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- LUZ WALLACE
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What happens when the resource that gives us oxygen and life is depleted?
We need to preserve the few we have left, but how?
Trees get uprooted and transported to become trophy plants for the wealthy. In contrast, some communities don't have a single tree near their home. They are becoming even more inaccessible as we keep building bigger cities, and climate change brings saltwater in, killing them in the process. This project questions, What is the true ground? Is it synthetic? Is it elevated? Will it be flooded in 50 years? Do we let it flood? And most importantly, what is a tree when there is no true ground?
Since our society is rooted in industrialization, we see this process taking hold of how we treat the remaining forests. The large trees that rest above are jewels, like beacons of light. Older and rare, they are only seen lifted above, not available for purchase, and monitored at all cost. What is our new canopy? As the actual tree canopy is encapsulated above, tree roots are all we see, and no human will be allowed above. As an ecosystem of parts, we humans are not being accommodated. These infrastructure systems work in symbiosis to lift the trees creating islands of nature above when the ground is flooded.
What is the new highway? The infrastructure is vital to the assembly and transportation of trees, always keeping them in life support with resources. It interconnects and elevates everything essential for the arboretum's survival, like art pieces, from future saltwater. It's welcoming the future conservation of life, with flooding of saltwater being a threat to tree existence.
The tree pod in the assembly line is shrink-wrapped and encased, preserved until it's purchased and unwrapped at the destination. Not many will have the privilege to afford a tree like this.
The arboretum has completely removed itself from the human eye level of existence, rising above. Does this become a new ground in the sky? transforming our present ground into the bottom of the ocean. Humans have a way of taking part in manipulating every aspect of nature. Prepping the trees to grow, we graft them to create the "perfect tree" with the "perfect branching structure," a standard process used in nurseries.
This is where the commodification of nature has taken us. Where will we end up as the wealthy purchase these as trophies to put in their homes? Our sources of oxygen can no longer be relied upon. How are we sustaining ourselves while others can have it all for a little while anyway? The remaining earth trees are uprooted and taken above because what happens to trees when there's nowhere safe? What do they become?