The Feral Palace Conference

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The Feral Palace conference presents perspectives on seeing and valorising untamed urban territories readily overlooked by the existing spatial planning. Starting from a specific case of a Krater’s ecosystem soon to be extinct by the Palace of Justice – conference sparks a trans-disciplinary debate around multispecies spatial justice, rights of spontaneous nature in the cities, living-soil archives, evacuation of ecosystems, plant-inclusive cybernetics, etc.  

Following the spring mentorship program, the autumn conference premierly features creative work of eight diverse collectives coming from nine countries, in front of  institutions representatives (Institute for Nature Conservation, Chamber of Slovenian Architects, University of Ljubljana, Ministry of the environment and spatial planning) to create an authentic space of collaboration, where framework of administrative regulations is faced with its lively counterpart – multispecies Krater context.

We are thrilled to announce that Klaas Kuitenbrower (Practice of Zoönomy), Debra Solomon (Multispecies urbanism), Rok Kranjc (more-than-human transformations), Gaja Mežnarić Osole & Danica Sretenović (Feral Palace initiative) are joining us live from Slovensko Mladinsko gledališče. 

The Programme

(all time C.E.T)

The Feral Palace conference mediates extractive operational logic by offering interventions, speculations, declarations - archive of possible futures in place of a single future of Krater’s extinction. Framing critical questions with potency to shift the inevitable (the Palace of Justice) into previously unseen position (the Feral Palace) brings forth otherwise non-existent imaginaries of multispecies-sensitive futures of the rewilded Krater’s site.

Join us at the conference in situ, at Slovensko Mladinsko Gledališe. In case you can not access the venue, we will provide the link to the livestream prior to the event. Please note that the field workshops Practices of Care will be held on Krater site only. 

Call for support

You can donate to our initiative through Paypal.

The Feral Palace is a situated urgency, relying on practices of reciprocity and care, experimental pedagogies, and the formation of a research community. It is a voluntary work, running on our dedication to expand the understanding of Krater's site as well as to create research opportunities for our local community of practice. Due to the incoming crises, we were unable to access the financial support from the sponsorships, which put our organization into scarcity mode. The conference still runs without registration fees, following the priority to produce publicly accessible high quality content. We do invite those of you who feel able to contribute, to support the conference with a donation of your choice. It will help mitigate the highly precarious position which till this moment has enabled our work on this important transdisciplinary research.

28. September 2022:
Practices of Care

(Krater site, offline)

9.30: Welcome

Matevž Čelik, Secretary of State for culture

Gaja Mežnarić Osole and Danica Sretenović, curators of the program

10.00 – 15.00: Field workshops at Krater (more soon)

Practice of Zoönomy: Klaas Kuitenbrouwer

Radical Observation: Debra Solomon

Experiential Multispecies Futuring with AI: Rok Kranjc

Feral Species and Ecosomatics Manifesto: Feral Palacers; Sieta van Horck (NL), Andreja Benedejčić (SI), Rens Spanjaard (SI), Tina Božak (SI)


17.00 – 19.30: Practices of care, round table  (Slovensko Mladinsko Gledališče, online & on site)

The introductory panel is dedicated to showcase the impact of civic engagement in the management of degraded green spaces. Featuring the practices of care: Onkraj gradbišča, Krater, Urbanihoeve. The panel will be moderated by Katja Martinčič, architect and Idrija city urbanist.

29. September 2022:

The Feral Conference

(Slovensko Mladinsko Gledališče, online & on site)

10.30: Welcome

His excellency Mr. Johan Verboom, Netherlands Ambassador to Slovenia 

Gaja Mežnarić Osole and Danica Sretenović, curators of the program

Intro: The Feral Palace

10.45 – 11.00: Gaja Mežnarić Osole: The Feral Practice – mediation

11.00 – 11.15: Danica Sretenović : The Feral Practice – intervention

The Feral Palace program shifts the referential system of thought from urban policies that address ground as an inanimate abstraction regulated by plot size, predetermined land use, and ownership to the ground inhabited by multispecies communities acting above, below, and within the Earth's crust while enabling micro- and macro-scale urban regeneration.

First session: Krater’s justice protocols

11.15 – 11.45: Keynote 1: Klaas Kuitenbrouwer: Zoöp Model

11.30 – 12.00: How to Spontaneous Nature

by Gaja Pegan Nahtigal (SI), Aja Golob (SI), Zala Metlika (SI), Tatjana Kotnik (SI)

General public, urban planners, and legal entities seem to divide nature very strictly into good nature versus bad nature. One that is planned, wanted and worthy of protection and one that is unplanned, unwanted and a nuisance - Krater is perceived as the latter.

12.30 – 13.00: Strategies of Evacuation

by Jana Vukšić (CRO, NL), Filipa Valenčić (CRO), Iskra Vukšić (CRO, NL), Lotte van der Woude (NL), Urška Škerl (SI)

The eviction process is a violent intervention in which not all organisms can keep up.Strategies of evacuations should be a vital part of every new construction project, if the construction can't be avoided.

13.00 – 13.30: Soil Protocols

by Zuzana Jančovičová (SK, NL), Justyna Chmielewska (PL, NL)

Impressive timeline of Krater soil history presents urban soil as an ever evolving living organism, focusing on its rights and three potential scenarios for the future of Krater: human-centered, soil-centered and multispecies centered.

13.30 – 14.00: Soil as a Living Archive

by Jane Pirone (US), Barbara Adams (US), Hala Abdel Malak (US)

How could we make the rich and exuberant multispecies micro-entanglements beneath the paved over site visible? By making the aliveness of soil audible and visible through recordings and visual renderings, Terra Testimony aims to generate multispecies communities of sense. Through sound and image, we will explore the ways in which the soil archives the conditions for life.

14.00 – 15.00 lunch break

Second session: Krater’s Multispecies community

15.00 – 15.30: Keynote 2: Debra Solomon, curator of the Dutch pavilion at the 2021 architectural biennial in Venice

15.30 – 16.00: Redefining Cybernetics Conference

by Zsuzsanna Szegedi (US), Jana Stankić (SI),  Zoltan Puzsár (HU), Benedek Lits (HU)

Between 1946 and 1953, the Macy Conferences examined communication between living and nonliving - humans, animals and machines. They were the birthplace of cybernetics from which cognitive science was born, but the research did not include plants, which greatly impacted formation of contemporary thought.

16.00 – 16.30: Garden as a Courtroom

by Angelo Renna (IT), Katherine Boles (US), Xavier Acarin (SP)

Exploring mediation as a form of multispecies justice we are looking to co-design a set of relations that aim to resolve disputes. Elaborating on the feral as the questioning of the boundaries between domesticated and wild, we are proposing the Feral Palace as a space of multispecies mediation beyond binaries, speculative yet possible.

16.30 – 17.00: Exercises in Multispecies Democracy

by Ola Korbańska (DE), Iwo Borkowicz (DE), Lara Jana Gabriel (SI)

A set of exercises in the act of protest stretch the strict and organized way we deal with nature within a city space. There is a need for human beings to take a step back in order to allow for multispecies justice - Krater is an amazing example of what can happen if we withdraw for some time.

17.00 – 17.30: Forbidden Vernaculars

by Krater community (SI) 

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About the Feral Palace Initiative

Danica Sretenović, architect and curator and Gaja Mežnarić Osole eco-social designer and co-founder of NGO Trajna joined to create space for questioning established management strategies in connection with our disturbed urban ecologies. This alliance introduces multi-species thinking strategies across the fields of design-ecology, participation, law, and critical reading of contemporary spatial production. The Feral Palace pedagogy introduced an overseen set of conditions, forming a new context: map of species and their interrelations, soil histories, legislative concept of zoöp, multispecies urbanism, etc. The vibrant learning environment was set up to connect ecologists, lawyers, designers, biologists, architects and landscape architects from 9 countries to produce critical narratives of the Feral Palace.