Shock Forest Group residency at Het Hem (2019)

Shock Forest Group is a 14 person research collective, founded by Nicolás Jaar in 2019. Members of the group come from different fields of study and work such as: woodworking, biology, public policy, urban planning, sound engineering, photography, linguistics, design, composition, coding, cultural theory… and from different parts of the world such as Sweden, Chile, Italy, the Netherlands, Lebanon, USA, Russia, France.


In 2019, we did a three month residency in the ruins of the Eurometaal 0.50 Bullet Factory, an old 20.000 m2 ammunition factory in Zaandam that was recently transformed into cultural institution Het HEM.


We researched the environment and violent history of this terrain that formed the center of Dutch weapons manufacturing business during the past century. In the process, we publicly worked on our research, organized community events and invited speakers and artists to give public presentations and performances.


Our work has been an ongoing experiment in presence and emergence. If traditional  research works in a manner akin to traditional music concerts, with  categories defined a priori, scores set with pre-ordered patterns and clear end goals, we work more like a free dance of improvisation, excavating a polyphony of truths, and listening to the reverb resonate within and through traces of the building’s past.


During the final month of the residency, we exposed the results of our research in the form of an exhibition called 'No Camouflage'. It consisted of 4 different works spanning physical objects, sound, light and interactive media, through which the audience was able to experience the stories and data of the terrain that we uncovered during our research.

Also see: The Entity


Shock Forest Group members:
Katya Abazajian
Sheryn Akiki
Pantxo Bertin
Axel Coumans
Paula Dooren
Susanna Gonzo
Nicolás Jaar
Pamela Jordan
Daria Kiseleva
Jelger Kroese
Erica Moukarzel
Simon Skatka Lindell
Sjoerd Smit
Bert Spaan