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Posts tagged ‘off grid’

Collaboration and Successful Off-Gridding

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Recently Anna, who is now an  Encounters Associate, worked with Usha from Torbay Development Agency and a guy called Ryan, who was on a “work placement,” to hang the “Aging Well” photo exhibition in Torbay Hospital gallery. The show is part of a creative participatory consultation that Encounters  has been delivering in Brixham, Paignton and Torquay.

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Across the pond in Questa, New Mexico, Claire recently also spent many collaborative hours on a LEAP project with Connie Long, Claire’s mother and also an instructor with SEED, as well as Mariquita Rael, the art teacher for the Questa Elementary and Intermediate School. Together they worked with 188 students doing hands-on science and art about seeds. Then Claire, Connie and artist, Anita McKeown installed the resulting art show for Earth Day, “Seeds: Time Capsules of Wilderness” at Questa’s OCHO Art & Event Space.

These days of “working together” to get a job done got us thinking about day to day collaboration. Collaboration is an important theme for us, since we’ve been working collaboratively (we would venture to say successfully!) since 2007. As artists, we collaborate in a variety of ways….Onsite with people, places, creatures and things, via the internet, even telepathically at times it seems…..and of course we collaborate and live interdependently with people, places, creatures in our daily lives. Ex. It’s hard to imagine gardening without earthworms as collaborators!

We’re interested in how collaboration relates to the “Off-Grid Ethos”. Are they interrelated? Does successful or authentic off-gridding require collaboration inherently like a bee hive?! Or is being completely self-sufficient and not needing to depend on anyone else at the heart of being off-grid?

First, what is collaboration? It’s a hard word to define because there are so many possible manifestations of the word, but here’s a definition from Wikipedia:

Collaboration is working with each other to do a task and to achieve shared goals.It is a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together to realize shared goals, — for example, an endeavor that is creative in nature—by sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus. Most collaboration requires leadership, although the form of leadership can be social within a decentralized and egalitarian group. In particular, teams that work collaboratively can obtain greater resources, recognition and reward when facing competition for finite resources.

(That last sentence seems particularly related to our inquiry into the relationship between collaboration and off-gridding, doesn’t it?)

Second, what is the “off-grid ethos”? This is even harder to define, because as you can hear in our Off-Grid Radio Dreaming Episodes, almost everyone has their own definition and associations.

What are your thoughts and experiences on collaboration and off-gridding? or

How do you collaborate and what are your experiences of off-gridding.

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“Off-Grid” Cures from the Vegetable Garden for New Mothers and Everyone *Audio*

Vegetable-Garden-CuresDuring our Place-Dreamer Pod Tour, we visited the Organic Centre in Co. Leitrim. The students of the permaculture course that was taking place there at the time came out to visit the Pod during their tea break. Between drizzles, they listened to Radio Dreaming in the Pod and gathered ’round the hatch at the back to chat with us about “Off-Grid” ideas, tools and cures. (It was also during our time at the Organic Centre that we met Hans Weiland who told us about his very interesting Off-Grid entertainment/weather prediction method involving clouds. We blogged about it here, and featured him and the topic of cures in our Off-Grid Radio Dreaming Episodes Part 1 & 2. You can listen to them here.)

Conversation wandered from solar panels, to the kelly kettle, to the bramble vine we were using as a clothes line (clothes pins naturally included!) and finally landed on the topic of “cures.” We talked about traditional cures and hedgerow cures and cures that one might find in the kitchen or vegetable garden. There were a range of voices in this group, male and female, Irish as well as folks from other countries. Once the conversation got rolling, many people chimed in with a cure from their granny or something they’d learned recently.

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