TreeTalk is a concept, an idea, a feeling and among other things a collection of photos began compiling in 2013 after an expedition deep into the Choco forest on the equator in Ecuador. At the time I had no idea the impact these trees would have on my life and the stories I now share with all of you. Capturing photos in a true primary forest and having capacity to see what you are looking at is to look into slides of the divine; fractal pattern of life emerging from the universe found on our earth.
We know that trees communicate with each other and when we put several of them together they form a network. The larger and more organic the network the greater the intelligence of the forest system. From my personal experience and interaction I propose that primary forest systems are highly intelligent sentient systems that represent the CPU of our life-support system on spaceship earth.
Many indigenous communities living in these environments communicate with pacha mama, the great spirit and from their point of reference she is the provider and they are her servants. Ants supporting the welfare of their queen with consciousness guarded in the trees.
As we have moved out of the forest and into cities we still must do the bidding of our queen in the absolute insanity that holds our societies together. Following our consciousness, that is now stored in our phones and backed up in the cloud somewhere most of us wait for signals that will guide our actions and possibly even our consumption as we travel through our days. Each one of our individual actions adding up to over consume natural resources and destroy the forest and the trees. Eventually there may be nothing left and if we were able to reach escape velocity maybe we can head off to Mars and the great beyond before it is all too late.
I started to developed the images in this series in 2019 and was amazed at what started to come out of the trees as I applied mathematical workflows to exploring gravity of trees and the refraction of light. Several images in the series now read as stereograms with faces popping out. Similar to the work of Bev Doolittle yet much less literal my images present faces from within the trees. If you look long enough and your heart is pure you might just find yourself looking back at you; “I am the tree, I am nature.”
Nikola Tesla has been very strong influence in my work. He believed that the universe holds all knowledge and if we are lucky and pure we might be vessels to receive that light. My process to develop a work flow that is the backbone of this art took a journey to the center of the universe the edge of a of a black hole. On April 16th 2016 I had a near death experience as my house collapsed on top of me in a 7.9 earthquake. My house was on top of a cliff over looking the pacific and at the very end of a hundred mile rupture in the earth. I died and came back to life and its hard sometimes to not to feel like this crisis happened to me. My PTS is definitely a part of the gravitational waves that bring these trees to life. I created this series in learning how to deal with my own trauma and share with an intention of helping and comforting us all. Cave paintings, hand drawn on the walls as we climb out.
Back in this world I talk to the trees and they keep me safe and I do my part to return their gift. I speak for them and for all of us when I stress the importance of protecting primary forests systems most especially tropical ones. We are allowed to take from the forest only in so much as we are helping it to grow, and NOT by dumbing it down. Without it none of us will have a place to live. Unlike many animal societies the value of the forest is in preserving the old. Chopping down hero trees just doesn’t work. Forest medicine… now ask yourself what does that mean?