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Swinging Art House is a predominantly straw-bale-douglas-wood house being built (nov 2018 – nov 2020) by us, Ellen Winkel and Jos Bregman. Because the house has a slope and a cirkel and an angle and a vortex roof – and a tree house on top and a greenhouse attached and a veranda also – we felt it was swinging. Because Jos is an artist and is adamant of putting wood samples of his social tree installations into swing, we decided to make the house as a work of art.
First things first: the straw originates from Kees de Vissers neighbour, in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen (NL), the douglas trees grew at the Belgium village le Grives. But how does using wood samples of Jos’ social installations make the house a work of art?
Jos’ social tree installations are called Slow Exploding Tree performances (SET’s). Jos: “During SET’s I recreate the original wholeness of a felled – either by storm or saw – tree. I then use a technique known from hiphop: sampling. I sample not songs but trees. Sample sizes vary from XXXS to XXXL. and all samples hold an ID chip. Each unique ID I gather in the SET database. Each chip holds the original location of the tree it was sampled from.
People who buy a sample are my audience and they help me ‘remixing’ the original whole of the tree. They help me by putting a marker with some words on the online SET-map that shows the new location of their sample. Both the collection of all markers on the map, and the database of all ID’s represent the wholeness of the tree in a new arrangement. The tree is so to say rearranged, or remixed.
Me and my audience make a social tree installation, a social sculpture. As long as there are samples the performance is ongoing. The performance can expand by making big samples into many smaller samples. And over time (presents for next Christmas, or an inheritance after many, many years) samples keep spreading over the world. So the tree is continuously being rearranged into a new ‘whole’.
As I have many ongoing SET’s, I will integrate samples in many forms into our Swinging Art House. Thus, I make it into an inverse variant of my Slow Exploding Tree performances:. It is a Slow Imploding Forest of Sampled Trees.