Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: Listening Forest

Bentonville, Arkansas, United States
March 1st - May 28th, 2023

“Listening Forest” is an immersive art walk designed to transform Crystal Bridges’ North Forest at night. Eight large-scale interactive artworks are carefully and harmoniously installed on the forest grounds to create an interactive pathway. Using technology that responds to visitors’ voices, heartbeats, and body heat, “Listening Forest” highlights the unique physical characteristics of individuals while simultaneously establishing connections between strangers and the landscape itself.

The installation includes the following eight installations:

“Recorded Assembly” merges the facial features of participants into a constantly changing portrait of previous forest visitors.
“Arkansas Text Stream” consists of brief texts sourced from Northwest Arkansas community members presented in a slow stream of letters that transform into phrases as the presence of people is detected.
In “Pulse Forest” visitors can add their heartbeat to an array of 3,000 lightbulbs simultaneously blinking the rhythm of peoples’ pulses.
“Thermal Drift” features a thermal camera that registers a visitor’s heat signature and visualizes that energy as particles floating into space.
“Remote Pulse” consists of two identical pulse-sensing stations that connect strangers and beams of light across the forest.
“Embodied Light Beacons” allows guests to control giant, 20-foot-tall stick figures made of light.
In “Voice Forest” guests can leave a voice recording that will join a chorus of voices left by previous forest visitors.
In “Summon” microphones pick up sounds from visitors on a bridge and translate them into an array of light in the ravine below.