Solar Protocol

A naturally intelligent network.

This website is hosted across a network of solar powered servers and is sent to you from whichever server is in the most sunshine.

Presently you are on a server called Low-Carbon Research Methods that is located in Trent University, Peterborough, Canada.

Server Battery:
City: Peterborough
Country: Canada
Local time: 09:28 AM
Weather: n/a
Temp: n/a ° C
Feels like: n/a ° C
Sunrise: n/a
Sunset: n/a
Last update: 09:28 AM in TZ n/a
Battery Level: 52.0%
Battery Voltage: 12.54 volts
PV Power: 2.0 watts
PV Voltage: 13.81 volts
PV Current: 0.14 amps
Load Power: 2.88 watts
Load Voltage: 12.54 volts
Load Current: 0.23 amps

Solar Protocol Library

Texts on Ecology, Energy and Culture

2011 Carbon Democracy Timothy Mitchell Book how energy systems foster certain political arrangements. Particularly interesting discussion on how the conditions of coal mining produced opportunties for worker organizing. Book
1988 The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy Georges Bataille Classic text theorizing excess. Book
2014 Braiding Sweetgrass Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants Robin Wall Kimmerer Kimmerer brings indigenous plant knowledge into diaglogue with western science. Her discussion of the honorable harvest, an indigenous environmental management protocol, is of particular inspiration to Solar Protocol. Book
2020 Low-Carbon Research: Building a Greener and More Inclusive Academy Anne Pasek A paper exploring how developing low carbon practices in academic research is an opportunity to produce knowledge in new ways. Paper
2021 A History of Solar Power Art and Design Alex Nathanson Written by one of the Solar Protocol collective, this book does a deep dive into art and design practices that explore solar power as medium. Book
2014 Art & Energy: How Culture Changes Barry Lord Stewardship of the earth and the body is the cutting-edge culture in the arts and in our lives that accompanies the new renewable energy sources. It must do battle with the culture of consumption that was brought to us by our still dominant energy sources, oil and gas. Book
2018 Research On Degrowth Giorgos Kallis, Vasilis Kostakis, Steffen Lange, Barbara Muraca, Susan Paulson and Matthias Schmelzer Scholars and activists mobilize increasingly the term degrowth when producing knowledge critical of the ideology and costs of growth-based development. Degrowth signals a radical political and economic reorganization leading to reduced resource and energy use. Paper
Emergence Magazine Emergence publishes both online an in annual print edition a collection of essays, interviews, poems, adapted multimedia stories, and photo essays curated around a specific theme. Magazine

Projects on Energy and Digital Culture

2014 CO2GLE Joana Moll CO2GLE is a real-time, net-based installation that displays the amount of CO2 emitted on each second thanks to the global visits to What is the material impact of communications through the Internet? Project
2017 Harvest Julian Oliver Wind energy used to mine cryptocurrency to fund climate research. Project
2018 Solar Low Tech Magazine Kris De Decker This website is a solar-powered, self-hosted version of Low-tech Magazine. It has been designed to radically reduce the energy use associated with accessing its content. Website
2018 Solar Power For Artists Alex Nathanson Solar Power for Artists is a design studio and education platform focused on both creative and traditional applications of sustainable energy, particularly photovoltaic solar power. Website
2019 The Hidden Life of an Amazon User Joana Moll This project narrates the journey I undertook inside the intricate labyrinth of interfaces and code that make the purchase of Jeff Bezos’s book possible. Project
2020 Finding Pleasure in Scarcity Daniel Parnitzke This website is hosted on a server that is locally powered through an off-the-grid solar system with its own energy storage. The website content is accessible as long as the system is able to provide sufficient power. The server is located in Xirocourt, France. Website
Branch Magazine Online magazine about sustainable web practices. Magazine
2021 Solar-Powered Media Anne Pasek, Benedetta Piantella This is a zine about building your own solar-powered digital media storage infrastructure and sharing it online with the rest of the world. It includes instructions and suggestions about the hardware and software this task requires, as well as ideas and directions for the kinds of applications and aesthetics that seem to work best with such systems. Zine

Texts on Computing, Carbon and Energy

2010 Crisis or opportunity? Economic degrowth for social equity and ecological sustainability François Schneider, Giorgos Kallis, Joan Martinez-Alier This article reviews the burgeoning emerging literature on sustainable degrowth. This is defined as an equitable downscaling of production and consumption that increases human well-being and enhances ecological conditions at the local and global level, in the short and long term. Paper
2012 An Intermittent Energy Internet Architecture Barath Raghavan, David Irwin, Jeannie Albrecht, Justin Ma, Adam Streed In this paper the authors examine how to re-design the Internet for an energy-constrained future powered by diffuse, intermittent, and expensive power sources. They consider the types of constraints this might place upon the Internet architecture and the manner in which important network components can function in this new environment. Paper
2015 Information systems for the age of consequences M. Six Silberman This paper discusses what kinds of computer information systems might be of broad social value in the context of the increasingly severe ecological and social consequences of economic growth, and how they might be built and maintained. Paper
2016 Macroscopically sustainable networking: on internet quines Barath Raghavan, Shaddi Hasan In this paper the authors introduce the concept of an Internet quine, a metaphor that represents a collection of devices, protocols, manufacturing facilities, software tools, and other related components that is self-bootstrapping and capable of being used (by engineers or autonomously) to reproduce itself and all the needed components of the Internet. Paper
2018 Computing Within Limits Bonnie Nardi, Bill Tomlinson, Donald J. Patterson, Jay Chen, Daniel Pargman, Barath Raghavan, Birgit Penzenstadler The future of computing research relies on addressing an array of limitations on a planetary scale. Paper
2020 Solar-Powered Server: Designing for a More Energy Positive Internet Benedetta Piantella, Alex Nathanson, Tega Brain, Keita Ohshiro The Solar-Powered Server is as a system designed to more deeply investigate the power consumption of our online actions and compare different design elements and choices, while experimenting with the intrinsic qualities of renewable energy sources in order to create more resource-efficient content, to make information storage more accessible under low resource conditions and foster more energy positive behaviors. Paper
2020 Green Design Guidelines Rachel He Green Design is a resource of guidelines and best practices for a low-tech, energy efficient, and environmentally sustainable internet. Website
2021 Sustainable Web Design Tom Greenwood This is a practical path to faster, more carbon-efficient websites. Book
2021 This is a solar-powered website, which means it sometimes goes offline’: a design inquiry into degrowth and ICT. RR Abbing Roel Roscam Abbing's conference paper describes the design rationale behind Low-tech Magazine’s solar powered website. Its a good discussino of how degrowth design principles can be applied to UX and ITC. Paper
2021 Design Aspirations for Energy Autarkic Information Systems in a Future with Limits Brian Sutherland This is an discusses a number of past solar-powered information system designs, comparing them with contemporary solar autarkic prototypes (like Solar Protocol), reflecting on their actors, their histories and their socialtechnical trajectories. Sutherland defines an information system as energy autarkic "if its operation is integrally sustained by an ambient energy source, typically renewable, for long periods of time." Paper
2022 Strategies for Degrowth Computing Brian Sutherland This paper looks at 1) the concept of resource reduction and scarcity in the economy, degrowth, applied to the rendering of computing and information services, “degrowth computing” and identifies some strategies. It 2) explores some degrowth concepts around energy autarky with a Raspberry Pi, with some further thoughts about consumption within the research frames of the Limits community Paper
2022 Solar Protocol  Exploring Energy-Centered Design Tega Brain, Alex Nathanson, Benedetta Piantella We wrote a paper describing the design decisions behind Solar Protocol and how it explores what we call energy-centered design, or how digital experiences should be designed in ways that include their energy implications. Paper

Resources on Low Carbon Computing

Website Carbon Calculator Calculating the carbon emissions of website is somewhat of a challenge, but we have been working for many years to develop and refine a methodology for this purpose. Our hope is that this will help raise awareness and encourage more eco-friendly approaches to be adopted throughout the web design industry. Web Tool
Climate Strike Software Climate Strike Software is software that uses the Climate Strike License, a software license that developers can use to prohibit the use of their code by applications or companies that threaten to accelerate climate change through fossil fuel extraction. Project
Principles of Green Software Engineering The Principles of Sustainable Green Software Engineering are a core set of competencies needed to define, build and run green software applications. Website
Hundred Rabbits Hundred Rabbits is a small artist collective that explores the planned failability of modern technology at the bounds of the hyper-connected world. They research and test low-tech solutions and document their findings with the hope of building a more resilient future. All from a 10 meter vessel called pino. Community

Redesigning Networks and Platforms

2017 Slow Net Beverly Chou Slownet resists surveillance by slowing down the internet. A quote from "Because real-time collection of data is enabled by fast Internet speeds, one form of resistance could involve co-opting a tactic from labor unions called the slowdown strike, in which workers deliberately reduce their productivity. Slow Net, aims to utilize this strategy of purposeful inefficiency in three pieces." Those three pieces are a zine (you must turn off wifi to read it); an online messaging application, "slow chat"; and a "slow router". Project miscellaneous (Gouwstraat 3, Rotterdam) is a space for developing collective approaches to everyday technology. miscellaneous members maintain and facilitate a collective infrastructure to generate questions, opinions, adjustments, help and action. We use free software, organize events and collaborate in different constellations. Community
2018 Distributed Web of Care Taeyoon Choi The Distributed Web of Care (DWC) is a research initiative on communication infrastructure, exploring the Distributed Web as a peer-to-peer, alternative web which prioritizes collective agency and individual ownership of data and code. Through collaborations with artists, engineers, social scientists and community organizers, DWC imagines distributed networks as a form of interdependence and stewardship, in critical opposition to the networks that dominate the world today. Project
2018 Run Your Own Social Darius Kazemi This document exists to lay out some general principles of running a small social network site. These principles are related to community building more than they are related to specific technologies. This is because the big problems with social network sites are not technical: the problems are social problems related to things like policy, values, and power. Project
A Transversal Network of Feminist Servers In pursuit of an intersectional, feminist, and ecological impetus, ‘A Transversal Network of Feminist Servers’ (ATNOFS) is a collaborative project that aims to explore alternative engagements with digital tools and platforms. Project
Anarchaserver Anarchaserver is a feminist server which aim is to develop autonomous infrastructure on the Internet for feminists projects. Project
2022 Feral Web Austin W. Smith Imagine a node online like a field of switches blown by grass, lifted by tides, respiring like an organism. Access to is determined by climate and ecological data at server site in realtime. Turns out the world always already was an internet, and websites are just kites. Project
2018 The Organic Internet: Building Communications Networks from the Grassroots Panayotis Antoniadis This paper explores community networks that empower citizens to build their own local networks from the bottom up in the context of a wider vision of sustainable living in an energy-limited world. Paper

Ruminations on the Sun and Solar Power

2020 Beyond the Sun: Embedded Solarities and Agricultural Practice Nicole Starosielski. This text discusses solarity beyond the sun and what the author calls embedded solarities, the manifestations of being solar in social practice, infrastructural assemblages, and human and non-human life. Paper
2016 On the Political Influence of the Sun Boris Groys Groys looks at the influence of Russian historian and biologist Alexander Chizhevsky, who, in the 920s and 1930s, offered an interpretation world history as defined by the activity of the Sun. Chizhevsky inspired Bataille and his work on solar myth. Essay
2013 Can The Sun Lie? Susan Schuppli The video sets out to explore the emergence of a new visual regime brought about by climate change as well as the dispute between lay knowledge and scientific expertise that subsequently arose at COP15 with regards to this solar dispute. Project
2022 The Solar Biennale A new and inclusive perspective on the energy of the sun through many programs Event
1964 Direct Use of the Sun's Energy Farrington Daniels Solar energy: collectors of solar radiation, cooking and heating water, agricultural and industrial drying, storage of heat, solar furnaces and engines, cooling and refrigeration, photochemical conversion, and many other uses. Book
2022 Solarities, Seeking Energy Justice After Oil Collective Solarities considers the possibilities of organizing societies and economies around solar energy, and the challenges of a just and equitable transition away from fossil fuels. Book
2022 Solar Politics Oxana Timofeeva The sun, which, since Antiquity, has played an essential role in our utopian imaginations, is the ultimate source of energy, both productive and destructive. According to Georges Bataille, its infinite generosity can be taken as the model for human societies, which suggests an alternative to the capitalist economy with its infinite expansion, colonization, and disastrous consequences on the cosmic scale. Book
2022 Energy Trajectories and Solar Energy Imaginaries of the Maasai Turner Adornetto Through unstructured interviews with Maasai herders, city-dwellers of Arusha, Tanzania, and representatives from foreign solar energy firms, this paper explores how the Maasai reconfigure incoming solar energy devices through locally generated knowledges, philosophies, and technologies in calculated efforts to chart their own futures. Journal Article

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