The weirdness of New Haven's Lincoln Oak

Slomba "Vigor Code,'' by JOE SLOMBA, in the "Nothing Is Set in Stone: The Lincoln Oak and the New Haven Green'' show, at the New Haven Museum, though Nov. 2.

This is one of the strangest shows in a while.

As the museum puts it: The show combines ''contemporary art with archaeological analysis....''

"In October 2012, winds from Hurricane Sandy toppled the mighty oak — planted in 1909 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Lincoln's birth — revealing human skeletal remains in the tree's exposed roots and creating an enigmatic narrative that captured the imagination of the entire country.''

"Artists to be featured in the exhibition were invited to use branches, limbs or pieces of the trunk of the Lincoln Oak to interpret the history of the tree and the discoveries yielded beneath it. Zeb Esselstyn, renowned for his own work in transforming fallen trees into artistic and functional furniture, distributed the wood to the artists in February 2014....''

"Jeff Slomba {above} paid tribute to the fallen Lincoln Oak through his amalgamation of oak branch, steel, 3-D printed PLA plastic and sparklers. Slomba mused that the tree's destruction by Hurricane Sandy 'revealed not only the tree's own vulnerability, but also the mortality and slippage from history's memory of those who came before us.'''

''The scientific component of the exhibition consists of the results of the on-going archaeological analysis of human remains recovered from the site. Photo panels describe the remains ... and how they were used to determine the gender and approximate ages of those whose remains were unearthed in October 2012, and offer hypotheses on health and disease issues of the interred. The contents of two time capsules found at the site of the fallen Lincoln Oak are also on display.''