A tree can tell stories, and there is even a science to it, known as dendrochronology. Dendrochronology encompasses annual ring research. In this procedure, researchers use the annual rings to study the life of a tree. From this it is possible to determine quite exactly the tree’s age, what kind of tree it is, under what kind of climatic conditions the tree was growing, in which environment it lived, in which cardinal direction it stood, and if/how it was injured. I was fascinated by these insights and saw the different tree cross sections as a kind of information graphic depicting the biography of a tree. With the aid of this parameter, I tried to illustrate history and came to depict biographies of deceased people. In order to transform 45 biographies into symbols, I adjusted some parameters and transformed trees into humans.
Karen Trachsel was born in Bern and is now living and working in Basel. She is currently studying visual communication at the University of Art and Design and will be graduating in 2019. Her projects are largely experimental and often incorporate nature as an overaching theme, and she likes to be surprised by coincidences–often achieved by working with analog techniques and combining them with the digital.