With-in the woods project

Mind, body, and environment are strictly interrelated in the shaping of our experience and vision of the world. To renew such vision and try to reimagine our relationship with the world in an ecological sense, I turned to the woods, unusual environments teeming with life in wild state.

My intent is stimulating new thinking ways experiencing a not urban context: somewhere we aren’t constantly able to keep a standing position or sit comfortably, somewhere we can easily lose our balance and orientation. Some places where, as well as our bodies, our ideas might have to change posture in order to be able to stand.

Most ideas are conceived in urban contexts, in rooms with right angles and constant temperature, sitting in front of a desk and staring at a monitor. It is the posture of an educated, composed and safe thinking from a still body which lies s-shaped on an armchair that is useless but to sustain and coordinate head and hands.

Perhaps some ideas should be conceived in a different way in order to emerge: changing stance, moving, in a different environment, in order to get cleansed of certain habits.

Experiencing the woods is an invitation to walk steep and rough terrains, where the body needs to assume a crooked posture to avoid slippering and getting snagged, to cross a stream, to keep ourselves from tripping on roots. It is a place where it becomes necessary to miseducate our body and adopt an uneducated motion, adjusting to the terrain in order not to fall.

Indeed, we are no longer used to a non-urban environment. We are no longer used to walking on non-flat, non-asphalted, non-paved surfaces; it is even hard to find shoes with the right sole (apart from hiking boots). We are living in a smooth, clean, comfortable, thornless, bugless world, without any friction.

Entering a wood gives the opportunity to experience an environment that is unusual, damp, dim-lighted, where one slips and gets scratched, where there are no streets or directions, and we easily lose the sense of time and space. But it is also the place to experience the wild pace of the life forms that inhabit it, and where getting in contact with the slow and deep forces that keep us alive is easiest. Because there is silence in a forest.

With this project I want to offer the opportunity to research, breath and think inside the woods, to explore the possibilities of thinking and the imaginary to take sylvan forms. It is an attempt to decolonize the thought from urban thought forms, getting in tune with the woods.

Our mindset directly comes from the biological world.” (E. Kohn) Let us try to make it grow in the woods, to see how we can amplify their wild and anarchic thinking. Let us go to the woods and let shapes spread though us. Let us be sounding boards by breathing in unison. Let us welcome the shapes our thoughts and our actions will take, tuning them to the forest.

In the next few years, I would like to trigger aesthetic dialogues with-in the woods, involving the guest artists of Intersectia to learn how to feel them, listen to them, and how to think together with them.

The path I am presenting is aimed for an ecological awareness to emerge, to develop a feeling that leads to a poetical renewal of the world, and to accept a new enchantment, beyond the human, in order to elaborate new interspecific narratives.

“If thoughts are alive and what lives thinks, then the living world might be enchanted.”

(E. Kohn, How Forests Think, 2013)