Solarpunk in Zine Form: Check out OBSOLETE!

There are several awesome things about OBSOLETE! Press – especially, obviously, that their latest issue from February 2017 is on Solarpunk.

I immensely enjoyed their About page, so I’ll just go ahead an quote a couple of t why the name OBSOLETE!?

In post-post-post-modern society even the term “obsolete” is becoming obsolete- products are obsolete before they hit the market-place, technology is only good as long as its replacement is in beta-testing.

And this beautiful explanation of why a zine in print form was created in the information age of digital everything, where knowledge does not equal wisdom and cultural rigidity is indeed more ripe than we like to admit.

 In the early part of the 20th century, Harold Innis, a Canadian media theorist and predecessor of Marshall McCluhan, postulated that great civilizations were those that balanced “time-binding” media (which retain ideas and history), and “space-binding” media (which allows ideas to travel rapidly). He felt, back in the 50’s, that western society was relying too much on space-binding media like radio and television, and that the over-exposure was leading to a culture where “…The emphasis on change is the only permanent characteristic.” He felt that this trend would kill shared experience and local identity and create and atmosphere of paranoia and rigid political militarization. No one knows what Innis would have thought of the internet, but despite all of the great gifts of modern technology, some of Innis’ warnings seem to be coming true. Despite the gushing flow of “free” information, cultural rigidity appears to be setting in.

And lastly, spoken by true Solarpunks:

The books we publish reflect our love for the physical world and the DIY aesthetic.

I’ll add here that digital versions are also available as the good OBSOLETE! peops recognises the digital media!

<3

Peace yo, and keep up the good work!

Obsolete Solarpunk Issue # 10

Utopia NOW!

Still not many reposts on this blog, even though it is such a convenient (7/11!) way of adding relevant content and spreading ideas.

So here is a repost of an article (called: Utopia now: why there’s never been a more urgent time to dream of a better world) by all-around rad power woman Laurie Penny about our need for more Solarpunk (well, she calls it utopia, but we’ll forgive her that oversight considering how magically underground Solarpunk still is, and gather motivation and determination to nurture Solarpunk into a force for good to be reckoned with).

It’s so worth a read, but if you are strapped for time, here are some standout quotes:

Utopias require that we do the difficult, necessary work of
envisioning a better world. This is why imagination is the first,
best weapon of radicals and progressives.

 

Fredric Jameson observed, “It is easier to imagine the end of
the world than the end of capitalism” – and the reason for that
is not that capitalism is the inevitable destiny of humankind
but that we have spent our lives being told that even thinking
about any other future makes us ridiculous.

 

Right now, the future seems dark and frightening and it is
precisely now that we must continue to imagine other worlds
and then plot ways to get there. In the midst of multiple global
crises, the only truly ridiculous proposition is that things are
going to stay exactly the same.

Peace, siblings!

<3

**Image from  https://www.facebook.com/utopianowband/

The Art of Solarpunks: Marina DeBris

There is plenty of art out there that could be “classified” as Solarpunk, but the genre is still so underground that not many identify with it (yet).

So I will introduce some artists who I would love to label as Solarpunks, even though labels don’t usually sit well with me…more on that in future posts. In the context of Solarpunk though, I am more than happy to label and be labelled, and hopefully so will these wonderfully inspiring individuals that currently form the centre of my artivism focus!

Making art and fashion – pardon me, I meant of course – trashion out of “junk” collected on beaches is how Marina DeBris encourages us to re-think, re-use and re-cycle stuff.

What an excellent, Solarpunky way to question how we use stuff and what happens to it when we are done with it.

DNA marina debris solarpunk

Improv that Reclaims Public Space

One of the things Solarpunks like to do in their spare time is finding ways to enrich their own lives and those of others’. Doesn’t sound punk enough? Well, rethinking (and then actioning) where we gather to make any kind of art plays a role in system change, just like any other action does when we remind ourselves that we are making history everyday.

Solarpunks keep interaction with the dominant system to a minimum, bend rules and leave impressions to challenge the status quo.

This friendly bunch of Brisbane Solarpunks likes to sing and jam together, and a few weeks ago they set out to explore interesting public places in terms of their acoustics.

The stormwater drain near the highway boasted street art, mad acoustics, and friendly dogs being taken for walks. It also proved suitable for a celebratory glass of champagne.

The stone stairwell at one of our big universities enthralled…angelic echoes and heavenly vibrations…where time stops being and being takes over, without thought but with voice, hum hum hummmmmm … trying out new tunes without feeling self conscious as they are meant to be there… notes with neither beginning nor end, where it’s obvious that sound was there first…

Cosmic Harmonic Stairwell Improv

The Art of Solarpunks: Luc Schuiten

There is plenty of art out there that could be “classified” as Solarpunk, but the genre is still so underground that not many identify with it (yet).

So I will introduce some artists who I would love to label as Solarpunks, even though labels don’t usually sit well with me…more on that in future posts. In the context of Solarpunk though, I am more than happy to label and be labelled, and hopefully so will these wonderfully inspiring individuals that presently form the centre of my artivism focus!

Luc Schuiten: Vegetal Cities. Solarpunk cities.

The Art of Solarpunks: Molly Crabapple

There is plenty of art out there that could be “classified” as Solarpunk, but the genre is still so underground that not many identify with it (yet).

So I will introduce some artists who I would love to label as Solarpunks, even though labels don’t usually sit well with me…more on that in future posts. In the context of Solarpunk though, I am more than happy to label and be labelled, and hopefully so will these wonderfully inspiring individuals that presently form the centre of my artivism focus!

Molly Crabapple is not just an amazing visual artist, but also a gutsy journalist, activist and excellent writer. Strength of character, honesty and a healthy sense of humour make her stand out from the pack. Her memoir is a page turner with many meaningful quotes and gorgeous illustrations. Her art is unique, at once beautiful, disturbing, and insightful. She is the example for artivism (activism+art); reviews calling her “a brilliant and principled artist – can’t get much more Solarpunk than that!

In my wildest dreams Molly draws the future by illustrating my novel…

molly crabapple general strike

Images credit to Molly Crabapple @ https://mollycrabapple.com/

There is plenty of art out there that could be “classified” as Solarpunk, but the genre is still so underground that not many identify with it (yet).

So I will introduce some artists who I would love to label as Solarpunks, even though labels don’t usually sit well with me…more on that in future posts. In the context of Solarpunk though, I am more than happy to label and be labelled, and hopefully so will these wonderfully inspiring individuals that form the centre of my artivism focus!

Inspiring, beautifying, thought-provoking mega murals and street art: The art of Mona Caron

StreamOfLife_MonaCaron

The Art of Solarpunks: Nylnook

There is plenty of art out there that could be “classified” as Solarpunk, but the genre is still so underground that not many identify with it (yet).

So I will introduce some artists who I would love to label as Solarpunks, even though labels don’t usually sit well with me…more on that in future posts. In the context of Solarpunk though, I am more than happy to label and be labelled, and hopefully so will these wonderfully inspiring individuals that presently form the centre of my artivism focus!

Nylnook – Comics and illustrations that portray the present and explore the future.

nylnook-nous-sommes-les-arbres-qui-portons-les-fruits-de-demain-1100x1100

Solarpunkster on Tour #8 – Reporting back on duty in Brizzzbane

Just arrived back in Brisbane town this afternoon – whoosh – 2 months gone!

But what a beautiful, intense time it’s been! About 5 weeks ago I decided to focus on the most important part of my trip- spending precious time with loved ones. That is why it has – yet again – been so quiet on the Solarpunkcity blog.

If I’m not careful these 2 months end up just being summarised in a measly 6 words: I visited my family in Germany. Now that would be a shame!

However, I filled 120 A4 pages with a mixture of notes, observations, dot points, rants and personal journal, capturing what I saw, heard and experienced while it was still fresh in my mind.

While most of these scribbles have not made it into the laptop, I have high hopes that I will yet develop a stronger streak of discipline in order to get some words out there on the state of things in Europe. I realise that I do have a slight problem with authority, even my own, making it tough for this solarpunk in the old productivity department…

And now for diving into the wonderful world of sleepless jetlagged nights with plenty of time for reading, reflecting, writing and of course some crazy dreams…

So long!

Big Love and Peace

Solarpunkster on Tour #7 – Journey to the Past

And then we were on the road again, going East this time. It was a beautiful drive past the Thüringer Wald forest, past countless solar farms which have seeded themselves along Autobahns all across Germany, wind turbines on every hill, and also a nuclear power plant – conveniently located right next to a ‘Badesee’, a lake for swimming…my Mum is pretty sure that it is one of the ones that is already turned off because it had so many problems. We see it from several different angles from the Autobahn and seriously consider taking a detour to visit and take a few snapshots…
So from the A7, we get on the A73, then the A4 towards the East (so many Autobahns…uneven A’s go north/south, even ones west/east). 

We drive past Hof, a small town (“Kaff”) in Northern Bavaria that I am only aware of because my workfriend Matty grew up there. When Germany was still divided, Hof used to be a border town and one of the entry points into Eastern Germany. 

Last time I came past here in 1987 with my Granddad, Mum and a family friend. For hours they played with me and ‘My Little Pony’ to keep me occupied (lucky me had access to such toys in Western Germany!), as we had to wait for hours in long car queues to have our papers and luggage scrutinised. And this happened on the way in as well as on the way out…I drew a picture of the long queues and my memories are fond (if slightly bemused as to what the fuss is all about), certainly testimony to the good nature of my travel companions.

None of this these days, Germany does not even have signs showing when you have entered a new state.

Then we leave the Autobahn and get on the Bundesstrasse (State Route) and it gets interesting. The roads become narrower. We pull over to let others past so we can drive a bit slower and have a look around. It has a very old-timey, rural feel, like a different world, or a different time…like we have driven to the past. 

My parents are glad to see so many old houses renovated after the long years of neglect under the DDR (GDR/German Democratic Republic) “Gubernare-Menti”. It used to look rather bleak back in those days, there was no money for such extravagant things as keeping buildings intact, the grey in grey houses were falling apart everywhere. There are still some like that around, testimony to the old days, and also quite a few LPG’s (Landwirtschaftliche Produktionsgenossenschaften, say that three times as fast as possible!), huge grey, high-walled compounds where people worked in Government farming cooperatives. 

Today there are splashes of colour everywhere, the gorgeous old houses are done up and shine in fresh coats of paints, many roofs are topped with solar panels. A variety of sheep, cows, horses, ducks and chickens peck and graze in yards and on flowery meadows. Huge fields of corn, hay, wheat and other cereals as well as hops, which is grown on some seriously interesting wire contraptions, lie between the tiny towns, and gaggles of wind turbines rotate majestically on the hills. On the roadsides grow gnarly apple trees, oaks, chestnuts, beech and birch trees, vibrant in their different shades of green.

We drive along when a huge flock of birds, hundreds of them, take off from the field on the right, fly above the road and our car, through the trees and then along the field on the left, keeping pace with the car for a few hundred metres before some electric wires inspires them to fly around and up and change course and swarm around more. Definitely the highlight of today’s journey! Unfortunately no photos because we were all too busy looking!

We stop in Bernstein to check in with the well marking a longitude (or latitude?) crossing right through there. Then we miss a turn and get to drive an extra bit through the country side, my Mum all the while reminiscing, then remembering a cousin of her Mum’s that they used to visit somewhere around here, and they had to catch a bus and walk a really long way…along that road…or was it this one?

We are glad that we decided against our plan to visit Dresden for a few hours – it would have made our day too hectic. We arrive in Ostritz and the Abbey St Marienthal, first built in 1234, at 4pm and are again blown away by how much work has been done to make this place into the gem it once was, also in light of the terrible flooding this region experienced in 2010, when a dam wall broke…

While the Abbey amd church are beautiful, the oppression of dogma and civilisation in general is impossible to ignore, especially with the quarter hourly “bell terror” reminding us constantly that we are slaves to time…

I’m glad I brought ear plugs and am rather excited about my large, beautiful room, which I have all to myself, with a window looking out to the herb garden, high ceilings, gorgeous old wooden floors and a desk (which I am sitting at now) which beckons me to write, to reflect, to read and to inspire…even though I am fully aware that I most likely won’t have much time…