Public Engagement

Why involve the public? We need your "local knowledge" and expertise!

Photo: Bangor “free Shop” pop up 2009 Being innovative about waste management needs the input of the public/ end users from the earliest stages. The engineer and sociologist Michel Callon talks about the need for “participatory design” in science and technology.

We also seek to explore “the difference that place makes” and the importance of working with citizens' “local knowledge”. This can be understood in terms of “Place shaping”. “Place-shaping” promotes the idea that local citizens and stakeholders should have a say in how the places they live and work are governed. We will be running a number of “pop up events” to involve the general public and to make sure their views and thoughts about waste management in their cities (and in general), are heard and can inform the development of this network.

What is a "pop up"?

A pop up is a temporary use of space to hold an event or in some way engage with people. It can take many forms and have many different aims and objectives. Our pop ups will be artistic in nature, and aim to engage with the public in a creative way. Many pop ups are now quite “mainstream”; however we understand pop ups as a political space, a “Temporary Autonomous Zone” (Hakim Bey)

Amsterdam pop ups April till November 2016

pop up one 16.4.16

We have held our first arts-led public engagement “pop up” event in Amsterdam, run by the artists Irene Janze and Netty Gelijsteen. This creatively explored public views on “wasted thought” in Amsterdam. Here are some photos of the day: {{ ::img_4428.jpg?200|}}

A Youtube link to Netty's artwork with 'wastedcity' can be found here The pop up results and ideas will be discussed at the Amsterdam workshop held on April 28th.

pop up Two 27.4.16 Kings Day, Amsterdam

: a short video of the second pop up, “the House of the Apostates” held outside in two community neighbourhoods, is available . Irene Janze's models made from leftover waste get a strong reaction when she tells people how this sort of waste otherwise gets disposed of! Irene did her engagement in two very different areas of the city: kingsday 2016 the House of the Apostates. we went to two neighboorhoods in Amsterdam amd asked people to donate waste for the House of the Apostates(huis der Afvalligen) where Inhabitiants live before they are electrocuted, gassed or buried. If they donated something, I asked for the criteria to be submitted in the House. different criteria were mentioned: shape, seize, history, esthetics. when I asked if only beautiful inhabitants or handicaped or small inhabitiants should be permitted two people in my multicultural( is this stil a word one can use?) neighborhood mentioned that everybody should be admitted. In the “white middle class area” nobody said so. Of course this is no statistic investigation. It could very well be chance. But it is also possible, that people from other countries still take care of the elderly at home or may be they know what is is to be standing “outside”, one step apart. It is an interesting methodology for a social scientist to use. People are easely approached and all started conversations about waste. So sociologists and waste innovators: if you ask the right questions... Irene Janze.

We discussed the publics' views explored in the pop ups, and got a chance to engage directly with the work of both artists, at our first workshop in Amsterdam on April 28th.

Pop- up 3, May 21-22, 2016

Irene Janze and several of the artists participating in the Amsterdam workshop are an artist collective known as Buro jan–‐ZE. For the final Amsterdam smARTcities and waste pop up, Buro jan–‐ZE made an exhibition for the smARTcities and waste in an old building, Zeeburgerdijk 112 in Amsterdam in where Buro jan_ZE temporarily rents a studio. The Exhibition was open during the “Open studios Centrum–‐oost”, 21st-22nd May2016. Occasionally performances /participatory events, were also held for people visiting the gallery. This final event was a culmination of themes and artwork developed by Irene Janze , Netty Gelijsteen and the other artists involved in Buro jan-ZE- Maria Louisa Vandenput, Ida Voorthuis and Ariaan van Walsum, most of whom also actively participated in the smARTcities Amsterdam workshop held on April 28th 2016 and indeed have been part of the delivery of previous pop ups. It is fascinating to see how these artists are working with, and critically exploring, the concept of “waste”, and it is exciting to see how the workshop itself has been part of the “incubation period” of developing ideas. So there is a back-and forth- dialogue here, which is also involving the public’s perspective, through these “open source”, pop up, participatory practices.

Irene has written a PDF report, available here,reportexpo_zeeburgerdijk.pdf which is a fantastic,colourful and insightful record of this final exhibition. She notes that:

The exhibition is of course not intended as illustrations or explanations of scientific and/or technological waste innovations. It is certainly not my intention to reduce the artworks and performances as such…In Amsterdam the focus of the smARTcities and waste meeting was and is on buildings, cities, matter, skins and bodies. We have tried to address those issues raised in the workshop at the VU in a poetic and/or artistic way…


Thanks to Irene and to all the artists involved, for their effort, energy, creativity and enthusiasm.

Pop Pop- up 4, July 3, 2016 Art boulevard Wertheim park Amsterdam

Ariaan, Netty, myself and other apostates popped up at the Art boulevard in the Wertheimpark festival next to the Hortus in Amsterdam. Some people of the public made waste sculptures, some participated in project of Netty who invited the public in Dutch: “is er iets wat je aan niks en niemand kwijt wil? Neem plaats en vertel het me dan zal ik het vereeuwigen.” “Tell me what you dont want to loose.” Again, a very different public in comparison with publics at other occasions passed us by. Over all the public overhere produced no longer or hardly any waste at all. They all sorted out their left overs and put them in different garbage bins. Conclusion from the public: waste has become a resource. But is this really the case? Do we know what happens with the waste in the garbage bins? And do we need more recycled plastic for instance? To add to the amount of plastic all ready existing? Or do we have to go for bioplastics? Is recycling an answer to the waste problems? Or do we have to produce differently or may be less? Here more about the plastic topic at the workshop on December 8, 2016 in Maastricht Talking with the public people with young childeren expressed their concern about the plastic bubble.As have I. .Buro jan-ZE, footage A.van Walsum, movie Irene Janze

Pop Pop- up 5, September 11, 2016 the Temple of Wasted Idols ( de tempel der Afvalgoden) , zeeburgerdijk 122 Amsterdam

After a lecture about conceptualism and the place of Paul Thek's technological reliquaries in art histrory and society people tried to make their own technological icons or wasted idols. footage Ariaan van walsum. movie Irene Janze