The interregnum. Lecture for trees
audio installation (2020)
'' Arbori et orbi-to the tree and the world:

• oak (Quercus) — 9h 12'
• beech, juniper, cedar, larch (Fagus, Juniperus, Pinus sibirica, Larix sibirica) — 8h 03'
• pine, fir, spruce, Linden (Pinus sylvestris, Abies sibírica, Picea obovata, Tilia) — 6h 35'
• birch, elm, ash (Betula, Ulmus, Fraxinus) - 3 h 23'
• alder, hazel, aspen, maple, willow (Alnus, Corylus, Populus, Acer, Salix) - 1h 15 '
• optional: human (Homo Sapiens) - 8'

I turn to the trees and greet everyone who feels my speech in any way. It sounds from within human concepts that verify themselves using the methods of science. The illusion of their universality was embodied in Voyager's message to another mind - with the unearthly genetics, shapes, and sensuality of non-human bodies. The same concepts have irresistibly separated the tree and the human being by belonging to different biological realms and blocked our interaction in the intention itself. Arboreal intelligence and sensuality have been pushed further by science than unearthly civilization — and man is absent from the cosmos of trees. We have nothing in common except the planet.
The academic definition of a tree indicates the tightness and rigid anthropocentrism of our knowledge, incompatible with the desire to understand you. We have not created a single thing that can withstand crossing the border of the realms. The possibility of such a transition is excluded by science, since a trickster with such transitivity will bring down the system of our knowledge with an ontological contradiction: being in different streams of time at the same time. However, art is alien to the fear of undermining the system and is close to TRANS-temporal Agency-it creates a field of impossible interaction between the realms. From this position between them at the intersection of art and scientific knowledge, captured by different streams of time, I turn to trees. My attempt is far from the question of General meanings - it is only an experience of exploring the possibilities of the field, an attempt to find a different way to speak and, perhaps, be heard.
The debate about your mind and intelligence was started in 1880 by Charles Darwin: "It is hardly an exaggeration to say that the tip of the root acts like the brain of some lower animal: it collects impressions from the sense organs and directs movements." Today, we find 20 types of signals that you take into account when choosing the direction of growth, which means that your sensitivity to medial-specific influences is three times greater than the capabilities of our senses. But even if we extend our limited sensitivity with networks of specialized sensors, we are unlikely to be able to interact with you due to the different dimensions of internal time. We no longer ignore indications of a different experience of semiotization of reality and evidence of alternative and equally complex modes of existence that we usually associate with consciousness or mind activity. But how do you understand a creature with a different time, and even more so a community of such creatures? how to imagine something far beyond our temporal experience, how to imagine and realize the cosmos of your existence and communication, the space of your slow diffuse sensuality, dissolved and disappearing in the environment?
We know that you are complex and support weak community members by providing them with nutrients, which indicates feelings of kinship. Through roots, branches, and leaves, you exchange chemical agents with each other, animals, and fungi. This communication defines the modes of joint response in the world available to you — community-level response. Is it possible to qualify it as consciousness? We consider human-centered experience to be what defines consciousness, and the processes in it to be the pinnacle of intelligence, but we don't have an answer to this question. If consciousness means being "with knowledge," then you fit that definition. You develop in harmony with the environment and make complex decisions that depend on it. Man calls this knowledge, monopolizing the right to possess it. Arboreal forms of knowledge derived your individual Umwelt and communication between you. Evolutionary ecologist Monica Galliano is convinced of your intelligence, she talks about your learning and memory. Its behavioral experiments show that you behave like intelligent beings and are able to repeatedly call up knowledge about experience, that is, clearly remember and learn from experience, although you do not have a Central nervous system or brain.
We define consciousness through self-awareness based on our self and human limitations, so we don't know anything about your self-awareness. Perhaps it is similar to the project of long-term vegetative integration through feedback loops and other strategies of your communication. Your ability to propagate vegetatively by cuttings, to survive independently, and to grow individual parts suggests that if you have a self, it is diffuse and freely dispersed, in contrast to the human sense of self through a limited volume and surface of the body. Our sense of identity-to be in a particular body-is probably a necessary illusion, many things convince us of this. The philosopher Michael Marder also considers you conscious, though in a different way than we do.
The recognition of your intelligence by academic science, following the redefinition of intelligence and consciousness, will require us to take a broader and more independent view of ourselves — we will have to accept that we are not smart enough to see the specificity of intelligence dispersed in the world around us. There seems to be no way to reach you and no other way to understand the inner life of the beings around us other than by gradually expanding our limited anthropomorphic analogies.
You can do something that we don't even dream of and, without dreaming about it, believe that it doesn't exist. Our problem is that we can't see or think other than with our eyes and brains, and we can't feel or even imagine what it's like. If we can develop this ability, we will touch your consciousness. Perhaps once we begin to understand tree intelligence, we will be plunged into ethical hell — how can we continue to cut down, say, for furniture production, without separating families? or eat something, even a salad, without committing murder?
On our common planet, there are three trillion of you, you are the main life form of the forest and occupy almost a third of the land. We destroy 15 billion of your fellow humans every year — twice as many as there are people on Earth. Even though we are completely dependent on you, because we cannot live without the oxygen you create, we have destroyed almost half of the forests by the beginning of the XXI century, planting only 7%.
I am writing to let you know that we want to start thinking differently.