Zoönomic instruments are the tools and methods used by zoöps to track and read the development of their local zoönomy.
Zoönomy is the term used by zoöps to indicate the sustaining network of exchange of all human and non-human life. To work on the health of your local zoönomy is to work on the density and versatility of the relationships between all living creatures in a zoöp.
Zoönomic instruments are designed around a variety of knowledge practices, and may work with chemical, biological, social, political, sensory and artistic knowledge, both qualitative and (datified) quantitative knowledge. Each zoöp works with a set of at least three different instruments and methods to develop diverse perspectives on the quality of the zoöp.
A comprehensive account of the thoughts and reasoning behind working with zoönomic instruments can be found in: How to Measure the Ecological Development of a Zoöp and Designing Prototypes of Zooönomic Instruments.
The Zoönomic Method
In the summer of 2020, as part of the Venice Exploratorium, teams from four different cities in Europe critically explored and refined a method for engaging with a site as a zoöp. The method has been applied in several experimental settings since, each leading to further refinement. It has developed into the general framework for the practice of zoönomy, and for the (zoöonomic) development of zoöps.
Permaculture tools and methods
Permaculture tools and methods are design principles built around systems thinking, simulating or directly utilising the patterns and resilient features observed in natural ecosystems. Permaculture is not a one-size-fits-all solution and it is important to note that many of its tools are not new, as permaculture links relevant ancient methods with new ones and applies them to current challenges.
This biodiversity tool and method is a collaboration between proto-zoöp Bodemzicht and the Radboud University in the Healthy Landscape Programme. Through this programme, several independent ecologists and social scientists research and monitor the positive impact regenerative farming has on biodiversity in one of the proto-zoöps.
DeepSteward, developed by Ian Ingram and Theun Karelse, is an unsupervised machine-learning system that develops taxonomies of ecological behaviours that are not based on prior human understanding of ecology. It observes a volume of biosphere with a camera, registers qualities of movement in different temporal registers, from very slow to very fast and everything in between, and tries to find correlations between them. Since DeepSteward does not have any prior knowledge of ecosystems, it may develop taxonomies of knowledge in ways that differ from humans. While DeepSteward's knowledge production may not immediately lead to major breakthroughs in human knowledge of ecological development, it is likely that it will lead to new kinds of questions.
Radical Observation Methods
Radical Observation is a methodology by Debra Solomon/Urbaniahoeve that teaches natural world awareness towards ecosystem stewardship. It is foundational for individuals and groups preparing to ask design questions and reach decisions about their upcoming ecological interventions. The individually performed exercises prepare groups in consolidating their vision.
Datafusion Instrument prototype
The Datafusion Instrument is developed by Space4Good and will combine data gathered by different Earth-watching satellites with information from sensors on site in different zoöps. A proof of concept (applying satellite data only) has been made that already shows highly interesting potential. This working prototype gives a vegetation index (NDVI), a humidity index (NDWI), and a chlorophyll content reading for a surface area. It performs change detection by combining the aforementioned measurements with observations by synthetic aperture radar (SAR, particularly efficient in cloud and tree canopy penetration) and aggregating them in a temporal grid.