About Kitchen Budapest Residency

Kitchen Budapest '08 Return of the Periphery' Residency Project

by andrew gryf paterson

August 29-September 29 2008.

'Special Embassy'

My proposal for Kitchen Budapest revolves around exploring the idea of 'Special Embassy', both in conceptual and architectural-hardware terms. 'Embassy' in ancient meaning refers to a diplomatic mission, a group of people from one state or organisation, present in another state or organisation, to represent the sender in the receiving territory.

With the increase of global movement of people outside the sanction of the state - in the spirit of social and environmental change, unauthorised economic or environmental migrancy - a reconfigured understanding of relations of 'embassy' and the represented collective appears. In a post-national, globalised social movement and order, who would represent the collective? What services can be offered to one another, between the sender and the receiver organisations? What non-state, i.e. autonomous, embassy architecture would be useful? And if the architecture of an embassy is scaled down to be mobile and ad-hoc networked, can we hold a 'Special Embassy' in our own pocket? And if so, how can it be shared, distributed, and replicated?

In this familiar-strange scenario, the word 'embassy' refers not only to a diplomatic service, but to a physical architecture. It presents the idea of an autonomous embassy, a small piece of hardware which could be a portable flash-disc, wiki, & wireless node; where the architecture of a 'Special Embassy' is miniturised, and mobile. At Kitchen Budapest, I would aim to identify, in collaboration with other researchers, what could the architecture-hardware design be, use open hardware models to release the design as copyleft.

However, this is only half the context. My period of residency would also seek to open up discussion to a wider constituency, where, in discussion with other autonomous actors and collaborators, we would explore what sort of services the 'Special Embassy' can and would offer.

This project relates to wider ambitions, within the framework of the international 'Imaginary Border Academy'
(http://www.borderacademy.org/), and the emerging 'Muuttolintu Verkko/Migrant Bird Network' collective in Helsinki.

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Questions..

In a post-national, globally-networked context of localised and autonomous social movements,

Who would represent the collective?
What services can it offer each other locally?
What autonomous mobile, network infrastructure can support it?
How can the infrastructure be shared, distributed, and replicated?

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Kitchen Budapest Media Lab

http://www.kitchenbudapest.hu/

My motivation for a residency at KiBu is based on the desire to contribute to physical-virtual community-organsing projects and ideas; and also benefit from collaborating with the gathered community of open hardware & physical computing artist-engineers and researchers present. I appreciate the multi-disciplinary and collaborative emphasis, and the creative and challenging exchanges which it generates. I consider Kitchen Budapest as a good venue to develop the hardware and conceptual elements of the 'Special Embassy' concept. Budapest is a stimulating environment to develop new ideas and contributing to the intellectual environment shared between autonomous social centres, media labs, and larger institutions such as Central European University and MOKK Media Research Centres.

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Seeking collaborators and conversants

Seeking technical collaborators interested in exploring the micro-processing involved in architecture combination above.
Seeking interaction and concept designers interested in mobile communities.
Seeking artists/activists interested in supporting and developing autonomous participatory platforms.
Seeking political & social scientists interested in diplomacy, autonomy and contemporary social movements.
Seeking embassy and diplomacy staff willing to be interviewed for exploratory research..

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Potential Architecture

For a pocket 'special embassy'..

Protable data/memory-storage/ SD Memory
Simple editable web-browsable wiki.
IRC Chat
File translators
Language translators
OS system (eg. Planktum Live)
Wireless receiver and broadcaster node.

Where the architecture of a 'special embassy' is

Open-source hardware based.
Possible to make oneself with instructions.
Mobile (possible to put in pouch/pocket).

Wireless Access Point

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