Trunk to truck

Mapping the body on a tree trunk

January 2021

This project is a performance piece with instructions: finda tree trunk with a circumference that matches exactly that of the circumferenceof your arms. Assessing the dimensions of a tree trunk generates analysis ofthe human in relation to another life form.

The circumference of a tree changes in relation to its ageand local conditions, while the circumference of the arms of adult humansremains relatively stable, regardless of race, age or sexual orientation. Armcircumference is the ultimate equalizer.

A challenge is that the performer cannot do a selfie; asecond person is required to capture a photo of the moment.

Western beliefs ascribe measurement to “natural resources.”When a tree is more than a certain diameter it is protected in Toronto. Othermeasurements relate to its notion as a resource.

Participants respond poetically, many interpreting it as a“hug a tree” gesture, without reference to measurement, commodification orpower dynamics; an embodied moment. As we transit these times of isolation,there is space to examine our place in the Earth system we call home.

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