Category Archives: 07. transition town

a. Adam Curtis, The Century of Self


Adam Curtis, BBC
2002, 58 min 45 sec

The Century of the Self is a 2002 British television documentary series by filmmaker Adam Curtis. It focuses on the work of psychoanalysts Sigmund Freud and Anna Freud, and PR consultant Edward Bernays. Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, changed our perception of the mind and its workings. The documentary explores the various ways that governments and corporations have used Freud’s theories. Freud and his nephew Edward Bernays, who was the first to use psychological techniques in public relations, are discussed in part one.

c. Thom Anderson, Los Angeles Plays Itself


Thom Anderson,
2003, 169 min

A “city symphony in reverse” (J. Hoberman, Village Voice), Thom Andersen’s Los Angeles Plays Itself dismantles not only popular stereotypes about The City of Angels, but also its most famous trademark, Hollywood. Packed with clips from nearly 200 films set in Los Angeles (not L.A., the nickname despised by the film’s narrator), Andersen’s immersive cine-essay divides and examines the city threefold: as background, character and subject. Drawing us into a fanatical, almost secret urban history Los Angeles Plays Itself is at once a hilarious travelogue and mesmerizing experience.

d. Ron Finley, A guerrilla gardener …


Ron Finley, TED Talks
2003, 10 min 30 sec

Ron Finley plants vegetable gardens in South Central LA — in abandoned lots, traffic medians, along the curbs. Why? For fun, for defiance, for beauty and to offer some alternative to fast food in a community where “the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys.”

e. Mark Achbar & Jennifer Abbott, …


Mark Achbar & Jennifer Abbott, Hello Cool World, USA
2003, 1 min 24 sec

THE CORPORATION is a Canadian documentary film written by Joel Bakan, and directed by Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott. The documentary examines the modern-day corporation, considering its legal status as a class of person and evaluating its behavior towards society and the world at large as a psychiatrist might evaluate an ordinary person. This is explored through specific examples. Bakan wrote the book, The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power, during the filming of the documentary.

f. Mitchell Joachim, Sustainable architecture


Mitchell Joachim, Terreform; New York, USA
2008, 4 min 54 sec

Mitchell Joachim of Terreform, a non-profit sustainable architectural design organization, elaborates on how to combine architecture, sustainability, and treehouses. Terreform’s work encompasses all three of these topics. By using different kinds of biological matter like trees, and training them over a certain structure, the Terreform team have created fascinating living tree houses, that not only do not pollute – they even suck carbon.

g. man building his own island out of plastic bottles


Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, Bravo TV; Cancun, Mexico 
2011, 4 min 16 sec

If you can’t afford to buy your own tropical island paradise, why not build your own? That is exactly what Richie Sowa did back in 1998, from over a quarter million plastic bottles. His Spiral Island, destroyed years later by a hurricane, sported a two-story house, solar oven, self-composting toilet and multiple beaches. Better yet, he has started building another one. His ultimate goal? To build an even bigger island and finally float out to sea, travelling the world from the comfort of his own private paradise. The original Spiral Island was – as its successor will be- built upon a floating collection used plastic bottles, all netted together to support a bamboo and plywood structure. Located in Mexico, the original mesured 20 by 16 meters, supported full-sized mangroves to provide shade and could be moved from one place to another thanks to a simple motorized system.

h. David Bollier, The City as a Commons


David Bollier, Smart City Expo World Congress
2016, 32 min 59 sec

A new type of citizen economy is emerging – the City as a Commons. This is not a tech platform or economic strategy as such, but a bold re-imagining of the city as a living social organism that invites everyone to co-create, open-source style. Through FabLabs, data sharing, platform co-operatives and many participatory systems, innovative urban commons are transforming city governance, commerce, design, social services, and everyday life.

i. Bartholomäus Traubeck, Years & the Voice of the Forest


Bartholomäus Traubeck
2011, 2 min 13 sec

A tree’s year rings are analysed for their strength, thickness and rate of growth. This data serves as basis for a generative process that outputs piano music. It is mapped to a scale which is again defined by the overall appearance of the wood (ranging from dark to light and from strong texture to light texture). The foundation for the music is certainly found in the defined ruleset of programming and hardware setup, but the data acquired from every tree interprets this ruleset very differently.

j. Jeff Reynolds, Garbage Warrior: Earthships


Jeff Reynolds
2007, 1 hour, 27 sec

Imagine a home that heats itself, that provides its own water, electricity and spaces to grow food. One that needs no expensive technology, that recycles its own waste and that can be built anywhere, by anyone, out of garbage. Literally. Thirty years ago, architect Michael Reynolds imagined such a home and then set out to build. Today, there are strong communities of people living in these homes throughout the world, but all doesn’t come without the constant resistance and hindrance from government and big business which are rightly threatened by such communities and alternate, independent and sustainable ways of living…