07 Sketch of a Tree
»I am interested in space as an experience. I want to create an atmosphere, an ambient, architecture. Which aspects of a situation define our being, doing, thinking, sensing, relations to others, objects and space?
Which aspects of the space are bringing forth certain behaviour, thoughts and emotions?
This is a beginning of a research. It is starting by the senses, primary functions of awareness, experience in the world, which eventually form thoughts, imagination and our emotions.
A picture, or a TV screen, or a computer screen, a mobile phone screen, or any kind of a two-dimensional flat surface medium of the visual means being confronted with a certain definite range of qualities. Watching a surface, a picture means watching a build together surface. The way we are watching it is creating memories, imprints of information in our brain and body.
To step into my skin I would name a bodily event, a state of being when the mind is somewhere in harmony with the movement and the thought. I walk through the forest and I experience it as a space, it is surrounding, I see the tree and I would like to take a closer look, I approach and the roughness of the bark invites me to touch. Some say that we look with hands. Some say that all our senses are some kinds of evolutional progresses of the touch, developed skin. Even our eyes are covered with a thin surface of skin. Even our gaze is touching, but it’s also much more.
I would like to see less and sense more. The gaze is choosing, selecting, cutting, controlling, manipulating.
I would like to create a space, which awakes a different kind of state of observing. The body observing. In everyday life we become aware of our bodies when something is wrong, when it hurts, calling for attention; we become aware of the situation when the “normal” is crushed, when the equilibrium is disharmonized.
I decided to shatter the floor beneath and blur the references for the gaze, which give it a strong position and the possibility to control, perhaps even the possibility of awareness of knowing where I am or who I am. I choose forest as a basic image. For me forest is of many beautiful and similar sensations. Forest is of many static places, which consist of individual trees relating to each other and space growing into a whole ecosystem, determined by the planet and the galaxy. Forest is like flesh, covering the bones. A small movement of a single muscle is changing the whole constellation of the body. A body like that is also the forest. Being inside is becoming a part of this whole.
Forest interests me as a space. It consists of opposites, embodying an ideal of a being for me. It’s static and dynamic. The static posture of the tree is always swung by the winds breeze. The crowns are searching for the sun and playing a game of shadows in the space around them with the neighbouring trees and plants. There are always uncountable amounts of relations that form a whole melody of life defining each particle and all of them at the same time. Let’s pick the shadows thrown upon the space around the crowns, it’s governing the possibilities for the smaller plants where to grow, and further, the small plants are deciding for a drop of rain where to drain into the ground and the multitude of particles, organic and inorganic beings and stuff in the ground is then forming a path for the drop and the flow continues, so on.
Seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, tasting, and understanding separate things, matters, happenings, stuff and their relationships are sensations. But before I open up this page of sensation I would like to find the coordinates of myself, the observing point where it all begins, what is our space? Of what space we consist, what space we fill in, what is forming ourselves as spatial?
What is forming our spatial awareness nowadays? It could be standards, many different standards. Length, height and depth. Materials, surfaces, colours, functionality, aesthetics. Qualities determined by the quantities, it’s defining our being through numbers. The body is a measurement to be measured, then we measure many bodies and define an average, to which we then determine a certain value of function and comfort in a relation with what is at hand and what we know and desire.
Standard as furniture, chairs, tables, closets, height of the wall and length of the room, the sizes of clothes, the widths of roads, plans of houses and towns, the arrangements of chairs around the table in a restaurant, paths and sidewalks, which are being chosen by the steps of our feet, being used to the asphalt and the paved roads. Culture and Civilisation. Cities, designs, architecture, plans, sketches, thoughts.
I want to begin at the moment, right here and now, in a small student dorm, this is my situation, I am writing this text. In here there is barely enough space for a single bed, small study table and a closet, there is a single window and single door leading to the kitchen and the common areas of the student dorm. There are two toilets and a bathroom. In the kitchen there are six chairs around the table, as many as there are rooms in the apartment. The place of the social activities is the kitchen, there we eat, sit, cook, watch, talk, play games etc. In our rooms we are alone.
Opposite my window there is a square yard. On the yard I haven’t seen a single person hanging out in half a year time, but there have been some passing through. The yard has some trees, green spots and asphalt squares, the trees are aligned in rectangular shaped patterns. On the other side of the yard there is another apartment block, on the right and the left, the lines of the apartment houses almost continue endlessly. Above I can see the sky covered with puffy clouds coloured in orange shades.
My body is in this moment in a certain situation. It’s defined by the shape of my chair, the height of my desk and the placement of both amongst the other stuff in my room. I am sitting in front of a window in the left furthest away spot from the entrance to the room. I am typing now, but I am not aware of the movements of my fingers and the way I sit and work. I am letting my attention follow the stream of my thought forming this text.
I can feel the warmth of my body, I am dressed in loose cotton clothes, a thin sweater and thin pants, I can feel the pressure in my feet. I can sense the blood stream in my vessels. I sense my body weighing down against the surface of the chair, and the weight of my head pushing down against the spine and the rib cage, through buttocks and legs until my feet. Some parts are felt as if the objects would be pushing against me up, and on others the feeling is more relaxed as if falling down.
What thought and sense do I make of my room? It’s a place where I am sleeping, working, eating, watching movies, writing, drawing, doing yoga, mostly I am here alone with my activities.
Is this room a home? Is it just a standard? What kind of a space is it? What kind of a space is home?
I think I don’t trust my room anymore. Therefore I am looking for home in space. First I will search through the space of my body, but how? How to enter the body and how to let it be opened?
Perhaps we could try to sense the inner space of our body?
Perhaps we could try to sense the space surrounding us.
Perhaps we could engage in thinking, arts, images, music, human relations, constellations, spaces?”