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19/08/2010 - Labitat & Illutron: artists and technologists in Copenhague ( YGAW by Silicon Sentier)

Translated in english below

Johan a 19 ans, il n’ira pas à la fac comme la plupart de ses anciens camarades de classe, il vient de trouver un travail de développeur. C’est un autodidacte, il a commencé à programmer sur 2d life il y a 3-4 ans, quand le phénomène était alors à son apogée au Danemark, des grandes boites qui voulaient exister sur la plate-forme ont fait appel à ses services, il a appris sur le tas.
Il y a un an, il s’engage avec 9 autres personnes à monter un hackerspace à Copenhague : Labitat.

Rendez-vous sous une pluie battante, devant un immeuble qui semble abandonné où Johan m’attends, il passe sa carte bleu dans la borne magnétique “fait-maison”, la porte s’ouvre, nous entrons.
Je dois dire que je suis impressionnée par le nombre de machine professionnelles qui s’y trouvent : laser cutter, 3D printer, imprimantes géantes, table multitouch…Tout à l’air en parfait état. Il s’agit de matériel apporté par des membres eux même. Moins d’un an d’existence et Labitat cumule déjà 70 membres qui paient une 12 euros par mois pour un accès total au lieu.

Très investi dans la free culture, cela ne fait pas de doute pour ce jeune garçon, le monde de demain sera Open Source ou ne sera pas. Sans dogmatisme aucun, son ton est doux, sa pensée fluide, à l’écouter, ça coule de source. Une mère chanteuse, expérimentatrice de projets avant-garde -à prononcer à l’anglaise et un beau père programmeur ont suffi pour que Johan devienne ce mélange entre art et technologie. Il est naturellement attiré par les projets d’artistes pour leur environnement dénué a priori de contraintes techniques et au service du concept.

Nous quittons le hackerspace pour aller dans un autre endroit : “Illutron“, un bateau investi par des artistes. Illutron et Labitat se ressemblent sur bien des aspects, pourtant, si Johan préfère aller à Illutron, c’est parce que ce sont des artistes qui dirigent l’espace. Les projets sont différents, on n’y explore pas la technologie mais on sert une vision à travers elle. A Illutron, en plein mois d’aout, nous tombons sur Ole. Depuis sa cabine, l’artiste finalise une pièce qui sera montrée à Ars Electronica. Ole ne me demande pas d’où je viens, ni pourquoi je suis ici mais me raconte son prochain projet. Avec 3 collaborateurs, ils vont partir au GroenLand, ancienne colonie du Danemark pour filmer pendant un an la vie de ses habitants,”Aujourd’hui, plus besoin d’être la BBC pour faire ce type d’expédition”. A force d’entendre que la glace fond et que les animaux disparaissent, ils se sont demandé pourquoi on ne parlait pas des habitants.

Avec Ole et Johan, je resterais bien parler encore pendant des heures.
J’ai souvent entendu dire des hackers ou des fondateurs de lieux alternatifs que pour qu’il marche, c’est avant tout une question de culture propre aux gens qui l’incarnent. A Illutron, ça m’a tout l’air d’être ça. En témoigne le manifeste ci-dessous :

Manifesto 1.1

Illutron is a haven for innovative thinking between art and technology. The physical location is a rusty barge in Copenhagen Harbour.
Here submarines and space rockets are built. Scrapped industrial robots are brought back to life. Here singing plants grow and classical music plays together with electronic music.
illutron is a space for adventures and experiments. Artistic and technological frontiers are challenged. Experiments can be based on intuition instead of reason.
Here people are creators, not consumers. Here the audience are participants, not passive observers. Here anything can happen.
Creative thinking emerges from below, as long as a fertile creative environment is fostered, where small seeds can find nourishment and grow roots and flower.
Technological progress happens in dialog with the surrounding society and refers to both the past and the future. Our art is a joint creative process in a group, a dialog between the group members and with cultural undercurrents in society. Art involves the audience, they become actors in dialog with the work of art, with its story.
Illutron offers collective illusions, fascinating illustrations and blinding illuminations, embracing new inspirational stories in and about the world.
We make the works of art and source code available under Creative Commons. We encourage others to expand on our work.

Our art

* Fosters interaction with the audience
* Is a living process and not a static product
* Is based on recycled materials
* Refers to its inspiration in society
* Credits all involved (including the tea person)
* Make the works of art and ny source code available under Creative Commons.
* Encorage others to expand on the work, as long as Illutron is given credit.

This manifest may not be printed on dead trees, but must be in dialogue with the times/our time and Illutrons members. If it takes on fixed and recognisable form the project has stranded/run aground.

Johan is 19; he won’t go to college this year; he has found work as a developer. He is self-taught, he began programming on 2d life 3-4 years ago, when the phenomenon was at its peak in Denmark, large businesses that wanted to exist on the platform have used its services, he learned on the job. A year ago, he joined nine other people and set up a Hackerspace in Copenhagen: Labitat.

Meeting in the pouring rain, in front of a building that looks abandoned; he places his debit card into the homemade magnetic terminal, the door opens, we enter. I must say that the number of professional machines therein impresses me: laser cutter, 3D printer, giant printer, multitouch table … Everything looks in perfect condition. Members themselves provided these materials. Less than a year old and Labitat already has 70 members who pay 12 euros per month for full access to the site.

Intensely interested in free culture, it is evident to this young boy, the world of tomorrow will be Open Source or won’t be. Without any dogmatism, his tone is soft, his thoughts are smooth, listening to him, it just makes sense. A singer mother, experimenting avant-garde projects and a programmer stepfather were enough for Johan to become this mixture of art and technology. He is naturally attracted to artists’ projects for their environment seemingly devoid of technical constraints and in service of concept.

We leave the Hackerspace to go to another place: “Illutron“, a boat taken over by artists. Illutron and Labitat are similar in many respects; however, if Johan prefers to go to Illutron it is because artists run the space. The projects are different; they do not only explore the technology but a vision through it. At Illutron, in the middle of August, we meet Ole. From his cabin, the artist completes a piece that will be shown at Ars Electronica. Ole does not ask me where I am from or why I’m here but he tells me about his next project. With three collaborators, they will go to Greenland, a former colony of Denmark, to film the lives of its inhabitants for a year: “Today, there is no needs to be BBC to be able to do this type of expedition.” Hearing about the ice melting and the animals disappearing all the time, they wondered why no one spoke of the inhabitants.

I would like to chat with Ole and Johan for hours. I have often heard from hackers or founder of alternative places that for a place to work, it is primarily down to the own culture of the people who embody it. At Illutron, it seems to be just that. Proof with the manifest below:

Manifesto 1.1

Illutron is a haven for innovative thinking between art and technology. The physical location is a rusty barge in Copenhagen Harbour.
Here submarines and space rockets are built. Scrapped industrial robots are brought back to life. Here singing plants grow and classical music plays together with electronic music.
illutron is a space for adventures and experiments. Artistic and technological frontiers are challenged. Experiments can be based on intuition instead of reason.
Here people are creators, not consumers. Here the audience are participants, not passive observers. Here anything can happen.
Creative thinking emerges from below, as long as a fertile creative environment is fostered, where small seeds can find nourishment and grow roots and flower.
Technological progress happens in dialog with the surrounding society and refers to both the past and the future. Our art is a joint creative process in a group, a dialog between the group members and with cultural undercurrents in society. Art involves the audience, they become actors in dialog with the work of art, with its story.
Illutron offers collective illusions, fascinating illustrations and blinding illuminations, embracing new inspirational stories in and about the world.
We make the works of art and source code available under Creative Commons. We encourage others to expand on our work.

Our art

* Fosters interaction with the audience
* Is a living process and not a static product
* Is based on recycled materials
* Refers to its inspiration in society
* Credits all involved (including the tea person)
* Make the works of art and ny source code available under Creative Commons.
* Encorage others to expand on the work, as long as Illutron is given credit.

This manifest may not be printed on dead trees, but must be in dialogue with the times/our time and Illutrons members. If it takes on fixed and recognisable form the project has stranded/run aground.

Source : http://ygaw-bysiliconsentier.com/1831-labitat-illutron-artists-technologists-in-copenhague

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