Yevgeniya Kaganovich: Tree Intuits Chair

In 2018, Yevgeniya Kaganovich launched Divergent Fates, a project that makes physical speculative fiction of the processes of trees, paper, and chairs by performing actions such as remember/reverse engineer, transmutate, diverge, reverse unify/unmake, and intuit/foresee. Divergent Fates builds on the artist’s longstanding research interests in materiality, particularly her research into reused plastic, polyurethanes, and silicone rubber. Kaganovich is currently developing new processes for working with reclaimed materials such as paper, cardboard, plywood, and chipboard, and using these new materials to develop and produce a new body of work that addresses issues of material agency, sustainability, consumption, and human impact on the environment. She is reverse-engineering trees from chairs and making trees as they might be remembered by paper. She is making trees out of discarded paper, then making chairs out of these trees; and making trees out of damaged chipboard and plywood chairs, then making paper out of these trees.

Tree Intuits Chair, the portion of Divergent Fates that takes place at Lynden, aims to explore the existence and experience of things, not through a human lens, but through their own unique phenomenology. According to Kaganovich, “Our goal is to examine the various lives a tree can live out when acted upon by humans, changing into furniture, paper, and sometimes back again, through the lens of the objects themselves. With this project we ask: if a Tree was to intuit a Chair, what would it be like? If a Tree was able to foresee its existence and Chair, what would it think of it? By growing and shaping trees into chairs, through a process of bending and grafting young trees, this piece imagines the Tree’s conception and understanding of the Chair.”

Kaganovich and her student assistants have begun to grow a number of chairs from groups of saplings—mostly quaking aspens—that they planted on the Lynden grounds in the spring of 2019. Since that time they have been making bends and grafts to produce groups of chairs-- usable sculptures.

Check back in for documentation of the project as it progresses and be sure to visit the trees when you are at Lynden.


©2019 Lynden Sculpture Garden