Anne Noble, Observations from the Critical Zone #6, 2019. Courtesy: the artist and Two Rooms, Auckland.
The exhibition title, Observations from the Critical Zone, riffs off the name of a science initiative that focusses on The Critical Zone, a descriptor for that living, breathing near surface layer of the earth that is experiencing catastrophic (and invisible) loss of biodiversity. Part lover of science, part interrogator of science, the artist began this project with the question. Do trees talk?
Anne Noble imagines that a forest might be like a colony of bees operating with some kind of complex interconnected consciousness. A hive mind in the bush engaged in an eons long conversation that far surpasses a human understanding of the nature and complexity of language. With quasi scientific seriousness, she employs a method to measure the tenor of the conversations between trees, burying film –a medium receptive to the passage of time and chemistical signatures – in the ground between two trees, musing about the possibility of capturing some tree language.
Exhibition opens: 6–8pm Thursday 31 October 2019