Paying Some Attention - Coupe MM012G

I have resumed my coupe stays after a winter hiatus of several months. Spent a night in coupe MM012G beside a pond full of delightfully vocal frogs. I built a stone Gorinto and buried a bound book of Japanese newsprint covered with kozo paper imprinted with my son Oscar’s hand print of charcoal mixed in rice paste. I also cremated Triabunna woodchips in a copper brazier and scattered them in the forest.

This visit is the first with my purpose-built apparatus for documenting my performances by shooting digital video off the ground glass screen of my large format camera. This is the first of two innovations for this project. The second will happen soon hopefully: collodion photographs on glass plates made within the coupes using a portable darkroom I have designed and built for the purpose.

Excerpts from video documentation of Paying Some Attention.

Paying Some Attention - Interment, 12 June 2019

In each coupe I bury a book made of Japanese newspaper (the main use of the woodchips from these forests) that I have bound using the traditional Japanese stab binding technique. This interment symbolises a return to the forests, by way of loving gesture, of the wood that was so violently and carelessly removed. Some books are bound with a reciprocal gift of kozo paper made from the Japanese mulberry tree, marked with charcoal from burnt stumps in the logging coupes, appied in a medium of Japanese rice sticking paste.

The books are buried with a handful of woodchips retrieved from the Triabunna mill where all these forests were chipped en route to Japan. I also symbolically cremate a handful of these woodchips in each coupe. Woodchips are thereby returned to the ground where the component elements can resume their cyclical journey in the forest ecosystem.

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Paying Some Attention - Coupe MM012F

71 ha. Logged in 1983. Quiet, open, dry and seemingly lacking in biodiversity. The recent bushfire has exposed the ravaged bulldozed earth. Very hard to imagine how it looked a few decades ago. But the grass is returning and the fresh epicormic growth stimulated by the burn brings hope.

A very starry sky from my campsite within the coupe.

A very starry sky from my campsite within the coupe.

GPS track of my walk to the coupe from home.

GPS track of my walk to the coupe from home.

Paying Some Attention - Coupe MM011D

65 ha. Logged in 1986 & 1987. This is the second coupe visit for my Paying Some Attention project. It is not far from home and is one I have previously photographed for a Recuperation panorama and it is where I first had the idea to build a Gorintō at its in 2013 as a way to pay respect to the place that seemed so ravaged. Two or three of the base stones were still there so I rebuilt the Gorintō. A dry, stony forest with many tree stumps, many at odd angles from the bulldozing. Eerily quiet during my entire overnight visit.

Rebuilt Gorintō from 2013.

Rebuilt Gorintō from 2013.

GPS trace of my coupe walk.

GPS trace of my coupe walk.

Paying Some Attention - Coupe MM012E

07/04/19 First night camping in a logged coupe for my Paying Some Attention project . MM012E was last harvested in 1983. Mostly young trees. Almost no old trees standing. Entire coupe was burnt by wild fire several years ago. This was the coupe I visited to gather video footage for a previous project almost two years ago on the morning my mother died. From gathered stones I built a Gorintō, a Japanese buddhist pagoda or 5 ringed stupa symbolising the 5 elements: earth, water, fire, air and void.

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GPS track of my visit to MM012E from home and back on foot.

GPS track of my visit to MM012E from home and back on foot.