SLC meet-ups

During February, we are hosting Creeknet meet-ups at Stephen Lawrence Centre where friends of Brookmill Park and Deptford Creek will gather to share stories and publish reports.

As part of the MAZI pilot we are all working together to install interactive beacons along the creek where significant points of interest and DIY network activity coincide.

We have booked three weekly meetings in this riverside lecture room, starting Monday 13th Feb so please join us there between 12 and 4pm. Please register so we know how may to expect at lunch!

Our emphasis is to support the many local groups along the creek as they promote their respective activities and publish to their networks. In preparation, we have been resetting some of their legacy, corrupted and entangled WordPress installations, so a clean start is possible!

Friends of Brookmill Park are now ready to bring their designs into effect to feature the nature and diversity of the park, planting plan and to begin animal species monitoring.

Terry Edwards is a local musician and model gardener who leads the Crossfields Estate community garden project Wonky Prong and has begun posting and planting again in time for spring. He may well join Karen Barnes on Wednesday’s open mic event at the Birdsnest.

She has been very busy scanning some of the many pinhole camera prints she has made in situ around Deptford as well as on occasional trips to Westminster. They feature at thearmed909 alongside accounts of living and working in the area.  The Undercurrents gallery in the back room of the Birdsnest has been showing Minesweeper art and photographs of the boat that survived the devastating fire in January. Karen recently added a Piratebox to collect up some memorabilia and share donated audio recordings and artwork. Next time you pop in for a pint, try logging on to check the collection.

Friends of Deptford Creek, started by those living on house boats in the creek also have a refreshed website to voice their current concerns not least in light of redevelopment plans effecting their mooring and land access at 2 Creekside. John Cierach is also the owner of 3 Creekside where we recently reviewed the plans for development to feature stacked shipping containers and reworked mooring strategy that won’t include all the current boats!

A Kumu map of working relationships between interested parties along Deptford Creek is emerging form the mud of our interaction. Further interventions and activity will continue to extend these impressions, your comments and contributions are most welcome.

What are the shitboats you may well ask

Posted in Mazi | Tagged | Comments Off on SLC meet-ups

Hoy Meet-ups

This coming Monday 23rd January we will again meet up with Creeknet friends to continue some great conversations and push on with DIY network research. Our host for the last few Mazi Mondays has been the Hoy Kitchen on Creek Road at the Deptford and Greenwich border by Creek Bridge. We have been starting with teas/lunch at noon and drifting on in discussion till 4pm.

Claire is the proprietor of Hoy and grew up in the Hoy Inn as it was previously known. Her family moved into the area from Belfast in the 70’s at a time when SE8 was comparatively naked, few street lights, road signs and empty buildings in a very industrial maritime landscape. The pub was a notorious social hub and she has many stories about these earlier times to tell!  Her great familiarity with local history, society and current wave of transformation is proving most entertaining and illuminating.

When Quayside redevelopment took off in the streets all around them  during the 90’s her family faced fresh and unexpected challenges. Land which had always been linked to the Hoy was assumed part of the property development package. It triggered a fight to hold on to access and the infamous Hoy Steps. Successful but lengthy resistance has meant that the steps have been retained but a road wraps around the building to the new build properties adjacent.

Perhaps as a consequence, Claire has good contacts with local business including Millenium Quay who have responsibility for the recently installed swing bridge. She has also suggested making historical steps accessible for the first time since the dispute!

The illustrious privateer Sir Francis Drake may well have been knighted by Queen Elisabeth by the Hoy Steps, his ship ‘The Golden Hind’ certainly ended it’s days in the creek, scrapped to shore up the sea wall of the creek. Today the replica boat is a popular tourist destination in Clink Street by London Bridge very close to our very own Backspace which prevailed till turn of the last century!

Please join us in February when we will meet-up at Stephen Lawrence Centre for a further three weeks of more practical workshops At these events we will work with low-cost technologies to host and promote a range of DIY neighbourhood publishing tools, discover more about the options for OWN mesh access meet its resident groups and friends from that area of the river by Brookmill Park.

Posted in Mazi, Report | Comments Off on Hoy Meet-ups

Brackish and Brawn

Over a year ago, YT attended Transmediale media arts festival in Berlin to meet up with old friends living in the city and introduce them to members of the Mazi project attending for the first time. One of the first panels Global Ports still resonates as we edge forward with Creeknet pilot in Deptford. Much like in Port of Hamburg, the PLA (Port of London Authority) conforms a hydrachy of power, governing access to the waterways of the city, monitoring shipping and controlling all but the the weather and tides.

For those who are dependent on the Thames and it’s tributaries for transport,  trade and residence, there are very few resources available to guide use and track changing conditions.  It’s the knowledge of the boating community and their interpretation of PLA bylaws that hold sway here. Resistance, skulks the waters edge, using forgotten inlets, overgrown steps and derelict locks, to retain river access and uphold liberties. Mooring rights and tidal rituals, ebb and flow along the river wall, entangled in mooring chains, revealed as the river bed is drained by tides.

The Thames river wall all the way into Deptford Creek is part of the UK coastline, it’s beaches are monitored and rubbish cleared. Material on the shore clusters much where it was dropped into the water so great collections of red brick, clay pipes, animal bones, oyster shells and drift wood colour the shorelines in alignment to forgotten industry. Warehouses and wharves are fast being replaced by multi-story condos, only a very few remain out of the grasp of developers such as the abandoned squatted restaurant on Odessa Street up river in Rotherhithe, where recent Minesweeper fundraiser was such a success.

The burning of the Minsweeper and subsequent loss of mooring access at Brookmarsh Yard in Greenwich, point to an inevitability that will end occupation of these reaches by  the many barges and boats currently resident. Lengthy negotiations and legal actions by boaters to retain land access and not often ended well. Current proposals for redevelopment at 2 Creekside could well be followed by overturning of long established moorings at No4. Meanwhile, redevelopment of No3 and No1 form breaking wave of transformation that may well consume all undeveloped land and property up to Deptford Church Street.

Posted in Mazi, Report | Tagged | Comments Off on Brackish and Brawn

Sweeping for power

Since first writing this report the Minesweeper has been destroyed by a terrible fire on 5th Jan 11pm. Despite quick response from the London Fire Service and attendance of a dozen fire engines, it was all over by 5am – toast. Adjacent boats were also effected as was the mechanics workshop in the Brookmash estate. YT visited on Friday and stood on the river wall there with some Minesweeper Collective members looking over the side into the abyss of charred timbers and blackened soup of belongings, chairs, books, some vinyl records and somewhat strangely, bags of charcoal untouched by the fire.

For those living and working aboard the Minesweeper, keeping warm during winter months presents the greatest hardship. Wood burners are kept alight 24/7 that require continual feeding. A store of suitable timber has to be collected throughout autumn and kept dry for use. Neighbours in in Brookmash yard supply the off-cuts from their furniture production. (as well as supply power the broadband wireless uplink)

The collective recently purchased a new AC generator after many months fundraising and having experienced breakdown of previous secondhand units, however bad luck has again struck, an oil leak forces it’s return for repair, leaving them without power again. A new wind turbine is ready for installation, to provide the top up charge their battery array needs if it to remain in good condition to supply 12v for lighting and laptop charging. The print working areas of the minesweeper already have bright LED worklights fitted, with more needed throughout, as well as external motion triggered perimeter and safety lighting.

An energy audit was carried out on the boat late summer as part of the Creeknet pilot, which revealed just how much energy the print curing and screen cleaning processes demand, too much of a shortfall for any solar or wind turbine system to close. Gaining a better understanding about how off-grid power systems need to be configured and managed has been difficult, though progress is being made. We recently visited other boats on the creek and noted how their installed systems reliably store and distribute available power as needed, so will return for their support if the need arises.

Posted in Mazi, Report | Tagged | Comments Off on Sweeping for power

Ripped and Yarned

It’s the end of 2016, an extraordinary year that has surprised us all for it’s contrasts and contradictions, horror and hubris. Any anticipation of sudden enlightenment or even delayed reaction to the scale of discord seems far fetched, yet somehow fresh hope springs with each new year. 2017 may test that theory!

Cast in this light and with rising sense of expectation from those around us,  we set out on the second phase of neighbourhood engagement and activity around our Mazi pilot – Creeknet. It explores use of DIY networking methods and promotion of ‘offline‘ information systems, that express awareness, sustainability and determination for greater data autonomy.

To date, we have met with a wide range of local people living and working alongside Deptford Creek, each with a view on local issues and an intensity to shape outcomes in whatever form of public campaign or personal agenda they may fix on. Help us identify the tools for success in such situations and to foster the development of home grown options to introduce into the MAZI toolkit.

We begin a series of weekly meetings and workshops at venues up and down the creek this month, to channel some energies into discovery, discussion and expression on subjects closest to heart. The quality of lived environment tops that chart, as any local resident, worker or student will assert. Unbridled property speculation, deteriorating air quality and wealth disparity, contribute to the sense of dis-empowerment, isolation and anxiety for the future.

Much we have learned, as the storm of chaos around us builds, reminds us that we can never again take personal freedoms and privacy for granted. As of 30th December, the Investigatory Powers Act permits targeted interception of communications, bulk collection and interception of communications data by UK government and intelligence agencies.

Educating and informing ourselves on conditions of change are now critical steps for us to take for future health of communities, cultures and capital. Our faith in each other, open collaboration and social justice are at stake. Your insight, inventiveness and expertise are key to unlocking neighbourhood value and identifying solutions to act on locally.

Posted in Mazi, Report | Comments Off on Ripped and Yarned

Crossed Bridges

Residents in Deptford and Greenwich, the ‘Friends of Deptford Creek,’ have formed an alliance to help co-ordinate living and working amongst the clustered houseboats and workplaces, to share access to the land resources and promote mooring rights.

Living on the Creek they enjoy relative independence, whilst navigating increasingly unstable environmental, commercial and social conditions. All around them, the struggle for land use, rolls on at a ferocious rate, excluding some and capturing others, in the quest for recognition, acknowledgement and respect.

Upholding rights to access resources, trade and live locally, are long fought battles, sustained against the odds. Increasingly rapid transformation along each side of the Creek is out-gunning the capacity to respond. Finding the energy to resist reckless planning and hold developers to their commitments is left to those people most effected. All are agreed that more independent and widespread DIY monitoring and critical response is required, not least, to gather information to counter commercial assumptions of developers.

Meanwhile, city workers and their families are moving into fresh apartments rising at every corner. Racing costs of domestic rents and restrictions of workspace are contributing to a crisis of identity and insecurity that will continue to oppress homemakers in the area, perpetuating the churn of fortunes many are already experiencing.

Large scale infrastructure projects in progress across London will soon be joined by Thames Tideway sewer overflow construction from Ealing to Becton along the Thames. There are two deep excavations planned for SE8. One at Deptford Church Street and the other at Greenwich Pump Station. Both will contribute massive local disruption for five years or more, whilst offering little in compensation or shelter for those effected.

At a recent meeting of the Deptford and Greenwich Liaison Working Group held at Creekside Discovery Centre, we heard from officials of the Thames water, Tideway and Lewisham council about their commitment to public liaison yet despite it’s detailed project plans, little was presented to ally fears of further sweeping aside of community interest and blank faced consultation processes. The promise here is for full co-operation and clarity, leaving lots of scope to fudge delivery !

Resistance to the rehearsed rhetoric surprised many of the Tideway builders and administrators present. Our Informed requests for detailed data about environmental monitoring already taking place, or any commitment to make such data feeds available were not received well, with only tacit offers of aggregation and post collection reporting on offer.. Let’s have the raw data available, please!

Additional topics to the prepared agenda tried to focus on awareness of how to negotiate for the £2.5 million pound section 106 CIL to benefit local activities (see recent council meeting minutes). However the Greenwich Pump Station excavation doesn’t have an allocation out of this, strange considering how many newly built places there will be disrupted. More on this to come!

The physical links between Greenwich and Lewisham residents are limited to the access to footpaths and bridges crossing Deptford Creek. There are seven public crossings two by road and rail and four by foot. The newest of these a ‘swing’ bridge sits at the mouth of the creek where it tips into the Thames and was completed early in 2015. A lifting bridge at Creek road allows the few larger gravel boats servicing the cement works to pass through. The rail ‘Iron Bridge’ is an industrial heritage monument but which is due a raft of safety improvement measure not least the replacement of the housing and engine lifting equipment with GRP simulations. The Ha’ppeny Hatch just beyond was installed after huge public appeal for a footbridge at this point to provide safer crossing and links Norman Road to Creekside. Environmental designs for a continuation of pedestrian walkways stretching from New Cross Gate to Woolwich were outlined in Borough Plans of the nineties!

Planning consent for 500 ton barges to carry away spoil from the Tideway tunnel dig has been requested to limit the use of road haulage consent, already offered. This would result in 2 transports per tide, instead of 100 trucks a day. For this to be possible, dredging of the middle section of the creek from Iron Bridge to the Creek mouth. The effect of all this will be to destabilize the small community of boats including the Minesweeper cluster of boats opposite Laban Dance. A further consequence will make the study area for Creekside low tide walkers inaccessible. Dredging may well turn up unexpected complications for all those along this stretch, as it’s historical uses have left a noxious sludge residue submerged not far below.

The A2 crosses over the creek at Deptford Bridge where the DLR also spans overhead. A cycle and foot path picks up again in Broadway Fields an open space with basketball courts and opportunities for public socialising, often occupied by small groups playing sport or hanging out and enjoying the rare chance for a view of sky.

A humpback footbridge jumps back over to the path leading south into Brookmill Park and the wide footbridge adjacent to Stephen Lawrence Centre opens out onto Brookmill Road. The Ravensbourne river cuts along the side of the park, in a concrete trench from Lewisham alongside the DLR.

Posted in Mazi, Report | Tagged | Comments Off on Crossed Bridges

Senses in sight

The Brookmill Park Friends are an engaged group of locals, with differing relations towards the park. Most are neighbours and enjoy the close proximity to a great green space with a measure of co-management. In meetings, they have been very aware of the issues they face and are working with Glendale the local authority contractors, to improve the environment.

We approached the group some time ago and first connected with Cash Aspeek, who planned to use the Park Ranger’s hut for Redstart Art sessions. We helped initiate clearing up of the space, sorting the usable (indoor toilets, kettle and sink) from not (mouldy carpets, lots of rubbish).

Clearly some additional after dark security is now required and conversations about technical assistance SPC would provide as part of the MAZI zone pilot spawned a sub group to hear suggestions and discuss options. This is when we first heard of recent website failings and fallout confusion and suggested introduction of an information hotspot, presenting a ‘park guide’ and visitor interaction was suggested, as were the desire for nature watch cameras and sound recorders to live stream and monitor the environmental variations.

Conrad Ellam is a local naturalist and holds very popular twilight ‘bat walks’ and ‘dawn chorus’ listen-ins – attendance depending on who hears detail in time. in general, public signaling for events and activities in the park has become patchy, such that a clear strategy for communications is now called for.

The lost website will be revitalized with the collaboration of friends, to ensure that the best can be made of the great contributions from everyone involved. Further effort will be made to automate social media publishing about park events and introduce new public information systems to capture park visitor observations and requests.

At the most recent friends meeting there was a renewed confidence in plans for the park. This was voiced in enthusiasm for proactive planting and habitat protection, to present activities publicly and celebrate this treasured space together.

Strategies to lift visitors awareness of park rules on rubbish disposal and dog access need action. The accumulation of tins, bags and paper ends up in the undergrowth and the creek, causing problems downstream, worse the dog shit is dangerous for children, a fact people still need reminding of.

Taking up ownership of communication in the park, to update signage and improve on conditions at the Park Ranger’s hut for Redstart Arts and friends meetings is key. Regularly updated and relevant notices around the park will also help promote the Friends activities as well as information about neighborhood concerns and interests.

We are ready to install Salsa bluetooth responders in to the park, at the notice boards and Park Ranger’s hut. Proximity to the passive info points trigger pages of a our smart phone application to appear on screen, relaying historical, nature watch and cultural information.

Posted in Mazi, Report | Tagged , | Comments Off on Senses in sight

Concurrency

elasticsystemLate summer has stretched out into October this year and to some extent the anticipation of wintry times ahead, is drawing our attention on from the confusion of recent electoral fiascos. Our best effort as individuals or in groups can seem ever more diluted and frustrated, however, much else that we take for granted, must continually overcome effects of disruption and change.

Richard Wright invited us to visit his latest project Elastic System , where we were treated to a review of the British Library cataloging systems that represent it’s huge collection of published titles. The last attempted consolidation was abandoned at letter D, having taken 15 years before settling on a composite set. Now between 150 and 180 million acquisitions co-exist in the Yorkshire repository or in the London library. Richard worked with IoCT (internet of cultural things) to examine the progress of capturing and representing the information stream of new data about how the library is organised, focusing on a historical screenshot-at-2016-11-30-00-24-21collection in London and it’s specific method of elastic co-ordination.

Steven Ball visited Deckspace on a few occasions during his research and preparation for Deep Water web. His simple but poetic aim, to present a live view of Sydney Harbor for us in London and there, a view of Thames in return. Both were viewed at Furtherfield Gallery in Finsbury Park during a summer exhibition, complimented with a concrete’ exchange of current reports in a collage information streams.

The daylight music series at union chapel this month featured William D Drake, performing otherwise unreleased songs at the church organ alongside singer Louise Kloboe. Cameras nested in the organ guts and around the stage were stitched together well as record of this very entertaining collaboration.

the-sea-nymphs_pressLater in the month we also saw Bill perform alongside old friends to celebrate the launch of long awaited second album of Sea Nymphs recordings which are available together with the first release from 1992! The time gap between releases is now compressed to a moment of anticipation for all the evergreen pleasures now at last available for all.

Posted in Report | Comments Off on Concurrency

Well conversed

bucharestschoolarchitectbucharesttramstreetInura held it’s 26th annual conference this year in Romania, between the city of Bucharest and Transylvanian village, Sibiel.

YT joined several other members of MAZI project for the closing day of the ‘city’ conference, before jumping on the coach for the ‘country’ retreat, a day ride over the infamous mountain peaks and lush valleys.

lushgreenThroughout the trip Gruia Badescu fed us all with rolling history and tales of the region whilst we tested out a ‘standalone’ Mazi Playground prototype, encouraging upload of images, recordings and texts to the OwnCloud and EtherPad services it offers as well as mobile broadband tethered through it to Panos smart-phone!

philipvillageOur destination was a hillside hotel and conference centre, where we spent four busy days reviewing experiences of Bucharest and reflecting on the many projects and fascinating activities of all those attending. sibiuworkhouse

Continuing our tour we visited nearby medieval city and regional capital Sibiu. We trawled it’s fine churches, layered antiquity and twisting cobbled streets until afternoon when we reconvened for a round of headingdowntownresponses and commentary on local projects and investigations.

Back in Sibiel, there were more great presentations in the conference room, outside in the sunshine and just about anywhere within walking distance!

Mark Saunders of Spectacle Films showed a his recently completed documentary about Battersea Powerstation – bewildering scale of ineptness, manipulation and corruption continues as we speak about it..

devinerepresentationOrhan Esen presented a startling report on the Byzantine struggle for power and control in Turkey following the recent ‘coup’ and political fallout. The swapping of political allegiances and the recombining of establishment power with previously incompatible adversaries, turns everything on its head. By the end of the presentation a further 100 journalists had been rounded up and incarcerated, so his liberty is similarly threatened.

Iva and Ksenija of Ne Damo Beograd talked about Waterfront Development protest movement and recent overnight illegal demolition of a City block. Subsequent denials by Mayor and government convinced nobody.

3000Occupy and Indymedia activists, must wonder how so much great energy and will for change, can be digested without trace by public and state. Five years on, the euphoric peoples assemblies, protesting the incompetence, corruption and greed, all but forgotten in the stampede for brexit and grip of longer term conservatism.

The rising feeling we are being toyed with, is nauseating. Perhaps Adam Curtis can shed some light? His latest documentary Hypernormalisation picks up on the trail leaking out from Bitter Lake and outlines much that we have allowed ourselves to trump for granted.

Posted in Mazi, Report | Comments Off on Well conversed

reTransmission

YT has recently rekindled contact with Indymedia activist network members as part of an initiative to build a new hosting platform, an Activist Media Proxy – AMP.

carnivalselectioncropLittle in the way of social documentary, street protest and public information material exists outside of the youtube/googleplex. Of the many attempts to change assumptions, Engagemedia and Undercurrents have lead the way.

Our hope is that in collaboration with activist media makers and producers, further good use can be made of this vibrant social history, to review past action and inform on current struggles.

The first move of the founding group has been to appoint a coordinator and gather together an information base, to establish communication and suitable support framework. With this foundation in place is has been possible to activate new services to begin working with the existing video collections, present tools for annotation and prepare selections for review.

Please visit the AMP project wiki for more information.

whitebuildingcanalsideThe video, audio and text archives will be stored in a web accessible database. Pan.do/ra offers the combination of media processing, context annotation and collaboration management tools needed. Several other media collections are being drawn together in London using this same great system.

Community archives are reactivated at Maydayrooms events where documents are scanned and media resources organised. Their collection features a selection of period film and event documentary, available img-94over their local area network, alongside an extensive document catalogue for researchers to explore.

A complete set of the DAU film sequences, it’s huge image collection of period artifacts and extensive wardrobe as worn during filming and by residents of Kharkiv, features in their intranet media project. The DAU feature film is itself now due for release in 2017 the centenary of the Russian revolution.

Posted in Mazi, Report | Comments Off on reTransmission

Waterline workout

The Minesweeper on Deptford Creek seeks refurbishment of the fire damaged hull and an evolution of support infrastructure. The collective aim to build free floating ‘data mines’ to tether in the creek, msfiredeckthat collect waterline signals and monitor environmental conditions. Remedial work on Minesweeper power distribution is urgently required if we are to install services and sensors that offer reliable data streams. Plans for exactly how to proceed with repairs and refurbishment of the damaged stern need detailing. aldworthandbondNeighbours Aldworth and Bond timber fabricators have visited to assess the scope of reconstruction work, a big structural job with limited resources but information is not yet flowing back and forth as needed. More detail about what is required and the steps to be taken, have yet to be understood and agreed by the crew. For powerdistributionminethose prepared to support refurbishment, outline proposals and illustrations of plans and costings are essential to evaluate costs and help raise the funds needed.

Energy management is one of the key issues those working and living on boats have to face. The add-hock installations aboard the Minesweeper over the years have resulted in layers of cables, multiple battery charging stations and unstable physical connections. mineprintworkshops08The adjacent Liftmore boat provides the diesel generator currently used to supply 220v AC when printing equipment is in use. minequarterdeckThis also drives a quality charging unit for several high power leisure batteries. The 12v DC is then mostly in use to illuminate work areas and recharge mobile phones and laptops. A recently refurbished wind turbine is ready to be lifted to the mast and SELCE have donated 6 x 175w solar panels which await integration.

Existing 220v audio amplification and speaker system needs replacement, so introduction of 12v powered amps preferred. Meanwhile 5v usb charging/powering of IOT devices, 12v mixed lighting and wireless network access need to remain available. Tmineprintstudiohe print studio has requirement for 3kw heat press, flashing oven and high pressure washers.. there is also a vacuum table and lightbox to expose photo reactive film for screen masking. We assume there is also a water pump somewhere to clear the bilge!mineprintworkshops01

To bring all this together alongside we have contracted I/O engineer Alexei Blinov to work with the crew to agree on priorities, audit available materials and help specify a plan to work on together during August. The objective is to provide regulated and reliable energy supply that can be managed and monitored safely. Solar and wind turbine units add to the complexity, modern voltage regulators accommodate this mixed economy well.

 

Posted in Mazi, Report | Comments Off on Waterline workout

Listenin

listenin-sebastienTeufelsberg, the Coldwar Field Station in west Berlin sits atop a huge mound of post war rubble, dragged from the ruined city in handcarts by the widows and wounded before city rebuilding commenced.

There, we met with artist and engineer Sebastian Casper during a recent visit, where today the wrecked shell of the spectacular structure hosts a wide range of diy and cultural activities in the last pause before inevitable expulsion and it’s reconstruction. Built by the allies to listen in on the communist block as it strived for an idealism that was finally swept away with the reviled concrete partitioning. domelandscapeThe utopian geodesic domes and great halls all now imprinted with lush solarlisteningcolourisation and witty patter that contrast the immaculate forest panoramas.  A dedicated few hold the place together for public access and creative experimentation, where a solar bus and yacht automaton rest in some anticipation of their moment, a testament to the scale of ambition the place inspires.

listeningbeesAt the launch of Neighborhood Academy building in Prinzessinnengarten (a re-purposed bomb site in heart of Kruezberg) we heard about progress of MAZI pilot Common Ground. During the workshop after commonstructurelunch, our topics of investigation track the plight of the neighbourhood, scourge of corporate corruption and the hopes for future not least for those at work in the garden, sharing the honey.

Enjoying the structure and an insight onto craft and collaborations, YT talked with Hans Bacs about solar energy e-scooters and exchanged some angst with neighbourhood architect on some of the design details! Realistic prospects of energy autonomy, peerblueeys network infrastructures and liquid democracy, once the reserve of fantasisers and frauds, are more urgently anticipated than ever.

By working in public with people to help express desires for living, taking reassurance from our own information systems. Extending the senses to improve on intuition to widen the scope for engagement and improve understanding to inform much of the process of change we soon need to settle on. So let’s strive to improve our hearing, refine our sight and stimulate all our senses smokingfagsfor enhanced intuition, responsiveness and insight to attune progress.

Back at home in SE8 we anticipate that with the help of local groups and individuals we can assemble an array of useful installations, contrasting noise, checking for oxygen, monitoring electrosmog whilst sniffing around the decisions being taken on our behalf regards environment, energy and information. Our hope to is grow a better sense of how to improve on situations we otherwise may struggle to impact or influence.

Posted in Mazi, Report | Comments Off on Listenin

4 for four

Creeknet, is one of four project pilots being operated as part of the MAZI initiative which will bring together components for a neighborhood network toolkit. This will feature a guide for those establishing or improving on open wireless and offline collaborative systems, advising on cost effective hardware and open source software solutions, whilst refining tactics and tutorials.

To help co-ordinate and explore the many options, we worked with MAZI partner University of Thessaly, Greece, to establish a suite of software to test and use in our local networks. mazi-ballsEtherpad is a collaborative writing tool and OwnCloud is a document and media management system. UTH role is to co-ordinate and consolidate toolkit components and the first prototype, on a RaspberryPi disk image is available for testing featuring these and small selection of complimentary applications. In the simplest mode, presents a ‘stand alone’ wireless access point running webserver and other local services to promote working together. Without internet connection, any requests for webpages are redirected to local webpages listing services and describing options.

During recent workshop at the Prinzessinnengarten in Berlin, we heard about progress of MAZI pilot ‘Common Ground‘ during launch of Neighborhood Academy building in the garden. Their prototype ‘interview station’ enables one 2 one interview recording and publishing process. listenin-acadamyCompleted interviews are published directly to their offline server prototype  for review and comment by those visiting the garden academy. The same combination of powerful software options and offline network server was in use during the recent Unmonastery at Kokkinopolis, a two week meeting in the Olympus mountains in Greece where it was first tested by them for communal exchange and interaction.

Kraftwerk1 housing cooperative in Zurich is working with Nethood to identify suitable evolutionary path away from their proprietary cloud information system. Their inspirational living model has been a great success and with growth of cooperative housing across Switzerland there is increasing interest in mapping of methods and monitoring of progress not least at Inura.

The ‘Creeknet’ pilot began in April 2016 describing first impressions and identified groups from the local area whom SPC have worked with in the past, to propose key issues and ideas to explore.faircharmestatese8There are many aspects to consider, changes to the built environment here are continuing at a rapid rate, some groups are being sidelined with conditions for living and working in the area facing disruptive challenges as well as opportunities.

Our role as advocate for user owned and operated information infrastructures is well known in the area. SPC worked with individuals, neighborhoods and local businesses from 2001 on a series of DIY low tech network projects, last represented by OWN, the open wireless network established 2008. listenin-terryToday the effects of population churn, rise of portable computing, concerns for personal security as well as long term exposure to the elements have reduced the operational status of OWN to a shadow of it’s former self.

The afterglow of positive experiences gained over eight years is now being rekindled with the prospect of renewed offline network development, expressing a passion for the ‘local’, celebrating neighborhood news and wider collaboration. The access to broadband provided by OWN in the area, needs re-doubling if it is to serve the co-ordination demands of MAZI ‘offline’ network development and monitoring of process. This process is now underway with new connections being upgraded between Deckspace in Greenwich and Minesweeper on the creek. newcreeklowFrom there we will continue to redistribute access to locations of activity nearby.

Monumental civil engineering and relentless apartment block building is underway throughout the area, bringing changes to the environment for everyone. For some it will mean the end of affordable rents for both domestic and workspaces. For others, this area of London is where overheads are still comparatively low. It will certainly result in increased traffic, noise and pressure on services, a transformation in the mix of people and expectations.

Pollution concerns over quality of water, air and electrosmog, processing of rubbish and recycling urgently seek answers. The Creekside Centre and other Deptford Creek groups creekbridgecementworksare already working on the creeknet MAZI pilot to build on existing relationships and operate more effective information sharing and neighborhood network solutions. With these issues in mind early installations will include a range of passive environmental sensing of sound, light and radio.

The opportunity for social interaction in the area is limited to the few publicly accessible parks, pathways and the remaining pubs alongside west and eastern banks of the creek. swingbridgeA few new public areas have being created which have yet to be understood and adopted. For example the new footbridge at the mouth of the Deptford Creek, completes the Thames path between Deptford and Greenwich, a perfect place to focus attention and present a MAZI zone.

Posted in Mazi, Report | Comments Off on 4 for four

Knitted out

gsmboardThe quest for suitable, sustainable network equipment is an ongoing and fascinating one.  New products with great capabilities, low cost and power, compactness and accessibility, hold much promise.

gprsshieldThe first to catch my eye during a recent visit to Raylab is this GPRS shield v1.0. It’s a compact and versatile board featuring audio I/O, generic GSM module and 12 GPIOs. It is also fully compatible with Arduino modules so that existing controllers, radios and sensor packs fit right in!

featherfront featherbackNext on the desk was long awaited Huzzah! IoT ‘feather‘ which Alexei ordered some weeks ago and so popular it’s rarely in stock. Preliminary test returns simple but reassuring responses.. This tiny board boasts memory, processor very low power consumption and frilled with many connection options, amazing value at £12.

openwrtsocfrontA third product blinking innocently away across the desk,  had been delivered just that afternoon. Vocore.io is a fully featured mini OpenWRT SoC (system on chip) module with ethernet and USB dock, wireless and RAM enough to make itself indispensable. £40 ish.

Our MAZIzone assignment to identify and utilise the best of options for neighborhood activities and network development have already drawn us close to a series of interesting options for environment sensing , information storage and energy management. It’s a fragmented story so far, but one that we are bringing into focus, piece by piece.

When we next link up with guys at University of Thessaloniki research department in Volos there will be much to discuss. They have been working with a selection of off the shelf and custom pico beelabkitpc boards and adapters to interface a wide range of environment sensors to track temperature to radiation and drive Bluetooth, Zigbee, Wifi and LTE radios.

Deptford Creek honey, Julian KingstonDeptford Pudding

Deptford Creek honey, Julian Kingston

Julian Kingston is veteran ship engineer and beekeeper on Deptford Creek. We hope he will be able to link up his hives to monitoring equipment that enables a closer watch on the health of his swarms during the winter and alert him to changing conditions throughout the year. Urban bees produce great honey and the wide range of creekside wild flowers supply the quality nectar his bees seek.

Posted in Mazi, Report | Comments Off on Knitted out

Apocryphal ecstatic

conservative-apocalypse-coverThis Thursday 7th July is the first pubic screening of ‘Chemi Bebia‘ (1929) with Funki Porcini soundtrack and launch event for his new LP and boxset ‘Conservative Apocalypse‘. Its at the BFI on London SouthBank where James will also show and tell about this new work and meet you in the bar for a dance off with DJ Food.

We all met up at the Mycelia event in April with Imogen Heap and friends, where research into the mechanics of music publishing, royalty collection and distribution, exploring future roles for musicians and supporters of live and recorded performance was in full flow. serveimogen-150x150They shared the sense that as with all things, our networked lives continue to impact on preconceptions of law, autonomy and faith in institutions. Not only are the giants of PRS, MCPS and PPL attempting to consolidate the re-sculpted landscape but musicians, publishers cmhekzbxgae0aui-jpglarge-300x240and promoters are all seeking out a role for themselves as curators and campaigners for further decentralisation of control and fair reward.

On the other hand a revolution is underway in the hands of some very musically talented and creative digital innovators. The ODI has enlisted livecoding pioneer Alex Maclean as resident artist and his work. The do not miss event on 15th July ‘Thinking Out Loud‘ will feature his work with 10 collaborators, explore capture and encoding of data, along with fresh information, code and technology installations.

Posted in Report | Comments Off on Apocryphal ecstatic

Gardenzilla

mobilecitygardengroup1mobilecitygardengroup3mobilecitygardengroup2

YT visited Mobile City Garden early in June to attend EcoDA collaborative workshops  held as part of Co-designing resilience project. Hackney wick based Public Works Group hosted the group of locals, garden volunteers and representatives from mobilecitygarden02other projects partners to consider ‘urban resilience’ within the context of the Mobile Garden City and how it relates to their current interests and garden activities.

CO-PRODUCING DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY FOR OPEN-ACCESS KNOWLEDGE

We sat together in an open top shipping container (chilly) and each took turns responding to questions and offered insights of our own. The focus was very much on the needs and activities of the garden but also allowed for consideration of related activities of attendees. One thread of discussion investigated how to add public information systems offering wireless access that direct traffic to inform on general garden updates and biogas status. This was followed with some tasty home grown soup, bread and cake before we retreated from the rain!

davide_poggioDr Davide Poggio is involved in the biogas processing prototype on the site which has a link with biogas pilot ISABEL in Humberside. A dedicated container on site holds the methane processing unit with gas reservoir in construction adjacent. mobilecitygarden-noelSolar panels provide the electrical energy required to activate the pumps and sustain good conditions for gas production.

Local volunteer to the garden project Noel was my very knowledgeable and helpful guide, pointing out with the aid of this site plan where the various elements of the project linked together. There is a large garden nursery area where a wide range of vegetables are grown for use in food production at the on site cafe. I also spotted an outdoor theatre, clay pizza oven and bicycle workshop.. will return soon.

Posted in Mazi, Report | Comments Off on Gardenzilla