits/RIXC, Laura Stasane/NTI, Daina Silina/RIXC
Video: Martins Ratniks/RIXC, Raitis Smits
Installation / architecture: Raitis Smits, Rudolf Bekic
Contributors of 'content': artists, cultural activists and inhabitants of Riga.

Partners: University of Latvia Botanical Garden, Imagine 2020 - Arts and Climate Change, Art and Renewable Energy Network project "Art as Research: Energy", supported by Nordic Culture Point.
Financial support: Riga City Council, Nordic Culture Point.

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