William Wilson

I spent years trying to find out which tree, out of all the many trees in the world, is the very best tree. This entailed looking at all the characteristics that make a tree the best, such as its beauty, the number of leaves it has, the amount of shade it gives, its flexibility in the wind, and so on.

In many ways I was inspired by other popular contests and investigations into other high-quality categories of things, from human beauty pageants to the Oscars. If we can determine the best candidate in those categories, why not trees?

Once I started looking at trees’ relative bestness, I also become interested in other tree qualities, such as tree dopplegangers. This project, as part of the Best Tree in the World, is an outgrowth of that overall investigation of trees’ testable characteristics.

This project is named after the Edgar Allen Poe story. It matches up “normal” trees with their doppelgangers. (Doppelgangers are usually considered to be one’s “occasionally evil metaphysical twin.”)

They were printed out at a large scale, with the two photos framed, and the title framed separately below.

William Wilson was followed up by the more extensive and publicly-interactive Here & There: Trees and Their Doppelgangers.

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