Now That’s Bricolage

The Solar Video Kit project is brilliantly simple. It shows you how to put together commercially available items to make a solar-powered video-blogging kit for under $200. While that’s still a pretty high entry cost for many people, especially in developing nations, it suddenly democratizes off-the-grid video. That’s got amazing implications for all sorts of cultural production, with its most obvious application in news.

The best thing about the project is how clearly they’ve thought through the human end of things. They don’t just say, “Here are the items to buy.” The site links to all the things you’ll need to get, including protective foam and a heavy-duty case to protect your kit. And they don’t just assume you’ll figure out how to use the camera; the site provides a training video that plays right on your camera screen, when and where you need it.

What else could we do by juxtaposing devices that already exist, and teaching people how to use them effectively in combination?

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