The Little Boy dropped on Hiroshima, August 6th 1945. ___________________________________________________
Since 2006, artist Hiroshi Sunairi has been distributing the seeds of these Hibaku trees throughout the United States and Singapore, inviting people to plant and nurture the growing artifact. This is an act of remembrance and a memorandum of hope established through the on-going life of these trees. This project is a nod towards the slow process of healing after significant disaster. Now, the daughters, and daughter’s daughters grow proudly throughout the world.
Allow me to introduce B-5. That is the name of our tree, perhaps not our One Tree, but the tree we are most interested in for now. Its tall and sturdy above ground, but the unseen – whats below the bark and underneath the soil has been a mystery. By following the root, from root flare at the base of the tree trunk out until we reach the end of the root, we can observe the extent to which tree canopy has any correlation to root spread. This is an experience of slowing down time – many hands and many hours later, the one tree root is still not exposed. Could you imagine the entire allée coming down by man power only? No machines, just simple hand tools and shovels to relieve the trees from their medium. This is a process of upheaval. While we are engaging with these trees as a living laboratory, we are also participating in the unhurried disassociation of a tree and its environment. Every hole, every accidental slice of a root, every footstep that increases soil compaction affects this tree’s next calculated measure to prepare for its steady future. Does it know it does not have a future?
An unexpected gush of tannin filled liquid streamed out from our Haglof Borer. The smell, a reminder of our rotting tree-forts from childhood. And the taste? Obligatory, raw, but rancid the way cow manure smells like fresh air.
To distill one from many. And then to build back up into a chorus of independent forms.
It looks simple. It looks easy. But it takes painstaking patience to collect the point data, patch and convert the points into a complete cloud, dissect the data into individual tree files, convert those individual tree files to formats that are usable in other programs, import those new tree files, apply animation, render, compose, and finally post.
We spent the day surveying the Brookings Allée at Washington University in St. Louis by capturing 50 3D laser scans that formulate point clouds with Tomislav Zigo! More to come on where we go from here, but for now, here are our scans and some images of us in action.