Experimental Production

Open Urban Forest

The scale of human impact on the planetary ecosystem has been so profound that talking about pristine and untouched nature is more of a romantic and colonial vision of the savage than a meaningful abstraction. Yet, we tend to forget that our own bodies – flesh and bones – are not less natural than they’ve been millennia back. The natural and the artificial are intertwined like the rhizome of the moss that covers the walls of our houses and the barks of the park trees. 

Open Urban Forest (image credit: Michal Mitro)

Open Urban Forest planted at ssesi.space is a six-month research project exploring how the human and the more-than-human work with and around each other. These explorations are situated in the specific context of a nature-reclaimed communal garden located on the steep hills of the Svratka river in the city of Brno, Czech Republic. The research seeks to pave the path for meaningful communication and cohabitation of various agents that occupy and utilise this garden space.

The bourgeoning garden forest is shaped by a multitude of human-initiated contexts such as traffic infrastructure extension, drought, and municipal urban planning. At the same time, it is becoming increasingly feral. Throughout the project duration, guests experts from fields of architecture, forestry, visual arts, field recording, and performance art will visit the forest and conduct their research. These guests are invited to observe, analyse, abstract, and speculate on meanings and datasets that the forest conveys to them, or to which they happen to incline. Equipped with unique tools, knowledges, and viewpoints we hope to jointly shape an inter-subjective representation of the forest that would reflect its stacked and multifocal nature. We hope that, by doing so, we can set an inviting and supportive base for the interspecies dialogue and reinforce dynamics that would make the space open, urban, and forest.