Open Forest: Walking-with Feral Stories, Creatures, Data
European Society for Socially Embedded Technologies (EUSSET)
Open Forest is an experimental, practice-based inquiry into forests and forest data that facilitates an imaginative co-creation of feral forest datasets. The project involves a series of experimental, hybrid walks with various forests around the world, inviting participants to explore local ecologies and share their experiences in the form of forest stories. To enable sharing of such personally situated stories, we experiment with diverse speculative material practices and devices, including the online Feral Map – a collaborative dataset of diverse, more-than-human forest experiences and knowledge. Through the experimental forest walks and stories, we explore what can constitute a forest dataset, how it can be produced, and by whom to raise questions about power, values, and structural inequalities that shape forests and their futures. We propose that caring for the futures of forests must be collaborative work. Finding ways to do this labour requires imaginative articulations of technologies, practices and data, an agenda to which CSCW is well positioned to contribute.