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The Tree Storage

Costanza D’Arcangelis

How does the human-nonhuman relationship shift within an anthropocentric worldview?

The project seeks to address the problem of humans often perceiving themselves as the central focus of the world, neglecting non-human entities. This perspective, whether justified or not, frequently goes unnoticed. The project's objective is to introduce a fresh perspective to those who have not considered it previously, stimulating questions in observers about human’s intricate relationship with the world. The Tree storage aims to make the user question how much our human-centred view reflects in what we value by using speculative design to focus on the more-than-human life of the data and the trees living in symbiosis.

“I like using photos as examples of our point of view. I feel it is something we value a lot as a new generation.”

The project focuses on the distortion of images (data) that are updated in tree storage. The user has the task of uploading a photo as one normally does for Google Drive or iCloud. At this point, the photo is sent to the trees, where the provocation starts.

The trees are in contact with strong atmospheric agents, changes caused by climate, deforestation and the conditions that we often impose upon them. Here, the devastation looming over the trees is also reflected in the photos, changing their shape and original quality.

The project is structured in two moments: a moment of uploading in an environment that we know (as a desk), and a moment of scanning the photos inside the tree, where the user can perceive the effect of external agents on their memories.

The Tree Storage delves into "more than human design," by examining two non-human entities: data drives and trees. Data drives are regarded as entities initially crafted by humans, but later existing independently. In contrast, trees stand as autonomous beings subject to human manipulation. Their relationship highlights the intricate interconnectedness of elements, where every tree's fate resonates in the data.

These opposing elements within the project give rise to tensions that explore the relationships among human nature, technology, and their entanglement, challenging anthropocentric perspectives.

This exploration aims to evoke a sense of loss and disorientation in the user, prompting the question: "Would my concern for trees grow, knowing the impact of these actions on my memories?" “If yes, why so?”

“The concept of trees as data servers challenged my perspective, forcing me to see nature's significance.”