083 :: Back from Bordersessions

I had barely recovered from last weeks unexplained lurgy and then headed off to the Netherlands once again to The Hague to give a talk – this time at bordersessions. Here’s my Trip Report:

First observation, despite public transporting being incredible over there. The Hague is just that bit further away from everything. Previously it has seemed trivial to just hop cities whilst i’ve been staying. But hoping from The Hague to Rotterdam or up to Amsterdam for dinner etc is a bit more of a mission. I should also note that its more a little more of a mission to get to the airport if you miss the fast train. (Not that I wan’t to relive the trauma of my return journey which included nearly missing my flight on the pages of this blog)

Anyways. I’d never been to The Hague before. I learnt that like 60% of the people who live and work there work for the government. Like a souped up company town I suppose. It does have a lot of church bells, and thats lovely.

The first night of the festival was speakers drinks and the headlining interview with Paul Mason. He was talking about his newest book Clear Bright Future.

Mason

During the day the next day I attended the workshop ‘How to measure the ecological development of a zoöp?’ at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam. the emerging project continuing from the Terrafiction workshops I took part in last year.

In the zoöp concept: an important role is played by the zoönomic instrument that helps indicate the
ecological development of the collective body of nonhumans within the zoöp.

I didn’t take any pictures during the workshop but I did tweet this:

You get the idea

It was good to see other folks there. Sjef, Klass, Theun, Ian etc. Also the folks who have commitments to start a zoöp. Let me tell you, wild speculative ecological conversations in Holland are a decade ahead of where they are in the UK.

I’ve spoken to Sjef and Theun about it a few times now. I suppose its partly around the Netherlands being a totally human managed environment. Landscape engineering is Just what you do with a decade. I dearly hope that when the opportunity arrises, I can some how be the conduit to segue all this important work and thinking into the UK.

Anyway, that evening I spoke on Solarpunk And The Great Unfolding: Building Keystones Of Continuity at the main festival night. The talk was quite well attended and I had some really interesting conversations afterwards at the bar.

Quote from Solarpunk Anarchists Dot Com

I also saw some other fantastic talks, one about the burgeoning Kite energy sector, and another panel on the Zoop, which was all on more than human personhood. Many assumptions at the beginning of the panel, the audience nodded along with zero pushback – wouldn’t of happened in the UK for sure.

Friday, I had the day to myself. I was thinking about attending some of the other workshops as part of the festival but my social battery was below absolute zero so I took myself off to see James Turrell’s celestial vault and ‘The Sand Engine’. Took a fun long assed bus ride though the outskirts of The Hague to the coast.

In the Nerthelands, all the roadsides are planted with wild flowers.

I got to the coast and set about hiking to the vault. You crest a big hill and are greeted with the crater

First Sight of the Vault

You then enter via a tunnel wall and see the alter:

I spent about an hour in the vault. Laying on the alter looking up at the sky. Seeing the first sunshine that had been in the sky since arriving 2 days before hand, the sideways rain had stopped whilst I was on the bus there. It was an amazing experience to have such a long private time with the art work.

I went to see Hollands ‘Sand Engine’ that was further down the coast.

The sand engine (also called Sand Motor) is an experiment in the management of dynamic coastline. The first one was run off South Holland in the Netherlands. A sandcastle-shaped peninsula was created by humans; the surface is about 1 km². It is expected that this sand is then moved over the years by the action of waves, wind and currents along the coast. To protect the West of the Netherlands against the sea,

Wikipedia

At this point. I was 90mins from the bus stop and about 2.5 hours from my hotel. I was also burning a little bit. Ill prepared for 23 degree heat with a rain coat stuffed into my travel pack.

In the evening i went for dinner with Theun Karelse and Ian Ingram in Amsterdam and I enjoyed their company a lot.

The bar had total solarpunk vibes

Permanently Moved

No podcast (see above)

Dipping the Stacks

900-year-old grape pips reveal unbroken history of French wine variety | Science | The Guardian

“The Medea Hypothesis:” a downhill trajectory for life on Earth | The Seattle Times

The Controversy of NASA’s EmDrive”

his is a $15 trillion opportunity for farmers to fight climate change

The Ministry

The hour that I spent ‘charging up’ on the Alter was very impactful to me. I let my mind wander in a way that I only really do when doing Journeying practice outside of meditaiton.

Laying on the alter in the sun looking up at the sky i felt gears shift and engage, like a complicated pocket watch ticking back to life. I spent a lot of time thinking about what I am doing with my life, and experiencing a humbling.

Indeed, having a lot of free time to myself in a foreign country outside of festival commitments gave me a lot of opportunity to just consider.

Routes though and ways forward. Self reflection, hubris and resolve.

Reading

Still smashing though Warhammer books i’m afraid. Im sure you are not interested but I read 2 books last week. Vengeful Spirit + The Silent War.

Music

I was listening to a lot of Sun 0)))s life metal album. Thats about it.

Remember kids:

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040 :: Late Again

To whom it may concern: It is springtime.

– Kurt Vonnegut

Narrative

Yup. Late again because I was travelling/working. I really think I should probably double down on the schedule and stick to it regardless of what I’m doing. I didn’t even do the podcast last week. as I was on a plane and traveling around. Thats said, I don’t think that I couldn’t have made one on the go.. I own a tiny mono-mic that plugs into my phone so… yeah. My Bad.

I was having a great time wandering around Amsterdam in the morning on Thursday and then Rotterdam before I spoke at Het Nieuwe Instituut in the evening.  The talk was well attended for a (bank holiday) and it went well:

Title: Solarpunk: A grand dress rehearsal in remaking our present and future history.

Blurb: Right now, across disparate fields, a future is being built. But the future does not passively ‘arrive’ fully formed from the aether, we must first meet it the way humanity has always done: though dreams, stories and song. This talk will explore narrative strategies and strategic narratives such as RetroSuburbia and Land as Platform to make life more wonderful for us right now, and more importantly for the generations that follow.

I’m not sure how the talk will be posted online but I’ll find out. If its not documented in full I might ask for the audio from the board and slap the slides over the top and post it to medium or something.

After the event we drank tiny beers and I finally met Mx from Terra0.org and a bunch of people from Fiber Festival and also Boarder Sessions, plus its funny that Bratton’s New Normal Crew are everywhere in the circles I move in. It was really worth while.

On the Friday there was a workshop that was about living along side DAOS etc. Definitely hints of the European creative scene are goldilocksing their way to re-enchanting the world, but Calvinism has run a real number on the Dutch thats for sure especially the atheist ones.

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I’m grateful to IAS Associate Sjef for his hospitality and also the link up to the Nieuwe Instituut in the first place.

Permanently Moved

Permanently late more like amiright?

Dipping the stacks

Who the fuck cares anymore about social media? Since i installed Twitter Demetricator and put my phone in black and white I definitely have spent less time on it.

The Ministry

Well apart from all the stuff above I have a new laundry list of things I need to work on. And I need to plough though them as quickly as possible as i’m away again for 10 days at the end of May.

Wish me luck.

Reading

I’ve started reading The Contemplative Journey by Thomas Keating Fr. Thomas Keating, is a Trappist monk and priest, known as one of the architects of Centering Prayer, a contemporary method of contemplative prayer, that emerged from St. Joseph’s Abbey, Spencer, Massachusetts, in 1975. It’s fascinating to read so soon after St Teresa of Ávila’s The Interior Castle.

Music

Some of my best buds in the whole wide world have a new album out. If you are interested where the state of the UK’s Country/Folk Scene is this album is the Shonky Tonk British Doom Folk album for you

Remember Kids:

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036 :: Technical Support

“Lack of proper planning does not constitute an emergency” – Ancient Project Manager Saying

Narrative

Been a super fun week. Went drinking with Dr Kane Bidwell last night so I am feeling a little slow today. I need to get back up to full speed by later as we have friends coming over for more drinking. Its a nice life.

The weather is going to be gorgeous for the next week up to 23 degrees on Wednesday so i’m planning on going for a lot of walks by the thames and in Richmond park and will just spend the time thinking about my upcoming talks for May. I usually write/give the whole thing in my head over and over and then sit down and make the supporting slides. I’m hoping to have draft 1 of both talks complete by this time next week.

I bought some EZY Jeans from uniqlo and have been telling absolutly everyone how amazing they are. They have literally become my favourite item of clothing – maybe ever. I’m wearing them right now. A friend texted me saying “The EZY Jean comfort community welcomes you” lol.

Eve has started renting a counselling / therapy room in Kingston, I’m not sure if i’ve mentioned it by we have been running around the last 2 weeks getting everything ready for that. its looks great, she had her first client in it Sunday, and two other councillors are interested in renting the room already so that is 100% great! So proud of her.

Permanently Moved

Episode 4 has come around quickly. In this episode I address some feedback, moan about the neighbours, make a few announcements, and begin a new (hopefully) recurring segment called tech support.

It’s also now available in all your favourite pod catchers! (iTunes is still in review tho)

Peer to peer web Berlin: peer-to-peer-web.com/berlin/2018-05-05

Solarpunks podcast signup form eepurl.com/dqHO-9

Dipping the stacks

I don’t even know why people are so mad. This narrative has been 3 years in the making.

The Ministry

I’m speaking at peer to peer web Berlin on May the 5th!

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I’m speaking at het nieuwe instituut in Rotterdam on May the 10th and there will be a workshop on the 11th

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My talk title for Rotterdam:

Solarpunk: A grand dress rehearsal in remaking our present and future history.

Right now, across disparate fields, a future is being built. But the future does not passively ‘arrive’ fully formed from the aether, we must first meet it the way humanity has always done: though dreams, stories and song. This talk will explore narrative strategies and strategic narratives such as RetroSuburbia and Land as Platform to make life more wonderful for us right now, and more importantly for the generations that follow.

If you have a Runesoup subscription and are so inclined you can hear me talk with Gordon about solarpunk for over an hour in the bonus member material.

I’ve been writing a lot of fiction recently (500 words a day) and I’ve resurrected my hard sci-fi solarpunk novella which is a sci-fi novel where the world building is all technologies that exist today. Super solarpunk tbh.

Elvia Wilk wrote a long post over on e-flux about solarpunk: Is Ornamenting Solar Panels a Crime?

Reading

I’m still reading Improbable Botany And   The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf.

I also would like to point your attention to this long read on solar orientated cities

Music

Junglepussy has new music.

 

 

Remember Kids:

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