Everything was ready: the music, the mate, the barbecue and the beer. After eight years of trials, errors, events, workshops, excitement, and prototypes we were to the point we already decided to quit the project and to celebrate the *eWindow Failure Party* inviting all the crazy folks we met during these years.
Although we were very close to a fully working eWindow, too many issues were still preventing us to make available an easy to install/easy to use version of our software.
And then… Zoff came. After having seen a recorded speech our beloved developer Jonathan gave to the Gulaschprogrammiernacht, last year Zoff contacted him to ask for a partnership. Zoff is a programmer from Vienna and he was developing a free software and decentralised audiovideo conference system based on Tox, the ToxBlinkenwall.
They worked together for a while, then we went to Vienna and we fond we have many things in common. So, our two projects merged into the eWindow/ToxBlinkenwall program and things suddenly changed.
Thanks to this international cooperation, now the eWindow is real and works fine. We have recently been at the Sachsen Maker Faire and it was cool and fun! (see this video: eWindow at Sachsen Maker Faire )
At this point, there is a stable software and everybody can download the image at https://imagedev.toxblinkenwall.org/ and build an eWindow to join the Multifactory Network or just to connect two or more spaces you want to be connected.
All you need is a Raspberry PI 3, a Raspicam (original, non USB), a monitor, an SD card, an USB stick and an USB audio device (like a Plantronics Calisto 610, or a simple USB headset).
It’s easy and funny. To help protecting all the components, there is also a 3D printed desktop ‘phone style’ enclosure for the components you can download from ewindow.org (hardware).
We’re now looking for volunteers who are willing to install an eWindow in their Offene Werkstatt, connect to other open workshops and take care of the connection.
If you have the skills to build your own eWindow just do it and we will add you to our Multifactory eWindow network so you could be immediately connected with the offene werkstaetten: Rosenwerk in Dresden, FablabMuenchen and R84 in Mantova (ITA).
If you would like to join us but you need some help to build the frame, to assemble the electronic parts and to spread the eWindow concept in your community, contact us at email@example.com and we will organise a workshop together.
THe following is an email sent to the Multifactory Munich Cluster.
we are trying to figure out how to be ready for Make Munich, under the EWINDOW DEVELOPMENT point of view.
Even if you are not a developer but you are interested in understanding how Open Source works in a practical case, read the following.
– We didn’t want to loose all work done from Jonathan (october-december 2016)
– We understood that was necessary to collaborate with the Open Source community (because there is a peer review from users, and this is the power of Open Source, so let’s understand it and use it)
– few months ago Jonathan found Baresip software on github and made a fork from that code
– few days ago we started writing to the baresip mailing list our proposal to integrate our code to their software
– then started an exchange between Jonathan and Alfred (the developer that is the baresip Master on github)
Basically, there was some cleaning and debugging to do before our Pull Request cound being accepted and our work integrated into baresip code.
– today Alfred accepted our Pull Request so now our ewindow github code is integrated into the baresip one (not a fork anymore).
– Have a look at the discussion here between Jonathan and Alfred:
“As previously announced on the Mailing list, this patch introduces support for hardware-accelerated scaled video playback on the Raspberry Pi. It is not very well tested, and breaks for some resolutions, but otherwise running stable.
The module is named ‘omx’, due to the “OpenMAX Integration Layer”.
In the future, it might support the native video codec (h.264), and video capture (Pi Camera).
It is probably not compatible with OpenMAX on other platforms like Android, without further changes.
BOOK TIPS : I’ve red this two masterpiece books that helped me A LOT to get introduced to the Free Software phiosophy under a theoretical point of view.
They are both very interesting and understandable also by non educated people.
I’m sorry if I wrote somethings not appropriate under the computer development syntax, as you know I’m not a developer 😉
have a nice day, ciao lorenza
The Munich Cluster is a key point for the construction of the Multifactory Network.
The Multifactory Network is the attempt to construct a system of shared workspaces experiencing non-capitalistic ways to produce goods, based on sharing and exchanging tools, projects and ideas.
The multifactory network is based on 3 key points:
showing and presenting people through videos tutorials/self-presentations,
meeting at the elektronic window,
personal visits to other’s spaces through the Free Exchange Program.
The work made in August-September was aimed to give the basic skills and patterns to prepare the tutorials/self-presentations and setting up a team to develop the e-window.
The Munich cluster is composed by shared workspaces which are very different one from each other and it is a good chance to experiment and to understand which are the problems related to this project.
The work with the Munich cluster was really interesting and very productive because we found out a lot of critical points of the structure and we also could improve together the way to make videutotorials.
During the training course we focused on how to invent and how to create a structure for telling a story, which is the core of the presentation.
Then we realized that we would need to create a visual form, to let people self express and build their own video, as it is too difficult both to imagine the story and to think how to transform it into images.
So we started working to simplify the structure and while doing the tutorials with hei-Muenchen we experimented a way to make a tutorial faster and more focused, and we tested it.
While working with Felix, member of FABLAB-Muenchen, we focused on how to choose which are the skills and self characteristics to put into a self-presentation.
For the walkaround, (to present the space) with the hei team we decided to present each workshop with titles, to make clear what people can do in general and to let the viewer can easily understand which is the specialty of the space.
The goal is to reach a point when people can make these videos alone following a defined pattern. The work with the Munich cluster on tutorials provides a lot of material to make a tutorial about how to make a videotutorialpresentation.
The e-window project is a huge work, and it’s story is helpful to understand some of the problems that we experienced.
The e-window concept was first developed in Milan within the umbrella of the Tellus Project, a project aimed to link creative spaces all around Europe with e-windows (at that time based on commercial products). The project was presented to Cariplo Foundation in March 2011, and granted.
With Tellus project, we first understood how people interact in public spaces connected via e-windows. In 2012 we focused on user experience and in 2013 on how to create events. In January 2013 we defined the concept of “Elikon”, which is a specific format for events based on e-window that we first applied on September, 21st between Made in Mage (IT) and Building Bloqs (UK).
In 2014 and 2015 we researched how people interact in one-to-one communication through the e-window. We participated at “Milano città Mondo” art contest and we won a prize, we presented the e-window to the Stiftung Edith Maryon and at VOW Festival.
In these years, we understood that the e-window should appear as a window, we moved to the 24/h concept and we developed the user experience and the logical tree behind it. With FabLab Potsdam we decided to base the e-window on Raspberry PI platform and we started developing the connection software.
So, most of the knowledge about the e-window as a tool was made in previous years and as many concepts were fixed, the workshop for the e-window was meant to build a group of developers, starting from the results and evidences available at that point, collected in previous five years of development.
The group was formed and worked together but there were different approaches into the group and this led to two different technical solutions. This can be good as it makes possible to make a confrontation to different approaches but on the other side this is a waste of energy.
To build a free software video communication system is very difficult, the Voice Over IP is a fascinating but complex technology, we didn’t know before testing available existing free software Videochat solutions (based on WEBRCT protocol) that none of them is working properly.
Maybe it’s really important to focus all the efforts of many people on the same target.
Also if it’s difficult to create such a working community, we strongly believe that a free software communication platform is really needed to protect freedom of speech and e-democracy. Commercial software which you can use for free is not a gift. It’s a Trojan horse. Systems based on proprietary codes live users unprotected and their centralized architectures expose people and their data.
So, for us is mandatory to have a free and open system and we understood that it can only be developed by a huge and diversified group of developers. The goal is not just to have a videochat system for makerspaces and FabLabs, but to increase the security and to protect the freedom of all of us.
On a general level, working with a cluster was very productive but quite difficult. As we could imagine since the beginning, people would prefer to have a clear organization and to know in advance single tasks, but due to the specific characteristics of this project this is almost impossible. The final goal is to experiment a different kind of society but we don’t know in advance what this will mean in practice. We are just providing an intellectual platform to experiment different kind of relationships but we don’t know exactly which shape they will take.
We thought it would have been easier to converge on common points but we understood that values and goals of people involved on such different spaces are very different one from each other.
We understood that also when people believe in the same general values (sharing, exchanging, community, mutual learning) then differences are still very strong. Its needed to work on a common language because these differences can become very important resources within the network, if people know which are the specialties of each space, and where to go when they have a special need.
Right now they are like parallel worlds, which really don’t interact, but if people start exchanging within the cluster and building trust while doing things together, the potential is enormous.
What is needed now is to work on these themes and think in which way to start the Free Exchange Program so people can move and visit also other spaces outside Munich.
The workshop lasted one week and it has been a nomadic workshop thanks to the involvement of people belonging to those different Open Workshops all based in Munich.
It is true, all Open Workshops have something very deep and strong in common but it is also very clear that everyone has a specialty, something in which community members are more skilled or more interested about.
So, it has been natural to plan 2 days a the MunichMakerlab for working at the e-window software; While those “skilled” on webdeveloping were working on the Elektronic Window software architecture the others were thinking about the structure of the multifactory network.
With the second group we discussed the general meaning of the multifactory international network. We tried to find an answer to this question: Which benefits can we have if we are connected and we share our skills and knowledge using different tools as the e-window and videotutorials and selfpresentations? We got some new interesting points, and also we taught about some changes to the Multifactory Network website to make it working. For example that maybe it is senseless to call it “Network”. Because we do not need more networks, it si plenty of networs of spaces that need to be fed in a top down approach by the initiators of the space or by the “employees” of the space.
The aim and the need is more a social network, a community of interest where the first basic goal is: connecting people that are aiming to produce locally complex objects or products or complex projects.
Other 2 days of this September Munich workshop were spent at the Werkbox3 wood workshop in building the E-window frame: mostly made by wood and metal. Werkbox members have special passion for working with wood. So it has been the perfect place for starting thinking at how to make the e-window to look as a real window, that you can let it open and see the panorama outside.
During the weekend the workshop shifted to Hei and we made several exercises on how to make videos starting from the shots and camera movements and going straight to the storytelling. If you want to make videos by yourself and share your knowledge through videotutorials first follow those tips and start shooting!
With the 4 Munich Offene Werkstaetten we discussed a lot also about the fear of being observed or of being watched by someone somehow hidden and we cleared that this is a SOCIAL EXPERIMENT TOO, we are testing it, all together. And it doesn’t make sense to test something new in an easy environment, I don’t know for example in New York it would be accepted by everybody, no fear at all of being watched. BUT, we thought if it works in Germany, it will work worldwide!!
Our goal has been since the beginning (2 years ago with the first exchanges with machbar-potsdam.de crew) to plan an encrypted video chat system. In order to reach this huge goal we will attend the 33C3 Chaos Computer Club Congress in December, everybody is welcome to join the e-window crew!!
Next workshop :: videotutorial and selfpresentation :: Munich :: November 13 to November 17, join us! (send an email to : firstname.lastname@example.org)
Next project presentation: Honig Fabriq :: Hamburg :: November 19 :: at the Verbund Offener Werkstaetten Annual Meeting.
The Festival of the Offene Werkstatten organized by der Verbund Offener Werkstatten a German federation of open workshops for Craft, Art, Repair, Recycling and other activities. The festival was hosted by Rosenwerk in Dresden from 2 to 8 November 2015.
The first day we arrived in the early morning when the guys from Rosenwerk were just finishing to set up the new common kitchen/area caffe’ at the entrance of their new beautiful space. We remember the day they entered that space, when it was completely empty. Now, after just some months it’s incredible to see all the improvements. They have new rooms and a young and creative community.
For us, being there has bee a great opportunity to exchange and learn, to meet again interesting people coming from different cities from all over Germany amongst them the growing community of Hebewerk in Eberswalde, the new Fab Lab Cheminitz, guys from Nurnberg and from Berlin, coming from the beautiful Prinzessinnengarten project.
The formula we have choosen to interact with this community has been to organize a week long workshop on the EleKtronic Window. Everyday, all day long. Just do it, together!
The “electronic window” is a direct way to establish connections between people who work in different cities.
Just imagine a window trough the wall. You just go to the coffee-break area, or to the café, and you can see other people from another space, talk to them, exchange ideas, give and get suggestions on what you’re doing.
In every space which is part of the Multifactory Network there is a window.
Each e-window is open all day long from one space to another one.
If there are two persons close to the two windows, they can talk and interact.
E-windows are based on low-cost and Open Source technologies (Raspberry Pie, a flat monitor, a webcam, Linux and a few other electronics) and are intended to be just e-windows: they don’t have keyboard, mouse, browser, and other programs installed.
If people want to meet in front of the window, they act exactly as if they would plan to meet someone at the bar:
A – meet people by chance: you go, take a coffee, and start talking to someone you don’t know, or someone you know and is taking a coffee at the same time
B – you send a message to someone and just say “see you in 5 minutes at the e-window”
People can meet and start business relationships as well. In what differs compared to a skype call? To make a skype call, you have to ALREADY know who you are calling, you need their contact, and so on. With the electronic window, you can easily interact with people you never met before (but maybe who you think could be interesting, because you’ve seen their video-tutorial-presentation, the secondo level of the Multifactory Network).
At the VOW festival, thanks to the collaboration of the webdevelopers Michael from Rosenwer and Jonathan from Chaos Computer Club Darmstadt we could go on with the Opes Source. We understood it was not possible to use an existing video chat system and we tried to build we tried to approach the problem from another angle and use a simple video streaming solution, maybe with RTSP protocol. In this hackpad you can find all we have done until now.
NEXT STEPS: The open source computer developing part requires much more investigation and work we expected, maybe we have the solution in front of our nose but we don’t see it. That’s why we decided to go on with the physical network of people belonging to similar working places, that is the real need, and not be afraid of imperfection. Technology will follow. We left one of the two Raspberry Pi’s at Rosenwerk, we opened a github, we started to go to visit the spaces willing to be part of the network and we explained the project and asked to the community fi they would like to be part of it. It is not difficult to find open workshops that want to be part of this project, so in 2016 our goal is to establish at least 4 elektronic windows in a beta version in 4 different places. How? Just using old pc with skype installed letting the monitor visibile and hidding all the rest (mouse, computer, keyboard..).
If you arrived to read this article until here, it means you understood the idea hidden into the elektronik window, so it’s time to explain you why we believe it’s important to establish the elektronic window into a network of shared working spaces? But what this network is about? Read the project here or have a look to the multifactory website.
If you also think it is important to let makers, freelancers, craftman belonging to different local communities exchange knowledge, experiences and projects in a global scale. If you also think we reached the point we can experiment a completely new system to produce goods and services, with a non capitalistic vision, if you would like to open an “elektronic window” into your workshop, join us!
We will be glad to make this silent revolution, TOGETHER.
We found this interesting event dedicated to the contemporary practices of the moving image, Rencontres Internationales offers a space to discover and reflect upon new cinema and contemporary art. And below our post the required material to enter the call.
Multifactory. The invisible factory. HD, 60 min, ITA, 2014 Wacht it here
The documentary starts with a car riding under the snow, looking for what remains of the illusions of the 70’s. Monumental urban installations, now in decline and almost hidden by vegetation and rust, are to witness a society that strongly believed in social promotion implemented through work.
Where is the jointly liable community of citizens and workers that had been promised by politics and corporations? How do we combat the sense of disorientation that pervades people who are new to the labor market and can’t find a job or mid-aged people who lost their job and can’t find a new one? How can the citizen “perform an activity that contributes to the material and spiritual progress of society,” as the Italian constitution states?
Thus began the journey, real and metaphorical, through five countries in search of MultiFactories, places that reinvent the idea of work. MultiFactories are a European phenomenon made by people who seem to be the pioneers of an emerging social class; incorporating new values and characteristics of artisans, entrepreneurs, and freelancers.
You only need to enter each building in which they are developing and listen to the individual experiences of these guys, to see what’s new.
We received many similar responses out of a single, coherent framework. A single speech of many voices, a large choral work that explains how these social systems are structured and can exist. These forms of work organization, independent and free, are a practical and functional interpretation of the basic principles of Collaborative Economy, on which the European Union is investing so much.
Lorenza Salati uses instruments and methods by visual anthropology as a support to the self-perception of singles as change makers. She was hired as documentary filmmaker by NGO’s and public institutions to explore agricultural and ethnical issues in Africa (Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Senegal). In the meanwhile with these institutional experiences, facing up to new communication needs emerged from the opportunities offered by Web 3.0 she investigate new forms of expression and innovative methods of storytelling, both in a technological than in a content level. The main line of research is the definition and transmission of methods and tools that can be used by individuals and organizations to build a strategy of self-representation and self narrative for a web marketing goals. The goal is to share and spread the skills and techniques for an effective communication with a bottom up approach, using the social networks in a social way, spreading videos, pictures and contents creating and involving a community parallel to the communities they represents into the real life. Since 2012 she is following and studying the sharing economy phenomenon. His research is aimed to find practical solutions to the current labour market.
We love dreams, but only when became truth.
We love to foresee the future, to discover what is unbelievable today, but will be “normal” in ten years.
We don’t like utopian places, where highly focused people pursue a specific goal apart from society. We believe that social innovation has to be something that can be applied to everybody and that can change the society by interacting with the existing schemes.
That’s why we love diversity, to travel, to meet people, to catch new trends at their appearing, and then to find a way to spread them, and to make them replicable and suitable for as much people as possible.
That’s Innovation for us.
We love to be completely free to change our ideas and our point of view, that’s why we self-finance our projects.
Our brains are very different: Giulio starts from a systemic approach and focuses on the overall dynamics within social systems, while Lorenza is much more interested in the role of single persons and uses instruments and methods by visual anthropology as a support to the self-perception of singles as change makers.
We both assume an ethnographic point of view and we think that to understand phenomena you have to deeply be part of them.
2015 – “Il Mercato Invisibile” in Palermo, one-week performance which brings together Video Art, Modern Dance and Architecture
2015 – Interactive Installation “Milano Città Mondo” at “W-Map”, international art contest. I won the second Prize
2014 – “Bosco in corso”, a short documentary about the unscheduled stop for the EXPO trees in Expo Gate. An installation into the city centre of Milan as a way to familiarize people with the EXPO MILANO 2015 event ahead and with the theme of landscapes.
2014 – “Multifactory. The Invisible Factory.”, Documentary on the shared work places shot in several places within Europe between 2012 and 2013. HD, 60 min.
2013 – “A la recherche de l’animisme” documentary about the festival “La Lune du Sahel”, a completely free entrance international music and teather festival organized by Watinoma in Koubri village, Burkina Faso.
2012 – “MOZAMBICO FARMERS CLUB”, Documentary on farmers in Mozambico HD, 25 min.
2012 – “Che cosa vorresti seminare nel luogo in cui vivi?” Documentary on people who live in the Granara eco community, HD.
2012 – “KlezTiket”, videoclip, MINI DV.
2012 – “il Sogno di Muna” Documentary shot in Burkina Faso, MINI DV, 22 min.
2011 – “Dar voce allo sguardo” Documentary on joung people from Bollate (I), MINI DV, 12 min.
2010 – Short movie “AFRICAN ENCOUNTERS”, about a group of musicians and dancers blues and soul that lives between Milan and Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso.
2009 “Ai Laìk Karamèl” Documentary on joung refugees, winner of the prize “Miglior Documento al concorso Lavori in Corto”, minidv, 15 min.
The participants have been selected on the basis of the innovativeness of their project, as well as its social impact, contribution to the conference and geographical distribution. The number of participants was limited to 50. This limit has been set in order to keep the conference size compatible with the community feeling we wish to create and to facilitate formal and informal flows of experiences and knowledge.
“Across the world, there are great social innovations and urban culture activism emerging. However, actors and stakeholders of this movement are often not aware of each other because of the lack of a real network connecting them. A lot of creative people need to start from scratch. SIC! aims to address this issue.
SIC! is a grassroots conference based on a bottom-up approach that aims to boost discussion about local experiences of social innovation. It is an open space for social innovators who want to get in touch with each other, confront problems and solutions, and learn from different experiences and contexts.” READ more about SIC in their website.
For us, this experience has been very usefull in order to be connected with other social innovators. We finally had the opprotunity to meet someone from OUI SHARE and to understand better what they are doing and how.
Then it has been very interesting to have the possibility to see what is happening in Rome, our capital city. The conference has been hosted by ReBike ALTERmobility a no-profit association that has different project all aimed to sensibilize citizens on sustainable mobility in city environments. They showed us the opportunity to take part to the European Erasmus PLUS program that is hepling them in running an educational program to teach english through a road safety educational program.
Two weeks after the conference we went to visit the Connettiqun architets group based in Cremona, we appreciated a lot their way of involving communities through new urban spaces concepts they developed in the last years, so let’s see what will happen then!
The Erasmus for young Entrepreneurs program, sadly, reached to an end. We can state that it has been the first financial support to our independent research and to the development of the multifactory Network. It has been a small amount of money (830 euros a month for 4 months) that could cover the travel costs to freiland-Potsdam, in Germany.
But the real gain has been, of course, another one: to have 4 months to fully keep on working on this project, with the support from the association that is running the Freiland Cultural Center/shared workspace.
I publish here the final report of this project hoping that this program can be used in the same way I did and can help other Young Entrepreneurs to get more skills in a practical way and with the same freedomness.
The objectives of the stay were:
NewEntrepreneur: The main target for the NE is to learn (theoretically and practically) how to support the freelancers, artisans, small enterprises and artists who are part of a Multifactory to run their activity. The focus is to find a way to strengthen their commercial side into an environment that is basically collaborative and based on trust, sharing and community. The objective is to find new ways, tools and languages of communication that are proper to the sharing economy. We divided the project in different thematic units: i) How to present to the plenary session a communication and a commercial project ii) How to build a social community out of it iii) How to work in team for a common goal and to share experiences and skills iiii) Exploring the possibilities of youtube channels and blog communication when they meet a community of workers During the first month the NE will get in touch with the HE. In this phase the NE will learn how to present a project to the plenary session, how to involve people into a social business shared project. In the second month the NE will learn how to build and maintain a community, the usage of social tools as working instruments and the techniques to grow up an international community of independent workers. The NE will produce some short viral videos in collaboration with the HE exploring the possibilities to sell local products using internet in a social way. In conclusion, the last month will be the one more related to communication skills, where Lorenza will learn from freiLand how to create value from the ‘artistic’ work done before.
HostEnrepreneur: The main goal for freiLand is to provide Contacts and networks of collaborative working projects to Lorenza and to help her transferring the tools of the projects into a video documentation. With this support freiLand will strengthen the capabilities of Lorenza as young entrepreneur and reinforce her skills as producer of new media products. freiLand and Lorenza will share their Experience.
SUMMARY OF THE RELATIONSHIP
1. Please describe:
a) the work/activities performed
After many interviews and meetings with local changemakers, I was able to find, define and fix new narrative elements that could be in line with this new forms of living and working. Then I gave birth to the “Do It Together – Sharing Economy for Change Makers and Social Innovators” youtube channel. It’s a webserie for sharing knowledge/skills (to everyone has access to the web) owned by independent workers that have a “collaborative and maker attitude” and that act and think that work it’s not about making profit but it’s about making a better world and have fun out of it. “Do it Together” videos are short videos who teaches something very specific and simple related to the everyday working life of many different changemakers. The videos are 2/3 minuts long. Videos that last the time of a break between one task and another of the everyday life, videos teaching something very specific and at the same time relaxing. While whatching those videos you can have the feeling of knowing somehow the person is in the video and, if you need his or her skills, you can easily contact him/her. The videos are always divided into 2 different parts: the first one is a VIDEO TUTORIAL, the second one is a kind of curriculum vitae about the PERSON who made the tutorial. Each video is focusend on one person. Both parts are intended to explain how those “new” independent workers live and act and which are the skills attached to them: where they work, how they work, what they think work is, what they think life is.
b) the achievements
2. Have the objectives of your stay abroad as set out in the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneur Commitment been met?
Fully To some extent Not sufficiently Not at all
Please explain briefly which objectives have been / have not been met and why:
3. To what extent did the HE contribute to the development of your business
Significantly To some extent Not sufficiently Not at all
– promote the professional activities ruled by some changemakers working in the HE factory. – Help those change makers in finding new customers. – promote the youtube channel authors as experts in collaborative economy (tools, communication methods, network). – set up new communication tools to foster collaborations among changemakers all around Europe.
Please explain briefly which objectives have been / have not been met and why:
The objective to study and develop a new narrative for this new social class has been achieved. The objective to spread this webserie has not been achieved yet, but it was’nt possible to achieve it in just 4 monts, that’s why I will go further with this project and I will spend other 2 months to the HE in order to finish the project.
The contest theme was: MILANO WORLD CITY, how would you creatively present the city of Milan to the visitors who will be arriving from all over the world for Expo 2015? What places, particular features, suggestions and experiences make Milana city that’s strongly interconnected with the world?
The jury chose the winners among 168 works. Multifactory. The Invisible factory” won the second prize.