FO.R.E.ST encourages a diverse community of Conspirators, valuing multiplicity in perspectives and experiences. We* invite Conspirators of any age, occupation, background, depth in knowledge or engagement with fields in focus.

For the first season, 6th March – 17th April 2022, we want to start with about 12 Conspirators, 4 Co-conspirators, and 2 Complotters.

Co-conspirators will be coming for 3-6 days each, to spend focused time with FO.R.E.ST and accompany deep dives into particular topics. Co-conspirators will be practitioners, scholars, activists who hold in depth knowledge in a particular field and/or intersections of knowledges relevant to FO.R.E.ST.

Complotters will be practitioners, scholars, activists who are engaged with previous and/or ongoing situations of collective knowledge production in MASSIA and other contexts. They will conspire with FO.R.E.ST for longer duration, co-cultivate a space for self-organised collective study and experimentation, and also work on their own projects.

Co-conspirators for fall season 2021
(in order of co-conspiracy dates)

Kadri Tüür
Kadri Tüür works as researcher and lecturer at Tallinn University and at the University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy. Her research fields include Estonian environmentalism, heritage technologies, zoosemiotics, ecosemiotics and nature representations. She is also editor of the craft research journal Studia Vernacula.

Together with Kadri we enter the fields and layers of sign relations and meaning making among more-than-human meaning making communities – in the place where FO.R.E.ST is situated, in the woods and bogs, at the neighbors’ chicken coop, in the garden, etc. We’ll think about how meaning and mutual understanding is created across species’ borders and how to be more sensitive towards our non-human neighbours, be they birds, plants, or earthworms.

Juss Heinsalu
Juss Heinsalu is primarily an artist who lives and works both in Estonia and in Canada. His material research explores the embodiment of life in clay, merging scientific hypotheses, mythological and ethnographic knowledge. Juss is curious about the ground, the materiality of “clay” and the perception of micro-macro scales. He investigates the prevalent meanings of mineral matter using raw clay, ceramic elements, optical apparatuses and inventive material combinations – to create speculative conditions presenting alternative clay-based lifeforms. 

Together with Juss, we will take a closer look at the land we stand on, and how we could better understand our relationship to the world of minerals. We will visit Särghaua Earth Science Centre, conduct field work and hands-on experiments. By asking open-ended questions and using speculation as a tool, the aim is to investigate the narrative and perspective of belonging, the origin and aftermath of life: what knowledge is embedded in the ground? where does science merge with mythology? are rocks alive? what are the ways to see or touch geology? do materials hold memory? what kind of languages and patterns can be revealed in soil, mud or clay? what happens when light is shone through them? one day, will we become clay? etc. 

Kobe Matthys
Kobe Matthys practices gardening, art, activism and research within various collectives and groups in Brussels such as Zenne Garden, Agency, State of the Arts and Apass. Kobe has been involved in self-organised knowledge and practice sharings for many years, and encountered perma-culture as a practice and lens emerging from worker’s movements in Belgium, as a counter movement to destructive corporate agriculture and its consequences to the commons.

Kobe invites to spend time with the garden, practice and discuss perma-culture – also critically, e.g. examining the appropriation of knowledges it is based on, the contradictions of systematising and transposing knowledge that is closely related to place – and to explore the multiple avenues into the political that gardens and agri-cultural practices offer (ecocide, biopiracy, etc…). 

This last week of FO.R.E.ST will overlap with MASSIA’s Spring Affair. This might be an opportunity for FO.R.E.ST to rehearse and share, whatever has been generated, with people beyond its contemporary conspiracy.

*Who is the ‘we’?
At this initial moment FO.R.E.ST is being dreamed up by Jan Ritsema and Sepideh Ardalani, in collaboration with a network of friends, colleagues, conspirators. We come from various backgrounds and are autodidacts who want to co-create conditions for non-formalised study and practice with people who share an interest in self-organisation and spaces that enable alternative ways of learning, creating, living, and worlding .

Jan Ritsema is a Dutch theater director, choreographer and dancer, founder of MASSIA and Performing Arts Forum (PAF) in France.

Sepideh Ardalani has been a heavy user of MASSIA in the recent years, co-cultivating it as a physical and conceptual space for engagements with more-than-human relationality.