Future of Farm Screening 2.11.10

FEBRUARY 11, 2010
Parkgrounds Coffee, Atlanta, GA

guests discussing
Three community participants engaging in discussion

The first public engagement in Spring 2010 for the growBot Garden team was the “Future of Farm” screening at Parkgrounds Coffee in Reynoldstown, Georgia.

We curated a clip reel of various agricultural futures; culling from vintage agricultural propaganda movies, modern ag-robotics videos and other explorations of alt-agricultural systems.

Over 90 area residents RSVP’d for the event, which was standing room only. Participants were recruited from a local underground supperclub mailing list, and included growers, gardeners, Georgia Tech students and other community members.

A dual-screen setup was utilized for this event; wherein the clip reel was projected onto one screen, and a real-time feed of participant SMS-based conversation was projected on the second. Participants were able to engage in texting-based conversations during the screening.

After showing the clip reel, we engaged participants in a free-wheeling discussion that touched upon many topics, including the role of Georgia Tech in fostering conversations with local organic growers.

Lady Rogue behind the bar
Discussion centers around the local organic buffet

As researchers, designers, and artists, our first foray into public engagement introduced us to many core issues that would characterize later stages of our project. Chief among the participant responses was an underlying distrust of Georgia Tech – a school known for its close financial and working ties to large industries. What role did the growBot Garden team play in – say – harvesting participant ideas for the financial benefit of those corporate benefactors?

To what end was this project going to interact with the community, and what would be the outcomes of those discussions?

These questions and others served to inform the underlying community engagement model that the growBot Garden team is constantly evolving.

More pictures

Participants chatting in the darkened room

Lady Rogue discussing

growBot Garden team member engages in discussion in front of the dual-screen setup.

nice spread!
Buffet of Barley Salad with Local Organic Vegetables and Goat Cheese

This article

is cross-published on growBotGarden.com.

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