"Created using both processed and unprocessed wood, speakers, Raspberry Pi single board computers, Pure Data, and accelerometer sensors. For De-Arborescence, I worked with the arborist team at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL to remove and shape dead tree stumps, which were generously donated to me. I then outfitted each stump with a speaker whose signal derived from a contact microphone installed directly into the stump, thus creating a feedback tone dependent on the unique structure of each tree root rhizome and the space in which it sits.
These modular sculptures, which function collectively as an installation, allow the audience to encounter a visual and aural environment in which the only audible sound is that of the vibrations of the physical world as they resonate through the disfigured tree corpses. Unlike living trees, which have a complex sonic life of biological activities and vibrations of the natural and anthropocene world, these dead, uprooted tree stumps no longer generate their own inherent happenings, and are instead presented as disembodied prosthetic sculptures in a gallery space, left to amplify and shift the sonic ambience including footsteps of museum-goers, patron voices, and the hum of the air conditioning in the gallery.
The tree reduced to stump, stands as an ecological consequence, hollowed of the sounds of its own sonic vitality, limited to the empty sounds of the space. In the absence of their own vitality, the “trees” can only give us back the transliterated, hollow echoes of our own movements, thoughts, and presence, thus intensifying an awareness of the biospheric consequences of the anthropocene and our seemingly human desire to want to ignore the sound-signs of nature. Proof that we do not want nature itself (as alterity, as “a vitalism inseparable from a materialism” (Gilles Deleuze)), but only domesticated and tame representations of nature (e.g. a suburban lawn, house plant, or forest preserve)."