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Artist’s book
16″ x 3.5″ x 3.5″

I am preoccupied with climate impacts on forests. Hiking through forests burned and yet to burn, I observe hieroglyphic “scribing” of bark beetles on bark and sapwood. The winding marks seem like a script I can’t read, as if their trails (called “galleries”) are undecipherable cryptograms. A book, after all, is a collection of messages; incorporating natural materials becomes a meditation on those materials’ disturbing beauty, as well as an opportunity to learn. Beetle-kill is compounded by climate change: trees stressed by heat and drought are vulnerable; the beetles’ larvae no longer freeze in warmer winters. Reproduction rates soar, tipping populations from endemic to epidemic. Only a few species mass attack live trees. Even they are a normal disturbance agent like fire — but they enthusiastically respond to the conditions we created: a warming world, a century of fire suppression, and vast menu of even-aged agri-timber over which we and the beetles now compete.

– Suze Woolf, Seattle, WA


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