Katie Paterson: To Burn, Forest, Fire
Blk 37, Malan Road, #01-04
To Burn, Forest, Fire takes place as a series of incense burning ceremonies that awaken our sensorium and elicit an intimate, intuitive relation to the natural world confronting us with the sensorial richness of forest ecologies and the prospect of extinctions caused by humanity. Stemming from collaborations with scientists across different disciplines, the work speculates on the olfactory qualities of the first and last forest on our planet. The earliest forest is believed to have formed in present-day Cairo (New York State, United States) about 385 million years ago; whereas the last forest before environmental collapse is identified with the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, in the Ecuadorian Amazon, an ecosystem threatened by rampant deforestation and unsustainable agricultural practices. Katie Paterson’s interdisciplinary investigation resulted in the creation of incense sticks, blended by Japanese incense maker Shoyeido, that propagate the distinct fragrances of the two forests pushing our understanding
of reality beyond the domain of the visible.
This project was originally initiated by IHME Helsinki, a contemporary art organisation in Finland that situates its activities in a dialogue between art and science.
Part of Free Jazz IV. Geomancers