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…

Primers of Forestry

Here’s a brief article written by a Harvard grad student who won the 2011 Young Curator’s award at the Canadian Centre for Architecture for an exhibition titled “First, The Forests.” The article is fairly straight forward, but I think the way he talks about forests as “lists, charts, factories, systems, models or assets” is interesting, particularly that through a bureaucratic lens and facilitated by certain ways of documenting, forests can be “deconstructed and reconstructed in the form of a list.” There are lots of links in the article which are worth following. (And lots of other great articles on the site if you have time to do some exploring.)

Primers of Forestry – CCA