One of the connections we were able to make this year, was with Marc Böhlen of airkami project. We were lucky to catch him while he came through Switzerland to give an artists’ talk as part of the Hackteria Swiss Curriculum, a series on the topic of bio art | sci | tec and related practices, hosted as a collaboration between hackteria and Corner College in Zürich. The abstracts and details of the evening can be found here.
We had heard about his project before HLab14, but we could not coordinate in time to have him join us in Yogyakarta. Marc is an artist and an engineer, and a professor of Media Study in University at Buffalo. We were excited to meet him and learn about his project because
- it takes place in in the Terban district of Yogyakarta in Java, Indonesia, by the same Code River of Lifepatch’s Jogjya River Project
- the Airkami (in Bahasa Indonesia, it means ‘Our Water’) project is a optics combined with a biosensor based coliform bacteria analysis – we wanted to learn more about this system
- the data is backed up on a server and the information is available to the public.
- there is also a water purification part of the project WaterBank, in addition to Airkami
- last but not least, this is an artist’s project! with the “Post apocalyptic” water design.
The video was taken from here.
The main points were that, real-time monitoring was important and gave conclusions that were not obvious from an intuitive correlation of the wet-seasons and contaminations in the water. The reagent yields detectable light upon coliform bacteria metabolism, and this is so far, not open-source. That there is purified water made available in the community makes the project very attractive.
After Marc’s main presentation entitled Post-apocalyptic Water Design, we introduced briefly the BIODESIGN for the REAL WORLD project, and then had a round-table. We immediately saw synergies – a local collective that is interested and capable of working together on both the artistic and technical aspects of his projects. Hacking the biomonitoring part to be open will also be an interesting project. We concluded the evening chatting over drinks and snacks, and agreeing that we need to bring Marc and Lifepatch together somehow soon.