Silence Chamber, 2023
branches, forest site
The silence Chamber in Rastila forest is my primary thesis project. It emerged from my response to the land near where I live and my growing relationship with the forest site. The chamber is woven from birch branches fallen from the trees on the site. It merges with the rocks and its shape was determined by preexisting forms. Its state is continually altered by shifting elements of changing seasons. The chamber evolves by people inhabiting it. It is a place to crawl back inside the earth, rest your eyes from visual stimulation and the business of the mind, and cultivate internal silence. The chamber becomes a holding space. Sometimes this is a space for imaginings or memories to surface or a darkness out of which images can emerge. It is a timeless space because we detach from tracking and let ourselves sink. This project is about intimate relating to the earth and our own mind, body and spirit. The practices we activate together begin with silence¬– listening inside and outside. They grow out of the silence into a dialogue with each other and the forest. The work is also an act of refusal of documentation in an effort to demote the sense of sight in a visual art world and to detach from flattening experiences with digital appendages. No visitors were allowed to take a picture of the chamber and phones were silenced and put away for the duration of the experience. Alternatively, the practices I guided opened up the potential for inscription of sensory “images” in the living medium of the body. I then asked the participant to describe their experience to a friend to ignite internal images and spark curiosity in the listener to visit an imagined place. The audio piece attached here is an imagined journey to the site. The listener, you, is invited to create their own internal image of the artwork and forest site.