Tree Talk


Tree Talk 


Blackfoot Pathways Sculpture in the Wild, Lincoln MT. Emerging Artist Residency, September 2018


Tree Talk is a temporary, site-specific installation highlighting living plant forms within the park by sonifying a stand of 10 Ponderosa pines. Sensors detect changes in temperature, wind, and light and a sound modulator circuit translates those changes into variations in pitch and tempo. Sound descends from a speaker in the canopy of each tree. Depending on viewer location, sounds of different trees will become more apparent or fade into the background.


The research is paired with educational workshops for students visiting the park from schools throughout Montana, and a live DJ duet performance with the trees at the sculpture launch. The work aims to encourage exploration of patterns within plants: how they transport water and nutrients; how processes sustaining them are similar to processes sustaining humans; and how even when a tree is no longer alive, the remains of these processes are still vital—a nod to Lincoln’s industrial timber heritage.


In collaboration with plant physiologist Gerard Sapés, electrical engineer Brian Givens, and electronic musician Jesse Blumenthal




Photography by Brock Mickelsen