The woods shall rise up in those places where you pause (1995)
Music cassette tapes and tree seeds
A series of music cassette tapes, containing popular music from the Middle East and Asia (specifically Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, India etc), were opened up and seeds of various species of tree were put inside and the tape’s ‘window’ broken to allow the potential release of these seeds.
The work was intended as part of a process; participants would play the music on portable tape players (eg; The ‘Sony Walkman’), the music providing a soundtrack to a person’s movement across a landscape. The magnetic properties of the audio tape would increase the seeds’ capacity for germination and growth, whilst the music the tape contained would, through its magnetic field, imbue an ecstatic, sensual, bodily song into the structure of the seed.
Due to audio tape technology there was a requirement to stop, remove the tape from its player and flip over the cassette when it reached the end of one side of music in order to play the other side. At these intervals (usually every 30-45 mins) the seeds the tape contained could fall out onto the ground. At these sites in the landscape, because of the temporary cessation of the song (and a momentary return to present realities) a forest could gradually grow, with the trees’ forms embodying the music that previously held their seeds.
Chodzko has frequently used the notion of a flow or journey of memory, emotion, attention, vision and bodies in relation to ideas of sleep, dreaming, growth and dying in works such as Secretors (1993 – ) , Limbo Land (2001) , Remixer (2002), Night Shift (2004) , Ghost (2010 -) , And the City Grew Quiet… (2011) , Knots (2013) , O, you happy roots, branch and mediatrix (2020) , and Thru hole I blind/O/Thru hole oui see (2020) etc
The artwork as template for plant propagation: (see also I See Through Every Image. (A souvenir for Laarni; A planting template for Belladonna seeds), 2013 , Sowmat (2007) , …reached. So, deltoid-bodhi-leaf-shield… (2020) and A Sting from Two Houses (2022)).
This work was a continuation of a piece Chodzko made in 1994, called Pounding Systems for the Royal College of Art’s MA Curator course inaugural exhibition, “Remote Control”. For this he modified a car’s cassette player so that it played at the same speed that the car was travelling in. As the car slowed down the music would grind to a menacing growl and when travelling above the speed limit would reach ecstatic levels. With this car and its sound system Chodzko would cruise the area surrounding the RCA playing popular music from a number of the countries represented by their embassies in the vicinity.