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Plein Air: The Southern Appalachian Forest

Exhibition begins: Friday, March 1, 2019
Exhibition Celebration: Friday, April 5, 2019 (6:00pm – 10:00pm)
Exhibition ends: Saturday, August 3, 2019
Venue: Turchin Center for Visual Arts, Mayer Gallery,
Appalachian State University, North Carolina.

Collins & Goto Studio with Chris Malcolm.

An exhibition which opens a tour of a project that was over ten year in the making. Here we present the final iteration of the artwork, along with photography and video. The show features an LP Album recorded in Cologne and Glasgow as well as a new catalogue, with reviews by Emily Brady an environmental aesthetic philosopher, Georg Dietzler artist and music producer and Wallace Heim a performance theorist with a focus on more-than-human practices.

Our interest in Plein Air began by thinking about carbon exchange. The project is about one leaf, one tree. Goto and Collins have worked with a team of scientists, technologists and musicians to construct a hand-crafted box easel for the 21st Century. The goal was to reveal the breath of a tree with the intention to explore the empathic interrelationship we might have with trees. The work integrates aesthetics, ethics and awareness in the pursuit of a better understanding of the limitations of people-plant and culture-nature relationships. The artwork provides an experiential interface to an important but relatively invisible aspect of carbon sequestration.

The experience produced by Plein Air, mediated by sensors and software, lets us hear a metaphor, a sound of one leaf / one tree breathing. Does our sense of moral duty change as we listen? The tree is primarily (commonly) understood as property, as a utilitarian resource and as a non-sentient thing. The presence of trees in our daily lives and their bio-chemical agency can be construed as more public than private.

Final development with support of Creative Scotland.

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Plein Air in North Carolina

Posted by: Tim Collins

Date: 5 February 2019

Plein Air: The Southern Appalachian Forest