Made in Ghana by a grassroots group of makers and shipped from AMP’s first makers hub in Accra’s Agbogbloshie scrapyard, the spacecraft, stationed at ZKM during the exhibition Digital Imaginaries, has now landed in the center of Karlsruhe within the Seasons of Media Arts framework.
The alternative architecture of Spacecraft_ZKM – a low-cost, open-source, and small-scale capsule – operates as an open arena to provide makers and the broader public with means to work together and exchange knowledge. It is an urban mining platform aimed at more sustainable recycling of information technology equipment.
Several lectures, talks, and hands-on workshops will be offered at the Spacecraft_ZKM weekly, including a workshop on building a DIY particulate matter sensor and following fine-dust measurements in Karlsruhe, as well as »data labs« for creating data evaluations from the city’s transparency portal.
Master students of the Faculty for Architecture at the KIT present the results of the research seminar »NO FAQ« at Spacecraft_ZKM in the exhibition »Digital Imaginaries«.
»NO FAQ« sees itself as a researching collective in which scientific and artistic approaches are linked. The research and exhibition project »Digital Imaginaries – Africas in Production« served as a theoretical framework for the independent artistic-research practice of the students. The research object of the seminar was »Not Frequently Asked Questions« in dealing with postcolonial and digital contexts. Drawings, photographs, videos and objects created during the seminar will be presented.
Two-day maker workshop with Ashesi Design Lab, Penn State’s Alliance for Education, Science, Engineering and Design with Africa, and the AIR Centre, a trans-national research consortium. Part of developing the “scanopy” environmental sensor for third-generation AMP spacecraft.
Today Agbogbloshie scrap dealers, together with Ashesi University students from Kobby Ankomah-Graham‘s seminar, helped Belgian-Beninese artist Fabrice Monteiro and Senegalese designer Doulsy scout locations for their Prophecy II photo series. The Prophecy I series probed the issue of environmental pollution by evoking spirits of the earth, dispatched to either plead or warn humans to change our ways lest we kill our mother planet. Per panel discussion with Fabrice at Ashesi, the Prophecy II series will be a diptych contrasting the needless excess of planned obsolescence against the devastating human and environmental destruction used to extract the resources from which our electronic devices are produced out of the earth.
It was noticeable and community members confirmed that you now see only smaller stockpiles of circuit boards and plastic monitor cases, for example, because buyers are more consistent and frequent. What AMP affirms about Fabrice’s project is that it is creating a space—mythical but real at the same time—reminding us all to take action now, before its too late to save this planet.
Fabrice testing frames and Doulsy smiling upon a scrap dealer’s reveal of treasure trove of VHS cassette tapes (part of the costume design):
In January 2016 AMP ran a one-week #ampqamp with students from Princeton University’s PACE Center for Civic Engagement focused on making short health & safety videos for the Agbogbloshie scrap dealers community, narrated in Dagbani.
This group of students, led by Ellie Sell ’17 and Christie Jiang ’17, opted not only to volunteer collaborating on the AMP project as a form of ‘alternative spring break’, but also to spend months prior planning their trip and conducting research around issues of health and safety related to unregulated e-waste processing plus weeks after their visit to Ghana editing and producing the videos. (They blogged about it here.)
Watch the Youtube playlist of videos they produced below. For more on how this connects to the full AMP project, check out this Q&A with the Princeton PACE Center. A huge thank you to the whole team from all of AMP!