I sat down with Ricardo Cano Mateo & Anne van Leeuwen to discuss the ways in which they think about the future in the context of their farm concept Bodemzicht. The interview was conducted on the 7th of February at Tolhuistuin in Amsterdam, this text is an excerpt from the transcript that has been edited for readability.
Sjef: When you’re considering the consequences what you want to be doing in the future, how far out are you thinking when it comes to the farm?
Anne: I think the smallest scale for me would be, 15 years?
Ricardo: Yeah, in practical terms. In conceptual terms for me, it goes beyond my life. I want to put a self-generating forest system in place that will start to express its potential after 15–20 years. After that as long as I am alive I’ll keep it rejuvenated and in productive potential. In a constant state of succession, never the same but always moving a little bit, renewing, that’s the important thing. …
The vehicle chimed.
“You have arrived at your destination.”
Percy reached over and hit the DISPLAY button to pull up his fuel efficiency stats. Completely stealth approach. Battery-only coasting for the last mile, 50 to the gallon for the whole ride. Off-road. Had to be some kind of a record. He leaned back in his seat and took in the view. The desert stretched out before him, here and there a green patch where the grafts had started to take hold. A smile. This is what made it all worthwhile.
The vehicle chimed again.
Percy reached up to brace against the roll cage. The display now showing a mission data overlay on the optical feed from the top scope. Green dot. Firing. The vehicle leapt back as the M61 Vulcan rotary cannon opened fire. Six 20mm barrels sending 110 rounds downrange per second. The cheery rinkle of shells rolling off the roof, spat out by the linkless electric feeder. Explosions in the distance. A bigger smile. …
A quick catch-up on a family chat in 2043. Short fiction I wrote for a collaboration with logo & type designer Peter Korsman of autograph.works. Happy New Year everyone!
SLOIPNET 1.2.c [SECURE GROUP] PARTICIPANTS: [Fern, Rangi Bro, Sys] SUBJECT: [SIBLING UPDATES. EVERYBODY DIES RIP LOL ¯\_(ツ)_/¯] [SYNCHED: 02:48 27/12/2042]
Hey guys, been a while since the last update. Hope you are all well and can still access active nodes. I’m doing ok, on Antarctica now, not in NZ anymore. Got tired of droning mammals for DoC, now I’m seeding ad-gen mutacrops with an Argentinian team. Yes, I dumped Greg also. All his circular economy bullshit was just an excuse to suck up to rich people. Money lol. Anyway Antartica is cool but it stinks. I mean its not as cold as you think but there is literally thousands of years old shit melting and rotting out here. The mud gets in everything too. I mostly fly from inside so its fine. Not sure what eating all these experimental vegetables is doing to me though. Has anyone heard from the fossils? Been thinking about Mum & Dad a lot. Before they tapped out we did tell them we would try to stay somewhat in touch even though we’d scattered. Hope you get this sometime soon. …
Here’s a write-up of a talk I gave at the invitation of Haunted Machines for the IMPAKT event ‘Deep Fakes or Rendering the Truth’, 21st of April, 2018 in at IMPAKT HQ in Utrecht, the Netherlands. You can watch the video of the talk here on Youtube but honestly, don’t waste your time. This version is better.
I’ve been asked to give a strategic overview on the topic ‘Deep fakes or Rendering the Truth’ from a computing futures and strategic narrative perspective, so I’ll go about setting the scene first, then borrow a framework to sketch some vignettes of possible usage scenarios, and finally discuss some strategies that artists and activists are almost certainly using, but in a way they may not be consciously aware they can be employed. …
I thought it would be a simple Google search…
While working on The National Algorithm I needed to pull up RGB values for the colours of the Dutch flag. No biggie, just Google “kleuren nederlandse vlag” and pull up the top link. Boom, done! Or… wait, that isn’t the same hex value as what I just saw in the search results? I clicked the back button…
A few minutes later I had a whole stream of browser tabs open. By the end of the day both the Ministry of General Affairs and the NEN (the national standards body) were involved. …
This is a write-up of the talk I’ve been giving while working on my current research project “The National Algorithm”, an investigation of the tensions and relationships embedded in modern camouflage patterns.
The talk consists of a heavily condensed history of modern military camouflage and what it has come to symbolise, then goes into the specifics of the project itself.
The central tension in camouflage is between being seen, and going unseen. The hunter and the hunted. Eat or be eaten. But evolution has also found other uses for coloration and pattern. In certain cases a pattern’s function may be to warn off predators instead of obscuring its wearer or imitating their surroundings. In either case, in the animal world, patterns often also perform a dual function of signalling fitness to potential mates. Strength. …
“Alex, revoke all outstanding access privileges.”
“There are no outstanding access privileges. Would you like to review your personal privacy settings?”
“Your account qualifies for enhanced service. Would you like…”
“NO, thank you Alex.”
Kay slammed the cupboard door shut then pressed again, hard, to make sure it sealed. The hub would be fine in there, signal in and out but no sound. No more listening to any of its nagging and offers. She leant back against the counter and let out a sigh of relief. It was finally done. …
“Welcome to the world, 2116”
Never mind that it looks like a cheap rendering of 2016 Dubai. Life is good in the towers. Don’t question why they were built, or by whom. You just wait.
“You can fly across town in minutes”
Never mind that the flying car is a future we left for dead in the 20th century, second only to the Jetpack as a tired, lazy stand-in for any real thought about what the decades to come may hold. You just wait.
“or across the globe in under an hour”
Never mind the economics of suborbital flight. One day you too may be flown over as a party favour for some super-elite. Take your in-flight relaxants, and hope you don’t bruise up too badly on your way through an atmosphere that anthropogenic climate change has made too turbulent for the cheap intercontinental flights people used to enjoy. …
Philonesia Smartipelago: 4:58 PM
Hey future islander! Hope you’re feeling fine. It’s the e-Philonesia voice agent here, all set to help you get started with your subscription.
Mirelva van Delft: 4:58 PM
Oh hey, hi. Yes, we’re great thank you. We’re just coming down off the Feel Philonesia samples you sent, and that was a great immersion. So relaxing! I think we’d like to subscribe to your national experience. How do we apply?
P-SMART: 4:58 PM
Nice! The Philonesia Smartipelago has revolutionised the concept of citizenship experience, and we would love to have you on board. With your permission, I’ll begin filling out a subscription application in the background while we speak. Do you consent to a data sweep of your health, passport and professional records? …
Ara’s slab chirped from the table. She didn’t turn to look, sticking her head out of the kitchen window to check the street instead. A Muni Distro pulled away, leaving behind a Delivery Box. She cursed under her breath. Didn’t like the Boxen, always shouty and rude. Fussy too. Paid over the air though, all fully legit. Much more convenient for spending inside of the wall.
The Delivery Box clambered over the kitchen threshold and wheeled in.
“GOOD MORNING ARA ROOPRAM. YOU HAVE BEEN CONTRACTED BY A PRIVATE BIDDER FOR THE SUPPLY OF SEVENTEEN ROTI VEGGIE, FOURTEEN NO SAMBAL. ONE ROTI CAPY, NO SAMBAL. PLEASE PLACE THE MEALS ON THE TRAY ONE BY ONE FOR ANALYSIS.”
“Hey, Box! I’m busy, ja? You go stand by the fridge.” The box spun around and parked itself next to the refrigerator. …