Mojitos Farm by Refarm the City
Re:farm the city develops open tools for urban farmers and dedicates itself in providing people with tools to easily create, manage and visualize their urban farms; bringing the rhythms of nature, her diversity, richness and complexity to citizens; creating social networks, software and hardware to help the production and consumption of products produced locally. With techniques and methods that respect the environment, re:farm the city promotes sustainable agriculture, science, plant biodiversity and local cuisine recipes, retrieving rural wisdom to the cities, working toward a more balanced, educated, richer, healthier, and ultimately more sustainable society. Re:farm the city originated from Barcelona’s Hangar Media Lab and Madrid’s Medialab-Prado, and is an open source collective with ever-expanding members. Since 2008, re:farm the city has held workshops in Barcelona, Madrid, Gijon, Buenos Aires, Paris, New York, Beijing, São Paulo and many others. These workshops take on the refarm’s ever-in development hardware and software as starting point to further engage local eco-techno minded artists, programmers, hackers, builders and mostly common folks. Re:farm the city does not come with readymade toolboxes, rather it offers adaptable technologies towards solutions and application. It forsakes the packaged, exportable display models as it seeks local resource and recycled materials to reinvent electronic tools that consider needs and accessibilities. Re:farm the city holds workshops for hands-on know-how to design, monitor, manage, and share small-scale urban farms constructed with local found materials. In 2011, re:farm the city researched and developed a smart phone application to connect urban farmers (à la social network mode) during a visualizer workshop at Medialab-Prado in Madrid. Currently, re:farm the city is engaged in multi-city parallel activities, including a circus farm at Tarragona (Spain) where, rising from the ruins of Roman circus with land donated by the city council, re:farm Tarragona aims to find a model sustainable city that considers the use of energy, materials and waste in food production. Re:farm the city has also launched its education programs working with Intermediae (Madrid) and Laboral (Gijon) to build software and hardware tools for school kids with focus on climate monitoring, seed planning, crop managing and knowledge sharing. Re:farm also takes up eco-lab residency at Laboral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial (Gijon, Spain) and at the Museumsquartier Wien (Vienna) with a focus on low-cost hardware tools, mobile farm and mobile application.
The Mojitos Farm is an open hardware tool that has been designed to improve the fundraising of refarm groups worldwide. Combining a CC-Share-Alike license, city trash and all the instructions to build one, this farm has funded our activities in 4 cities on the last 2 summers. This farm is built with scrap materials found locally in every city and has an automatic watering system made with components from cars and washing machines. It is controlled by our cheapest board, the Refarm Nano Vacations V2. It is a farm prepared to hit the road, go to a party, an opening, the beach or be used as a platform to give mini workshops about urban farming. The Mojito Farm concept was born at Eyebeam, NYC, and has been further developed in São Paulo, Vienna, Tarragona and Paris.
About the authors
Hernani Dias is a designer and early became interested in 3 things: drawing, assembling / disassembling mechanisms and spelunking. Studied analytic photography, design and graphic arts. Worked as a designer in Tomar where he started his own studio. Lived 3 years in Porto before went to Lisbon working on some well known advertising agencies. In 2006 moves to barcelona, by love. Also gets involved with ecodesign and later with electronics and physical computing. Was a founding partner, graphic designer, creative director and production manager. Has won several awards of design, marketing and creativity. In 2008 started on his small balcony the refarmthecity.org project. He is now an eco-designer and media artist focused on bringing the unknown beauty of nature to humans.
Martin Garber arrived to Refarmthecity.Org by chance. On his quest to grow tomatoes in his balcony he came across Hernani and the rest of the Barcelona ReFarm gang at their workshop in Hangar. From there he became more and more involved with the ReFarm creed until he moved to the city of Tarragona to develop one of Refarm currents projects, L’Hort del Circ, a community garden grown over the 20 century old remains of the Roman Circus from ancient Tarraco, and a number of subsequent projects that have derived from it.
Max Kazemzadeh is an Assistant Professor of Art & Media Technology at Gallaudet University (university serving the international deaf community), who uses a syncretic approach to investigate connections between art, technology, & consciousness through experiments & interactive installations. Kazemzadeh is pursuing a Ph.D. with the Planetary Collegium at the University of Plymouth in the UK. His work over the last ten years focused on how constructed, semi-conscious interfaces influence human interaction. Kazemzadeh has exhibited internationally, given performances, served on panels, curated exhibitions, organized conferences, given hardware/software workshops, received grants, wrote articles and presented papers in the area of electronic and emergent media art. Some exhibitions include the Microwave Festival (Hong Kong), the Boston CyberArts Festival, Medialab-Prado’s Interactivos 08 (MexicoCity), Dashanzi International Art Festval (Beijing), Songzhuang Museum of Contemporary Art (China), began collaborating with refarmthecity.org at Interactivos? in Madrid in ’11, and most recently exhibited an interactive cell-phone and human-tracking kinect-based audio visual performance with a group of collaborators to re-live the myth of Melissani in the Melissani Cave Lake in Kefalonia, Greece this past August ’12.
Kazemzadeh also organized the Texelectronica Conference ’06, chaired a session at College Art Association-CAA ’08, reviewed the Creative Capital Grant projects ’08, juried an exhibition at SIGGRAPH ’07, and gave annual workshops at the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing since 2004. Kazemzadeh founded the FUNCOLAB at Gallaudet University, an interdisciplinary center for research supported by Gallaudet’s art, physics, and theater departments. Skinny Tuesdays is a monthly lecture series that he founded, inviting creative individuals from a range of fields, including art, technology, science, music, performance, etc. to share their creative processes in an open forum. Along with his friend Jonah Brucker-Cohen, Kazemzadeh recently curated the Washington Project for the Arts’ Experimental Media 2012 exhibition in Washington, DC, and has an upcoming solo exhibition in Egypt in March.