Motorists in Portland, Maine were treated to an unusual sight: A man dressed as a tree blocking traffic.
Police officers were called to the scene, and escorted the evergreen-costumed Asher Woodworth out of traffic. Watch above. Jokes immediately circulated about the convenient nature of Woodworth’s first and last name when it comes to a tree-oriented stunt.
The bizarre spectacle led to headlines like this one in the Portland Press-Herald: “Man dressed as a tree arrested in busy Portland intersection.” The WCSH-TV headline was even better: “Tree arrested in downtown Portland for blocking traffic.”
According to WCSH, police said “his motivation was to see how people would react to what he called his ‘performance.'” WMTW said police encountered Woodworth standing in the middle of a busy street. He was released on $60 bail, said the TV station.
Woodworth allegedly told police he wanted to see how the stunt would alter the “natural choreography” of people. His LinkedIn page summary says, “Looking at valuing subjective experience, divergent thinking, and our physical bodies” and says he is a research associate for a thermal efficiency project.
The LinkedIn site also says he is an art worker who is “interested in modes of being-in-the-world. I make performances, videos, and other non-fiction art that tries to open spaces of criticality and possibility.” One person who recommended him on LinkedIn wrote that he was generous and loving and added that Woodworth, “treats his colleagues and directors like the precious seed-bearing fruit of his own garden.”
According to The Press Herald, Woodworth, 30, of Portland refused police orders to leave the intersection and was charged with obstructing a public way.
According to The UK Daily Mail, Woodworth was previously arrested for allegedly trying to “steal an enormous chili pepper logo from a Chili’s franchise in Bennington.”
The Cumberland County Sheriff’s office released his mugshot sans tree branches.
Naturally, the puns and jokes soon flew on Twitter.