Tilia Belt

2023

Agrarian shelter belts were once planted across agricultural lands to reduce soil wind erosion. Now, treelines are being studied for their ability to ground other airborne particulates: human air pollution. The tree has progressively become a pollutant-processing machine: reducible to units of absorption—a tool for coping in human-made atmospheres.

Throughout Romanian literature and folklore, Tilia (linden trees) have been considered a cosmic tree that symbolises life, love, friendship and tenderness. The protective image of the tilia tree is shifting to that of the microscopic, as they are now increasingly studied within Romania for their ability to process air pollution within the built environment and store it within their flesh and sap. Scientists are encouraging the use of trees as barriers: becoming a protective urban planning mechanism that will ground and absorb pollutants: processing the onslaught of smog whilst allowing the damaging industries that create the smog to continue.

The Tilia Curtain uses imagery of tilia trees from across Romania/Timisoara that showcase the many forms of chimeral protection offered by the local tilia trees: bringing into focus what cosmic protection is required in an age of atmospheric landfills. Pictured in multiple scales across a thin, permeable curtain: the tilia is seen as a fragile boundary line, with technocratic ties to global waste industries that is easily broken.

Special Thanks to: Florian Borlea