Scientists, botanists and biologists like Charles Darwin have always written and drawn field notes to capture their observations about a site or specimen. These notes provide important information, but many things are left out of this type of narration. Within this writing workshop, participants collectively expanded on the idea of what a field note is. For example, who is the audience of the field note? Can a field note be directed towards nature itself? Is it possible to create field notes based on a more equal dialogue, that blurs the dichotomy between the human observer and objectified nature? The aim is to widen the scope as to what a field note can be, as part of an artistic and explorative practice, as well as support the mapping of the area from different perspectives.
Participants started start by being with and among non-human entities such as microbes, plants or animals at Amsterdam Science Park. From these encounters, they were invited to explore and imaging how the entanglement of human and non-human entities might be on the location in the future. The workshop was designed through an iterative process, whereby the workshop is slightly altered for each new group. Adding to the collection of both arts of noticing and field-note taking practices.
The activity demonstrated interest for Urban Ecological practices from an interdisciplinary group of professionals working in the domains of arts, sciences and humanities, as well as from students. The practices explored through the workshop confirmed the hypothesis of the Amsterdam Urban Ecology pilot that the 'issue' of renewing the relationship with urban nature can be raised and addressed through art practices and arts of noticing prompts, such as fieldwork, observation, and speculative writing.
The arts of noticing prompts can contribute to the development of a multi-voiced perspective of the area. Through its end results, in the form of audio recordings, letters, poems and drawings, a new imaginary for the 'issue' ‘renew the relationship with urban nature’ is being created.
- Do-It-Together Eco-practices
- Wild and cultivated spaces