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images of a future
In late 2017 I made a show about trees and then I kept working on it.
I'm not sure if they still do it but for a several month period in 2017 someone in Boston and Cambridge started painting tree stumps vivid colors. So I photographed them, contemplating a psychedelic anthropocene of the beautiful but dead. (I think it was the public works department). Then I moved on to shooting bits of wood: street finds and residue of the holiday tree industry, including my old Christmas tree stripped and painted red. I work in a library and am drawn to odd taxonomies and their visual preservation.
I also made a set of drawings by taping paper against the bark of trees and rubbing the paper with graphite. Some of the trees were dead or dying and the method of production was a reference to the practice of making grave rubbings. The images also document a set of material inquiries into the nature of mark making and reproduction: is a tracing a drawing or a photograph? As it turns out the physicality of the making is an important component and 2 tracings are rarely the same.
Later I made some of the drawings into an experimental booklet: if you were going to make a book about dying trees (what would you call it) adding new drawings and some text.
In 1971, in an act of optimism and curiosity Stuart Roosa flew hundreds of seeds into space with Apollo 14; they were subsequently germinated and planted and are known as "moon trees". In 2017 the US dropped out of the Paris accord.