T R E E T I M E
A Participatory WORK MADE IN COLLABORATION WITH THOMAS SCHMOCKER
“It was immense… spending time with this tree taught me how to see all of the other trees”
“After doing Tree Time, I don’t know how people can think that nature is separate from humans”
"I remembered all of these others trees from my life after doing the practice, which I could not recall before hand. I got really excited by these memories"
"I became aware of how connected everything is and that we don’t acknowledge this usually as we go about our lives"
Have you ever hung out with a tree...?
This participatory, live work invites you to be in company with a tree; exploring interspecies collaboration, sensitivity and sociality. Tree Time is centred around the sharing of an interspecies practice that has long been a part of Caitlin’s everyday life. It requires thinking beyond the human perspective to interrogate new, personal relations with our vegetal friends. Actively researching and renegotiating socio-ecological relations.
Meeting participants at a hosting arts space, Caitlin will introduce this underlying practice of ‘Tree Time’ and relevant practicalities on a one-on-one basis. Each participant will be provided a headset and individually taken on a walk, to meet a tree with whom they will be left in company with.
Audio instructions from the headset will offer various pathways into the work. The audio offers questions to ponder as well as provocations that call for action through physical, sensorial or speculative investigation. Embedded in a sonic environment with an inquisitive atmosphere, these spoken words guide participants towards a social encounter with a tree.
Tree Time is an ongoing artistic project that undergoes continual re-framing and re-development.
Accessibility: Alternatives to audio and other aspects of the work are available. Tree Time seeks to allow for multiplicity and diversity of possible experiences. Accessibility queries and requests are eagerly welcomed.
Presented at Letting The Days Go By (Sweden, 2018), a festival curated by and held at Index Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation (2018); Interference Lab, a research symposium organised by Malmö Academy of Music (Sweden, 2019); Inter Arts Centre (Sweden, 2019)
T R E E T I M E - THE PRACTICE
AN ONGOING RESEARCH PROJECT
Tree Time is an interspecies practice. It is not necessarily an artistic practice, but it uses artistic methods and paradigms to contribute to research within the sciences. It uses choreographic thinking and investigative bodily approaches to find out how we could socially engage with trees, and what this might mean, both sociologically and ecologically.
Tree Time stems from the close relationship Caitlin has always had with trees, seeing them as individual creatures. All of whom exhibit behaviours, make decisions and actively respond to – and communicate with – the world around them.
Influenced by Object Oriented Ontology, Romanticism, Anti-Anthropocentrism and Post-Humanism, it can serve as a format to rethink human conceptualisations of – and relationships with – ‘nature’. Bringing these large-scale questionings into the smaller scale of a personal connection between two creatures.
Tree Time calls for the creation of a clearly defined area of science where ecology and sociology coalesce. And it asserts that artistic methods and philosophical consideration are necessary tools for working in this area. Believing that if we are to reassess the position(s) of humans within ‘natural systems’, then we will need the unbound freedom, self-determination, creativity and sensitivity that art can afford us.
Caitlin's work with the practice of Tree Time and surrounding questions about human-nature relations and ecological art has been presented at research seminars organised by Stockholm University of The Arts (Working With The Vegetal I & III), Inter Arts Center and The Malmö Academy of Music (Interference Lab #8).