Check out some pretty spiffy uses of technology – bringing hackers together with farmers.
Hackerspaces [are] user-friendly spaces where technological tools are crafted, are spreading throughout the rural environment. They can even transform abandoned water troughs into eco-jacuzzis.
“If we take a look at the etymology of the word ‘hacker’, it refers to hacking wood”, comments Ursula Gastfall. A … main goal was the development and democratisation of technological know-how in a rural setting.
Certain hackerlands arise as an alternative to these structures, turning into local, non-profit consultants of sorts. They meet some of the rural area’s needs – particularly digital de-isolation – by creating independent Internet networks that work in mountainous or isolated areas, setting up local, democratic servers, regional Internet radios, etc.
In Pado [Italy], there is no water or electricity. Festival-goers put together a rain-water collection system that filtered the water before consumption, and set up solar panels – wired to batteries – to supply the electricity to the electronic equipment used for the event. On the event’s program: building wind turbines, solar ovens and 3D printers, making free software and doing research on fermentation, as well as concerts and lighting and analog photography laboratories…all of this, right in the heart of the Alpine mountains.
Edited interview with Philippe Langlois, one of the founding members of the first French hackerspace on RealitySandwich.