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Accepted to ISEA2022 | Barcelona, June 2022

Ener-geyser, design research by Tara Karpinski

Tara Karpinski is a researcher-designer in Caradt’s Situated Art and Design group. Her work is realized in public spaces, in cooperation with diverse communities. Tara’s installations visualise underlying (algorithmic) networks to reveal various potential applications.

Ener-geyser has been accepted to the ISEA2022 conference, ‘Possibilities’, under the ‘Natures and Worlds’ theme. Ener-geyser is a site-specific installation and artistic research project, produced as part of ‘Design Thinking for the Circular Economy’, a SIA RAAK-mkb collaboration between Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and Caradt | Avans.

The installation responds to the rise of distributed ledger technologies within communities. Algorithmic governance presents affordances that could challenge existing value sets. It also raises questions about ethics, privacy, and the socio-political implications of new forms of distributed authority. The work aims to trigger further conversation concerning these issues among community members. It uses one available natural resource – water – to display another – energy.

The Ener-geyser is a wellspring in a public space. The wellspring is informed by blockchain data that is derived (in real time) from a resource community.

The geyser introduces new ways for individuals and communities to access and perceive data. In doing so, it explores how the (shared) underlying values in energy resource communities can manifest in systemic management of resource allocation.

The fountain disrupts the traditional dashboard format: it transforms the dashboard into a collective and public spectacle, both for the users, and for their surroundings.

As the geyser portrays data, it simultaneously functions as a research instrument in that it allows researchers to track and document conditional shifts in individual behaviours toward the greater good of the collective.

The installation raises questions about viewing and experiencing the sharing or collectivisation of natural resources, and about how new forms can influence actions, and relationships to technology and to one another.

Further information:

  • A filmarrow documenting the installation and the overarching research will be presented at the conference.


SIA RAAK MKB project, ‘Design Thinking for the Circular Economy’

Design Thinking for the Circular Economy

This research project explores the question of whether situated design methods can contribute to value transparency in the design of local platforms for the circular economy. 

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‘My practice is situated in between different actors, in this shape-shifting middle many things can happen.’

Tara Karpinski is a designer, researcher and educator working in the realm of social practice. She holds a BA in photography and art history from the Savannah College of Art & Design (USA), and an MA from the Sandberg Instituut (NL). Her Master studies were funded by a Netherland-America Foundation grant.

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Research Group: Situated Art and Design

Living in cities developed around data and acting within the inscrutable structure of our techno-society demands art and design that can help understand how we relate to these rapidly changing surroundings and to reflect on that relationship. The research group Situated Art and Design responds to this exigency by fostering a situated turn in art and design through a diverse portfolio of interdisciplinary research projects in partnership with academic and cultural partners, as well as with government and industry.

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