Open Phenology began with the speculation that I might deploy phenology as a lens to witness and understand outdoor experiences in everyday life. What developed was an action- and inquiry-based practice of observing and chronicling natural phenomena around the Walker Art Center’s campus. The project's watchword, "WITNESS :: CHANGE :: TOGETHER," speaks to my intention to positively transform the way we perceive our environment. By focusing on ephemeral biological phenomena, I hope to encourage a reverent stewardship for nature by re-enchanting our relationship with it.
What do I mean by "action-and inquiry-based" practice? I mean an intentional approach with the following components:  
  • Routine observations of the environment—looking carefully and spending time
  • Documentation—writing notes, taking photos, recording videos, etc.
  • Storytelling—by which I mean describing a sequence of events from a specific point of view
  • Asking questions, synthesizing information, and asking more questions
  • Speculating, postulating, and hypothesizing
  • Light research—seeking answers from experts and peers, online and in books
Since September 2011, Open Phenology has been a largely solitary pursuit, but it maintains a public side in the form of online storytelling (blogs, photos, videos,etc.). As the ongoing narratives progress, a consistent theme emerges: placing attention on ephemeral biological phenomena can enrich our daily lives and re-enchant our relationship with nature. Open Phenology sets a model for how we might witness lifeforms in our environment, share those experiences with others, and change our perceptions of the ecosystem we inhabit. At Open Phenology's core are essential drives to contemplate the temporary nature of things and engage the intellect with different ways of knowing (observing, building hypotheses and concepts, etc.).

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