David Forsee

BFA in Interarts Performance

An Artifact from the Collapse

The artifacts before you are from a 20 minute live video essay and performance of an interactive Zoom meeting with the University of Michigan’s trees during the unfortunate events of the Summer of 2020.

A question and answer session with Mark Schlissel's tree, secrets buried in the bark of Tappan's Oak, and what remains of the devastated Ash tree population are primary subjects. The University is also frequently charged with suppressing and silencing student climate action. The performance and narrative flow are also interrupted frequently by the artist to remind the audience –

Yes, you.
This piece is about trees.
They’re not happy.

The performance is accompanied by an audiovisual landscape that fuses montage and bespoke visual effects to represent the decentralized networks of an urban forest. Adapted for a COVID-19 world from a process of embedded practice, archival research, and ethnographic interviews (with trees and humans).

Performance still, opening scene.

Performance still, opening scene – uh, interrupted.

Video still, preshow Zoom meeting logo

Video still, moment from Tappan Oak scene

Video still, moment from Ash scene

Video still, moment from scene transition

Audio, 3:25, excerpt from Sapling Sam’s radio show scene

Video, 2:40, excerpt from transition into Mark Schlissel’s commemorative tree’s scene