An art collaboration with Pat van Boeckel about experiencing time, nature and our awareness of being part of it.
We are living in a fast epoch, the digital era has speeded up our experience of time in an unprecedented way. Nature on the other hand is slow… We would almost forget that, with our actions today, we impact the living conditions of future generations, centuries ahead in the future. Either in a conscious or unconscious act we plant a seed for the future. Every grown up oak tree has started as a little acorn. Our project draws inspiration from a true story about the renovation of the New College in Oxford.
Some years ago a busy entomologist went up into the roof of the dining hall with a penknife and poked at the beams and found they were full of beetles. This was reported to the College Council, who met in dismay, because where would they get beams of that calibre nowadays?
One of the Junior Fellows stuck his neck out and suggested there might be on College lands some oak. So they called in the College Forester, who of course had not been near the college itself for some years, and asked him about oaks. And he pulled his forelock and said, “Well sirs, we was wonderin’ when you’d be askin’.” Upon further inquiry it was discovered that when the College was founded, a grove of oaks had been planted to replace the beams in the dining hall when they became beetly, because oak beams always become beetly in the end. This plan had been passed down from one Forester to the next for four hundred years. “You don’t cut them oaks. Them’s for the College hall.”