The second step is that of Observing & Sensing the entities and structures that together constitute the zoöp, and establishing the various ecological, trophic, social, economic, legal, symbolic and aesthetic relations between them.
Attempting to relate to other-than-human perspectives is a central effort of the Observing & Sensing step. This is a primary task of the Zoönomic Foundation in actual zoöps, and all humans involved in zoöps need to accept other subjectivities as relevant for the organisation of a zoöp.
All the involved actors experience each other’s presence. Multisensory, aesthetic observation is also a learning process, in which more capacity for sensing is developed. As Brice Ammar-Khodja puts it in the observation of Zone Sensible: “In the beginning, you only see the obvious bees, then it turns out that the colorado beetle is a local pest and is much more important for the day-to-day running of the place.” Observing & Sensing also implies becoming sensitive to one’s own presence in the zoöp. This leads to the awareness that humans need to be given new specific places and roles in the multispecies networks.
While humans with their sensory abilities have a unique capacity for synthesising different experiences into larger cohesive impressions, their perception is also constrained by the abilities of their senses. Various instruments may enhance these abilities, and certain observations can be outsourced to instruments that measure, register and signal developments of their own accord. Different knowledge practices developed in the arts, the posthumanities, the sciences and the economy have to meet and intersect each other in the observations. Qualification and quantification are complementary processes. Actual zoöps use a variety of instruments, each working from a different knowledge practice to monitor the development of their site.