Leading up to the inaugural Electric Wonderland summer camp in Fužine, Croatia, Makery interviewed Deborah Hustić from Radiona, the main organizer of the gathering.
During the first seven days of sun-kissed September, the idyllic site of Fužine, near the Adriatic’s main port town of Rijeka in the north of Croatia, will become a gathering place for hackers and makers combining DIY, electronic music instruments, design, robotics, biohacking and many more hands-on activities and discussions under the general theme “Emerging environments”. Makery spoke with Deborah Hustić from the Radiona makerspace in Zagreb about the newest maker camp to join the Feral Labs Network.
What will Electric Wonderland be like?
Electric Wonderland is an international hacker/maker camp located in the small town of Fužine near the coastal city of Rijeka. It’s an international scout center called Rakov Jarak (Crab Stream) with great possibilities. It offers camping in nature and all the necessary facilities to maintain a tech-based gathering for seven days. The camp will thematise hybrid forms of expression with workshops on DIY music electronic instruments and devices, blockchain, smart-city technology, biohacking, design thinking, DIY kitchen lab, robotics, paper crafts, movables, solar energy and renewable energies, climate change, recycling objects, citizen science, etc.
As Radiona is very fond of citizen participation, we will also do guerilla mini workshops/interventions for the local community of Fužine in order to introduce maker culture within the context of art, science and technology. People will have an opportunity to join the workshops and lectures as they wish, bring their own projects for development, give a freestyle lecture, wander around the woods and lakes, eat great food, take mini trips to the coast, kindle the campfire, enjoy or perform a concert/jamming every evening, read, do nothing, exercise, hike or cycle, help maintain the camp… not to mention explore the local flora and fauna with biologists, artists and tech geeks.
Why the name “Electric Wonderland”?
The camp is located in the woods and surrounded by two lakes, so it’s literally a wonderland. We want to lose ourselves in the idea of co-creation and creative re-thinking of technology, science and art combined with nature. Electric Wonderland is a very bucolic, pastoral comprehension of innovation, DIY/DIWO community combined with nature and biodiversity. Come and join us, delve into Electric Wonderland.
What is the camp’s general philosophy?
Our philosophy is connecting the unconnectable, creation and co-creation, participation, inclusion and constant digging through the labyrinths of the unknown. We like curiosities the same as we like to reinvent and reverse engineer already-known patterns. Keep it simple and just continue climbing: “Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain,” wrote Henry David Thoreau.
Why did you choose Fužine for your first summer camp?
Croatia is a lovely country with amazing nature, but also a heavy tourist attraction. So we realized the best way to have a great camp would be near a small township in the woods, 30 minutes from the Adriatic coast with facilities for makers, hackers, artists and campers for seven days of co-creation. As Rijeka will be the European Capital for Culture 2020, the best way to engage the audience and create visibility for Electric Wonderland and maker culture is to involve the local community in the process of co-creation, to discover citizens as artists and explorers.
Does the summer camp involve any artists in residence or other long-term partnerships?
Yes, the summer camp will include two resident artists: one of them is Yuri Landman, the second one we are still keeping a secret for the second call. Our peers from Drugo more (Rijeka-based NGO) will also partner with us for the camp, so we plan to visit the city of Rijeka in order to scatter our program a bit to the coastal and urban parts of Primorsko-goranska county. We will also include our peers from Green Energy Cooperative, Birdlife Affiliate BIOM, TerraHub and UNDP in order to get more climate change and renewable energy topics in the program.
Last few words about Electric Wonderland?
If you like hybrid forms of expressions, camping and hacking devices or just the companionship of creatives and geeks in nature and want to get yourself OFF the grid, then come to our side, we have it all!
The Feral Labs Network is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union