Experiential Knowing and Data Sets


Experiential Knowing and Data Sets

Climbing the Discovery Tree

Climbing the Discovery Tree – Leah Wilson

I climb a 200ft old growth Douglas-fir tree every season so that I can feel the light quality change as I ascend above the forest canopy. This means of knowing extends past light registered and processed by my eyes. It offers a complementary way of understanding a forest that a complex data set cannot provide. I experientialy know that the warmth of the sun doesn’t have as much power over the dark, damp forest floor as it does higher in the tree. I know how the bark becomes less spongy and more brittle as I climb, and how those textures smell. I know the sounds of the forest high and low, and the movement of the sway of the giant tree that seems so immovable at its base. When I know the forest in this way, through my body and senses, the data sets that translate my experience into numbers have a richer meaning to me. They tell me a story about what the forest was like, how it felt and appeared before I was there and after. The data provide an elegant pattern of change and time that I am not able to experience when I am high up in the tree, but I can imagine it and almost feel it like I was there. It is a weaving together of these ways of knowing a forest, an ecosystem, a place, that creates a harmony of knowing that I see as something similar to music. The weaving, like music, that is made to be experienced.

Climbing Uniform - Leah Wilson

Climbing Uniform – Leah Wilson

Forest floor light - Leah Wilson

Forest Floor Light – Leah Wilson

Light Above the Canopy - Leah Wilson

Light Above the Canopy – Leah Wilson

Process Notes from “Listening to the Forest”, a percent for art public art project for Oregon State University College of Forestry’s Peavy Hall

Follow on Instagram: @leahcatherinewilson

Studio News & Events

Sometimes I send out postcards... Add your address in the postcard field if you would like a fun piece of mail every now and then.

Thank you! You have successfully subscribed. Your support means a lot to me!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This