The kit allows us to clean the surface of bark and reveal the underlying topography. We started to clean bark for multiple reasons. First, we wanted to see and map said topography. Subsequently we can create yearly maps of the bark and analyse how it reacts to the environment. Second, the clean space gives us a place where we can observe how the organisms like moss or lichen reclaim the substrate. This method reveals how important the organisms on the bark are. It is a great exercise to do, because one gets in close contact with the ecology and the cleaning can feel like an action of care.
The PH indicator helps us to understand the slow perception of lichen living in the ecology of bark. Lichen are reacting to environmental changes like the acidity of the water or the levels of CO2 in the air. The result of this reaction is a change in color, but also a change of the PH levels. With our tool we can observe these changes over long periods by getting a fingerprint of the PH levels on the ecology. The indicator can be easily produced in a do-it-yourself fashion, because we use the color of red cabbage which naturally reacts to different levels of acidity.
This tool allows the spectator to observe the colors of nature without getting distracted by form giving details. For that we created a box to look through, based on the principle of the camera obscura. Through a little hole in the front light is projected onto a surface in the back. The usual setup of this camera tries to capture this projection with a paper sensitive to light in order to create a photo. Since we wanted to create a live view through this object the back paper got replaced by a semi transparent one that could be looked onto. Because this isn’t positioned in focus, a blurred picture of the colors is projected and one can immerse themselves in the colours of the ecology.