Its Songs We Sing is an animated 3D video projection that invites viewers to explore an altogether different kind of forest. Us humans tend to perceive the ground under our feet as an area although it would be more accurate to think of it in terms of volume – not just as a surface on which things grow, but as a rich and diverse biological universe that we depend on for the air that we breathe and the food that we eat.
Trees are the engines of this universe. They capture energy above ground and feed it down below, creating a complex ecosystem based on a culture of sharing. Trees consume only some of the carbon they capture, passing on the rest in a series exchanges with microbes and fauna that are responsible for mining other essential nutrients in turn. Below ground, trees use fungal networks to connect to one another via their roots. When it comes to our human future, what matters is how well we understand this subterranean activity and the value of the ecosystem services it provides.
Its Songs We Sing is created by a collective comprising artist and researcher Teemu Lehmusruusu, 3D artist Vilja Achté and musicians Wimme & Rinne along with scientific advisers Jussi Heinonsalo and Liisa Kulmala.
This artwork has been made possible through the generous support offered by the trailblazing Finnish forestry giant UPM-Kymmene and the UPM-Kymmene Cultural Foundation. What is the forest that we cannot see? Above ground, the forest is breathtaking, majestic. But below ground there lies an exciting, miniature world. Invisible but essential. Trees dig their roots into the soil beneath them and draw nourishment from it. The soil is enriched by countless subterranean life forms. As they dance on in the darkness, these faunae break down what’s dead and decaying, clean what needs cleaning and lighten the soil. The invisible forest gives life to the visible.
In collaboration with:
UPM-Kymmene, The UPM-Kymmene Cultural Foundation
Lux 2022, Lux Morning