Tree Cranes
Whole birch, oak, and hickory trees, 3D printed components, found rocks, bearings, strapping
Public Sculpture at I-Park, CT
Birch 8.5’ x 26”, maximum height 10’
Oak 16’x35”, maximum height 12’
Hickory 21’x36”, maximum height 14’

These site-specific, interactive sculptures are made from whole trees (birch, oak, hickory), counterbalanced by rocks found on location, and with a smartphone mount for the viewer to capture their own swooping videos of the New England landscape. Fully functional, with 3D printed components and a series of smaller rocks that can balance out any smartphone device, Tree Cranes lend smooth camera action from the forest floor up to the canopy. 

Trees have a sense of direction informed by tiny structures called statoliths that are drawn by gravity to the lowest point of the cell that holds them. In this way a tree can always grow upwards, even on a sloping hill or if it gets knocked down by wind or another tree. Tree Cranes charts a convergence of two light-seeking technologies—the camera sensor and the statolith.

Tree Cranes was commissioned by the I-Park Foundation for the 2019 Site-Responsive Biennale. Special thanks to Ralph Crispini Jr. and the I-Park staff for their generous support.