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Space Studios has initiated...

A new series of residencies, talks, workshops and training opportunities exploring the convergence of art, media culture, technology and sustainability.

Details of the programme can be found here.

There seems an obvious overlap between Sustainability and permaculture. Both are broad topics with an added layer of interpretation. This page will serve as a space to explore that overlap and develop a proposal that meshes respective aims and objectives.

Aim of PermaCultures

  • To support the creative research, development and production of new artwork exploring media culture, technology and sustainability.
  • To explore the impact and sustainability of creative technological practices.

Aim of Sustainability

  • To explore what the discourses of 'sustainability' might reveal about creativity, creative practices, and the structures that support them.

Critical Practice is in itself a creative technological practice. If supported the impact of the proposed work and the sustainability of the practice are to be explored, in accordance with the aims. Reflecting on its own sustainability Critical Practice recognises that creativity exists as part of a sometimes fragile ecology of inputs and outputs. Through context, finance and association PermaCultures, and the case studies it enables, will sustain the organisation in its challenge to modes of cultural production.

Relevant quantities for meshing

Permaculture - an approach to designing human settlements and perennial agricultural systems that mimic the relationships found in the natural ecologies - Wikipedia. Once established systems are generally understood to require a low level of maintenance.

Sustainability - Meeting the needs of an individual or community in the present, without compromising the ability of future generations or communities to meet their own needs - Sustainability

Creativity - New ideas or concepts, or new associations of the creative mind between existing ideas or concepts. - Wikipedia

PermaCultures - A general philosophy for design of sustainable systems with particular attention paid to the interconnection and relationships between differing areas or objects. It alludes to networked technologies through the prefix 'perma' (see permalinks) and has the aim of exploring the impact and sustainability of creative technological practices.

The aim would be to embody these themes and produce an accessible means to engage with them. The Sustainability project refers to ethnographic Case_Studies in which specific creative 'ecologies' are 'mapped' to gain insight into benefits and deficits to creativity.


Candidates for case studies may be instances of creativity or individuals and organisations that seek or derive some sort of value from creativity. In the vocabulary of the Creative Industries (sic) these might be Fashion Designer, Screenwriter or Musician. Less familiar (but perhaps more relevant anthropologically) might be Lawyer, Banker or Accountant.

These case studies will provide a valuable metaphor to engage with the principles of interconnection and interdependence that underpin the philosophy of permaculture.

Can it be said that there is strategic and tactical creativity? Some instances of creativity produce the conditions that others respond to e.g. rules and law. Actors pursue different aims and manouver to define differing networks of association. It would be interesting to represent these structural gestures alongside less formal ones. In this way two case study subjects could be a part of a discreet ecology. Lawmaker and Lawyer, Financial Services Authority and Trader, Inland Revenue and Accountant (interested in corporate tax avoidance).

Media technologies hold extensive democratic potential, posing interesting questions to existing systems such as finance, politics, ownership and art.

What kind of culture are Space Studios (and its benefactors) interested in sustaining?

What kind of permanence would suit culture?

Agro-permaculture resembles command economy communism, rejecting as it does the free market wilderness of untended ecology in favour of a managed system. CP holds that culture is managed and is organised, however uncomfortably.

'Natural Systems Design' is the observation-based approach to a self-sustaining ecology - Is it appropriate to attempt to map this ecological methodology to a social context (social far less predictable)? This doesn't seem to bother economists! Is it a valid aim to test this?

PermaCultures Residency Proposal

Deadline: 5pm March 23rd 2009. Documents should be sent in pdf format with images as jpg or pdf documents and video as URL links. Applications should include:

A short proposal (2 page A4 maximum)

An outline of the project containing

  • Aims
  • Methodology
  • Support / equipment you will need
  • How the project relates to PermaCultures
  • What you think you will gain from the residency
  • An idea for a workshop with our Youth Trainees.