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3 Baltan Quarterly THE BRutAl

Baltan Laboratories initiates, mediates and shares innovative research and development at the intersection of art, design, science and technological culture.

(Or FRIENDLY?) invasioN of A new world ordER — Published by Baltan Laboratories — October 2014

Age of Wonderland

Roy Ombatti

David Marín

The brutal (or friendly?) invasion of a new world order.

Interview

Interview

Seterhen Akbar Suriadinata (Saska)

Bitcoin

Interview

Sandra Suubi Andreas Siagian Interview

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Agenda

Workshops, debates and lectures during Dutch Design Week

Interview

Article

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Jose Montealegre and Griet Menschaert

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Baltan Laboratories and Hivos join forces in the international research and design project Age of Wonderland. Six young talents from Latin America, Africa and Asia work with local talented people from Eindhoven on existing projects and new creative ideas. The results are presented during Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven from 18 to 26 October. Arne Hendriks (artist), Christine Wagner (Hivos), and Olga Mink (Baltan Laboratories) started the Age of Wonderland idea almost a year ago. In this article they discuss their ideas and hopes to create an impact together with creative thinkers and doers from all over the world following a shared dream: ‘Enabling new strategies to re-invent ourselves for a better future.’ → Continue reading on page 2

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Age of Wonderland The brutal (or friendly?) invasion of a new world order Discussion between Arne Hendriks, Christine Wagner and Olga Mink.

Olga’s questions to Arne: In one of our conversations you mentioned that scarcity leads to inventiveness and that we from the West can learn from designers that grew up in less affluent circumstances. Can you explain more? To me this idea of embracing scarcity rather than being afraid of it really comes from a need to awaken the activist within myself. I believe most of us see what’s happening to our world, and many of us feel they would like to make choices that are beneficial to our relationship with the planet but don’t know how. They feel their mark is too small to make a difference. What I’ve tried to do myself in the last few years was to see these instincts as seeds for something that can grow, rather than being unsatisfied with their present miniscule size. To trust that the process of embracing these challenges will bring me somewhere, and might bring the world somewhere. Creativity to me is essentially the ability to make something appear out of almost nothing. It’s humanity’s best magic. In scarcity the absence of means creates the possibility and necessity for something to come into existence. It was inspiring to see the revival of repair cultures during the recent economic crisis. And did you realise most of the repair knowledge in the Netherlands is now kept alive by immigrants? There’s so much intelligence, beauty and creativity involved in fixing broken things. It’s not about hardship or giving up things, it’s about reframing and re-evaluating rather than fearing. You mentioned that the current (social and economic) systems are no longer able to support society. What role do you see for designers in mapping out alternatives? To me this is all about systems of thinking. We are born into systems and therefore they seem ‘natural’ to us. But the fact is that the systems we have in place now are damaging the very environment we depend upon for life, and have created inequality on a large scale. Our basic relationship To me this is all with the Earth about systems of and what we as humans should thinking. We are and can expect born into systems from it needs and therefore serious revision. Designers have they seem an important part ‘natural’ to us. in this because they’re educated to give form to ideas and have the tools to combine creative desire with action. At the same time we should all be aware that we’re educated within the systems that are in place and that erasing parts of what we know may p. 02

be a necessary exercise to help build visions of the future that are sustainable. You could say that we suffer from abundance in the West, and that change is as much about being able to make the right choices as it is about innovative solutions for the challenges we’re facing. Do you feel the West is lacking in the ability to make the right decisions? Suffering from abundance, it’s an interesting way to put it. Because we’re so overloaded there’s hardly any space for us to move and make the change, also on a mental level. We shouldn’t fear scarcity but embrace it. The thing about making do with less is that, at first, you suffer from withdrawal symptoms. But once you get through the first difficult weeks you may actually conquer a piece of open space that allows you to move again. People that need less by definition have more. How do we deal with the hype around social design and avoid ideas from the cultural field being appropriated by government and the commercial world? What’s the role of Hivos in this? There’s a strong need for new ideas and we shouldn’t be afraid of appropriation by the government and business. In fact I’m sure many social designers are hoping for it. Creative professionals will continue to be attracted to social design because they sense the societal need. As far as Baltan Laboratories is concerned, I hope it will be able to follow through on its path of connecting the desire for social innovation and the role of technology in this process. Hivos has recognised that you share a desire for change and are both able to connect this desire to real people, real situations and real solutions. There are always risks and insecurities in this process, and perhaps more so in cultural sectors but I don’t think there is any doubt about the real issue in the next few decades: humanity has to change its course drastically. To do so, we may all have to become re-inventors: individuals and institutions alike. Hivos wants to be a force in making sure this happens, much as I do myself.

Arne’s questions to Christine: Hivos invited 6 designers and artists with very different backgrounds to come to Eindhoven. Are there any specific things you’ve learned about yourself as an organisation by inviting them? Hivos learnt from Age of Wonderland to shift from achieving measurable results - which Hivos needs in order to prove that it is a development organisation - towards facilitating­a process; as social innovation is a process, often with an unpredictable outcome. That is

challenging for Hivos: to facilitate a process of which we do not know the result; trusting in the capacities of everybody involved that something new and useful will emerge, with a sustainable impact for larger groups of societies worldwide. It demands from all the people involved that they anticipate the changes and developments that are happening and respond to the necessary adjustments. So Hivos is facilitating a process within which one needs to be constantly open-minded, tapping into the thousands of possibilities that could happen. That is a new way of working and requires different skills and attitudes of the development sector then before. What in your opinion would be the best outcome of this pilot project? Our guests all challenge a situation within­ their local context: be it the public transport system in Bandung (Indonesia) or the self-confidence of the Maya communities (Guatemala) or the production of 3D-printed shoes that make it possible for people with deformed feet to get affordable footwear and go to work (Kenya). The best outcome of this pilot project would be if all the Hivos guests return to their home countries after the DDW with new ideas, products, resources and a network in Europe which supports them in realising their ideas. And that they share their new knowledge within their local context. Actually, that through Age of Wonderland an avalanche will develop, based on a small snowball that we threw here in the NatLab! How do you see this joint effort in the long term? My vision is also that Hivos acknowledges the innovative capacity of the creative sector on a structural level and attracts resources to continue working with creative talent within our programme across the board. An important result we have accomplished already: the Dutch Design Week embraces the inclusion of the project for the World Design Expo 2017. This proves the fact that here in Europe we need new inspiration and people who challenge the mindsets we all too often adhere to. What are your ambitions for the future? Next year we will set up a similar project like Age of Wonderland with creative people from the Hivos network. Recently, Hivos started a network of labs in East Africa, the Middle East and Latin America as well as in Indonesia. In East Africa we set up the Ubunifu Creative Innovation Fund. We will invite creative people who are linked to those labs for the next Age of Wonderland. Also, our regional Hivos office in Indonesia has started a programme inviting artists and creative entrepreneurs to explore tactics to stimulate citizen engagement in solving urban problems. So my ambition is to collaborate with the Fund for the Creative Industries,

as they are focusing on Indonesia in 2015. Furthermore, I would like to work with the Gieskes Strijbis Fund, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds and the DOEN Foundation, which has a focus on social innovation, as well as with the Dutch Ministry of Economics, which appointed the Creative Industries to be one of the top sectors in the Netherlands. Moreover, together with Baltan Laboratories, we are also continuing to pair up with innovative businesses – as we did in the case of Roy Ombatti: SLEM, an international innovation centre for footwear in Waalwijk, is supporting Mr. Ombatti in realising his 3D printed shoes in Kenya.

Arne’s questions to Olga: How do you see the role of technology related to the Age of Wonderland artists that we invited? I mean, for Baltan, the technological aspect is very important, especially looking at the more innovative aspects. What kind of added value do you see in collaborating with these specific people? Baltan is a platform for the creation and acceleration of new ideas. We connect the dots between ideas and people, questioning and reflecting our complex, technological society. Technology is everywhere around us. We’re depending on it in many ways. During Age of Wonderland we reflect on the implications of our technocratic society as well as the socio-economic challenges. We’re increasingly dealing with complex, global issues and are being confronted with the limits of our growth-orientated civilization. It pushes us to rethink the systems and laws that we have made. Age of Wonderland is all about experimenting, tinkering, hacking and researching ideas in collaboration with the local community and kindred spirits from Africa, Asia and South-America. Different social, economic and political circumstances exist in these continents. In the near future Europe may be facing similar challenges as they have in the past. So why not push the envelope and facilitate an exchange of knowledge to find out how we can learn from each other, and combine the best of both worlds? Can you give some examples of the process driven approaches that are at the core of Age of Wonderland? Open source technology can be a strong, unifying force for collaboration and sharing knowledge. The Do-It-Yourself and Do-ItWith-Others mentality as well as the community based thinking as you see in Asia, is very inspiring to me. These grassroots movements are very active and are enabling new frameworks for the production and consumption in a more sustainable fashion. It is this


Roy OmbATti frOM Kenya

Roy Ombatti, Nairobi (Kenya), is an engineer connected to the artists’ collective Creative Garage in Nairobi. Passionate about the use of technology as a way of realising a sustainable impact on society, Ombatti has developed specially designed shoes for people with a foot disfigurement caused by disease. These shoes can be made to measure using a 3D printer. In Eindhoven he will be improving this technique and incorporating the re-use of plastic into his design.

Fighting Jiggers in 3D Using Waste

Can you describe your project and how this involves social change?

philosophy and process of transformation that lies at the core of Age of Wonderland. For example, some artists hack technology to create affordable tools that they otherwise wouldn’t have access to, like the webcam hack workshop by Andreas Siagian from Indonesia. Also, the 3D-printed shoe lab by Roy Ombatti from Kenya is about making technology accessible and educating people in rural areas to use these tools with local resources and cheap materials. Other projects create a shift in awareness by presenting alternative ideas or solutions. For example, David Marín from Guatemala shares his idea of an alternative economy and the use of Bitcoins. According to Marín the greed of people fits the idea of crypto currencies as it makes the system stronger, not weaker. Seterhen Akbar (Saska) from Indonesia researches ideas on public transport here and in his hometown Bandung. Both issues deal with finding alternative solutions for dysfunctional systems in the social and economic realm. What kind of solutions can Age of Wonderland develop for these complex and global issues? Designers, artists, engineers and other creative people enable us to see the world in a different way, bending technology to meet their own ideas and purposes. To me, one of the most intriguing aspects of Age of Wonderland is to see how these projects affect local issues and simultaneously touch upon the complex global challenges that we face. The artists involved in this project have a clear image of their ideas, yet the outcome is unpredictable and sometimes also very intangible and process-driven. This requires an open and pro-active approach to understand the actual context and positioning of their work. I think this is the added value of what we do and why these collaborations are important. All the artist, designers, engineers and scientists involved, address and research their own unique challenge during If we don’t do their residency. They bring their something, it own specific skills might be done and expertise, as for us and it they grew up in different circummight not turn stances that may out to be in our seem less than favour. ideal from our western perspective. But they may, in fact, be ahead of us, being more resilient and more inventive with fewer resources and opportunities. Now that these systems reached the limits of growth, Age of Wonderland addresses the urgency that is at hand. Part of this process is making each other aware of the implications of technology, and developing new tools. If we don’t do something, it might be done for us and it might not turn out to be in our favour. I hope we can contribute to make a change. Let’s do this by design rather than by disaster.

My project is called ‘Happy Feet’. It involves the design and production of customized and medicated footwear for the hundreds of thousands of people who have foot deformities, primarily as a result of jigger infestation. The jigger is a sand flea that feeds on flesh, leaving behind sores and deformities, as well as resulting in death. My innovation aims to impact all those lives by giving them hope to go about their daily lives while protecting the thousands more who risk exposure if adequate preventive measures aren’t taken. The recycling of plastic as the raw material for the 3D-printed shoes also helps with social change as it goes towards bettering the environment. What is your background? How did you get involved in your current (artistic) practice? I have a background in Mechanical Engineering. I’ve been working at the FabLab at the University of Nairobi for the last 5 years and, as a result, I was involved in many projects; some for fun, some to learn and some for social good. I nurtured my love for creating through this experience. What do you hope to get out of your residency and what’s your experience so far? I’ve learned that my initial goal - to go back home with a fully-functional shoe and the appropriate technology that goes with the

production of the shoe – was not realistic. But I’ve been brought into contact with TNO and DSM, two large organizations that are enthusiastic about my project and want to support me. I’m curious to explore whether these contacts could lead to something. My best meeting so far was with SLEM, an education centre for innovative footwear. We will use my residency to investigate some aspects of my project, but also to explore the possibility for me to join their nine-month training starting in January. The training is intended to help you towards setting up your own business, so it’s an ideal fit for my project. What is your vision on the contribution of design/designers in solving current world issues? We have so many designers working on futuristic devices when the rest of the world is suffering. Although these devices are necessary, I feel they are not a priority. Technology has grown significantly but, for me, I feel we have still failed as a human race if we cannot direct the technology towards bettering the life of someone in need. Consequently, I feel we should channel our creativity towards the development of a social and sustainable future for all mankind as opposed to exciting the lives of an elite and select few. Hailing from a developing country, I have first-hand experience of some of the world’s problems. As a result, I would like to think of myself as a medium of change. Designers should also take some time to understand some of the world’s issues. Ideally, it would

be best if they could sample and experience some of the problems themselves so as to develop some empathy and gain a better understanding of the issue. With this experience, the designer will be able to develop a solution from the inside out, as opposed to an outside-in approach. Instead of looking at some of the world’s issues and pitying the situation, we should rather be thinking of what we can do about it. Donor aid is good but a more personal approach is better. Rather than seeing it as a million mouths to feed, instead we should see it as two million hands to engage. Empowering the poor with skills to sustain themselves and building creative capacity is the way to go. Even something as simple as teaching a young girl from a slum in Kenya how to sing or draw may impact her life in future and give her other options, rather than ending up on the streets when everything else fails her.

Technology has grown significantly but, for me, I feel we have still failed as a human race if we cannot direct the technology towards bettering the life of someone in need.

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Bitcoin: Technology and Social Design. Text by David Marín

David Marín froM GuAtemAlA

David Marín, Guatemala City (Guatemala), is an artist and scientist. He has a PhD in biology, maths and physics from the Rutger University in the USA. Marín is interested in Open Source Laws: a platform where instead of politicians, wise and educated people formulate new laws for our society. He also builds kinetic sculptures that are computer-­ controlled and make music based on chance. He has also developed a project that is based on an old Mayan oracle, whereby he researched the aspect of chance. In Eindhoven his focus will be on the further ­development of these themes.

Maya Hackers

How do you think creative talent can contribute to social change? I am trying to bring the attention of social designers to the main problems of society, like corruption in politics and financial systems. Designers have contributed a lot in advertising, branding and other techniques to influence the population under the direction of politicians, businesses, corporations, etc. detaching people from reality in the process. This is a major influence often ignored. It is clear that the current system is very wasteful and inefficient, and some ­creativity is required to invent new ways of doing things that will make profits without destroying the environment or societies. But the problem is very complex and creative talent can’t do much as long as nobody is willing to pay to influence people to reconnect to reality. Maybe designers could assume some responsibility for the impact that such techniques have had in society. What is your experience within the Eindhoven community? There are lots of resources here and people have already accepted that governments and businesses are too big to change and therefore excuse themselves of the responsibility of trying. But change will come, acting at the human level, making strong impact locally in such a way that spreads globally due to the interconnectedness of modern society. What do you hope to achieve at the end of your residency period? I want to collaborate in the design of business models that make profit by changing p. 04

the world into a better place to live instead of producing only moralizing, wishful thinking and idealistic, ‘tree hugging’ approaches. If I can influence Baltan Laboratories and Hivos to take a serious look at the new, emergent, political forces such as the crypto-currencies and the automatism of technology, it is enough to open a wide variety of possibilities for future projects

generated sound textures, but since it is hard to see the work behind this, I decided to construct sound sculptures that use similar principles to create the sound textures. Some of my other projects are inspired by the study of technical phenomena, and the way human lives are entangled with technology.

The Internet has made possible the emergence of an open-sourced, transparent,­ decentralised economy that can solve several of the most important problems of ­ our technological civilization, and it does so as a ­matter of course, as part of its design and does not require laws, police, regulations, conscious altruism, martyrs, heroes, ­governments, institutions, armies or centralised power of any kind. Bitcoin technology is social evolution that makes profits while displacing the old, corrupted and very inefficient monetary system. This new, emergent economy lives on the basis of the social consensus of its users and the more people that are involved in the system, the more useful, more stable and more secure it becomes. The only thing we have to do to support this social revolution is to spend money. The infrastructure and hardware to run this network is provided by the users themselves around the world and, in 2014, it is already the largest conglomerate of machines dedicated to a specific task created by humanity. Bitcoin is the prototype of these new technologies, called crypto currencies, which can be described as a new form of electronic money. In practice it is the same as using your credit­­­card, or sending a wire transfer from one bank to another,­­ but with very important differences: • It is designed to avoid inflation since

Can you describe your project and how this involves social change?

there is a fixed number of bitcoins. • There are no obligatory fees for

What do you hope you can gain and take back home in this knowledge exchange? Being here is like taking a step into the future of the urban societies in many places in Latin America that are following the example of Europe and the U.S.A., but with a time delay of several years.

Two of the projects I’m working on for the DDW involve social change in different environments. The open source law project researches the concept of collaborative governance reconnecting people with politics, and the Maya Hackers project aims to reconnect the ancient knowledge of this culture with modern society and its challenges.

making transactions. • You only need an internet connection to use it. • It is available around the world instantly. • Its use is private and anonymous.

What can we in the West learn from your culture?

• It is impossible to counterfeit. •

Poverty is a great constraint that forces people to come up with more efficient designs and concepts. At the social level, the political organization of native populations in America very much resembles the future that industrialized countries are trying to re-design, for instance in social and health care, in coexistence with nature, in respect for life, collaborative governance, direct participation in community issues, etc. What is your background? How did you get involved in your current (artistic) practice? I have a Phdin Physics from BioMaPs institute in Rutgers University, New Jersey. For the interaction of Biology, Mathematics and Physics. I started using mathematical models of biological systems to create randomly

It is more secure than banks. •

I want to collaborate in the design of business models that make profit by changing the world into a better place to live instead of producing only moralizing, wishful thinking and idealistic, ‘tree hugging’ approaches.

Bitcoin is a social machine that involves both software and social programming in order to work. At the software level it uses crypto­ graphy to send and receive encrypted information about transactions, all of which are recorded in the bitcoin accounting book, called the block chain. The genius of this technology comes in at the social level, because the block chain is kept secure by making it public for everyone to see the transactions (but not who made them), bitcoin uses the distributed computing power of all machines connected to the network to verify and make secure copies of the accounting book in all computers.


SetErhEn Akbar SuriadiNAta (SAska) fRom IndonEsiA Angkot

It takes memory and computing power to verify the block chain, this is encouraged by the process called “mining”, which rewards the people engaged in verifying transactions around the world with bitcoins, making the whole system self-sustainable­ and decentralised, since the “miners” are self-appointed (and even unconscious) guardians of the accounting book. In some sense we can say that Bitcoin uses the greed of people to establish itself around the globe, it lives out of our human need for exchange and cooperation, for free, without inter­mediaries making money out of it, and without the non-­legislated, extra tax of ­inflation.

Bitcoin Starter Kit: There is a lot of information and software related to crypto currencies, here is a list of the most used programmes and web sites for a quick introduction:

Can you explain your artistic and collaborative practice, and how did you start working in the way you do?

I consider myself as a pragmatist, so I try to use the most effective ways of doing things. At the moment, I am very much influenced by Lean UX principles, which consisted of Design Thinking, The Lean Startup, and Agile Method for which, in my case, I use SCRUM. These are more methods used in entrepreneurship and engineering but they are very interesting tools for collaboration. I have used these tools since I learnt them while making a startup company called Labtek Indie, which is also a follow-through of Riset Indie’s previous project. How does your work relate to social, political, ecological issues?

The aim of Riset Indie, in short, is ‘to know how the world works’. Which implies a broad range of topics to research. And we have focused our works on media, technology, and socio-economic interests. Our latest project, the Angkot Day, is more of a socio-economic research even though it is about transportation. We believe the main problem of public transport in Bandung is not the infrastructure but rather the mindset of the people towards public services. In this case it is really related to the social and political issues. Can you describe your project during Age of Wonderland?

We will be making films and co-creation workshops and we’re contributing to the design rides. We’re going to make a documentary of the Angkot Day that we organised

Seterhen Akbar Suriadinata (Saska), Bandung (Indonesia), is an engineer and initiator of the ­community research group Riset Indie that focuses on research, product innovation and interactive design. Riset Indie is currently working towards placing the organisation and financing of public transport in Bandung in the hands of the local community and thus improving the quality of transport. His Angkot project – whereby hundreds of public bus-taxis drive for free for a whole day (financed via crowd funding) – was the beginning of the kick-start of the Bandung Public Transport Council. In Eindhoven he will further develop and research this project.

last year. The other film is a research project about the differences between public transport in Eindhoven and in Bandung. We’re also going to host co-creation workshops, to challenge artists, designers, and engineers to solve a real problem of the Angkot situation in Bandung. You brought your wife, baby and your colleague? Can you tell us something about their experience here?

My wife and colleague are also part of Riset Indie, so when we heard that we got the opportunity to go to the Netherlands for a residency, we decided that we should all go, rather than only me. Once settled on our new place, we had to make a lot of adjustments, cooking, shopping for groceries, laundry, getting the baby to sleep, while at the same time we have to finish our projects, deal with disagreements, tensions, brainstorming, etc. This ongoing out-of-comfort zone situation adds up and makes it a real challenge. But we’re happy with how things are, and we’re moving forward. What is the role of technology in your work?

1 Download and install Electrum bitcoin client: www.electrum.org 2 Buy bitcoins from a local seller: www.localbitcoins.com

Technology is important for us to make possible what would have been impossible. We are a small team with networks. Technology enables us to connect to other people for setting up new collaborations, and it leverages and amplifies our work to make sure it reaches the intended goals.

3 Buy bitcoins with a wire transfer: www.btc-e.comwww.bitstamp.net 4 If you want to buy something online from a business that does not accept bitcoins:

What do you hope to achieve during your residency period? I hope we will develop a mutual understanding and exchange of knowledge between ­people we meet in Eindhoven and our ideas.

use www.bitcrow.com pay them with bitcoins, and they place the order for you. 5

How would you describe your position as a social designer or innovator in the Indonesian context?

Find places that accept bitcoins: www.coinmap.org 6 All data about bitcoin: www.blockchain.info & www.bitcoincharts.com

I see myself as a ‘startup’ offering ‘products’ to the public. Hopefully the ‘products’ are good enough so people will use them, and it will attract ‘investors’ to adopt these ‘products’ so they will be used in a sustainable way. At the end of the day those who will truly benefit from my ‘products’ are the public.

7 The bitcoin wiki for any questions: www.bitcoin.it 8 News and updates about crypto currencies: www.coindesk.com 9 For in depth chat about bitcoin technology: www.bitcointalk.org —

Exchanging bitcoins is as easy as sending an e-mail, as you will discover after a few clicks.

We believe the main problem of public transport in Bandung is not the infrastructure but rather the mindset of the people towards public services. p. 05


SAndRa SuUbi fRom UgandA Ebilooto

What kind of projects will you be showing during the Dutch Design Week?

started­experimenting with different materials, including trash.

The main idea that I want to put across is that we should re-use material in a smart way and we can make our resources work for us, instead of against us. I will develop two projects, the Dream Lab and the Do-It-Yourself instruments. The Dream Lab is a place for our dreams to grow and symbolizes our world as a place where dreams are supported. The DIY musical instruments reflect my ambition to share knowledge in an open and playful way. Everyone can join and participate, applying music as a universal language, which is understood globally.

What is your experience of Eindhoven so far?

How does your idea affect social or ecological change? Strengthening the global discussion on dealing with waste is very important to me. We live in a world with many resources. Artists, especially, should use these resources to continue to open people’s eyes. Everyone’s encouraged to recycle and re-use plastic which, for me as an artist, is a valuable resource. I want to portray the material that we should use to re-create ideas. This helps us to be good stewards of our own environment. It also gives a perspective to other areas in our lives that we may not be using to our full potential How did you get involved with eco-art? I started working with waste in my final year of college. Using material in art school was very expensive and plastic was everywhere around us. I decided to do some research and came to the conclusion that, if this material stays with us, it has to work for us. When I started to apply this idea in my work an endless world of possibilities opened up to me. Every day I still enjoy re-creating work with material that seems useless to others.

Eindhoven has an interesting, creative community that is willing to share ideas. There is still so much to learn here. Besides that, I love how the recycling system in the Netherlands has evolved, and the fact that the Dutch are so aware about their responsibilities. It makes it easier for me to communicate the issues that I am addressing in my art and it encourages me even more to continue my work­ back home! What is the most important message for the DDW visitor? When you have an idea you should start using what is around you. You don’t have to look very far to make things happen. How do artists/designers contribute to current world issues? We have a voice and a platform. We should accept this responsibility when we speak. Artists focus their magnifying glasses on current issues and have the power to communicate in a way that people understand. They can raise many issues and suggest alternative solutions, or get others to co-develop ideas. By sharing each other’s perspectives, artists enable awareness for possible solutions. What do you hope to achieve at the end of your residency period? I’d like to experiment and build amazing musical instruments with the use of new technology. I hope to magnify the discussion about the dream culture and find multiple ways in which we can strengthen our dreams not only in Eindhoven but also in Uganda and the rest of the world.

How did your project get started? When we visited Baltan in March, I met many creative people. One of them was Arne Hendriks. During our discussion the idea of using trash as a treasure to create recycled musical instruments came to mind. This was exciting because it literally bridges the gap between visual and performing arts. So, I decided to make African musical instruments while I was back home in Uganda. I had many engaging discussions with African musicians, producers and other creative minds and p. 06

Sandra Suubi, Kampala (Uganda), is a graduate from the ‘School of Industrial and Fine Arts’ at Makerere University. As an eco-artist, Suubi focuses primarily on the reuse of plastic. She designs decors for festival stages. In Eindhoven Suubi will realise a further phase of her Ebilooto project (Ebilooto means ‘dream’ in her mother tongue): in various Dream-Labs she will motivate young people to depict their dreams.

AndreAs SiAgiaN from INdonesia Lab-in-a-lab Can you tell us more about your artistic and collaborative approach? I am interested in the Do it Yourself (DIY) and Do-it-with-Others (DIWO) movements not from a western perspective, but from the culture of Indonesia. These approaches come naturally within our daily lives. While the global movement has pushed society to become individualistic, the community sense is very lively in Indonesia. We need to find equilibrium in both methods to work together, which I think is a global challenge. How did you get involved in your current artistic practice? From my interest in interdisciplinary practices, I started combining my Civil Engineering background with Information Technology. I taught myself Computer Programming skills and developed software to calculate Geometrical highway design. From this experience I noticed that interdisciplinary practices offer many possibilities and the limits should be pushed even more within collaborations. This is how I became interested in community practices. How does your idea affect social, political, ecological issues? Education has become too institutional and rigid, while the diversity of practices emerges, through the Internet and the rapid develop­ ment of the information society. I would like to see myself as a (happy) professional amateur, constantly learning and experimenting through collaborating with others. This is the

idea that I want to put across to my surroundings, as well as stimulating awareness to prepare ourselves for the future. Can you describe your project during Age of Wonderland? I want to connect with the people in Eindhoven. My project “Lab in-a Lab” takes social research as a tool for sharing knowledge. I will conduct a series of small-scale workshops and participatory projects. The idea is to stimulate social innovation within the community as a tool for alternative educational activities. How can creative practices contribute to social change? By developing alternative ideas through socially-engaged, creative practices and interdisciplinary collaborations. My projects explore the essential core of working methods within creative communities to stimulate an organic workflow. In this, the process and the element of interaction are key. I believe this method emphasizes that personal interaction is essential in social innovation. Does technology play a role in your work? How? I work with accessible and affordable technology in my country, trying to invite people not just to consume, but to process the social and cultural impact of the technology that we use. Most people are driven by what they’re consuming. I think the most important thing is to understand this technology and teach people how it actually works.


Andreas Siagian, Yogyakarta (Indonesia), is an artist/engineer and co-founder of Lifepatch - citizen initiative in art, science and technology with a focus on DIY/DIWO (Do It Yourself/Do It With Others) projects, whereby art, technology and science are brought together. Siagian focus his work in communities, DIY electronics and DIY bio through collaborations and was the HackteriaLab 2014 Yogyakarta. He will be realising Lab in-a Lab project, a various pop up labs and workshops in Eindhoven, ranging from DIY electronics and DIY bio.

Jose MontealEgrE froM Honduras anD Griet Menschaert

José Montealegre, Managua (Nicaragua), is involved with the artists’ collective Veinti3, which focuses on social themes and targets the effects of globalisation on the daily lives of people in Central America. In Eindhoven, Montealegre will focus his research on questions concerning the punishment system, the re-use of prisons and dealing with so-called minority groups and ‘asocial’ citizens, in collaboration with the Eindhoven artist Griet Menschaert.

What do you hope to achieve during your residency period?

I want to present the process of my experiences and reveal the importance of smallscale, ongoing activities in society. I know it’s quite challenging to produce the fruits of my activities during this short residency period, so I’m also hoping to initiate new exchanges and collaborations for the future. You are involved with Lifepatch. Tell us more.

Lifepatch is a community-based organization founded by people with diverse backgrounds and practices. Our focus is the distribution of knowledge as a method to engage with communities. We believe that art, science and technology through education practices is the basic foundation to stimulate social innovation. What is the most important message for the visitor?

Putting across the spirit of Do-It-WithOthers, and pushing the boundaries of art and design. I’m offering something very fundamental that comes from daily interactions between two different cultures. How does your community practice benefit your own work?

I learned a lot through interacting with my community. The collaboration and strong community sense, especially at Lifepatch, have influenced my mentality and critical thinking. Most of my projects can’t be separated from their activities. I feel fortunate to be closely-connected to this community. How will the results of your work be displayed? I’m not allowing myself to determine the results of my findings at the moment. These will be developed from the ideas that are created through my interaction with the local community.

We believe that art, science and technology through education practices is the basic foundation to stimulate social innovation.

The Prison Triptych #1

Can you explain your artistic and collaborative practice, and how did you start working in the way you do?

My work depends vitally on spontaneity. However, that said, it begins within a frame of reference, a concern which I would like to tackle. From that concern the artistic practice bridges my personal view with the view of the community precisely because it is ­spontaneous. How does your work relate to social, political, ecological issues? My work is a reflection of my life, and growing up in Central America, where the act of being alive is dangerous, everyone learns to blame one of those three mentioned spheres. My work reflects and questions that. Can you describe your project during Age of Wonderland? My project in the Age of Wonderland is one phase of a much larger project. The Prison Triptych number 1 is a field investigation carried out by Griet Menschaert and myself in which we look and find elements of prison confinement in daily life: vigilance, mobility, outcasting; all these elements are vital to correctional facilities and, increasingly, they seem vital to daily life in the Netherlands. We question that. How can creative practices contribute to social change?

In many ways, every single social change in human history has required creativity, changes are precisely that, seeing the social panorama now and thinking of a new one (using creativity); but creativity must be harboured and practised. You are cooperating with a local artist. Can you tell something about the nature of this cooperation? The collaboration with Griet Menschaert grew organically. It has grown from similar interests and has helped inform the project with different perspectives to compare how life, criminality and prisons work in daily life in Holland. What is the role of technology in your work?

More often than not, I will think of s ­ ome­­thing I want to make that requires a technological knowledge I don’t have. More often than not I learn this skill by creating­ something, but sometimes I reverse the search and find the fact of taking a strenuous amount of time and work doing something a machine is capable of doing in a second is something to be admired.

My work is a reflection of my life, and growing up in Central America, where the act of being alive is dangerous, everyone learns to blame one of those three mentioned spheres.

the prison system in Central America works. That being said, the project aims to have multiple instances of existence, meaning that this project is not ended once it has been presented during Dutch Design Week. What’s the most important message for the visitor? That even when your daily life seems to be protected from criminality and prison systems, it is a necessary part in any political system to question them.

What do you hope to achieve during your residency period?

Can you tell us something about veinti3 and how it came into being?

Since the project is investigation-based, what I was hoping was to gain knowledge on how the prison system in the Netherlands works and therefore have models to compare how

Veinti3 is an art collective that supports art works in crucial stages, rather than being alone and with no support – as happens with many young artists in Central America. p. 07


Age of Wonderland Workshops, debates and lectures during Dutch Design Week taking place in Natlab. To sign up for workshops visit: ageofwonderland.nl

Mon 20 October The Prison Triptych #1

Jose Montealegre + Griet Menschaert Pop up Lab All day at Natlab

Tue 21 October DIY Synthesizers

Sat 18 October Mobility and Urbanism

Seterhen Akbar Suriadinata (Saska) Workshop 10:30 - 16:00 sold out DIY Music Instruments

Sandra Suubi Workshop 14:00 - 16:00 € 7,50 (students: € 5.00) Fighting Jiggers in 3D Using Waste Plastic

Roy Ombatti Presentation 13:30 - 14:30 Workshop 14:30 - 16:30 € 15.00 (students: € 10.00) The Prison Triptych #1

Jose Montealegre + Griet Menschaert Pop up Lab All day at Ketelhuisplein

Sun 19 October DIY Microscope Webcam Hack

Andreas Siagian Workshop 13:30 - 17:30 € 35.00 (students: € 30.00) Ebilooto, The Dream Lab

Sandra Suubi Workshop 11:15 - 14:00 Free (for children at the age of 4-14 years) Maya Hackers co-design

David Marin Workshop € 15.00

14:00 - 18:00 (students: € 12.50)

The Prison Triptych #1

Jose Montealegre + Griet Menschaert Pop up Lab All day at Ketelhuisplein

p. 08

Andreas Siagian Workshop 12:00 - 15:00 € 35.00 (students: € 30.00) Fighting Jiggers in 3D Using Waste Plastic

Roy Ombatti Presentation 13:30 - 14:30 Workshop 14:30 - 16:30 € 15.00 (students: € 10.00) The Prison Triptych Talks

by Klaas Burger and Rein Gerritsen Jose Montealegre + Griet Menschaert Lecture 15:00 - 17:00 Free The Prison Triptych #1

Jose Montealegre + Griet Menschaert Pop up Lab All day at Natlab

Wed 22 October Mobility and Urbanism

Seterhen Akbar Suriadinata (Saska) Workshop 10:30 - 17:00 € 15.00 (students: € 12.50) Open Source Law - Co-design

David Marin Workshop and debate 19:30 - 21:00 Free The Prison Triptych #1

Jose Montealegre + Griet Menschaert Pop up Lab All day at TAC

Thu 23 October Drawdio

Carmin Karasic Workshop 12:00 - 17:00 € 7.50 (students: € 5.00)

DIY Music Instruments

Sandra Suubi Workshop 12:00 - 16:00 € 25.00 (students: € 20.00) The Prison Triptych #1

Jose Montealegre + Griet Menschaert Pop up Lab All day at TAC

Fri 24 October DIY Synthesizers

Andreas Siagian Workshop 13:30 - 17:30 € 35.00 (students: € 30.00) DIY Music Instruments

Sandra Suubi Presentation 16:00 and 20:00 Free The Prison Triptych #1

Jose Montealegre + Griet Menschaert Pop up Lab All day at Van Abbemuseum

Sat 25 October DIY Webcam Hack

Andreas Siagian Workshop 13:30 - 17:30 € 35.00 (students: € 30.00) Maya Hackers co-design

David Marin Workshop € 15.00

14:00 - 18:00 (students: € 12.50)

The Prison Triptych #1

Jose Montealegre + Griet Menschaert Pop up Lab All day at Van Abbemuseum

Sun 26 October Ebilooto, The Dream Lab

Sandra Suubi Workshop 11:15 - 14:00 Free (for children at the age of 4-14 years) Finissage 14:00 - 17:30 + Official presentation of The Prison Triptych #1

Colophon Publisher:

Baltan Laboratories Natlab Kastanjelaan 500 5616 LZ Eindhoven The Netherlands Edited by:

Olga Mink Graphic design:

HeyHeydeHaas.com Photography:

Ronald Berwers Printing:

Drukkerij Snep Edition: 4000 Supported by:

Gemeente Eindhoven Hivos Thanks to:

Koen Snoeckx, Nicole de Boer, Christine Wagner, Arne Hendriks, Danielle Stolwijk, Pieter Verhees, Marlou van der Cruijsen, Silvia Janoskova, all artists and volunteers. Eindhoven, 2014 www.baltanlaboratories.org info@baltanlaboratories.org ageofwonderland.nl

Baltan Quarterly 3  
Baltan Quarterly 3  

The Baltan Quarterly is a print publication exclusively focussed on the intersection of art, design, science and technology. This edition is...

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