This Friday Connect takes a look at an assortment of projects that emphasize the interconnections we feel with trees. They each visualize or give voice to trees and what trees communicate with us.

The trees are already talking to one another. Professor Suzanne Simard has been doing research in how mycorrhizal networks allow trees to pass nutrients and other “information” to one another. This research is stunning and will change how you see the forest. Watch the video to see how the trees communicate and how the forest has its own type of intelligence or sentience.

The image above is of an amazing instrument made by BUND in Berlin. When chestnuts fall from this tree, they hit the forms below producing light and sound.

In a very simple yet elegant project, artist Tim Knowles tied pens to the drooping branches of willow trees and put paper underneath. The trees, in a way, made drawings.

The Talking Tree is a tree that is plugged into social media and sends regular updates through tweets and facebook posts. You can see an image feed from the tree and see data about the current climate conditions. The tree is wired up much like you and I. I feel a lot less connection with this project than I do with the others above, but still applaud the folks behind it for thinking of ways to get us to empathize with these important creatures that clean up after our dirty oil addiction.

One of the most memorable projects at Documenta 13 was Mark Dion’s upgrade of a pre-existing wood library. He made a beautiful display to house a collection that the Ottoneum museum of natural history already had in its collection. It is amazing to see the tree samples from around the world. Check out these images!




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