Solar Media Collective explores the affordances of solar energy for digital communication systems through research-creation and learning-by-doing. Against the backdrop of the Internet’s carbon footprint, our project is not only an exercise in decarbonizing data storage systems and web traffic, but also in envisioning and creating alternative solar-powered infrastructures and speculative designs.

In partnership with PedalBox Gallery*, the “Engaging Solarity: Taking Solar Media Mobile” summer programming proposed in this application brings our speculative solar media designs to Concordia students and the general public through a series of ‘pop-up’ events in public spaces (parks), and on Concordia’s two campuses.

The four proposed events are designed as a series of interactive, experimental provocations that encourage participants to critically engage with different technical, socio-political, and cultural aspects of the global energy transition.

1) Solar Sonorities: explores ways of living within planetary boundaries through sound and cyborg art.

2) Solar Projections: showcases resilient low-tech solutions in a high-tech world: popcorn made in a solar oven and solar-powered moving image projections.

3) Solar Computing (2x): considers the potentials and affordances that ‘solarity’ offers for a sustainable digital culture, and invites folks to learn about solar-powered networked infrastructures.

We hope our events will educate and inspire participants to reconsider the potential roles that solar power, in its various forms, can play in their lives. In this sense, it is also an opportunity for exploring new ways of approaching scientific communications about the possibilities of solar technology and for encouraging a community-based, participatory ‘do-it-yourself’ and ‘do-it-with-others’ approach geared towards democratizing the potentials of solar power.

*PedalBox Gallery is a co-machine that brings arts-based programming to the public. It’s an open vessel for collaboration and community engagement. Towed by bicycle, this trailer disrupts public space to collectively speculate on a politics of care and sustainability.






Robert Marinov