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Shock Forest Group residency at Het Hem (2019)

Shock Forest Group was formed in 2019 as a result of a 4 month residency at Het Hem, cultural centre in Zaandam. It consists of 14 members from various disciplines— architects, designers, activists, artists, biologists, cartographers, sound engineers, musicians, linguists, coders—assembled by musician Nicolás Jaar during his time as a guest curator at Het HEM. In an open research process we looked into the history of the factory and explored a series of hyperlocal themes through the parallel narratives of geographic metamorphosis, decolonisation, institutional change, imaginative futures, and personal growth. Throughout this process, we organized community events, public lectures and created the exhibition 'No Camouflage'.


Shock Forest Group is an experiment in presence. If traditional research works in a matter akin to a traditional classical music concert, with categories defined a priori, scores set with pre-ordered patterns and a clear end goal, Shock Forest Group works more along the lines of a free jazz improvisation, exploring a polyphony of truths, and letting them ring out, resonate within and through each other, without a stress on harmonic coherence. Shock Forest Group postulates that with this framework, the voices might emerge organically and naturally grow both collectively and individually.


In 2022, an essay about Shock Forest Group's research entitled "This Forest Was Built To Be  Bombed", was featured on a new digital exhibition and research project curated by Xenia Benivolski for e-flux entitled "You Can’t Trust Music".


Explore more of Shock Forest Group's research in this online open archive. More information about the residency can be found on Het Hem's website. Also see The Entity.


Active members:
Katya Abazajian
Sheryn Akiki
Susanna Gonzo
Nicolás Jaar
Daria Kiseleva
Jelger Kroese


Past members:

Pantxo Bertin
Axel Coumans
Paula Dooren

Pamela Jordan

Erica Moukarzel
Simon Skatka Lindell
Sjoerd Smit
Bert Spaan

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