The Zurich Node of the Planetary Collegium. Institute of Cultural Studies, University of Applied Arts, Zurich, Switzerland.

Eugenio Tisselli

About the Research Traditional, small-scale farming communities (as opposed to industrial agriculture corporations) are currently under the threat of new global factors. Global climate change is a phenomenon acknowledged by most climate scientists, and has become well-known among the general public. However, since climate change is not uniform, and its effects vary from place to place, there is a need for localized observations and adaptation strategies. Poverty is also a growing consequence of capitalist economy, and in underdeveloped countries, farmers are counted amongst the poorest of the poor. Poor farmers have a greater dependency on ecosystems and environmental variations than wealthier people, and thus any effect of climate change on their localities will affect them disproportionately. Yet, these farmers possess the skills and knowledge that can make them resilient to these new scenarios. Locally-based knowledge, also called indigenous knowledge, has now been recognized by scientists as a key factor that, together with scientific research, will provide localized frameworks for coping with poverty and climate change. Towards this goal, scientists point to the need for participatory research methods in which indigenous knowledge and the gathering of localized data become crucial.

Mobile technologies, with their rapidly growing capabilities for multimedia communication, connectivity and location awareness, can become tools which act as interfaces between climate researchers working in labs and situated activities which are strongly related to climate, such as farming. In this research project, a set of mobile tools will be deployed in different farming scenarios in which the threats posed by climate change are aggravated by poverty, enabling farmers to build a database of their knowledge and to communicate with other farmers, scientists and the general public using images, sounds and text. These case studies will provide the evidence and experience in order to determine in which ways can these tools empower farming communities.  About the Researcher Born in Mexico City, Eugenio Tisselli is a nomadic artist and programmer. He has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Digital Arts from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. Since 2005 and until 2011 he was a teacher and co-director of that same masters program. In 2007 he assumed an 18-month position as Associate Researcher at the Sony Computer Science Lab in Paris. His work has been featured in shows and festivals in different countries. As a part of his PhD research at Z-Node, he is currently working with rural farming communities in Tanzania and Mexico, studying how their usage and appropriation of digital communication media can positively influence the quality of their livelihoods. Website