Hello, Trees!

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Client: Discovery Green Conservancy

Location: Houston, TX, United States

Completion date: 2017

Project Team

Art Consultant

Piper Faust

Weingarten Art Group

Public Art Agent

Susanne Theis

Discovery Green Conservancy

Overview

Hello, Trees! A Walking Serenade was a site-specific work by the Montreal-based design studio Daily tous les jours. This interactive installation—the park’s first original commission—used public participation at activation stations to create an immersive light and sound experience that was unique to each visitor.

Goals

Taking inspiration from the century-old live oaks that form the heart of the park, Daily Tous Les Jours conceived Hello Trees as a metaphor for the way trees use nonverbal cues to communicate complex information. Comprised of a series of arches under the live oak canopy, visitors were invited to speak into input stations located at each end of the sculpture, and their voice messages were translated into light patterns that travelled along the arches. The original voice input was gradually transformed into a musical melody as the light reached the base of each arch. When two messages meet, a special light and sound effect was triggered; the result, an immersive experience that Daily Tous Les Jours likens to a “crowd-sourced concerto,” changing gradually as visitors walked underneath the installation and mimicking the way trees create pathways of communication. New scientific discoveries of trees as social beings have found that, to increase their resilience, trees utilize communication in many forms to share needs and provide mutual assistance.

Process

Daily Tous Les Jours was commissioned by the Discovery Green Conservancy's Public Art Committee. Following multiple discussions and extensive research, the design team proposed an entirely new work of art for the park highlighting one of the most distinctive features - the majestic oak trees.