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What did the cloud whisper to the forest canopy?

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What does a sensor say when it walks into a bar a forest? And where are all the squirrels? 🐿️🌲

We invite you for an experimental walk with the SMEAR II research forest in the historical Hyytiälä forestry field station in Juupajoki. The SMEAR II (Station for Measuring Ecosystem-Atmosphere Relations) is a highly instrumentalized patch of forest equipped with a variety of sensors and other measuring devices to monitor the functioning of trees, soil processes, and their atmospheric interactions. The walk takes place on November 13th, 2022 at 2 pm local time.

During this peer-guided walk, we will explore the local forest and its creatures including trees, plants and squirrels as well as sensors and other data-gathering instruments. We will raise questions about power, values and structural inequalities that shape forests. Following the walk, we will share our observations and sensory impressions as forest stories, using the Feral Map portal

🐿️ The hybrid walk can be attended either in person or online, via videoconferencing. To join, send an email to marketa.dolejsova@aalto.fi and andrea.botero@aalto.fi before November 10th, specifying whether you plan to attend physically or online.

If you come by public transport, we can give you a lift from the Orivesi train station, meeting you there at 12:45 pm (a train from Helsinki / Tampere arrives there at 12:36 pm). Those coming directly to Hyytiälä should arrive by 1:45 pm. The address and details for arrival are available here. For those who wish to walk with us remotely, we will provide a Zoom link in advance of the session 🐿️.

The walk is organised by the Open Forest Collective – a multi-disciplinary group of forest-curious creatures of diverse cultural, professional and biological origins – and builds on the Collective’s ongoing experimental inquiry into different forests and more-than-human dataflows. Since 2020, the Collective has organised forest walks in various parts of the world, inviting diverse forest creatures including forest dwellers, Indigenous forest guardians, healers, scientists, data managers, artists, designers, as well as dogs and trees to walk together and share their stories. Through these encounters, the Collective hopes to better understand how various stakeholders make sense of forest; questioning what can constitute a forest dataset, how it can be produced, and by whom. The main aim is to learn how forests and forest data can be produced, thought of and engaged with otherwise – in feral, co-creative ways that consider perspectives of diverse forest creatures and reach beyond techno-solutionist perspectives. Starting from the focus on forest ecosystems, the Open Forest inquiry aims to contribute to the existing critical practice and research addressing eco-social issues in a climate-changing world.