The image on the left, a cross-cut tree trunk, has been taken directly from the natural world. It is sharp and clear, telling the tree’s life story and, more broadly, affording a reading of the rings as a historical climactic record and a potential window into the future. Yet, this story has not been fully and correctly interpreted. The adjoining image features marks suggestive of text, rendered incomprehensible through redaction and fragmentation. The conjunction of image and text alludes to the traditional, illustrated, natural history book, a means of disseminating information and, on occasion, misinformation.
I am interested in issues of mistranslation, misinterpretation, and the failure to read between the lines. Sometimes it feels as though the ability to interpret signs from the natural world and respond appropriately seems to have been inadvertently lost, or worse, wilfully dispensed with.
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