‘Underwood’ performance/ workshop for “In Other Tongues” creative summit. Hermione Spriggs + Laura Cooper, Dartington College, Devon (June 7-9 2017)
Underwood explores what we humans can learn from forests as interconnected systems. Trees in a forest relate to and communicate with each other through a complex rhizomatic network of roots and fungi, through which they share resources and are interdependent. Their survival, and that of the entire ecosystem, relies on this underground “web” which is virtually analogous to maps of the human neural network and the internet.
Underwood delves into this underground consciousness, putting it to use it as a model for the way we make decisions and react to others. Participants are invited to consider the ways that structural hierarchy, power dynamics and collaboration can be compared between human and forest communities with a heightened degree of physical sensitivity.
"Notice the symmetry of your limbs, notice how this two-handedness breaks down into fingers and their carpels and metacarpals. The previous generations of hands whose fingers were less root-like, were less like the world of the forest and its patterns that your own fingers are now..."