Provocation 6: 

Annette Arlander

︎ Visit Annette’s website 

Provocation 6: Ask a tree

1. Go to a tree that is important to you – if you do not have such a tree
   nearby, go to the nearest park and approach a tree that is inviting you.

2. Bring a pen and paper with you.

3. Greet the tree and ask the tree for advice concerning a problem you are
   struggling with or conduct an interview with the tree about your main
   research concerns.

4. Write down by hand, while spending time with the tree, the questions and the
   possible answers that come to your mind.

5. If you wish, you can prepare by watching a video, where I try to interview
   an old pine tree (here is the link to the video).

Annette Arlander, DA, is an artist, researcher and a pedagogue, one of the pioneers of Finnish performance art and a trailblazer of artistic research. In 2018-2019 she was professor in performance, art and theory at Stockholm University of the Arts with the artistic research project Performing with Plants. She was also the principal investigator of the Academy of Finland funded research project How to Do Things with Performance (2016-2020). At present she is visiting researcher at Academy of Fine Arts, University of the Arts Helsinki with the project Meetings with Remarkable and Unremarkable Trees. Her research interests include artistic research, performance-as-research and the environment. Her artwork moves between the traditions of performance art, video art and environmental art.


Mahek M.

Tessa V.B.

Shayna P.

Good evening Mr. Pine Tree! Would you mind if I asked you a variety of questions tonight?

As long as you don’t carve into me like the little kids in this neighborhood do, I’m happy to do anything.

I promise, no carving.

Ask away.

I am really concerned about my future- I feel fairly lost and confused. Do you have any ideas on how I could ease these concerns?

Ground yourself. You can’t make wise decisions when you are floating around in space. Take some deep breath, figure out what matters to you, and go from there.

I don’t really see how the future will get any better unless our government drastically changes. Is there any way you could see this happening?

I think that the answer lies less in the government and more so in your community. You most lilely can’t control how the government is run without either becoming a politician or committing a horrible crime, but you can work to band together with the people aroind you to increase the power of the people.

How would you recommend someone deal with a lack of motivation when working in a situation that is much more difficult without immense motivation and passion?

Parse down the situation to its base goal and the simplest form of what you must produce. After that, figure out how to reach this goal and produce what you must
*without* your perfectionism. What specifically will you not do that your perfectionism drives you towards?

How can I better connect with the people around me?

Do you really need to connect with the people around you better, or do you need to work on connecting with yourself? you cannot have genuine interactions with the people around you until you improve your relationship with yourself.
You cannot connect with others when you are emulating a fake version of yourself.

Won’t I just come off conceited if all I focus on is myself?

There’s a difference between spending time connecting with yourself and focusing on yourself. You can focus on yourselfby doing many things like getting a manicure or doing face masks or working out - all of those are fine activities but they don’t mean you are actually connecting with yourself. Connecting with yourself can require constant dialogue such as journal writing or being mindful through meditation.

Chloe R.

Khalena C.

Katie H.

Silvia Pillow Neretti ︎ Visual Communication & Web work + Cargo ︎