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 non-isolation 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 in collaboration with local experts. Experts may range from artistic or scientific researchers to indigenous tribals or semi-traditional hunter/gatherers. Fieldwork teams are established to have a wide range of backgrounds and ways of knowing. 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 - which collectively may be captured by the term otherness.
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 methods of observation from the arts and sciences.
A Machine Wilderness fieldwork session during Ars Bioarctica 2016, at Kilpisjarvi Biological Research Station, with Antti Tenetz and Ian Ingram. The robot is part of a biological sampling experiment through robotic-zoochory, mimicing the dispersal of seeds and pollen by animals like wolverine, reindeer or lemmings.
An exploration with local archeologists and geologists of the Sandmotor - a 3km temporary artificial peninsula on the Dutch coast. Concluded with a tasting of the Mammoth Soup made from ice-age fossil bones found during my Badgasten residency in collaboration with experimental cook Sjim Hendrix.
An experiment in 'assisted-migration' at Nida Art Colony. Introducing a sample of 3 lichen species from Portugal to Lithuania as official climate refugees, in association with Neringa Forestry Department.
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 fold straight across Ireland. (Behind an ancient church we found this St Brendans tree by accident covered in offerings.)
Participation in Unmanned Resilience, three days of hiking followed by three days of UAV exploration of the Slovenian mountains led by Marko Peljhan as past of the Resilients programme.
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 the most gifted botanists in the world, doing what scientists deemed impossible; keeping alive thousands of highly endangered plants and in effect regrowing rainforest in Kerala. The team consists of a team of local tribal women with 5 senior members leading specific plant families, including these epiphytic ferns.