Solar Media Collective


The Collective

icon that resembles a sun with rays that each lead to an icon: a raspberry, a stack of books, a wheel, a gameboy, sound waves, and the symbol for Near Field Communication (NFC)
Design by Alex Custodio

The Solar Media Collective is a research-creation group that explores the affordances of solar energy for digital communication systems through learning by doing. Check out some of our projects and activities here.

Against the backdrop of the Internet’s carbon footprint, our work is not only an exercise in decarbonizing data storage systems and web traffic, but also in envisioning and creating alternative solar-powered infrastructures and speculative designs.

Our Goals:

  • to examine ideas, cultural imaginaries, and socio-technical practices around energy sources and energy availability (with a focus on solar and wind), including battery-less setups and alternative battery technologies like algae,

  • to experiment with the affordances of photovoltaic technology to see how it can inform the design and use of digital applications like games, sound installations, cyborg art, and more,

  • to investigate how solar-powered digital infrastructure can strengthen local and global networking, collective/communal ownership, and energy justice,

  • to explore possibilities and limitations for building more minimalist, sustainable computing infrastructure and digital applications that are rooted in circular economy principles and that move beyond expectations of abundance and unlimited access,

  • to raise awareness for the energy consumption and the materiality of the “virtual” and working towards equitable, solar futures (hello solarpunk!)

Code of Engagement

For our activities and events, we have developed a Code of Engagement which you can find here.

Call for Collaborators

In the long run, we are hoping to build a solar community with other groups in Montreal and beyond.
If our work resonates with you, please contact us to discuss potential collaboration. We would love to hear from you!


The Solar Media Collective’s projects and activities have received funding and technical support from the Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology and the Sustainability Action Fund at Concordia University. Special thanks to Bart Simon, lee wilkins, Fenwick McKelvey, and Marc Beaulieu at Milieux for their generous support.

A shoutout goes to Solar Protocol and Labomédia who we had the pleasure to host and chat with at an event in December 2021, which provided the initial spark to form this group. Thank you for your inspiring work!

Our website uses the Susty WordPress Theme built by Jack Lenox. It is designed to be lightweight and consumes significantly less energy than the average website.

We acknowledge that we live and work on unceded Indigenous territory. The Kanien’kehà:ka (Mohawk) of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy are recognized as the traditional custodians of the land and waters of Tio’tia:ke (Montreal). While territorial recognition is necessary, it is inadequate without restitution and reparation. To learn more, please visit Native Land Digital and the “Beyond Land Acknowledgement” guide.