Many of the most fundamental challenges to human cultures are at play in the hybrid landscapes that are emerging and disintegrating out there beyond our front doors. To engage with the full complexity of varying territories and the dynamics of environmental processes, fieldwork has become a vital ingredient to artistic practice. Fieldwork isn't just being outside- as stated by eminent landscape thinker Jan de Graaf. For me it is a method of enquiry that starts from radical exposure of the participants, their thoughts and their acts: perceiving, being and working in full exposure to the complexities and subtleties of an area which is being navigated under guidance of local inhabitants (of any species). Fieldwork teams are established to have a wide range of backgrounds and ways of knowing, from the arts and sciences to the ways of ancient cultures. Ideally team members are both complementary and challenging each other. Fieldwork then is a multi-sensory exploration that is based on direct experience, open-ended experimentation and in-situ prototyping starting from local circumstances, complexities and relations. Enquiry as an embodied act that seeks - in the words of Jens Hauser - to be un-split from environmental processes, natural cycles, climatic conditions, seasons, (non)human cultures.
A multisensorial observation raft built during the Wild Bits residency at MAAJAAM in Estonia to explore the (under)waterworld of the pond, both visually and tactilely. And to test various strategies of observation from the arts and sciences. Visitors were taken on a short trip floating around the pond.
A Machine Wilderness fieldwork session during Ars Bioarctica 2016, at Kilpisjarvi Biological Research Station, with Antti Tenetz and Ian Ingram. The furry little robot is part of a biological sampling experiment, mimicing the dispersal of seeds and pollen by animals like wolverine, reindeer or lemmings.
First test to try and experience the sonar of a Harbour Porpoise under water as part of fieldreseach exploring multi-species-futures of the Dutch delta region for the Embassy of the Northsea. The sound feels very intense and it's incredible to think that the Porpoises can actually hear an echo coming back from the environment.
First test to try and experience floating like a seaweed as part of fieldreseach exploring multi-species-futures of the Dutch delta region for the Embassy of the Northsea. Being a seaweed seems intensely disorienting. I lost all sense of direction until I spotted a cloud. Such a liminal existence.
An exploration with local archeologists and geologists of the Sandmotor - a 3km artificial peninsula on the Dutch coast. It concluded with a tasting (perhaps for the first time in 10.000 years) of what became known as the Mammoth Soup made from boiling the ice-age fossil bones I found during the Badgasten residency with Satellietgroep. Experimental cook Sjim Hendrix helped develop the recipe.
An experiment in 'assisted-migration' at Nida Art Colony. Introducing a little branch with 3 lichen species from Portugal to the forest of Lithuania as official climate refugees, in association with Neringa Forestry Department. Lichens are typically the kind of slow migrating species that may struggle to keep up when its habitat starts shifting North due to climate change.
Default is a series of journeys following a straight line: a fold in a map of Europe. Each participant has a personal project. These images are from the journey along the line we followed straight throught Ireland. From the North to the South coast. Behind an ancient church we found this amazing tree covered in ritual offerings. (St Brendans tree)
An unforgetable hike in the Slovenian mountains entitled 'Unmanned Resilience', which was three days of hiking followed by three days of UAV exploration of the area led by Marko Peljhan as past of the Resilients programme. The UAV is the Brammor drone developed by Marko which is carried as a backpack and then launched with a massive slingshot.
For Boskoi we did many fieldexcursions looking at edible wild food sources. These are images from: a 'Cryptoforestry' walk led by Wilfried Houjebek and 'The Stomach as a Compass' walk led by Wietske Maas.
Images from a series of visits to friends, who are probably among the world's most gifted botanists, doing what scientists deemed impossible; keeping alive thousands of highly endangered plants and in effect regrowing rainforest in Kerala. The team consists of local women from the forest with 5 senior members leading specific plant families, including these epiphytic ferns.