On the Farm

September 21st, 2012

Day Two and Three

As we come to the end of day two the temperature has dropped (Matt is even wearing a hooded top for some reason), the mist came in about 5pm ready for the 20 minute dusk to sunset which I recorded on the new Timestreams phone app.

Yesterday was a busy day acclimatising to being here, starting the measuring, playing and tracking that we had planned.  Finding our feet and getting used to the limited internet access, the unreliable power (the power went off for a couple of hours – rumour had it that there was a van from the electricity in the forest who had switched off so that people could cut down trees).  We went to visit the part of the farm where the organic veg is growing and choose the food for our dinner and Robin and Jesse sorted out the fish (less said about that the better), but made a scrumptious lunch that we shared with our hosts Raquel and James.

After dinner we talked through the project with Raquel and James and showed them the sensors and some of our early stage ideas (the storm orchestra, the mini apocalypse – more to be said on these soon).  Then they shared some exercises they do in their work involving energy and contact between people.  Great conversations and good practice for next week when we will be introducing this huge ambitious project to the artists at Barracao Maravilha, Silvia’s studio in Rio.

Today was a different day, the clouds came in and it rained, ending the day in this mist that is cloaking the trees, reminding us that we are indeed in a rain forest on the Atlantic coast.  I have spent most of the day tracking the clouds, the rain, the changes in humidity with Mark who has built an arduino humidity and temperature sensor (sadly the one connected to the plug is giving out unreliable readings).  We tried to measure rainful but first off the pot we left out disappeared – there is a monkey in the trees in the forest very happy with his new cup, second time despite the pretty good lot of rainful none of it got into the new pot.  I have left out my measuring cup on a rock and hope if it rains again we can get some kind of reading at least to justify the attempts so far!

Lunch has become our main meal of the day, to get through the heat of the day (or the rain today).

My plans are coming together for my Storm Predictor we have designed the set up of the machine, its all gone mechanic now but me and Robin are also designing a visual representation not unlike a crystal ball kaleidoscope.  Well lets see…

Silvia has been up the hill planning a performance of climate data with the lights of the farm, Robin has been working on the phone app, Jesse ongoing developing, Becca recording the dawn and developing her data fed alarm clock, Mark working on his storm orchestra, Matt on his mini apocalypse, recording his human presence and writing a story about our avatars that leave in the apocalyptic dome.

Off to sit down and go through where we are all at and how to bring it all together. Matt wants us to do a C02 test based around a conversation in a room.

Dinner will be left over beans and rice from the delicious meal Matt and Mark made for lunch. We’re good cooks between us it seems and all very much enjoying living the good life, despite the cheating with biscuits bought to relieve us all from moments of grumpiness.

We’re here in Brazil… with Timestreams

September 19th, 2012

vera cruz farm

We are at the farm Vera Cruz in residence, the internet is slow and intermittent so photos are difficult.

It is stunning, remote, hot.

We arrived in Brazil, got the van straight to Miguel Perreira, up in the mountains.  We meet with James and Raquel our hosts from the British Brazilian theatre company Zecura Ura. We settled in, they gave us a Brazilian tea, talked about each others work, went out for dinner and Chopp (Brazilian Beer), slept, got up and got the bus to the farm gate.  The bus dropped us at the gate and we walked through two hours in the midday heat through barren deforested hills, deep forest across clear streams to the valley where the farm site perched amongst banana trees, wild orchids and forest.

This morning I got a up at dawn.  I was woken by a Kamikaze bird tapping at the window – telling me to wake up and see the dawn. I’ve never seen so many birds, in the orange tree and the tree opposite the balcony where there are two nests. A bird couple calling out to each other, they have several rooms in their house in the tree, coming in and out, gossiping about the day ahead.  The sun moved over the barren hills.

Marcos who is one of the guys that manages the farm and general technician for Gargarullo (Zecura Ura’s cultural centre in Miguel Pereira) showed us the monkeys in the trees eating shoots.  He said they dont attack and they dont come near humans. They make a deep croaky groan. Deeper and louder than the other sound.  The chorus of the birds. The cockrel.

The sun here smells. Fresh, ozoney, sweet, thick. There is a breeze but its soft and light.  Marcos told us that the monkeys huddle together when they hear the humans lower down in the valley. Behind the farm is forest and in front the barren hills with no trees.

Breakfast involved a deep discussion about binary code and art. Now we begin our experiments. Keep watching to see what we are up to.


Update to Website

September 11th, 2012


Over the next few days we are updating the site a bit. All the projects and articles will still be available.
But the front page may undergo some changes. If anything looks odd this is merely as we are in transition.