Culturally Modified Tree (CMT) is a term that applies to trees altered by indigenous people as part of their traditional use of the forest. You could say the acronym received its fame right here on Vancouver Island during the '93 Clayoquot Protests. With the potential to share oral traditions from 5000 years ago, historians and the courts recognized that the trees of Meares Island are crucial for the culture and history of the Nuu-chah-nulth. In 2014, Meares Island Tribal Park celebrated its 30th Anniversary. The park is now part of a larger Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks area.
The title forest collage imagines a landscape that extends the representation of the term CMT. More specifically, these three questions come to mind: 1) What relationships and practices alter the city? 2) How do these uses bring a degree of fixity to the city's identity as a whole? and 3) How is a city to conserve monuments of cultural significance, while encouraging an ongoing attention to the process of how its being constituted?
"'Nature,' cannot pre-exist its construction. What counts as nature is always something attained, not found in passive observation. It is given form and meaning, identity and specificity, through a series of specific, embodied practices. Through these, not despite them, nature is 'made to speak.'"
Forest Indexa. Katsura tree (Cercidiphylum japonicum), Inner courtyard tree, Chinatown, Victoria, BC
b. Weeping Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) 'Pendulum', Victoria, BC
c. Douglas Fir Snag, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet, BC
d. Parking Lot Tree, Save on Foods Memorial Centre, Victoria, BC
e. Tape Sketch, Katsura tree, Chinatown, Victoria, BC
f/g. Bill Hodgson’s “Metal Trees of the Carolinian Forest”, London, Ontario
h. Autumn Colour, Weldon Park, Arva, Ontario
i. Super Trees, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore, Singapore
j. CMT, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet, BC (Nuu-chah-nulth)