Cris Noguer.

Dissident Matter, 2023

Catalonia, unlike other territories, is a region where forests are young, occupy a large area and are very vulnerable to fires, pests and hydric stress. These forests are no longer wild but rather a constructed environment resulting from a human-nature relationship. Therefore, there is a need to develop new types of relationships with trees and forests in order to create new economies and ecologies around them.

Thanks to thinkers like Bruno Latour, we are beginning to accept the idea that the nature that surrounds us is more a space produced by human beings than the “wild nature” typical of pre-agricultural periods. Since they are no longer self-regulating, the forests in Catalonia depend on their relationship with people.

Most of the wood from these forests is used for biomass. Singular Wood is an association that aims to reclaim the value of this wood beyond biomass. They take care of forests by removing fallen trees and chopping down others in order to favour slow-growing species. To support this project, I bought a stone pine from Montnegre that cost me around €500. Through this, I also met another community linked to the pine tree forest in Vallirana, where they harvest the forest for resin.

The wood was full of holes from wood worms, and other forms of yellow, blue and pink fungi had invaded the wood. It was a non-homogeneous, non-normative piece of wood that went against the aesthetics of industrial wood and featured irregularities due to growth within the forest. After some research of the bark, resin, leaves and branches, I began to work with the trunk. 

The whole process made me question the idea of ​​quality and led me to the need to create new definitions. These new definitions require an ancestral and eco-feminist perspective in which human/non-human relationships are more fluid and allow for new nuances and approaches.

The research ended with the construction of two tables and four benches. The irregularity of the wood was celebrated, with its stains, main features and worm holes visible. This new idea of quality led me to think about one’s relationship with a territory and how we become emotionally connected to objects, whether made from natural or synthetic materials, and how we can create new, durable relationships with them.

A project made in collaboration with L’Afluent, a cultural cooperative.
Exhibited at Il·lacions Gallery
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