testing ground for art & ecology
27th of May 2021

Launch of School for MultiSpecies Knowledges 27 May 2021 #1

During a full day program on May 27 Zone2Source will launch its plans for a multi-annual practice-led exploration: School of MultiSpecies Knowledges, developed by Zone2Source curator Alice Smits in collaboration with designer and educator Irina Shapiro (Open Set). Linked to the exhibition Re:Tune – on view till May 28, 2021 in het Glazen Huis – workshops in multispecies tactics will be led by the artists Pei Ying-Lin and Saša Spačal. See images below, made by Katie Clarke.

On 28th June the second day of the launch programme will take place.

As a response to an increasing urgency in redefining what it is to be human on a multi-species planet, the School for Multispecies Knowledges attempts to create an alternative (un)learning environment to explore what kind of practices and knowledges emerge from these posthumanist and post-anthropocentric discourses. We will explore collaborative learning tools and tactics that can help to attune ourselves differently to other lifeforms through understanding our co-dependencies.
This launch event addresses observation, speculative narratives and engagement tactics to tune into different rhythms on multiple scales of the human and non-human environments.  We invite practitioners and researchers to share their tactics in the multi species-environment of Amstelpark, while working together towards new land literacies and practices of multi-species community building.
Join us on Thursday 27th of May 2021. The event will take place both inside and outside of the Amstelpark pavillion (depending  on Covid-19 restrictions) maximum of 15 participants. You need to commit to the full day, lunch is provided for. Mail info@zone2source.net before May 20th.


10.00-10.30 Warming Up
Opening Alice Smits (Zone2Source) and Irina Shapiro (Open Set)
10.30-11.00 Introduction to the School for Multi-Species Knowledges
11.30-12.30 talk by Pei-Ying Lin
12.30-13.30 Lunch
13.30-16.30 workshop Saša Spačal
16.30-17.00 break
17.00-18.30 Collective Garden exercise led by Irina Shapira contributing to the School’s curriculum
18.30   drinks and closure

More information about the School of MultiSpecies Knowledges

The proposal to investigate ways of tuning to rhythms and scales of multi-species life in a specific location is based on the concept of rhythm analysis. This concept developed by sociologist and philosopher Henri Lefebvre attempts to understand social and urban events by looking at the interrelationships of events. One of the crucial building blocks for understanding rhythms is deep observation; an introduction to and multi-sensory involvement in the complexity of our living environment. We understand observation as a dialogue between ourselves and other beings that requires us to create new frameworks to understand the interconnectedness and relationality.


Observation has a new meaning due to Covid-19, where the experiences of positioning, connecting and relating are challenged. It is a paradoxical time. On the one hand, pandemic life recognizes the strong interdependence between human and non-human rhythms. On the other hand, this multi-species interdependence appears to be a risk in genuine interactions with others. It asks us to make ourselves vulnerable to something that is very different from us instead of closing ourselves off behind safe boundaries. This paradox urges us to expand our competences: we must tell new stories and develop new languages ​​and practices to understand ourselves fully entwined in our environment.


The School for MultiSpecies Knowledges begins by asking the following questions: What does embodied/multi-sensory observation lead to? What kind of tactics can we develop for experiencing and understanding our interdependencies in a specific context? What is the new meaning of multi-species collaborative and inclusive practice emerging in current circumstances? How can we relearn how to deal with our daily lives and work by reflecting on the pandemic experience?


The rhythms, conversations, collective gestures and contexts discovered during the event will continue through a series of meetings. The main purpose of the sessions is to experiment with forms, mediums, protocols and lexicons to move towards practices for building radically inclusive biodiverse communities. Ultimately, the sessions will form the basis for a multi-year research program School for MultiSpecies Knowledges from 2022.


Irina Shapiro’s practice combines design projects, learning contexts and educational programs that explore situational, participatory and performative qualities of design and applied art. She is co-initiator of Open Set – an alternative platform for research and development in the field of art and design. Shapiro regularly lectures on experimental pedagogical approaches, mapping multidisciplinary lexicons and practices, and collaborative design modes. Since 2016, she has been involved as a core teacher at the Master of Education in Arts, Piet Zwart Institute.