Practices of Digital Resilience & Permacomputing

A symposium rethinking extractive technologies in art, design and society


Welcome to the symposium. With this one-day meeting place, we invite you to engage with the work of artists, designers, cultural workers, and activists, who are trying to rethink and rewild technology in response to the endless production of computational devices and big tech infrastructure.

Artists, designers, creative coders, hackers, cultural workers, activists, and researchers working with computation and network technology are invited to join the free symposium Practices of Digital Resilience & Permacomputing on December 2, at Tolhuistuin (Amsterdam). So what does it mean to practise resilience and regeneration within digital societies? And how does this relate to art, design, and cultural production? The programme will try to propose the start of an answer by exploring the concept of permacomputing, inspired by the principles of permaculture, as well as present and discuss related fields of expertise and practise.

As our reliance on digital technology and network infrastructures deepens, the pressing issue of the environmental impact of our digital lives is gaining prominence. In a time where computing equals significant and ever increasing amounts of industrial waste and various forms of extraction, permacomputing encourages the maximising of hardware lifespans, minimising e-waste and energy use, supporting energy literacy, and focusing on the use of already available computational resources. It’s exploring good relations with the Earth by learning from ecological systems and experimenting with new ways of ecological-driven computation and aesthetics.

While permacomputing is a relatively new term, it connects with a long history of neighbourhing ideas that form an ever growing discourse and critical practises to critically engage with ICT. From low-tech, to feminist technology and working with ewaste, this event aims to be a meeting opportunity for like-minded practicioners as well as to offer an introduction to the environmental problematisation of computer technology.

Organised by FIBER, an unsustainable research group of the Willem de Kooning Academy and several active members of the permacomputing community.


Welcome: Permacomputing and Beyond

Opening words and contextualisation

Introduction by Aymeric Mansoux
Jarl Schulp
Ola Bonati
Lukas Engelhardt
Brendan Howell
Time 12:00 - 12:30

Why permacomputing? We start the day with a short introduction to permacomputing and neighbouring movements as well as how they relate to the ongoing Rewilding Computation series of events and activities at FIBER. Prior to this event, three workshops were held to introduce participants to permacomputing principles, more specifically in relation to alternatives to big tech server hosting, notions beyond "productivity" and our physical connection with nature. The sessions were (more or less) conducted in accordance with permacomputing principles and concerned themselves with everyday practices and ideas that can be applied by individuals and collectives right now. Some of the experimental results will be shared in this introduction.

Session 1: From Data Extraction to Digital Resilience

The reality of data centres and the need for regenerative relationships

Speakers Marloes de Valk
Michal Klodner
Time 12:30 - 13:30

To arrive at alternatives to our impactful digital behaviour, we need to fathom the infrastructure, computation and its culture behind it. The 'cloud' is a physical data centre that extracts data and natural resources on a large scale. Can we propose alternatives to steer away from using global companies and their harmful use of resources? With resilient skills, from digital to ecological, we can start building new connections and environments based on self-governance and regenerative relationships with our environment.

Marloes de Valk (she/her) is a software artist and writer in the post-despair stage of coping with the threat of global warming and being spied on by the devices surrounding her. Surprised by the obsessive dedication with which we, even post-Snowden, share intimate details about ourselves to an often not too clearly defined group of others, astounded by the deafening noise we generate while socializing with the technology around us, she is looking to better understand why.

Michal Klodner (he/him) moves from the field of audiovisual live performances and experimental film to forest gardening, building livinglab and back. With a background in information science and coding, he was one of the founders and current curator of digital community server and online gallery. Michal Klodners’ practice involves writing on online activism, digital curation or postmediality, as part of creating networks based on trust in those fields. In the recent projects on the role of artistic research in sustainability Klodner got into computational aspects of media art in relation to ecosystems and more than human natureculture communities, trying to develop livinglab as an interdisciplinary method of nondestructive living-research in nature and wilderness.

Session 2: Collective Practices of Reuse

Repurposing e-waste and assembling collective knowledge

Speakers Raaf (Unbinare)
Danny Tirthdas van der Kleij (varia)
Time 14:15 - 15:15

If our mission is to combat e-waste, extend the life of electronic and digital devices and create infrastructures of collective creation, what open-knowledge systems and tools do we need to support this? What are the challenges and opportunities inherent to the practices of collective repair and reuse? In this session, we will take a deep dive into working with DIY digital tools, discarded electronics, etherpads, writing methods and the ways to arrive at new collective practises, and new assemblies of technology and theory.

Raaf (Unbinare) (they/them) is an anarchist, hacker and reverse engineer. In 2020 they founded Unbinare, an e-waste reverse engineering laboratory which aims to reduce the increase of e-waste by finding ways to repurpose discarded electronic devices. Unbinare operates from an anarchist context and considers their research to be a form of direct action to counter state and corporate control of the environment. Prior to founding Unbinare, Raaf has been an artist, composer, architectural designer, security consultant and hardware security researcher.

Danny Tirthdas van der Kleij (varia) (he/him) is a software developer, varia-member and radio DJ. His practice combines alternative and situational software with amateur electronic engineering. Currently this revolves around topics of computational frugality, divisions of (non-)meticulous labour and the practicality ignored within politics of repairability. varia is a Rotterdam-based initiative and space for developing collective approaches around everyday technology, through maintaining and facilitating a collective infrastructure. At its core, varia aims to develop critical insights into the technologies around us. They experiment with different instruments and tools to develop physical and digital infrastructures in a collective way.

Session 3: Artful Applications & Energy Aesthetics

Art & design research to lower impact and rethink energy

Speakers Marie Verdeil
Sunjoo Lee
Time 15:45 - 16:45

Concluding the symposium, we highlight art and design practices that experiment with, and implement low-tech and permacomputing-like principles and explore alternative energy sources. What can we learn from their making processes, and is it possible to transfer them to a wide variety of applications? Going beyond aesthetics, shaping our collective consciousness and being a medium for advocacy, education and inspiration. Through the lens of creative expression, we can begin to reimage a society where sustainable and regenerative design principles are not just concepts but could also be transformative for art, design and cultural production.

Marie Verdeil is a french designer based in Bruxelles, BE. In her work, she uses hacks and subversion in an attempt to shift our relationship with technology and draw attention on the ever growing resources involved in its production. Her practice is based on empirical and empathic research and often results in creating tools, methods or experiences, rather than ready-made solutions. She also wonders what design can, but also can’t do to challenge our beliefs & habits in a finite, ecologically threatened world. She prefers to work with open-source resources, re-purposed materials, energy-aware approaches and DIY techniques. Previous projects take the form of websites, objects, instruments, publications & installations among others.

Sunjoo Lee (she/her) is a media artist based in the Netherlands. Lee makes tools, sensory robots that respond to the environment, and video art installations, combining technology and ecology. Her works often explore topics such as; technology for more-than-humans, emergence, biomimicry, permacomputing and future forms of symbiosis. Her recent works are more research-based, largely replacing her computer-based practice in her studio with spending as much time as possible in a natural environment.

Moderators & Demo

Originally trained in Anthropology and Philosophy, Shailoh Phillips (they/them) has spent the past 10 years working in the field of digital media, social design and media arts education, as well as cultivating a collaborative practice of cross-media projects such as interactive installations and inflatable sculptures with the collective Tools for Action. She previously worked in VPRO television and in the field of animation, game design, and creative writing.

Abdelrahman Hassan (he/him) practises at the intersection between software, critical theory, data, and poetry. He is an applied researcher focusing primarily on algorithmic inequality and decolonial computing. His interests include memetics, internet geographies, technical utopias/dystopias and depictions of e-governance. His overarching goal is to bridge critical theory with digital practice and to limit accessibility gaps and hurdles to open access to knowledge.

Rein van der Woerd (he/him) graduated from Design, Art & Technology at ArtEZ Arnhem in 2022. Inspired by the psychedelic mindset, Rein searches for ‘hippie-technology’ and researches permacomputing for his residency at Creative Coding Utrecht. At the symposium Rein presents his work on Nintendo DS homebrew. By making art for this device that some might consider obsolete, he shows that through continued care a devices can become *more* capable as it ages instead of less.

Practical info

Date December 2, 2023
Time 12:00 - 17:00
Location Tolhuistuin | Zon zij (Amsterdam)
Entrance Free (consider donating)



Please contact FIBER for any questions regarding tickets or programme information: Allegra Greher (allegra [at] fiber-space [.] nl)

For press related question: Maarten De Bruijn (maarten [at] fiber-space [.] nl)


Learn more about the principles and visions behind the nascent community of permacomputing by checking out the permacomputing wiki and its work-in-progress library:


This website is running on a 2007 iMac at the FIBER office, set up and installed by Lukas Engelhardt and Aymeric Mansoux

Aymeric Mansoux (he/him) has been messing around with computers and networks for far too long. He is a professor of practice-oriented research (lector) at the Willem de Kooning Academy. Recent collaborations include What Remains, an 8-bit Nintendo game about whistleblowing and the manipulation of public opinion in relation to the climate crisis; LURK, a server infrastructure and collective about net/computational art, culture, and politics; and the permacomputing wiki.

Jarl Schulp is a curator, artistic researcher, designer and event organiser. He’s the co-founder and director of FIBER; an Amsterdam based festival and platform for digital culture, audiovisual art and experimental music culture. His practice focuses upon the ever-shifting possibilities and impact of technology on society and the environment. In his research he studies the interactions between technology and ecology, and how technological narratives and visual culture dominate our worldview.

Ola Bonati (she/her) is a researcher and storyteller working on topics exploring the implications of various technologies in our culture. In her work, she investigates the consequences of web 3.0 hype, digital monopolies, platform labour, personal digital habits and she also has (research) fun with various meme vernaculars.Her latest focus is on digital hoarding, asking: how to crawl our way out of tech dystopia and into more kind practices both for ourselves and the planet?

Lukas Engelhardt (he/him) is a graphic designer and artist in Amsterdam. He creates and explores (supposedly) autonomous spaces, both online and offline, and tries to understand the tactics, terms and conditions necessary to negotiate and maintain them. He builds, breaks and fixes servers for himself and for others and is active in the housing struggle. Together with Justus Gelberg he runs the graphic design studio Correspondence

Brendan Howell (he/him) is an artist and a reluctant engineer. He is the creator of numerous interactive artworks and inventions. Additionally, he has spent a lot of time teaching digital practices in applied and fine arts at various European higher education institutions. He lives in Berlin, Germany but can often be found walking in wooded areas of Northern Europe or enjoying pastoral life in Hacksneck, Virginia, USA with his extended family.


Organised by FIBER, an unsustainable research group of the Willem de Kooning Academy and several active members of the permacomputing community. Thanks to Arduino for helping us source used electronics for our third workshop.

Programme development: Allegra Greher
Aymeric Mansoux
Jarl Schulp
Workshop development: Ola Bonati
Lukas Engelhardt
Brendan Howell
Michal Klodner
Aymeric Mansoux
in collaboration with FIBER
Design: Mary Universe (Mary Ponomareva)
Production: Allegra Greher
Communication: Maarten De Bruijn
Eleni Maragkou

Many thanks to: Framer Framed, Cinetol, Tolhuistuin

Partners & Funding

Thanks to our programme and funding partners for making this symposium and workshop series possible: Willem de Kooning Academy, Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, Creative Industries Fund NL, Pictorights Fund, Arduino, Tolhuistuin