A sensual re-enactment of “forest.” A moment of suspension, to let the anger and the ugly and the nonsensical float away. To root in something else. To play with the shadows instead of hide from them. To listen with the eyes. To smell with the hands. To call in beauty.
In healthy forests trees will nourish the older and weaker and ill trees. Because a tree is not a forest. Because a forest needs all of its members in order to create the conditions for a healthy climate (the right wind, the right temperatures, the right humidity). So they keep each other alive through root systems, an extensive network of fungus, signals of communication in sound and smell, and nourishment.
Being an animal or a plant is inherently a sensual experience. Smell. Sound. Touch. How do we translate the notion of smell to our bossy human eyes? How do we feel by looking? Indeed, too much language and too much research can deaden us. Too much anger stops the flows in our heart.
My long-time collaborators Greg Colburn and Vicki Brown joined me to animate a suspended forest with movement and sound. Our installation/performance was created for the Tucson Museum of Art’s First Thursdays Play! series.
All images by Kathleen Dreier. Video by Kephart Taiz.