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How Climbing Trees Helped Me Form a Creative Community How Climbing Trees Helped Me Form a Creative Community

How Climbing Trees Helped Me Form a Creative Community

by Henrik Dahle
August 3, 2013

I climbed 365 trees in one year, just because I wanted a personal challenge. Trees are the greatest lungs of the world. The largest single offering from the Earth. We take them for granted. We appreciate them if we take notice. We explore them as children, our bodies remembering the primal experience of climbing. It’s why hands were invented. 

Recycling, driving less, signing an online petition, and reducing our meat consumption give that sense of doing something for the planet, and planting a tree is the ultimate symbol of sustainability. I’m an artist, writer, and filmmaker and I discovered climbing trees was more fun in good company. Soon I realized that I had planted the seeds for a book.

I want to compile my diaries and photographic journal during my year of climbing with your illustrations of trees. I’m asking for artists, illustrators, or children to draw a tree for the book, which will tell the story of a creative journey in the company of more than 80 inspiring people, and document our recorded conversations in trees. It will combine frivolous memories of tree climbing with our ideas on challenging the status quo before we irreparably destroy the biosphere.

All trees are welcome. You can send me an oblong shape with a blob on top by your five-year-old daughter, or craft something conceptually interesting. More information can be found here.

This book is just the beginning. My first public offering of a kind of creative activism. The year of research and play has inspired me to think big, global, and definitive (if that doesn’t sound too grandiose). First I need to finish this adventure and manifesto as a thank you to everyone who gave me their wisdom and humor in trees, put me up in 10 countries around Europe, and waited patiently while I did my daily climb. I threw all my money, time and energy out of the trees to make something unusual and useful, so I owe it to myself to complete it as well.

If you’d like to be a part of the project by pre-ordering the book to help make it a reality or drawing a tree, then I will be ridiculously grateful. The crowdfunding ends on August 17.

If you'd like to be featured in the book, draw a tree!  Click DO it here.

This project is part of GOOD's series Push for Good—our guide to crowdsourcing creative progress.

Join the GOOD community in Organizing an Office Recess—and to create your own game. Click here to say you'll DO it. 


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