Made by Hand

(forest-time) a proposal for a performance

(forest-time) is new eco-feminist sci-fi that begins as a media presentation on fire ecology, past and future in the Pacific Northwest, and gradually devolves into a primal live-cinema performance about sticky entanglements across ecologies, economies and time-scales.

Based on research conducted in the western states of Washington, California, Nevada and British Columbia, Canada (forest-time) will feature human and Ai performances, video, field-recordings, soundscapes and song.

At the center of a layered performance, is an investigation into the idea of Time, how this concept or construct is rendered in a forest, a computer, in a human. How might nonlinear perspectives on time allow us to see beyond anthropocentric, existential hang ups to a less hierarchical and more equitable global society, economy and ecology? If we can see time in the trees more accurately than in a clock what is the point of all these alarms. Time is more material, less linear than we were led to believe. It’s in the sound, in the soil, the trees, the sea, the salmon, the whales, their bones, your bones. Whose time is it anyways? Or is it that time owns us or is there just no such thing? Only a multi-layered infinite now.

Trees can tell us with staggering accuracy what happened in the past by the number and quality of the rings found inside their heartwood and sapwood. It’s called dendrochronology. There’s also dendroclimatology, the study of tree rings to detect environmental patterns like drought and fire.

Now is place-based. It is “here and now” yet place is also the Past especially when we can see it in the earthy material around us. A sundial might come close to telling time but a material sense of time, like that expressed in a forest or a coastline can be more real than any digital or analog display. If you care to look, you can see the past, feel it, pick it up and hold it in your hands.

Fieldwork for this project is nomadic and takes place across time and space, tracing a road taken by many Now moving (myself included) north along the coastline to find work, affordable housing, water, clean air and a livable Future.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we don't always see the sun, so a sundial is less reliable. Trees can tell time.

 Tree bark after controlled burn, Bend, OR

Tree bark after controlled burn, Bend, OR