Trashlab lecture in Tallinn: Harmen Zijp & Diana Wildschut

"A grassroots approach to a sustainable world"

Special guest-speakers Harmen Zijp and Diana Wildschut, independent artists, who live and work in an old factory building in Amersfoort, the Netherlands, and are involved in a number of grassroots maker initiatives, including FabLab Amersfoort.

Their artists collective 'de Spullenmannen' produces visual theatre, installation art en purposeless contraptions. All of their work is made from society's leftovers: lost-and-founds, scrap yard parts, from kitchen utensils to industrial robot arms. A special focus in their work is the border between art and science. This resulted in the Tweak Show, a labyrinth full of interactive installations that give the audience an intuitive understanding of the complex systems in science, the environment and society.

Besides their work as artists they are involved in a number of grassroots initiatives.

* FabLab Amersfoort was the first Fab Lab to be funded and operated
entirely by the people who needed it, using open source hardware,
-software and -design. In two years time it has become a very
productive lab in creating open knowledge, open source design
tools and research after recycling of materials.
* TransitieLab is a local initiative working on small scale
solutions for a sustainable transition in energy, recycling,
(urban) farming et cetera.
* Franje is a parasitic festival that add a fringe program to
existing festivals and creates an opportunity for independent
artists to show their work in several countries.

The old factory has now become a meeting point for people who want to share and expand their knowledge. The focus is mostly on art, science and sustainability. And the most interesting bits are where those areas meet. Everything is done entirely without public funding.

This lecture will explain how poorly funded grassroots initiatives can accomplish things that are hard for ordinary organizations. And how a peer-to-peer network of skills and knowledge can help in making the sustainable transition happen.