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`Hello World` from Agartha! 👁️
Here's an update on my journey exploring off-grid regenerative lifestyles, cutting-edge immersive technologies and the Solarpunk Protopian landscape
Utopia is on the horizon. I move two steps closer; it moves two steps further away. I walk another ten steps and the horizon runs ten steps further away. As much as I may walk, I'll never reach it. So what's the point of utopia? The point is this: to keep walking. — Eduardo Galeano
Hello World 😎
I’m glad that we get to cross paths on the journey of exploring Solarpunk Protopian & alternative living communities. It’s been a wild ride! Apologies that it took me so long to reach out and give a brief update on what I’ve been working on, but here it is!
Agartha Map 2.0
We’ve been silently making an update of our world map! This includes an updated community list and a super fun globe animation! 💃
Decentralized Future Living 🛖
Agartha started as a research workshop project at Mars College 2022 as a workshop called ‘Decentralized Future Living’, we started dreaming of a future where local co-ops, eco villages and intentional communities such as Mars College can become more prevalent and well integrated with mainstream society — a world where we get the comfort of small village life and culture of mega cities.
To learn more about our research, check out Eco Villages as Solutions for the Next Century.
A Brief Journey Around the Globe 🌎
I spent about a year visiting different eco villages, intentional communes, co-living residencies & land based DAOs, trying to learn and understand how do people live lifestyles ‘alternative’ to what we are familiar with.
Along the way I met some really incredible people, from parents in an Earthship village in the Netherlands, to working individuals at a DAO residency in Austin, from a regenerative village meetup festival in Portugal to the Rainbow Gathering’s 50 years anniversary in Colorado.
Growing up in Shanghai, going to school in New York, and working in LA's Immersive Tech industry framed my early experiences. Interacting with un-housed bead trading nomads, radically self-reliant van life artists in the desert, and staying at regenerative farms with local tribes are all brand new encounters that were vastly different from anything I'd known before.
Universal Value Alignment 🧘♀️
Ideologies, labels, tastes and preferences could be very segregating some times, we’ve slaughtered each others for being so different. But actually, what most humans want and need are pretty universal.
Most of us want to live in beautiful places, eat healthy food, surround ourselves with close communities for sense of security and belonging, experience art, music and other forms of creativity, and have certain levels of freedom to spend our time exploring cultures, skills and interests.
These things might come in different flavors, and we might be at different stages of life with these desires, but the acknowledgement of these common goals is what really unites a lot of the communities I’ve encountered, and a major reason on why there are so many outstandingly interesting and beautiful intentional co-living projects all around the world.
Why Protopia Matters ⚡️
The term "Protopia" was first used by Kevin Kelly, co-founder of Wired Magazine, to describe a state of becoming, a gradual improvement which is not utopian (perfect) or dystopian (horribly wrong), but a continuous process of betterment.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless when thinking about socio-economical-environmental problems at large, wealth gaps, homeless crisis, drug epidemics, capitalist exploitations, climate change… The list can go on forever and it is so easy for us to feel ‘I can’t do anything about them, so I’m not gonna do anything about them’.
There are always things to pick on and be unsatisfied with, but building up anger and frustration won’t help solve any of those problems and would only create more stigma around the movement of ‘doing the right thing’, such as greenwashing or overtly radical destructive protesting.
Just like how the 20 families at Aardehuis built their co-owned off-grid earthship eco village all together, many people around the world are actively transforming their living spaces to their own ‘Protopias’. Lots of times it may mean making very hard choices to opt-out of their comfort zones, committing to audacious risky projects and sacrificing other opportunities.
I want to give a shoutout to all the regenerative warriors out there building, thank you for pioneering. 💚
What This Blog is All About 💌
In conclusion, this blog is about creating little protopias in our own ways. That could be building up your own eco village, planting a seed, or give someone a hand. Protopian actions could be grandious or tiny, but the point is to ‘keep walking’.
It took me a while to figure out how to synthesize my research on Solarpunk with the rest of my life as a multi-media artist in the Augmented Reality industry. I love creating visual arts, music, mixed reality and games, I love exploring unknown places, hosting community events, learning about DAOs and decentralized governance…
I realized that I kept trying to retro fit myself into the Solarpunk/Protopian paradigm, but my personal interests are much wider.
So, consider this blog to be a Culture Hub for the curious & ‘Grid Free’ minds, offering a variety of topics about:
Solarpunk lifestyles & feel-good news ☀️
Self-reliant, van life, off-grid movement resources & stories 🚐
Co-living projects, digital nomad travel recommendations & regenerative music festivals 🦚
Local grass root communities highlight 🤗
Inspiring people / regenerative warriors 😎
Creative technologies and immersive arts 👻
Recommended books, articles & videos
Beats to shake your 🍑 to~ Such as this one by Mindy Meng Wang🎵
Say Hi 👋
If you know someone actively building ‘Protopian’ communities, please send us their info and we’d love to list them on our map!
Aside from that, we’d love to connect and hear your crazy ideas or valuable feedbacks, come say hi any time!
Welcome to Grid-Free Minds, let’s keep walking! 💃
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