MAPPING SOLARPUNK AND THE SOLIDARITY ECONOMY
“Utopia is the process of making a better world, the name for one path history can take, a dynamic, tumultuous, agonizing process, with no end.“
THE CONTEMPORARY UTOPIAN FRINGE
In the summer of 2014, Delta_Ark and Biome Arts co-organized a large scale collaborative project: a two-week symposium on ecology, technology and autonomy that culminated in the construction of a networked, semi-autonomous structure in the woods of Delhi, New York. This structure served as a performance space, international activist meeting hall, gallery and platform for other artworks. Eleven artists participated; the artists gathered for two weeks to do collective research and mapping of both (a.) the solarpunk science fiction movement, a movement that renders a utopian future with local ecological control, cooperative ownership and decentralized governance and (b.) the solidarity economy, a political and economic movement that seeks to actualize these ends.
A BIO-DIGITAL CONVERSATION MACHINE
Situated within Forest Pavilion is Delta_Ark's collaborative installation with Biome Arts, The Core. The Core was a conversation machine that was also simultaneously an interspecies feedback loop and space for discourse. The digital component of Core was an interactive mind-map editable by anyone in the world with internet access 184.108.40.206/iameetinghouse. Also accessible within The Core via four computer terminals, the mind-map evolved as participants discussed, rearranged, and added new topics along an axial coordinate system. The mind-map was also projected on to a multi-layered column of sheer fabric at the center of The Core. The biological elements of The Core include cultivated Vanessa cardui butterflies. These insects were drawn to light of the projected mind-map, shifting the attention of participants and thus the flow of conversation.