The Forest From the Tree
This one is in St. Louis’ Forest Park, near the art museum.
The Forest From the Tree. 2010
What makes this tree special? Perhaps the question is better posed as what doesn’t make a tree special? This oak displays the traits expected of its genus, but what it also evokes is the question of free will VS. predestination. The branching of its fractal leaves is both identical to millions of its brethren and yet incongruously completely unique, both genetically and in its physical form. Planted more than 50 years ago disguised as a regular sapling, this piece of art tells a story of slow growth, struggle against pollution and the elements, and is ultimately a celebration of life’s triumph over the entropic and chaotic universe. Its form, created in large part as a reaction to the external, was yet completely “programmed” by the information contained when this work existed solely as a seed. Nature VS. nurture? Why not both?