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tuesday :: december 21, 2004
climate change: message from the artic indigenous peoples

To Arctic Indigenous Peoples, the message in the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) is clear and stark: human-induced global climate change is happening in the Arctic now and will accelerate in decades ahead with dramatic and widespread impacts, effects and consequences.

With summer sea-ice reduced by the end of the century to a remnant in the vicinity of the North Pole; the projected decrease and possible disappearance of polar bears, walrus, and some species of seals; disruptions to the migratory patterns of caribou and loss of reindeer habitat; the possible disappearance of traditional fisheries; and wholesale changes to coastal zones, permafrost and treed areas, and settlement patterns; the ways of life of Arctic residents, particularly Indigenous Peoples, are at risk. Global climate change will drive and determine social and economic development throughout this vast region in the 21st Century and beyond. What is to be done about it is the challenge of our times.

To Arctic Indigenous Peoples climate change is a cultural issue. We have survived in a harsh environment for thousands of years by listening to its cadence and adjusting to its rhythms. We are part of the environment and if, as a result of global climate change, the species of animals upon which we depend are greatly reduced in number or location or even disappear, we, as peoples would become endangered as well.

For some years we have seen and reported environmental and social impacts of global climate change. Climate change is already threatening our ways of life and poses everyday, practical questions, such as when and where to go hunting, and when and when not to travel. Indeed, the findings of the ACIA show that the Arctic climate is changing twice as fast as that of the rest of the world. There is very little time for Indigenous Peoples and the resources on which we depend to adjust and adapt.

Worldwide ecological impacts that result from global climate change are first noticeable in the circumpolar North, explaining why this region is often characterized as the globe's "barometer" of environmental health. It is also why in 2003 the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) called for increased monitoring in the Arctic. Alteration of the Arctic climate is very likely to affect the rest of the world through increased sea levels and increased warming of lower latitudes causing major economic and social disruption. What is happening to us now will occur to others further south in years to come.

Our environmental observations are supported in the ACIA. Our traditional knowledge - incorporating historic and contemporary observations - complements science-based observations. Both are reported in the ACIA, a unique and important feature of this assessment. >from *Time for Action on Climate Change. A Statement by Arctic Indigenous Peoples* signed by Michael Zacharof President Aleut International Association, Gary Harrison International Chair Arctic Athabaskan Council, Joe Linklater Chair Gwitch'in Council International, Sheila Watt-Cloutier International Chair Inuit Circumpolar Conference, Sergei Haruchi President Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Geir Tommy Pedersen President Saami Council. October 21, 2004

related context
RealClimate. 'RealClimate is a commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists for the interested public and journalists. we aim to provide a quick response to developing stories and provide the context sometimes missing in mainstream commentary. the discussion here is restricted to scientific topics and will not get involved in any political or economic implications of the science.'
> global warming continues. 'the year 2004 was the fourth hottest ever recorded and the past decade was the warmest since measurements began in 1861. over the 20th century, the global surface temperature increased by more than 0.60C. the rate of change for the period since 1976 is roughly three times that for the past 100 years as a whole.' world meteorological organization, december 15, 2004
> nasa eyes ice changes around earth's frozen caps. 'earth's ice cover is changing rapidly near its poles. recent studies point to new evidence of relationships between climate warming, ice changes and sea level rise.' december 14, 2004
> human activity to blame for 2003 heatwave. 'human activity has increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and more than doubled the risk of record-breaking hot european summers, like that of 2003.' december 2, 2004
> species extinction. 'unlike the mass-extinction events of geological history, the current extinction phenomenon is one for which a single species - ours - appears to be almost wholly responsible. major threats to ecosystems and biological diversity are: habitat loss and fragmentation, over exploitation, pollution, invasions of alien species, global climate change (changes in migratory species patterns, coral bleaching, etc.).' november , 2004
> up in smoke? threats from, and responses to, the impact of global warming on human development. 'the impact of global warming is being felt most by the world's poorest people, as many of our case studies make clear. food production, water supplies, public health, and people's livelihoods are all being damaged and undermined. global warming threatens to reverse human progress.' october 20, 2004
> oil peak: the most pivotal challenge facing modern civilization. 'it is time to come together and acknowledge our collective vulnerability, and begin working to change the structure of our culture and civilization in ways we've never attempted before.' june 23, 2004
> climate change may come as a shock. 'north-western europe could be in for some sudden climatic surprises in the future... kept warm by an ocean current... this current is sensitive to global warming and could slow down, or even break down as a result of increasing global temperatures.' january 30, 2004
> yanomami, spirit of the forest. 'to connect our conception of images and representations with that of another culture... features neither tribal feather ornaments, nor any 'amerindian' or 'crossover' art. nor is this an ethnological or humanitarian exhibition. treating yanomami thought on an equal footing.' october 22, 2003
> unesco: universal declaration on cultural diversity. adopted in the wake of the events of 11 september 2001, reaffirmed that intercultural dialogue is the best guarantee of peace and rejected outright the theory of the inevitable clash of cultures and civilizations. it raises cultural diversity to the level of 'the common heritage of humanity', 'as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature' and makes its defence an ethical imperative indissociable from respect for the dignity of the individual. november 2, 2001

tupilaks or snow goggles.
what do we need to see what's going on up north?

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friday :: december 17, 2004
cityborg.net, a digital interface with our world

A presentation of cityborg, "a digital interface with our world," and some related creative projects that will use the cityborg distro -- mobile computer, kinetic sculpture revisited by technology and greenbots, ecologist artbots -- or develop cityborg itself -- social networks generator --.

"cityborg is a cultural project oriented to build a digital open platform to generate social networks in our mediated environments. our open basis are the cityborg distro, a gnu/linux distribution, and the related internet node, cityborg.net.

the roots of cityborg are nurtured by the energy and growing dynamics of 'collective of collectives' in barcelona' underground. in this 'primordial soup' we feel the need for a new cultural tool that synthesyze and contribute to the new cultural movement (free software, urban explorers, diyers, hackivists...)." >from *cityborg*.

"The work we are producing is a hanging mobile, or kinetic structure, that is suspended above the audience, and consists of a number of functional motherboards (nodes). Each of these nodes processing data instructions from a controlling computer (root). The results of this network of computers (cluster) will be the delivery of their combined calculations in a visual projection of imagery.

We believe that computer parts & components are un-recyclable waste products. We have noticed how commerce is discarding it's 'depreciated' computer equipment to be replaced by new generation computers that are faster, with larger hard drives and newer technology, which will again be thrown away within the following three to four years. These upgrades are required and completely justified, as software and operating systems inflate in size, demanding more powerful equipment to maintain fundamentally the same level of productivity.

We want to demonstrate that computer waste is by no means justified. The concept of this this project was seeded there. Computer waste is still very useful. We are appealing to commercial and governmental bodies/institutions to donate their computer waste so that we can demonstrate it's usefulness by the creation of network cluster in the form of a hanging mobile." >from *mobile computer project: kinetic sculpture enhanced with technology* by Bruce Thomas

"Artbots are small robots able to develop some type of creative activity, or also, can be considered by themselves artistic pieces due to the way in which they are constructed, within which already is call 'robotic art.' Many types exist and unimaginable forms, thus, but the popular ones are artbots painters and musicians. Like the dorkbot community, exists an important world-wide community around artbots. For this reason from dorkbot Barcelona we are interested to contribute something new to this world-wide project.

The present environmental politics taked by certain countries is finishing and will end with the planet in less time of the one than we imagined... This is a reality and is necessary to look for ways to make people aware... this it is the objective of this proposal. For it I propose to make small robots loaded with environmental sensors and solar paddles who located themselves in estrategic points (with strong contamination) of the city where the installation mounts. These artbots can change his form somehow or to make some action greater or smaller on something in function of the parameter is measuring (imagine one similar to fish globe inflatable..., or one in form of butterfly that eextends its wings and becomes cocoon, others based on insects, either other that does to grow 'enredaderas' creating drawing which single camera of monitoring can be seen from one publishes (we can use cameras with ip which they make and streaming in realtime), all this to occur to understand the environmental level of polution which we are put under continuously." >from *greenbots * by Alex Posada

cityborg presentation by david galligani & josep saldaņa
mobile compute: kinetic sculpture enhanced with technology by bruce thomas, greenbots by alex posada, and social networks generator by gerald kogler
+ barcelona 2004 videos
friday, december 17, 2004. 20:30 h
straddle3. c/ riereta, 32 1-3

related context
locative media lab. 'we can now alter social and spatial aspects of the rooms, campuses and neighbourhoods we inhabit. walls, doors and curtains have become increasingly archaic interface elements.'
> 'i see what i see not' by tim otto roth. exploring the images of astronomy and elementary particle physics -- the most distant and next boundaries of the cosmos--, in the world's first facade which can be fashioned via internet.
> neighbornodes: wireless extensible neighborhood network. 'a project that merges the location-specific nature of the neighborhood with the universal, networked nature of the web.' november 12, 2004

self-adjusting interface usb box

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friday :: december 10, 2004
the green into our urban open spaces

Urban planners must recognise that green spaces are not produced by professional designers alone, but by ordinary residents and all manner of plants and insects, animals and birds making themselves at home in our cities and towns, says new research sponsored by the ESRC.

What makes urban green spaces green is that they are 'living' - and it is this 'more-than-human' interactivity that is key to understanding what makes cities habitable.

Over the past decade, the ecology of the UK's urban areas has gained the kind of conservation significance once reserved for rural and sparsely populated regions. Scientists now recognise that cities sustain important 'communities' of plants and animals drawn together from many different routes and places. Urban wildlife groups, amateur naturalists and voluntary organisations have been key players in bringing about this change of emphasis.

For the study, researchers investigated cultivation, conservation and restoration activities in the allotments, woods and brownfield sites of Birmingham and Bristol, including producing 60 hours of video footage recording social and ecological changes through the year.

Their report describes in detail, among other things, the benefits of interaction between people, creatures and plants in activities such as allotment gardening, hedge-laying and landscaping.

Professor Whatmore said: "Our research has highlighted the ecological and social diversity of urban landscapes, tracking some of the flora and fauna of cities. These plants and animals are not only valuable in conservation terms - some of Britain's rarest species, like water vole and Black Redstarts, live in cities - they are also key components of urban life. Whether rare or abundant, people put a lot into and take a lot of pleasure from urban green spaces."

Importantly, researchers found a great variety of ecological expertise among residents' groups; allotment associations, and others such as wildlife groups, including practical skills and local knowledge picked up through everyday observations, acquired know-how and shared enthusiasms. As a result, their report calls for a redistribution of expertise to ensure that valuable local skills and knowledge are tapped by scientists and planning authorities responsible for green spaces.

Among examples of local action they describe are an informal group of Birmingham residents fighting alongside a wildlife trust to save a site threatened by fly-tipping, off-road driving and dog walking. Others include a project aimed at working with a local community to make better use of community gardens, many of which have been long abandoned and are a danger to public health. And they cite examples of people who organise regular wildlife surveys and clean-ups in their local woods.

A forum entitled 'Living cities: a new agenda for urban natures', was staged by the research team in December, 2003.

Professor Whatmore said: "This project has strengthened our grasp of the practical know-how, passionate enthusiasm and ecological concern that city residents bring to bear in creating various kinds of urban green space. And our findings challenge policy makers and scientists to engage the knowledge of ordinary local people more constructively in the future." >from *How city dwellers and living things put the green into our urban open spaces*. November 25, 2004

related context
project for public spaces. 'creating and sustaining public places that build communities... helping people to grow their public spaces into vital community places.'
> parccentralpark. 'an emerging urban kitchen.'
> robotariumx. 'conceived for a public garden, it is constituted by a large glass structure containing 30 to 40 completely autonomous and self-sufficient small robots... although it can be related to other didactic displays, like the aquarium, the herbarium or the reptarium, the robotarium realizes a critical questioning of knowledge.'

an urban green powder builds our city

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friday :: december 3, 2004
r23.cc: riereta.net audio/video stream platform

r23.cc is the radio of Riereta.net, a technologic workshop located in the heart of Barcelona. It was born about a year, maybe a year and a half ago, with the idea to build open and alternative means of communication. r23.cc is an open communication platform from the core, from the very bone. The software that makes it possible is Pure Data, an object oriented programming environment for realtime audio and video processing... and it is free software/open source.

As r23.cc is free from the very engine, the contents must also be free. All the music that sounds at r23.cc come from different net labels, or record companies that distribute music in MP3 format or the alternative open source audio format: OGG/Vorbis; The main part of the net labels reserve just some rights for their releases under the Creative Commons license. With this license the artist chooses which rights wants to have or not about his/her music. The will of 23.cc is to promote that music as a way to support to the Creative Commons musical community and any other artists around the world who desire to distribute their creations in a free way.

Promotion and support of activist events is another aim at r23.cc. Most of events, or certain occurrences in the activist/social field, that are uncomfortable for the main part of the conventional means of communication, find their place at r23.cc. That can happen in various ways: users that have experienced a certain occurrence in first person can upload audio files to the server, to be streamed later. Live realtime streamings are also possible, or interviews with individuals and collectives that work in the field of social movements or in activisim of every kind.

The concept of radio has always been related to the studio. The neuralgic center where everything happens. That neuralgic center produces, records, edits, processes and receives audio from mobile units. Then that audio is sent from the studio to the emmissor, and from there to the receptors or listeners: the audience. At r23.cc that neuralgic center is moved to the server: within the server, audio files are received, stored and transmitted through the internet. NetRadio can happen anywhere. The studio can be the street, a concert hall, a club, someone´s home... Few things are needed: a computer, the convenient software, a microphone maybe, and internet access. And the clients (listeners) receive that audio through their computer, and are able to choose from different channels of the same 'radio station'. Or they can, via web, and thanks to a GPL application called netjuke, make and manage their own playlists with the music stored on the server, and share them with other users or listeners. Or upload their own audios and thus, the user/listener can contribute actively to the content of r23.cc.

But... we love ancient radio too. In the thirties and the fourties, music was played live from the radio studios, nowadays is a rare thing. So our hommage to ancient radio is to bring live musical performances to our little workshop, that five times a week is a sort of a radio studio and soon, a netTV studio too. >from *r23.cc: an article* by Antōnia Folguera, r23.cc

related context
riereta.net. 'a small dark techworkshop in the raval, barcelona's old town -- or: ...a human trusted network that owes very much to the model of free software communities, both for the software used, and for the internal organisation, based on spontaneity, curiosity and cooperation.' article by jaume nualart published in e.u. dash best practice
> think tools for revolution!. d-form + pd~convention04 + trans cultural mapping > reclaim the streams! pd as the lenguage for media hacking. september 17, 2004
> manifesto of urban televisions: open access television. 'the culture of independent communication in any form, from video activism to free radios to free software, has opened a new space among common media and technologies, a space whose political and cultural citizenship must now be recognized. the cultural, political and legal frame of this movement is a space that we call public domain of communication... a sphere which does not belong neither to the state nor to the market, but to the whole society.' april 23, 2003
> wireless commons, a turning point, 'we will work to define and achieve a wireless commons built using open spectrum, and able to connect people everywhere. we believe there is value to an independent and global network which is open to the public.' january 22, 2003
> open spectrum: spectrum as a commons, 'digital technologies are smart enough to distinguish between signals, allowing users to share the airwaves without exclusive licensing. instead of treating spectrum as a scarce physical resource, we could make it available to all as a commons, an approach known as open spectrum.' december 18, 2002
> streamer: pirate radio for the digital age. 'a response to the closing of audiogalaxy and the imminent closure of many net radio stations. streamer is an internet radio program that allows anyone to broadcast streaming mp3 music, to an unlimited number of listeners, from an internet connection as humble as a 56k modem, and with the broadcasting pc being fairly untraceable.' july 4, 2002
> save internet radio: dmca threatens internet radio. april 29, 2002
> gnu radio: software defined radio. 'gnu radio is a free software defined radio, which will let use inexpensive hardware to turn any pc into a receiver or recorder for any type of radio signal you prefer; the signal is interpreted entirely in software. software radio will be designed to get your computer to do all sorts of signal processing, eventually all radio bands, paging, cellular phone, gps receiver, color tv or event hdtv.' june 27, 2002

riereta street vibrating

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