The Tree Spirits | Touch

The Tree Spirits| Touch sound work reflects on the life of a tree, speculating on its acoustic component, and explores the interaction of an individual part of a plant with the colony of organisms and the forest biotic community. The sound recordings give voice to the existence of a tree in its annual and life cycles which begin and end in silence. The silence anticipating the springtime resurgence of sap flow, and the silence of destruction caused by climate change, drought, and fires.

Installation at +MSUM, Ljubljana, 19. May until 11. September 2022

The artist zeros in on the touch; touch as an expression of genuine concern and awareness of the coexistence with plants, and a destructive touch of environmental devastation. The sounds of touching a tree trunk, branches rubbing against each other, the crushing of loose bark, the foliage, the rustling of trees in the wind, water drenching the roots – an acoustic journey through the physical existence of a tree. All the way to branch breaking, tree falling and a fire, a warning of the upcoming drought which is always a hard blow to a forest habitat.

The composition with the recorded and processed tree sounds, produced both within the organism as well as when touched by a human or the environment, builds an emotional and dramatic narrative charged with the natural and amplified sounds comingling and entwining. A dynamic 8-channel installation pulls the listener in the very centre of a sound happening.

The installation demonstrates, investigates, and records the changes in the electrical conductivity, which are the result of the intensive drying process of the individual tree cookies (sliced portions of a tree trunk), converting the parameters – through heat, electrical and oscillation sensors, and converters – in the visual and acoustic forms. The cookies dry up and crack. They are colonised by microbes, mould, and fungi, and in the process of decomposition change their forms. Symbolically, these newly formed tree structures confront us with the shortage of water and moisture.

Credits:
Artist: Brane Zorman
Consulting: Valentina Cvetkovič, Boris Semenič
Curated by: Irena Pivka
Vibration sensor design: Gregor Krpič
Fieldwork (Trzin): Morales d.o.o., Rok Rucigaj, Boštjan Divjak
Translation and editing: Melita Silič
Photo: Brane Zorman, Irena Pivka
Cover photo: Sunčan Stone
Organisation: Irena Pivka, Katarina Radaljac
Public relations: Katarina Radaljac
Production: Cona, Institute for Contemporary Arts Processing, 2021
Locations: Steklenik, Gallery for Sound, Bioacoustics and Art, MGLC, Švicarija, Ars programme
Partners: International Centre of Graphic Arts (Švicarija)
Thanks: Zavod Kersnikova 4