Participants: Tim van Cromvoirt (Thermophores), Philter Phactory/ David Bausola (Weavrs), Mike Thompson & Gionata Gatto (Trap Light), EZCT Architecture & Design research (Computational Chair) and Pepe Heykoop (Skin)

___ Much fabrication work is being done by robots for some time now. Mental work such as stock trading, is often done by quite independent quant software on servers close to the big data bunkers.

A small but growing number of technological beings have made another step towards autonomy by taking care of their own energy. The Zephyr for example, is an aircraft that runs on solar energy – once it has taken off it basically does not have to ever land again, unless it breaks down. Dickson Despommier has designed a boat that uses flecks of plastic that float in the ocean as its fuel. The Carnivorous Domestic Entertainment Robots of Auger & Loizeau catch snails or flies and in their biocells turn them into the electricity which they run on.

These technologies are no longer just tools that serve our agency. Rather, they have to be tended by us. They place us in a role that is closer to that of a gardener, or a bee-keeper, than to that of an engineer.

In Things That Mind Their Own Business Transnatural explores technical, philosophical and cultural questions around the emergence of these kind of technological beings:

How can independent machines maintain a mutually beneficial relation with their environment? Could these machines harvest enough energy in their surroundings to also do work for us?

Is it time for a political Party for the Things, next to the Party for the Animals?

We collect and present artworks, speculative designs and prototypes for symbiotic robots, energy harvesting machines , genetic algorithms and more.

We organize workshops to design lo-tech energy harvesting appliances, and to explore new cultural attitudes towards more independent technologies.