Tree-Time

goldsworthy-tree

As we develop our studio ideas I’ve been following this thread of tree-consciousness. Are trees conscious? In considering what other terms might be appropriate alternatives to consciousness such as thinking and sensing, I am drawn to awareness. Are trees aware of us? And if they are, how do they respond to our activities, our movements, and even just our presence? Trees, as the oldest living beings on the planet exist and operate in a different time. Tree-time. They are slow, silent, and stationary. We, on the other hand, are relatively fast, noisy, and moving. Perhaps in order to understand how a tree responds to our presence we have to slow down to tree-time. We don’t sense a tree’s response to our presence because we aren’t tuned to it. Likewise it’s probable that we are blurred shadows in the tree’s “speed of perception.” In the same way that we as humans can’t discern the nuanced melodies of various birds since they operate in a faster time than us, we operate in a faster time than trees . So how do we reconcile tree-time and human-time in order to understand one another better? This is the question that drives my thinking for now…

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