• Practices of Digital Resilience & Permacomputing | December 2

    A symposium rethinking extractive technologies in art, design and society

Practices of Digital Resilience & Permacomputing

December 2, Tolhuistuin | 12:00 - 17:00


On Saturday, December 2, FIBER, in collaboration with some active members of the permacomputing community, and the Unsustainable Research Group of the Willem de Kooning Academy, welcomes you to a day full of talks at Tolhuistuin, where a lineup of speakers will offer different perspectives on translating sustainability, resilience, and regeneration principles into practical steps.

The Practices of Digital Resilience & Permacomputing symposium will serve as a temporary amplifying stage for researchers, creators, artists, designers, cultural workers and all those interested in computation to try reimagine, rebuild, and rewild our approach to computational culture and aesthetics.


Speakers: Marloes de Valk (NL), Marie Verdeil (BE), Sunjoo Lee (NL), Raaf (Unbinare, BE), Danny Tirthdas van der Kleij (varia, NL), Michal Klodner (CZ) | Moderators: Shailoh Phillips (NL) & Abdo Hassan (NL)

Members of the permacomputing community will introduce the event


Tickets are sold out. You can join the waiting list here.

Programme Details

  • Date: December 2, 2023 | Time: 12:00 – 17:00
  • Location: Tolhuistuin (Amsterdam)
  • Entrance: Pay What You Can

Why permacomputing?

What does it mean to practise resilience, regeneration, and sustainability in our digital world? How does this relate to art, design and cultural works and does it even make any sense? As we find ourselves intricately entwined within a system built upon digital infrastructures, our insatiable demand for computing power is predicated on a wasteful, excessive use of finite resources. While the consequences of our digital way of life on our environments have been often concealed and difficult to unravel, these very consequences are nonetheless increasingly well documented and quantified.

Until now the dominant mode of critical response in the cultural field has been to look into these issues without being able to change how designers, artists and cultural workers are actually working. In the past years however, more and more are trying to radically change their own practice, and their relationship with computer and network technology, so as to adress these issues more directly, and move away from practices that while criticizing big and harmful tech, are ultimately legitimizing them.

Amongts these countervoices, permacomputing is a nascent idea and community of practice, inspired by permaculture, that aims at unpacking the problematic notion of sustainability of computer and network technology. By adopting its principles, permacomputing practitioners are experimenting with ways of working and creating that aim to be extremely mindful of their choice of material and technology.

Of course, beyond permacomputing, from free software activists, to solar punk and art/design making use of electronics recycling, many other artists, designers, and cultural workers have historically engaged with ICT in similar critical ways. Today, all these groups form a decentralized and multifaceted critique that materialises itself in new practices, and tries to make itself heard.


Rethinking extractive tech in art, design and society

Marie Verdeil (she/her)

Marie is a french designer based in Bruxelles, and holding a BA from the Design Academy Eindhoven. Within her work, she uses hacks and subversion in an attempt to shift our relationship with technology and draw attention to 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. Previous projects take the form of websites, objects, instruments, publications & installations among others.


Raaf (Unbinare) (they/them)

Raaf 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.

Marloes de Valk (she/her)

Marloes de Valk 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.



Danny Tirthdas van der Kleij (varia) (he/him)

Danny van der Kleij is a software developer, media artist, varia-member and radio DJ. His practice combines alternative and situational software and amateur electronic engineering, also focussing on 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.

Sunjoo Lee (she/her)

Sunjoo Lee 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. Sunjoo will close the symposium programme where she will refect on her making process.


Michal Klodner (he/him)

Michal Klodner moves from the field of audiovisual live performances and experimental film to forest gardening and building livinglabs. With a background in information science and coding 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 livinglabs as an interdisciplinary method of nondestructive living-research in nature and wilderness.

All symposium sessions

12:00 - 17:00

SESSION 1 | 12:30 – 13:30

From Data Extraction to Digital Resilience
The reality of data centres and need for regenerative relationships

Speakers: Marloes de Valk, Michal Klodner

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.



SESSION 2 | 14:15 – 15:15

Collective Practices of Reuse
Repurposing e-waste and assembling collective knowledge

Speakers: Raaf (Unbinare), Danny Tirthdas van der Kleij (varia)

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.

SESSION 3 | 15:45 – 16:45

Artful Applications & Energy Aesthetics
Art & design research to lower impact and rethink energy

Speakers: Marie Verdeil, Sunjoo Lee

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

Moderators & Demo

Abdelrahman Hassan (he/him)

Abdelrahman Hassan 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.

Shailoh Phillips (she/they)

Originally trained in Anthropology and Philosophy, Shailoh Phillips 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, creative writing.

Rein van der Woerd (he/they)

Rein van der Woerd (1997) 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. Through hands-on workshops and DIY, Rein tries to recover the digital utopianism of Web 1.0 and the first wave of personal computers. 

At FIBER 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.


Practices of Digital Resilience & Permacomputing is a collaboration between FIBER, the permacomputing community and the Unsustainable Research Group of the Willem de Kooning Academy.

Made possible with the support from Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie, Pictorights Fonds, Tolhuistuin, Arduino.

It’s part of FIBER’s Reassemble Lab programme which is currently researching the theme Rewilding Computation.