A walk in Tijuca Forest

After preparing the app with a Brazilian version, an event took place in Parque Lage’s grounds with direct and free access into the Tijuca Forest…


Fran Junqueira is a young artist about to graduate at the State University in Rio de Janeiro UERJ. Fran agreed to share her experience with us about her perspective of the application against what is otherwise a familiar landscape, the Tijuca Forest in Rio de Janeiro.

Below is a transcript in English of my interview originally in Portuguese:

  1 / How was your experience walking through the Tijuca Forest from the time the application ‘A Conversation Between Trees’ began on the mobile phone you were carrying with you? Was there a change in your experience of the forest? Describe these changes if any.

Yes, I realized that my relationship with the forest had changed. I started to notice elements that I do not normally perceive, such as moisture and cold. Above all the narrative inserted me into a poetic framwork or Aura even. The relationship with the environment took place under the influece of this poetry, which encouraged me to open my eyes more, be more susceptible to the details.

2 / The voice on the application points to a limit in the forest you will cross to enter a new environment. Could you talk a little about this ‘crossover’? What you felt upon entering the new environment? Could you describe the relationship you had with the narrator?

I though it was really lovely the moment in which the narrator says that the rules here are different, this raised my expectations. It is interesting to think how little we pay attention to what is around us. I’m more attentive to people than to the natural environment, and even to the city. The environment which I entered through the guidance of the narrator did not differ much from where I was, but I  felt very strong separation, and more mental than physical.

3 / There’s a moment when the voice asks if you can take pictures with your eyes. What do you remember from this moment? Could you describe an image that you remember?

I cannot remember what I photographed with my eyes at that moment, but an image that was very strong in my memory was when I looked down and saw loads of tiny mushrooms between the cobblestones. Another moment I liked was when I crossed a spider’s web … I always like it when that happens, it’s like an invisible kiss.

4 / How do you relate the 3D image on the phone with the levels of temperature, humidity, decibels and carbon present in the forest? Do you see any relation to data collected and the 3D image?

The relationship I noticed between the tecnology and the different measures was in particular light. The graph generated and related to the photographs I was tking almost like a mirror, that is, there seemed to be higher peaks appear on the reverse of where there was actually more light.

5 / Could remember any stories as you walked through the forest? What are these stories?

I really like stories, I create some myself. One story I particularly like and especially remembered during the walk, is an Indian myth which explains the importance of the blue jay, a bird  which is important to the maintenance of the forest, because it eats only part of the seed as it spits out the remainder to be sown …  and so the legend goes, that God protects them for this reason. But this myth was not related to the environment at the time, it was a flash that popped into my head about this connection of the animals and their habitat. But something about my childhood, being steeped in fairy tales means I cannot see a twisted trunk that it remind me of a face, and the fear Snow White must have had in the forest!

6 / The project aims to use new technologies, arts and sciences to foster research and experience in forest environments. In this case between Brazil and England simultaneously. Could you comment on your experience within this interdisciplinary context?

I have no experience with art in relation to science and technology before now, so it is very superficial. For me it was ironic and interesting to use as a high-tech device to realize something that was always just there under my nose.

7 / How is your experience within a forest normally? In what situations you find yourself in the forest? Is it part of your day to day? Perhaps it’s part of your past? Would you like it to be part of your future?

The forest is not part of my day to day, I am of the asphalt. My relationship with nature is much more with the sea, when I can. I want to live in a place closer to nature, have a house with a yard in the future, perhaps when I have children. I would like to raise them in the mountains.

8 / As a visual artist and educator, How would you place this work within the context of contemporary art? Does the work relate to any other kind of work, artists, groups you know? Have you experienced something similar?

I’ve never experienced anything like this and think that this work is part of a movement to appreciate the environment, sustainability. I know some artists who use elements of nature, but nothing related to technology.

9 / Do you think the experience you have had with the phone in the forest would be suitable for people of any age? All ages? Only young people? Only adults? Explain.

It is suitable for all ages, but due to the sensitive equipment, it may be that not everyone feels comfortable to use it, This touch technology is not yet known by all hands! But nothing that a little bit of patience would not resolve.

10 / Anything else you would like to review, change, add to this work?

The narration is very rich, and in my opinion you could bring even more poetic lines .. makes the experience even deeper.

Posted: November 28th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: News | ↑ Back to top