Participate in Windowfarms Finland

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Date: 20-21 February 2010
Location: Kiasma 'taka-ikkuna' (window next to theatre on ground floor)
Organisers: Mikko Laajola (FI), Andrew Gryf Paterson (SCO/FI), Niko Punin (FI), Ulla Taipale (FI/ES)
Links: Windowfarms Project, Making of Windowfarms Finland

A group of Finnish makers and artist-producers will create a localised manifestation of the Windowfarms Project in the Kiasma 'taka-ikkuna' site in advance of Pixelache Helsinki Festival. On this weekend, as a Pixelversity event, they will be joined by a group of local enthusiasts wishing to learn more, and participating in the construction of the installation in public.

The project will be installed between 20-22.2, and be exhibited/ growing in Kiasma's 'taka-ikkuna' theatre lobby for 5 weeks between 23.2-28.3.2010, with the aim to grow 81 plants in total, to be harvested for herbologies workshops during Pixelache Festival.  The selection of plants are curated by artists and botanists.

We invite you on weekend 20-21 February to Kiasma 'taka-ikkuna' between 12-18 each day.

**Welcome to come and see what we are doing & learn about hydroponic systems**

We have been keeping a 'Making of..' picture blog of the process.

**Kick-start your own Window Farm for home or office**

Email to: herbologies [-at-] pixelache.ac if you wish to reserve 3 prepared bottles for yourself or your organisation, telling us why.

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'Window Farms' are vertical, hydroponic, modular, low-energy, high-yield edible window gardens built using low-impact or recycled local materials. The 'WindowFarms' project and research was initiated by New York-based Britta Riley and Rebecca Bray in 2009, as part of their shared collaborative work exploring collaborative distributed 'R&DIY' (Research & Do-It-Yourself) solutions for environmental issues.

Their goals were to start a Windowfarming craze in New York City and other dense urban areas, helping people grow some of their food year-round in their apartment windows, and give people a means to collaborate on research and development via their community-editable webpages. Their inspiration for community involvement derives from concepts of local production, mass customization, and crowdsourcing. This project has now evolved into the Windowfarms Project, a non-profit organisation led by Britta Riley, but also blossoming beyond New York and USA.

Within the spirit of DIY culture and open-source production of Pixelache Festival, the Windowfarms Project offers an ideal case not only for presenting this form of artistic research tackling the aforementioned issues, but also the transferability of this DIY information-sharing and modelling, but also how 'R&DIY' projects manifest between communities in different national contexts.  What is involved for the inventors to facilitate, and the makers to learn, who are remote from each other?

Finnish makers Mikko Laajola and Niko Punin are working with Andrew Gryf Paterson and Ulla Taipale/Capsula to create a new localised manifestation of the Window Farms project, using local specialist (hydroponic and LED growing technologies) and recycled materials.  The plants grown will be used in participatory workshops during Pixelache Festival.  More information will be revealed in late February 2010.

This installation forms part of Herbologies/Foraging Networks -programme, exploring the encounter of cultural traditions and knowledge of herbs, edible and medicinal plants, with online networks, open information-sharing and technology.

The basic research, testing and start-up hydroponic materials to begin Window Farms Finland development has been supported by Kultur Kontakt Nord.  Inkind support is given by the University of Helsinki Botanical Gardens to incubate the seeds, nurturing their growth until their transfer to the Window Farms installation.

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[*] Photo credits: Windowfarms Project - Nicholas R. Clark, LEDs - Niko Punin, Sketchup model - Mikko Laajola, Kiasma taka-ikkuna - Andrew Gryf Paterson.