Drifts (Dérive)

Some Open Forest walks have been guided by a set of More-than-Human Dérives, or drifts. Inspired by Situationists International’s artistic strategy with the same name, the dérives invite walkers to take an unplanned journey through a landscape, drop their everyday relations and let themselves be drawn by chance encounters.

The More-than-Human Dérive, as an online portal with a set of drifting prompts, was developed in parallel with the Feral Map through three co-creative workshops with scientists, designers, artists, researchers, and policy actors from Melbourne.

Over 200 creative prompts for drifting through the local landscape were designed as a result of the workshop and categorised into ten themes, including, for example, Becoming (To listen and attune to those less visible or heard), Space-time (To understand space and time differently), Decentering the Human (To not assume anthropocentrism and human exceptionalism), and Sensemaking (To feel, think, and know differently).

The design and engagement with the More-than-Human Dérive were also inspired by the existing website run by the city of Melbourne named Urban Forest Visual. Drawing on the Melbourne Urban Forest dataset, which assigns the 70,000 trees in inner city Melbourne with unique IDs, the website allows people to send an email to any of these trees.