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Forest Rangers is a reading group exploring the current state of the commons and their possible future. With a particular focus discussing the state of alternative art spaces, natural resources, education and outer space migration, we hope to establish a comprehensible set of understandings and goals to nurture our common resources. Each group is lead by a researcher in order to spark conversation and  prompt ideas inviting participants to share their experiences and thoughts.

The project is hosted at Jupiter Woods for its entire duration culminated in the recording of a live event in December 2019.

A Familiar Unknown

24th September, 12th November, 17th December - 6.30- 8pm

17th December- 7-9pm
In this final Forest Rangers event, we invite the public to participate in a live broadcast from Jupiter Woods where we will perform stories written in previous sessions that consider possible collective futures for outer space dwelling. Designed by Andrew Friend and Sitraka Rakotoniaina from V.V.F.A, participants will be invited to plug into a ‘nine-person instrument’ each playing one of nine synthesizers to generate a soundscape for alternative space migration.

Join us to make Dystopias Utopias!
Listen to the recording here.

12th November - 6.30- 8pm
Can we think of progressive narratives for the Outer Space?
In this second session, we will attempt to write collective narratives that challenge the Statu Quo, structuring our thoughts around ideas of Final Frontiers, Time Frames, The Arrogance of Progress and Escapism. The narratives will become a scenario for a podcast, performed and broadcast live at Jupiter Wood in December 2019.

24th September - 6.30- 8pm
Reading material available here:

Space exploration is a perspective-altering endeavour that has (literally and figuratively) shaped worldviews and cultures. The space race of the mid 20th century has paved the way for a better understanding of Earth as a living system and provided a new framework to explore the narrative construct of humanity’s future; the “greater good” and subsequent “better tomorrow” have become common places. Yet, today’s coming of age of the “new space” serving as fuel for the collective imagination could primarily push the corporate values leading to the private ownership of a substantial share of humanity’s future. From exploration to exploitation and migration to colonisation, space narratives and the futures that they depict have often championed the views of a few, rather than fostering the expected global identity. From O’neill’s vision of outer space suburbia to Musk’s starman, future narratives and visions seem increasingly less diverse.

These reading sessions aim to examine the existing treaties and rules shaping the collective imagination in order to propose more “democratic” alternatives, and culminate in the performance of a proposed utopia.

Very Very Far Away (VVFA) is a platform dedicated to democratising future narratives. Founded in 2015 VVFA explores multiple perspectives bringing members of the pubic and experts together to craft and disseminate new cultural fictions. Through co-enquiries, podcast and a series of special projects VVFA engages and empowers audiences both in the creation and the communication their futures.

From installation and sculpture to sound art through to technical devices and performance VVFA projects cross multiple media aiming to embody and capture elements of the worlds formed during the co-enquiry. Projects are developed alongside co-enquiry and podcast, the three forms creatively informing one another.

VVFA explores new modes of creative collaboration between artists, technologists, scientists and partner institutions worldwide.

Alternatives to the alternative,
or, the undercommons of art(s) education

10th April, 7th May 2019- 6.30-8pm

Alternatives to the alternative, or, the undercommons of art(s) education aims to read on and discuss the current state of art(s) education in the UK as (if) it might (ever) be understood as a common resource. Join Dr Susannah Haslam to read a selection of texts, and draw on our own experiences as students, teachers and researchers to situate this thinking between discourse and practice.

10th April- 6.30-8pm 
suggested reading:
‘The Undercommons of the University’, Fred Moten and Stefano Harney

7th May - 6.30-8pm
Advice, report, exhibition.
‘How to make your voice heard as an art student,
according to The White Pube’ https://www.dazeddigital.com/art-photography/article/43810/1/the-white-pube-column-agony-aunt-higher-education-protesting-university-arts

‘The Value of the Alternative’, Sara Jaspan (Art Monthly, 395), https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/12r9ccxmYx6nq5rWWeCBVRZqATD0-kzZk?usp=sharing

‘Pioneer Works’ Alternative Art School Fair’ https://www.artandeducation.net/schoolwatch/82513/not-for-sale-the-alternative-art-school-fair-at-pioneer-works

Dr Susannah Haslam is a research practitioner and lecturer working, writing and publishing in the expanded fields of art, design and education. She teaches across visual culture at University of the Arts London. Her research explores the possibility of news forms of infrastructuring and organising between education, policy and the cultural sector; (alternative) pedagogies and arts education models.

Her PhD research, After the Educational Turn: Alternatives to the alternative art school considered the contemporary phenomenon of alternative arts education as both an aesthetic and political project, after art’s so-called ‘Educational Turn’.

Marshall islands stick chart for navigation showing islands and wave swells.

The Ecological Commons 

14th January, 12th february 2019- 6.30-8pm

12th February - The Forest
For this second journey in the Forest Rangers: The Ecological Commons series, we will visit the woods and think about how culture and forests are entangled and mutually contingent throughout human history. Borbála Soós will guide us with the help of a series of short readings from various sources, cultures and continents. No prior reading or preparation necessary, the readings will be shared on the date. After the reading group we will continue with an informal discussion.

Reading list available here:  https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ek00hvv34mu4gjy/AACoIcn4D3gmNFJrtTnE5_nIa?dl=0

14th January- The Sea 
This is the first of three journeys led by Borbála Soós as part of the Forest Ranger’s series at Jupiter Woods to discover different aspects of the ecological commons. Each meeting will follow a different structure to expand the format of the reading group. On this first journey, we will visit the sea. Borbála will navigate the waters by presenting a performative lecture and recounting myths, rituals, artworks and quotes, including those from the reading list and beyond. After the talk we will continue with an informal discussion.

Recommended reading list:

Astrida Neimanis: Bodies of Water, Human Rights and the Hydrocommons. In: Topia 21, Spring 2009.

Astrida Neimanis: Hydrofeminism: Or, On Becoming a Body of Water, In: Undutiful Daughters: Mobilizing Future Concepts, Bodies and Subjectivities in Feminist Thought and Practice. Ed by Henriette Gunkel, Chrysanthi Nigianni and Fanny Söderbäck. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

Stefan Helmreich: Sounding the Limits of Life. Essays in Anthropology of Biology and Beyond. Princeton University Press, 2016.

Tomato Bambridge and Stéphanie Leyronas: The Polynesian Rahui and Global Issues of Climate. In: Tidalectics. Imagining and Oceanic Worldview through Art and Science. Ed by Stefanie Hessler, TBA21 Academy, 2018.

Download pdfs from here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/18nbwl6o3xj5ivn/AAD8vEDx9Muv0ugvH7fQkmiEa?dl=0

The Artelnative

11th September-4th October-13th November 2018- 6.30-8pm

For this first reading group exploring alternative art spaces as common resources, join us in the garden of Jupiter Woods with curator Katie Simpson as we discuss the role of alternative art organisations, producing publics and the relation between the art public and the counter public.

All reading material will be provided on site and texts can also be found here: https://drive.google.com/drive...

This event will take place as part of Art Licks Peripheries, exploring how grassroots spaces and projects actively situate themselves on the edges of the art market. The aim is to discuss new structures as ways of establishing alternative creative working systems and new possibilities of access.