The Chicago Tree Project (CTP) is a collaborative initiative between the Chicago Park District and Chicago Sculpture International. The CTP is an annual citywide effort to transform sick and dying trees into vibrant public art rather than cutting them down. Using art as a vessel for public engagement, sculptors transform trees into fun and whimsical experiences for the greater Chicago community. Each year, twelve new trees are installed throughout the city. A complete map and more information can be found at www.chicagotreeproject.org
Human stewardship of natural environments through systematic caretaking procures nature as an entity that is tended to, versus being inherently part of. Any preservation of nature by humans is largely impossible without first preserving the natural being. Technological defacement of the original connections humans hold with Earth prevents true human progress, and is largely designed and dedicated through technological advancement of product. This straying from autonomous freewill promotes institutional pedagogies regulated by dehumanization, and through oppression. Issues concerning overpopulation, impoverishment and inequality are not solved by new technologies but rather extended by way of apathy, placation and insularism, while ostracizing self from being as a natural life form of Earth.
My appropriations of tree refuse identify as physically pixelated forms reflecting relationships between nature, humans and technology. These sculptures appear as fragmented puzzles that are cubed and rearranged in space. Insects and natural cycles reclaim the sculptural assemblages, becoming time-based performances of nature that slowly change through natural cycles of degradation. These objects encourage eco-pedagogical discourse on the importance of nature and natural patterns as opposed to technological apparatus of its breakup. Pixelated modular blocks of material suspend in space above natural bases to provide an inverted dissolve of nature as if through a surreally artificial and anthropocentric lens.