Alnus glutinosa - the common alder - is most of all in Europe a tree of bogs, fens and marshlands, highly appreciated for its wood. While in Switzerland and other parts of Europe, the alder is now also understand as essential to the survival of its fragile and menaced wetlands; in Asia this tree has recently been reevaluated for its capacity to fix nitrogen in the soil and as a potential aid in halting catastrophic deforestation. It would seem that there is no better way to recuperate a rice paddy than to plant alders in its stead, a practice going back for centuries, albeit largely fallen into disuse today.
One of the alder's many particularities is that its wood, when the bark is pierced or stripped, turns a vivid red upon contact with air, as if blood flowed from the wound. Hardly surprising then that in Northern European mythology, the alder cries tears of blood from the moment one speaks of cutting it down.
"Vital signs" with its innumerable grains of rice and blood red alder leaves, catkins and strobiles, running along or emerging from a few hundred meters of intravenous tubing encircling a sieve at the center, is in analogy with all the above as well as with another circulatory system - that is to say, our own.
catkins and strobiles,
plastic intraveneous tubing,
woven rice tray,
wavelength shifting fiber,
Inner Circle H 350 cm,
Outer circle Ø 400 cm, H 537 cm