Et tre som eier seg selv is a comprehensive exhibition installation work depicting a potential work in public space. The installation provides an audience with a separate and stand-alone experience from that of an (as of yet) unrealized work of public art. Et tre som eier seg selv is to be viewed as that of a museum piece although not depicting something that has already occurred in history but instead a project that will occur in the future.
The work for public space would include a specific oak tree in Sofienberg park Oslo. Next to this tree would be placed a plaque, stating that this tree owns itself. The tree in question becomes a projection of human centric ideals, the simple gesture creates a myriad of questions concerning ownership, ecology, sustainability, and freedom.
The installation work is comprised of varying elements. A digital 3d model of the oak tree in Oslo is made viewable via virtual reality. A VR headset is placed in the middle of the installation, together with a granite stone with a plaque engraved with the words “This is a tree that owns itself. Because we have great respect and love for trees and for the desire for their protection. To this tree we give ownership of itself.” On the walls surrounding the stone and the VR headset is placed physical elements relating to the potential project in public space. This includes archival material, which was inspiration for the project, printed bureaucratic material from Norwegian government employees relating to the project and 3d printed sculptural work.
Using technology to witness a tree provides a view into a future version of our ourselves in nature, or ourselves in anti-nature. The virtual space in this project is meant not to replace the outside but instead to embody a tree. The tree is at once both real and fabricated. The work exists in both the physical and this virtual realm.