The Luminous Green panel was held on the 30th of July 2008 in Singapore, as a part of ISEA2008. It consisted of a series of moderated conversations, hosted loosely as a world café. More than fifty people participated in the discussions, that were skillfully moderated by eight hosts: Alok Nandi, Andrea Polly, Angelo Vermeulen, Bello Benischauer & Prayas Abhinav, Drew Hemment, Liesbeth Huybrechts and Lynn Hughes.

Prior to, and in collaboration with, Luminous Green, Drew Hemment hosted the Urban Climate Camp, consisting of a series of 'quick-fire' presentations from a range of participants, whose work engages in the environment, followed by an open discussion. After the Urban Climate Camp, Luminous Green provided a chance for the participants to pro-actively deepen and broaden some of the conversations that started in this discussion, as well as propose new topics.

Both Luminous Green and the Urban Climate Camp took place in the Function Room of the School of Information systems (SIS), Singapore Management University (SMU), 80 Stamford Road, Singapore 178902.

The Luminous Green panel was an open discussion forum, in which we examined the five themes of ISEA2008 (locating media, wikiwiki, ludic interfaces, reality jam and border transmissions) under the lens of environmental and social turbulence. Which elements of contemporary electronic arts can assist human cultures to adapt to turbulent and uncertain conditions? If we look at the problems of distribution of goods, people and information – can we learn from the robustness of distributed collaboration, so well represented in 'wiki' culture and locative media. Awareness of resource consumption or could greatly enhanced by multi-sensory mixed reality technologies. Gaming culture has a plethora of tools and techniques to engage players in demanding pursuits; some of these techniques can be further developed, to raise awareness and knowledge and action – in a playful, imaginative manner. Climate Chaos is a global problem, which does not recognise national or economic borders. However, our 'global society' is still riddled with border disputes, exclusions and conflicts; perhaps some of the 'open re:source' models from software and electronic arts could offer interesting models for more inclusive trans-local societies, more apt for livining in an environment of turbulence. During the discussion these topics were explored from multiple points-of-view inquiring into the role we play in the feisty planetary eco-systems.

As the last session of ISEA2008, Luminous Green aimed to provide an inspiring space for open-ended discussions, in which the delegates could get a chance to exchange impressions, discuss issues that haven't been touched upon during the conference, as well as reflect on the role of electronic arts in a wider context of environmental and social sustainability. We explored the five themes as tools to adapt to the turbulent weather, social, political and economic contexts that we live in already today, but that might become increasingly turbulent in the future. Moving beyond adaptation, we looked at how turbulence and instability can entice a more enlightened and imaginative culture, technology & help us developing a greener side of our minds & bodies…

We live in a world in which the social, economic and ecological systems that surround us are often both highly complex and interrelated together in subtle yet important ways. As a result, there are times when our singular, local interventions, plans, policies and organizations are inadequate or insufficient to meet the challenges that face us. We need planetary visions and trans-local, transdisciplinary actions – Luminous Green panel aimed to facilitate such actions by encouraging the participants to build bridges between every individual in the room, learn from each other's endeavours & spawn new initiatives.

During the conversations, the participants attempted to answer the following questions:

What can the electronic arts contribute to a life in turbulent weather?

  • What can locative media do to improve the conditions of specific locations and trans-locality?
  • How can wikis contribute to a more open collaboration & co-creation across the globe?
  • Can we deploy games and play to raise awareness, educate and rehearse possible futures?
  • What can we gain from mixing physical and digital realities?
  • Where and when should tactical media be deployed to guard and dissolve borders and edges?

How can we help make the electronic arts more luminous green?

  • In other words - how can electronic arts become more self sustaininging and nourishing the environment around them?

In an attempt to answer this question, we could be inspired by permaculture's guild gardening – designing interactive systems of plants and animals that can sustain and help each other: some fix nitrogen, some generate nutrients and energy, others are mulching, improving the local environment, some plants are fortresses that provide protection, others are facilitators of interaction… so in terms of electronic arts, can we imagine ourselves being a part of an electronic arts guild – guild of reality mixers, wiki gnomes, gamers, mappers, tactical warriors and locative scouts, what would you do to help make electronic arts as a whole into a self-sustaining practice? For example:

  • Can we convert waste from one world into food for another; what can we do to generate less waste; can we mix realities so that we recycle what is considered waste in one reality into food for another?
  • Can we generate our own energy? Electronic arts require working with electricity & we often talk about 'generative' media; how can we begin generate not only media, but our own electricity?
  • How can we improve the condition of the local environment? What comes after 'mapping' for locative media working with location & trans-locality?
  • How can we foster diversity & evolution of our field? Do electronic arts truly connect previously disparate strands of human knowledge to create more wholistic visions?
  • Are media arts able to protect its members from possible threats? What can tactical media do to make to safeguard open channels of communication?
  • Should we perhaps not take ourselves too seriously and play a bit more?
  • Or perhaps we should do much, much less, as Bruce Sterling said – the most sustainable wo/man is a dead wo/man, or in Masanobu Fukuoka's words, “There is no other way than to bring about a movement not to bring anything about…”

In an attempt to answer these questions, each of the hosts chose a topic close to their hearts, that focused the discussions in seven distinct groups. For example, Alok Nandi focused on the theme of 'saturation', Angelo Vermeulen 'imagination', etc. See discussion summaries for more information.

Who participated? See participants_2008… –

Luminous Green Singapore is a co-production of FoAM and ISEA 2008. Supported by the IDS Programme of the Singapore Design Council, The Culture 2000 Framework of the European Commission (for gRig) and the Flemish Authorities.

  • luminous/panel_2008.txt
  • Last modified: 2011-10-20 08:04
  • by alkan