Pine, Hinkley, CA, December 30th 2013

Marissa Lee Benedict 

Single-channel video and installation of “tree core sample boxes” at Harold Washington College President’s Gallery (Chicago, US).

From the word “dendron,” meaning tree, and “chronos" meaning time, dendrochronology is the science of using tree rings to date their exact year of formation in order to analyze temporal and spatial patterns. The standard tool of dendrochronology is an increment borer. The increment borer is a type of auger (hand drill) used to remove cores from the tree trunk – pencil thin, spiraling cross-sections of the trunk, material records of air, water, light and carbon transformed and locked over time into specific biological patterns. Material records that are small, violent incisions into the heart wood of a tree. Precise, yet oozing; extrations here are the same as extrusion. Plugging the hole upon exit is vital to stopping further damage to the organism; other forms of rot and infestation will make use of any opportunity. A sample taken, again, within the boundary lines of an unceeded, American landscape. What might be the costs to seeing? Knowing?

Video and sculptures were installed amidst the cubicles of a Chicago college’s administrative offices.