Drifting Woods

Pia Rönicke / & / 2023

A non-linear, interdisciplinary film work that explores a vast forest area where human and non-human life forms are part of an organic and polyphonic narrative about the history and possible future of the forest.

Inspired by biologist Suzanne Simard’s concept of network topologies, which denote the intricate interrelationships of forest ecosystems and include both human and nonhuman life forms, artist Pia Rönicke conjures a polyphonic narrative of nature as an arena for complex and conflicting forces. A network of narratives that ‘Drifting Woods’ activates through botanical studies, close observations and conversations with some of the local and visiting people who work in and with the forest. Over the last 250 years, large-scale industry has increasingly capitalised on natural resources in a process where the mapping of the forest has been singularly focused on reducing both land and trees to raw materials. Rönicke dares the opposite movement: a ‘de-mapping’ of the forest and a decentralisation of the modern gaze that always places humans as the natural centre of everything. The film ‘Drifting Woods’ is based on Pia Rönicke’s installation of the same name.