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Posts from the ‘Technology’ Category

I wish you could come on the Camino…..

Dear Claire,
How I wish you were coming on The Camino Pilgrim Trail with us. It’s a bit of a Dreaming Place adventure, just the sort of journey I know you’d enjoy and learn from. I know it’s not an option for you at the mo’ Amber being small, the distance,the cost. But Mark and I will trail blaze for you and Amber will soon have her walking legs.

Where Dreaming Place was 40 days and 40 nights  this will take us fifty. We’ll walk a leisurely 20 kilometres a day. Mani spotted the easy maths for us. From Sevilla in Southern Spain it is 1,000 k on the Via de la Plata to Santiago de Compostela. Since the towns are few and we don’t plan to use hostels we can’t plug into the grid. So we’ve invested in a technology you’d love’;”solar paper” by YOLK, That way we can “plug into the sun” and stay in contact with folks at home. Not sure that I’ll blog as I just want to live the experience. But I’m taking  pen and paper for drawing, notes so I can spend the darkness of winter writing.  While those miniature solar panels from Yolk are soaking up the sun, Ghyllie will be shimmering in his K9 silver mesh solar coat. It’s strange but his coat is the exact opposite of YOLK. So where the solar paper absorbs, the coat will deflect the solar rays away from his black fur, keeping him from generating too much heat and overheating.

. K9 solar coat

I told you we are taking Ghyllie right? How could we leave him at home for two long months, he’s part of the family. He just had to come. He’s had his jabs. I’m getting him clipped and he’s in training. His dried food is way too heavy so he’ll be eating raw; avocados, bananas, eggs and tinned fish, (like you ate because of Amber in your tum). Mark and I are eating raw too, since even a mini-stove is too heavy to carry in our packs. Luckily we both love bocadillos. “What about your cups of tea?” you ask. It’s a bit of a sacrifice. What could be nicer than a cup of tea at sunset. Or in the cool morning under the fading stars.

Remember how Dreaming Place became a pilgrimage for us?  A pilgrimage to place. Well on this journey we’ll be following in the footsteps of generations who have walked before us. The original peoples of the Camino! And as with our Ireland trip this will be an opportunity to re-connct with the right things, to keep the senses alert, look for signs, listen to people, places, creatures and things. Just like we did on our adventures, you and me. It’s not just a long jaunt, a fun fundraising walk for GOSH It is a sacred journey.

Be thinking of you guys along the way!

Anna x

 

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The Observatory

If this was my residency, I’d sleep on a mattress from The Gypsy Moth. Re-arrange stuff, I say. You wouldn’t be a allowed. It’s precious archive material from Sir Francis Chichester’s round-the world-voyage, says Helen. I’d ask.

Charred wood and glass. Revolving studio space. Don’t know what to expect. What would you like me to do? I’ve got some ideas, says Helen.
I hunker down for a warm night, with my dog Ghyllie, giant stacks of chairs and a couple of museum models from Shipwright school. I have dreadful nightmares. What black events can have happened here? Poor Ghyllie did you dream them too?

In the morning before people come to the slipway, I am to wade into the water. The black dress will float, my hair will float, the props will float.
Are you sure you want to do this? Helen will say.
She will place her props.
There’s a hairdryer in her room.

Thermal top, jeggings, wellie boots.
Wavy hair dropping back onto black back,arms salute the sun.
It looks yogic, says Helen. But it’s not yogic inside, it hurts.
Yes like that, hold it there. You are a good model, says Helen whle I rest.
The others say is this right? Is this how you want me? But you help.
Now you Helen, your turn to model.
Reeds, red, blue,rays of sunlight. Swish. Things coming together.

Red disc, white clouds, pale reeds.Looks like savannah.
Lie back, d’you mind?
Twin suns.
She shades her eyes
I prise the red lenses from her fingers,
Rest them on her palms.
Large hands, small white lipsticked face.
You look a mix of seductive and evil.
There is blood on my hands, she says.

Before I leave we flick through our photo shoot of the day.
We have made purple, says Helen.
Made purple?
Youve not heard the expression?
No, I never heard it. What’s it mean?
Something came together in that moment.
Magic happens.

I remember Dreaming Place with Claire.

http://www.lookinlookout.org/helen-snell

The Observatory is currently at Buckler’s Hard, Beaulieu in the New Forest National park, England, until June 2017

Artist Schedule
Ella Frears – 16th – 20th Nov and 6th – 20th Dec
Helen Snell – 2nd of January to 24th of February 2017
Christine Mackey – 12th of March to 28th of April 2017

The Paseo – Part 2 (Video + Interview)

Here is a little audio/visual glimpse of our piece, “If you’d like to….Taos Off-Grid” at The Paseo in Taos, New Mexico, for you to enjoy.

We hope you liked our novel Notes from The Paseo blog. To further delve into our recent experience at The Paseo we are exploring a new post format over at our News Feed at www.claireandanna.com. Check it out HERE.

Writing creatively together is a lot of fun!

Notes from The Paseo: A Multivoiced Snapshot

Paseo - 02A curious Paseo visitor approaches. “Are you part of The Paseo?” he asks.

“Yes! ” says Claire. “We’re number 19, would you like to have a listen?” She hands him the headphones.

It’s Friday, Sept. 26th in Taos, New Mexico, just a few minutes after 4pm and there  is tangible excitement  in the air.Volunteers are rushing around or expectantly waiting at the info window to help with enquiries. Something is happening in Taos that has never happened before; the first ever “Paseo” is beginning and Claire and Anna’s If you’d like to….Taos Off-Grid is on the move!

The man puts on the headphones and inclines his head, listening, a finger poised ready to press a button when the inclination strikes. He smiles and settles in to listen for a while, enjoying the experience.

“If you’d like to let cactus fruit dribble down your chin, please press five. If you’d like to apagar las luces para siempre, please press six.  If you’d like to inhabit the wilderness of your dreams, please press seven.  If you’d like to….”  The man  presses 7 on the keypad to confirm his choice. 

“You’ve gotta hear this! And it’s SOLAR POWERED!” he calls to his wife, who is gathering info at The Paseo info booth. Part pet, part machine, the”If you’d like to….” Unit has a private message for Claire.

My new solar panels seem like they’re working well!”  it says.

“Anything else?” says Claire, eager to hear more.

“I love being centre stage, people listening to me pressing my buttons. I live for moments like this, I’m thriving on the buzz.! And I like the way the roads are laid out here in Taos, I can relate to that. But am I all terrain enough for these wonky sidewalks? And what will happen if we  take a dirt side-road?” 

Paseo - 03Another visitor approaches and  hesitantly puts on the headphones. “Is it working?” She asks. “Nothing is happening when I push the buttons!?”

Claire is glad that no one else can hear the unit’s next utterance.

“That part is up to you, silly! You DO HAVE an imagination DON’T YOU!? I can’t be expected to do everything, can I?” 

“Yeah, Its working!” Claire  reassures the woman, “You see, in this piece low tech meets high tech and the high tech part is your imagination! The wooden buttons are there for you to physically register your choice, they don’t do anything to the options soundtrack. Your imagination is the thing that makes it ‘work’ and the most important part of the piece!”

A light comes on in the woman’s head and she smiles. “Oh I see,” She says. “Cool. Interesting idea!”

At this location, people are a little wary and are slow to interact, so Claire approaches passers by with an upbeat “Would you like a listen?”

Some do stop, but some hurry on their way. “No thanks,” they say.

Anna across the pond is lying awake in her cozy bed in Devon.”What’s happening at the Paseo? I wonder if it’s busy?”

“Time for a new location,” says Claire to the Unit, as the two of them make their way to the opposite end of The Paseo. By the time they reach the festival’s North end, The Paseo is in full swing.

“This is more like it!” says Claire. At the new site  near #4 on the map, Axle Contemporary Gallery piece, “The Potato,”  Claire and the mobile unit are literally “mobbed” by eager participants who all want to listen.

The Unit thrives on attention. Just as more people really begin arriving en mass, it whispers to Claire between listeners, “I love community! I want to start conversations and set imaginations whirring!”

Claire and the Unit are fascinated that each individual has a different experience of and reaction to their piece. Lots of folks chuckle and stare off into the distance while listening.

Paseo - 09“I want to do all the options!” Exclaims a pregnant Mama who comes up to listen. “My favorite one is, “If you’d like to plant a forest garden!?” she beams as she repeats what she has heard.

Now its the turn of a young child; she is enthusiastic to try it, but then says “It’s too fast! I can’t hear the options! Mama I want you to listen too… erkkk… yau…” She dissolves into tears and leaves questioning her parents about the piece. Paseo - 10

Later a group of kids comes along and the supervising grown-up has to enforce a time limit for listening so that everyone gets a turn. “But I haven’t gotten to hear all the options yet!” protests one child when it’s the next kid’s turn.

Paseo - 06One man listens for a very long time, fully engaged with the piece, but he presses very few buttons. “Nice piece,” he says. I had to listen really carefully to find some options that I wanted to do.”

There are so many people on the streets and not everyone gets to listen. “Hmm I wonder what that is over there?” says a man as his eyebrows lift. “What do you think people are listening to?” says another.

There is much speculation. Paseo - 07 Some people want to experience the piece, but can’t locate it because it is “roving.”

“I’m so glad we happened to find you! I really wanted to see your piece but didn’t know where to look for you!” exclaims a friend of Claire’s.

Claire laughs, “It is all about being in the right place at the right time. People just have to happen upon us. That is part of the experience the piece!”

“If you’d like to be Off-grid all the way please press….” says the Unit and then adds under its breath, “I certainly am!”

Watch the “If you’d like to…” Mobile Unit SPEAKING Video here.

Shampoo, a shrine and a pop-up shelter

P6090036 What to pack in your rucksack and what to leave out  is the all time Big  Camino Question. I wanted to enjoy walking  but not to suffer too much discomfort and I knew that getting it right might make or break our trip so it was essential to pack well. Choices re pack size and content should depend on accommodation not strength. This might be in hostels, pensions or Paradors, the luxury Spanish hotels. We chose to sleep by the wayside under the stars oblivious to the large wolf packs that still roam Northern Spain.  The guide book suggests a medium size rucksack, if you use a large pack it warns, you’ll be tempted to fill it up!Most of those carrying big rucksacks on this trail are men and this observation made me feel a bit smug at times as  I had ditched  my ipad, phone, camera reading glasses, shampoo, conditioner and face cream during the packing process at home.

Camping gas turned out to be a burdensome luxury, so after a few days Mark gifted it, unopened, to the owner of a hostel whose “Camino ” stamp was a red beating heart. Though we survived without hot food, we still had to carry the small aluminium pan and stove top as they were expensive and we’d be needing them back home. Mark made a shrine to the Camino from a pair of boots he decided he didn’t need. He continued along the way in sandals!

boots Sleeping well  is important, so the majority of space inside my pack was dedicated to the art of sleep. My luxury bedding choice consisted of a very tiny, very posh, very orange super – lightweight, self inflating sleeping mat and my beloved down sleeping bag, which folds down to almost nothing. Next a khaki coloured bivvy bag to protect from rain and dew and a cheap and cheerful rolly mat for insulation, geat also for yoga, siestas and a picnic. My first aid kit is disproportionally large, complete with essential oils to heal wounds and keep bugs and bigger things at bay, arnica gel for aches and pains, homeopathic remedies for toothache, the shits, injuries and rescue remedy for and just about anything else. I packed my black rain jacket that has a dodgy zip, but left my rain trousers at home. I’d wear my skirt in the rain and dry it once the sun came out.

Actually we were lucky and only got wet once.  Pumelled by giant hailstones Mark and I cosied under the good old DREAMING PLACE mat,  beneath the mightiest oak in the forest. Though lightning streaked down on all sides the oak didn’t get hit. Later a man made shelter popped  up magically out of the forest by the trail side, as the thunder rolled and the rain re-commenced.  It had a bench, a waste bin and a sitting man called Paul Murphy; an activitst and MEP for the Irish socialist party  We couldn’t have packed a more interesting and entertaining companion for a rainy afternoon in the wilds.

This blogstory is one of several by Anna is writing about her journey with Mark on the Camino de Santiago Pilgrim Trail in Northern Spain.

Inhabiting the dream: postcard 23

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“Self sufficiency and the power of dreams” at Renewable Energy Market Place

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Our Place-dreamer pod really is lovable and willing, billed as “Self-sufficiency and the Power of Dreams” our little micro-caravan draws the attention of many curious visitors at” Renewable Energy Market Place,”  the biggest energy event in the South-West of England.

At the comfortable Encounters compound visitors are invited to join the great energy debate, sitting down to “tell a story” to another visitor and climbing into the cosy interior of the pod to immerse themselves in the rich collage of music, voice and sound that is “Radio Dreaming Off-grid.”

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That Artists are invited to collaborate in such an event is a great innovation and a forward looking response to the challenges of the future. The upbeat Visual minutes company documents the conference with drawn image and text  and The Art and Community hub  generates a tangible thrum to enliven the wider energy debate.  Matt Harvey,  Regen South West resident poet, David Buckland of Cape Farewell and Ruth Ben-Tovim  of Encounters are  among the inspiring speakers of the day who share their particular energy and vision.

 

Inhabiting the dream: postcard 18

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Place-Dreamer Pod at “Renewable Energy Market Place”

Place -dreamer pod Anna (representing both ClaireandAnna and Encounters) will be taking the Place-Dreamer Pod out of its Compton den on Tuesday 8th April for the Renewable Energy Market Place at Westpoint Arena, Exeter, Devon.

We were invited to participate as an exhibitor in this renewable energy expo by Chloe Uden of Regen Southwest. Billed as “Self-sufficiency and the power of dreams” our interactive art installation presents “Radio Dreaming Off-grid Part 1 & 2”, which will be playing inside the Pod as well as our expanding collection of props to spark conversations around renewable energy and sustainable lifestyles.

Some of the props visitors might stumble upon in and around the pod will include our trusty Kelly Kettle and driftwood kindling, camping gas stove, solar panels facing south, and new props to spur conversation about clean, dirty and potential fuels,  ie. bottle of bluegreen algae, seaweed, turf, wood, coal, plastic, hemp oil, dandelion head, plants, fermented foods.

If you’re in the Devon area, come and check out the Pod! More info on the event here. If you’re out of range, have no fear, we’ll be doing a follow-up post rich with images for all you eager readers wanting a report on our experience.

Inhabiting the dream: postcard 12

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Inhabiting the dream: postcard 9

Cure all ointment

Inhabiting the dream: postcard 8

Drowned boat rescue

Drowned boat rescue

Travelling with a question

what does it mean to be off-grid

Inspired by the technological challenges of our journey into the wilds of Marble Arch Caves Geopark in Ireland and Northern Irlealnd for DREAMING PLACE, we returned to the island of Ireland early this summer for a new and entirely different experience. This time we carried with us folding solar panels, a kelly kettle and an important question.

What’s does it mean to be off-grid ?

Its always enlightening to travel with a question, it offers a slant, a fresh perspective and gives much inspiration. As we travel  invitations flood in from people eager to share their off=grid lifestyles and ideas with us so we came back with a bundle of recordings  for a final episode of Radio Dreaming.

We are excited to announce that Radio Dreaming Off-grid part 1 and Radio Dreaming Off-grid part 2 is almost ready and will be coming soon.

Listen to “What is off-gridding?  and  Radio Dreaming Episodes 1-4 

Tasting the past: Hans Wieland on Kefir (audio)

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Listen as Hans introduces us to kefir. 

Hans talks about kefir fermentation.

In the kitchen of Hans and Gaby Wieland we learn of the off-grid properties of Kefir.  Lactic acid fermentation doesn’t need any energy to produce, it doesn’t need energy to keep .The result of a symbiotic relationship between lactic acid bacteria and yeasts it has been transforming and preserving milk for millenia. The usefulness of Kefir, its health giving properties, powers of preservation and tangy taste have ensured its preservation from the first dairying cultures.  Hans feeds his kefir with goat’s milk. Water kefir is a slightly different strain that eats sugar.

“You put in lemon and raisins or sultanas and let it ferment for three to five days,” after which time it will have turned into a wonderfully refreshing drink, sweet and sour at the same time similar to elderflower champagne. 

Find out more about kefir here. 

Did you see Our elderflower fritters blog?

Our thanks to Hans Wieland  of Rossinver Organic Centre, for providing info re Kefir fermentation for this blog. Hans runs courses on all aspects of fermentation. This blog is based on a transcript of our audio conversation with Hans at his home in Co. Leitrim, Ireland.

Listen to Radio Dreaming on Soundart Radio and a stream of Art and Community Radio Stations around the world

We love radio and it’s the perfect way to share our adventures with people whoever they are and wherever they may be, in their cars, homes and workplaces.

Radio Dreaming Episodes 1-4 live-streamed on Soundart Radio every Monday in September at 3.30pm.

Listen in to Episode 1: Dreams, Food and the Edible Landscape  live-streamed on Soundart Radio  102/5fm Monday 9th September at 3.30pm  here

Or select and listen to Radio Dreaming Episodes 1-4 with ear buds right now  on our blogsite.
Radio Dreaming Broadcasts

See Radio Dreaming  schedule updates here

Inhabiting the dream: postcard 5

Drift wood for firing up our Kelly Kettle and making tea

Electric car ambassador dreaming

Listen here as sound  recordist Maurice Barnich from Luxembourg, tells how his electric car enhances his vision of a cleaner planet. (Extract from an in-depth interview with Maurice about his e-car)

On-shore and off-shore commercial windfarms are an evident sign of Ireland’s commitment to sustainable energy production.  As  we tour with our pod we look out for  alternative and micro- energy generation. “If only we could photosynthesize.”

Our first stop on the pod tour is at Cavan courthouse. Here you can re-charge your electric car for free while you have your day in court!

A vision for a sustainable future cannot include energy production based on oil shale gas extraction using the fracking process. We support our friends and others  who oppose fracking at Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark.

Inhabiting the dream: postcard 2

Inhabiting the dream is.... finding buried treasure in unexpected places

Inhabiting the dream is…. finding buried treasure in unexpected places

Transformation of Materials: Part 1, It Starts with Choice

Recently we’ve been thinking about transforming renewable materials around us into things that we use in our lives and how that process is an important element in our Place -Dreamer Toolkit. We have discussed this idea in previous posts about string HERE and hidden technologies HERE.

Because we are fascinated by these simple, but ingenious technologies and processes, we’ve been revisiting our unique time with Ignatius Maguire on his family farm. Including his grandchildren, his family has been on the land for eight generations.

Ignatius 1
He gave us an extensive tour of the grounds and the traditional, human-powered technologies and farm practices that he chooses to use to keep it all going. He is unlike most of his farming neighbors who have opted for more modern methods to harvest hay, plant potatoes and grow grain. Like that of Margaret Gallagher (see our post about her HERE), his dream for his life is shaped and colored differently than most.

Here, he describes his simple reasons for his chosen life-style:

Ignatius is a good reminder that we all have choices about what lives we want to lead, what technologies we want to use in our lives and for some of us, what processes, tools and technologies we choose to use to transform raw materials into things we can use in our lives.

Look for the second half of this post, coming soon – “Transformation of Materials: Part 2, Knowledge and Action” featuring more of Ignatius describing the traditional practices that he uses on his farm.

Off-grid Place-Dreamer Pod gets ready to tour

Great news! Our Pod is really coming together. We’ve just had an update from Nigel of Diddyvans Teardrop Trailers. His mate, Rob, has been over to help him put on the Pod’s aluminium “skin”. The wood-burner has been roaring, but even so the freezing weather has meant the varnish has taken an age to dry.

Wood Pod

Pod Skin

Diddyvanblue

We just love that our off-grid Place-Dreamer Pod will be energy self-sufficient. We’re so looking forward to road testing it. The comfy listening suite inside will be powered by two leisure batteries stowed under the “Pod’s kitchen” hatch. The batteries will be charged by two portable solar panels and on grey days (for which Ireland is famous of course!) through a special plug fitted along with the tow-bar to draw surplus energy from the battery of our towing van, keeping the Pod batteries topped up as we drive from venue to venue.

Batteries
Plugs

What d’you think of it so far?

Help us launch our tour by contributing to our Kickstarter Campaign here!

Learning from “The Puzzler”

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Exploring methods of slow travel and off-gridding are important elements of our Place-Dreamer toolkit. During our DREAMING PLACE residency at Marble Arch Caves, we were fortunate to happen across a couple of experienced slow travel and off-gridding experts on “The Puzzler” – Andy, Sally and Catkin Rawnsley, who we already introduced to you on our blog here and here. (You can learn even more about them and their slow travels here.)

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“The Puzzler” is a bespoke narrowboat outfitted beautifully, as pictured below, for comfortable living and traveling on waterways. With plans on the horizon for our own Dreaming Place bespoke travel vehicle (more to come on that soon!), we are re-examining our interviews with Andy and Sally with great interest.

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Using space creatively and effectively is one of the most important (and most fun!) aspects of kitting out a mobile vehicle such as The Puzzler. We asked Sally and Andy what their favorite piece of kit was and this is what they told us this:

As they showed us how each step of their little staircare holds a handy storage compartment. Genius!
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Prehistoric technology report – Crom Estate

As you can see we’ve had technology on the mind since our recent presentation in the “Matter of Technology” panel at the ISEA2012 Albuquerque Machine Wilderness symposium. We’ve been mulling over the fact that our arts practice is very much about different kinds of technologies both contemporary and prehistoric, as is DREAMING PLACE. Check out other posts recent posts on this topic  here and here.

One of the things we find so fascinating, as inhabitants of what many would call  “the technological era,” is that every era has been technological in its own way. According to Wikipedia:

Technology is the making, modification, usage, and knowledge of toolsmachines, techniques, craftssystems, methods of organization, in order to solve a problem, improve a preexisting solution to a problem, achieve a goal or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, modifications, arrangements and procedures. Technologies significantly affect human as well as other animal species’ ability to control and adapt to their natural environments.”

Listen in to our prehistoric technology report from the Crom Estate below: