Shifting Baseline
25 juni 2017

Shifting Baseline (excerpt)
Video, 41:45 min

In The Netherlands forests are too unnatural to grow naturally. The Dutch have created nature reserves, but are unable to create a natural balance like Mother Nature can. They are forced to keep intervening to keep these artificial forests alive. However, the balance between taking care and taking advantage of nature reserves is often blurred. Luckily, most forest visitors don’t recollect what disappears from a forest over time. They forget what changed in their surroundings and accept the new, impoverished nature as reality. A forest visitor will define what is ‘natural’ and ‘normal’ to current, not historical conditions. This is called Shifting Baseline.

In this video work a tree’s destruction is reversed. Instead of watching a machine destroying a tree; the tree is build to life branch by branch. The video places itself within the balance between caring and destruction of nature. It’s comforting to see a tree brought back to life, but at the same time tragic, because we are aware the tree is being destroyed in reality. 

Film still 10:02 min

Film still 41:39 min