I was very lucky this year to take part in the first ever edition of the incredible Dinacon – the digital naturalism conference*: A mixture of jungle, beach, ocean, microprocessors, new media art, DIY science, food-phreaking, crafting, coconuts, robots, crystals, drones, crabs, cats and a great many interdisciplinary humans for 6 weeks on a small island in Thailand.
*Conference? If the basic intention of a conference is to bring a community of researchers together to network, build the relationships that drive collaboration, share research and perspectives, developing a collective understanding of the state-of-the-art of the field, then great! However, frustrated with the limitations and exclusivity of typical academic conferences, organisers Tasneem Kahn and Andy Quitmeyer decided to reinterpret the format for the kind of radically interdisciplinary, nature-embedded international community of field biologists, artists, writers, hackers, DIY scientists they are trying to build. The outcome was a kind of rolling low-cost self-organised residency, hosting over 120 international “Dinasaurs” over a 6-week period. An experience I feel really privileged to have been a part of.
During my time there I recorded an interview with conference organisers Tasneem Kahn and Andy Quitmeyer as an episode for the DIY science podcast. We talk about why and how they put Dinacon together, the experiences that lead them there, and the futures they want to build. Both are interested in creating ways to expand beyond the usual boundaries of academic research by creating field stations and experiences that support deep immersion into local context and facilitate radical exchange of perspectives and disciplines. Hacking the wild and hacking academia at the same time.
Beyond that I also spent some time on my lady crystal fertility tracking project…
More about Dinacon