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TGarden is an interdisciplinary, long-term collaborative project between sponge and FoAM (Belgium/Holland) investigating how people individually and collectively make sense of responsive, hybrid media environments by articulating their knowledge in non-verbal ways. More specifically, the project investigates how a person can create meaningful gestures in a dynamic environment and develop expertise in them.

The project's potential significance lies in its investigation of meaning making through the context of active social shaping of environments. While the need for shared, embodied experiences and responsive public spaces often remains unanswered, the TGarden aims to create a space where people can become active participants in the shaping of artistic processes and experiences, and, in a larger sense, to become conscious of their role in the shaping of a cultural future.

At the same time, TGarden acts as a prototype for a larger research project investigating five fundamental questions:
  1. How do we develop sustainable, international long-term collaborative networks between artists, researchers, cultural institutions, funders and policy makers?

  2. How do we allow a project to evolve in the most open and interactive manner when authorship, IP and copyright issues are at stake?

  3. How do people individually and collectively make sense of responsive, hybrid environments by articulating their knowledge in a non-verbal language?

  4. Can play, in the broadest sense of the word, become an essential model for cross-cultural experience?

  5. How can new forms of expression be sustained by a fusion of matter, media, motion and gesture?

Concurrently, with the presentation of TGarden within the platform of co-presenter sponsored public events in Europe in 2001-2002, the project also serves as a prototype in new open source models of interdisciplinary collaboration. With the collaboration, the definition and terms of "open source" aim to be broadened from the existing techno-scientific context (hardware and software) towards a broader context of shared media and knowledge across such newly forming collaborative networks.

For this purpose, sponge and FoAM are setting up a TGarden consortium, where legal and organizational issues concerning modification, evolution and derivatives of the project outcomes will be researched. This means that after the end date of the project, media and technologies produced within the TGarden network can be reused, in whole or in part, in future projects by the involved institutions and individuals.

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