Marking bloom

As we concluded the third Creeknet meet-up at Stephen Lawrence Centre this week, it was great to welcome this group of residents from the boating community of Deptford Creek.

The large converted coal barge, Luna, moors alongside a nest of boats in the mud at No2 Creekside and this is where will next meet-up again in March. It’s home to ten young people who share the residence and have expressed enthusiasm to shape their own futures here by improving communications between boat owners and public awareness of river living. Concerns over continuity of mooring for the many boats here is uppermost in everyones mind as development plans emerge that throw assumption about tenure into questions.

When we last spoke to Julian Kingston, he mentioned how difficulties in communications between the new LLP owning the yard, the DLR and boat owners was provoking anxiety. Land access here for moored boats depends on continued good will and understanding from all parties. Shoreside utilities, access to clean water and sanitation, power and telecoms are vital.

The bees too depend on stable environment and the apiary on shore here has 3 busy hives to service. Deptford honey is excellent as it is made with nectar collected from wild flowers of the creek as well as from domestic garden varieties and tree blossom. Interested in beekeeping? then visit Park Beekeeping for expert advise and top quality equipment.

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Post unitary

Ongoing MAZI research into DIY networks and complimentary solutions has turned up many great options. Our current favorite is Sandstorm.io a a collaboration suite of open source software which continues to develop and swell with features.

Three new servers in centres of activity, have been introduced where the rising need for safe, secure and stable alternatives to corporate cloud is called for by subscribers and collaborators.

DHC | MDR | friends

Friends at Brookmill Park and Deptford Creek currently share access to their Sandstorm tools installed onto an Atom powered mini PC which is well suited to the task. Demands on the server is still very modest at this point but with new friends gaining skills and interest this will change. They have started making use of the Etherpad (whiteboard), Davros (file store) and Weekan board (list manager) tools. Both groups are still practicing with their respective wordpress based websites at commercial webhosts though these too could be hosted within Sandstorm.

At Deptford Housing Coop the members share FTTC broadband access over a structured wired network and wireless access system SPC installed in 2003 and continues to maintain. Over a hundred people a day rely on continuity of access for their web, mail and media needs. More recent requests for shared resources and services have mostly been met with addition of an other sandstorm server here very recently.

Mayday Rooms in Fleet Street hosts an array of archive activation, cultural collaboration and social intervention processes which grows in scope and it’s requirement of network resources, secure messaging, project management and collective development tools. Many of the weekly processes of booking rooms, engaging archives and holding together of the administration tasks depends on email, web and face to face arrangements being accessible and track-able. Some of these tasks may well be better suited to alternatives, some of which are well supported in Sandstorm so we are giving it a go!

You can’t rush at any of these solutions in the hope that all difficulties and obstructions to communication fade to transparency on contact. Working locally and acknowledging limited abilities, preserving a strong sense of respect and appreciation for privacy concerns, demands attention and requires dedication of effort on us all.

Mazi is well on track to present combinations of network and collective development tools in 2018, a pick and mix of hardware, software and scenario conditioning, though we are not there yet! Adoption of ultra low power ARM based pc’s like Raspberry Pi for a multitude of tasks is on a rocket. On the flipside, a mountain of small format, legacy laptop and powerful low cost / free desktop i386 hardware is in great abundance, a glut even, these are perfect hosts for Sandstorm.

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Layered stakes

The very recent death of friend and collaborator Armin Medosch has us all shocked. A stomach cancer diagnosis in December 2016 was all too late to avert such rapid and devastating effects.

We last met at a memorable post Hybrid Cities dinner in Athens, September 2015,  where he had talked on ‘Cities of the Sun’ and recalled early wireless network adventures in Hackney, celebrating the network commons process so many of us continue to work on. Perhaps there is a recording of the keynote he presented there..? I just found this interesting talk on the rise of Network Commons, one more of so many on a wide range of subjects!

Tributes from friends and colleagues around Europe are stacking up in Nettime.org each pinpointing personal reflections on his great character, warmth and passion for the social in digital, a critical eye on culture, network politics, his commitment and courage. Obituaries in Rizhome, Wired and Telepolis now also detailing a life’s work and lasting impact. Now also a book! wow so perhaps this account will continue to be amended for a while!

Memories flying thick and fast, thinking back over many years of his intensity and enthusiasm. We first met in autumn of 1995 when he arrived at Obsolete offices in Clink Street, fresh from a bruising experience aboard ms.Stubnitz. His passion then, fixed on non-linear video archives, but we were already too distracted by WWW to take it on. It wasn’t long before he was in regular contact, at Backspace, activating Cybersalon, co-ordinating Artservers Unlimited , always making Waves!

His constructive involvement in so many activities, with such critical sensibility, influenced and inspired us all. During so much of this period we were all effected by the ‘rush’, spinning ahead of the times. We ranted about DIY networking ideas that fused as Consume, morphed with Berlon into a mesh awakening that grew internationally.

Armin wrote for Mute, Telepolis, Acoustic Space and formulated the MA in Digital Theory at Ravensbourne College. He launched into work on The Next layer blog whilst compiling of his New Tendencies Phd at Goldsmiths and delivered talks at many public events across Europe. With the publishing of most recent book New Tendencies, he was again traveling to promote ideas and expand minds with flair and passion.

Now as ever he has rushed on to cross the gap ahead of us all, to who knows where! See you on the other side mate. Thanks for everything.

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Yard armed

YT first met with Spacestudios some 15 years ago at a time when Gini Simpson was arranging a media lab for the Bridget Riley studios, Hackney Wick. We climbed up to the roof on at least one occasion, plotting how we could establish a wireless bridge to the Triangle Studios on Mare Street to link the artist communities together and stimulate interaction.

We all got swept up in a storm of enthusiasm for DIY infrastructure projects, open source software, file-sharing and peer 2 peer experiments but perhaps inevitably some of these grander plans have escaped us!

This week we will be visiting a small yard in an all but forgotten corner of Islington north London to install wireless access points that will share a broadband service between the 12 artist studios. It’s very easy to imagine horses and carriages clattering over the cobbles, the shuffling of hay bales and the banter of stable life. Today it is used by a quiet group of fine artists, ceramicists and sculptors. All continue to brave the chill of the Victorian work-spaces and period drama of the unique setting. I hope they find the value of  latter-day networking  outweighs the interruption of such tranquility.

Many of the buildings in the huge Spacestudio network across east London, now boast excellent internet access but rarely share local resources. It doesn’t follow that they identify with each others work online or express an awareness of the untapped potential for collaboration these network services still hold. 

SPC continues to test and press for greater experimentation and adoption of locally hosted network services. Our current favorite is the Sandstorm collaborative suite which offers a huge range of secure communication tools and will run locally on a low power PC. It’s very easy to install and operate and will run ok on legacy hardware so give it a go!

The MAZI toolkit will also offer a unique combination of options to support the ‘collective awareness platforms for sustainability’ motives. The latest custom version for the Raspberry Pi offers a selection of network, collaboration sensor and democracy tools.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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