Field notes

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31 December 2018

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I have spent a lot of time looking into the tree hollows on Black Mountain in Canberra.

In the Australian ecosystem, hollow trees are vital places for amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, and bugs, for foraging, sheltering, and nesting.

I wanted to make a digital work that would create a sense of roaming about the mountainside, peering into its hollows, and wondering what kinds of animals could live in them. The end result of my work was something called Field notes on trees and hollows, a text generator built in twine:

Field notes generates its texts from two lists: first a list of hollow trees on the mountain and second a list of the local animals that use hollows. I compiled the list of trees from my own field notes. The list and descriptions of animals are drawn from several databases and sources:

The latest (and probably final) version of Field notes describes fifty species of amphibians, birds, lizards, and mammals, containing information on the types of hollows they are known to inhabit, the times of year in which they are present, and whether they use hollows for foraging, nesting, or shelter.