A tree listens to itself | Miles Scharff

📷 Photos by Shuoyang Zheng

A tree listens to itself is a system in which a tree and the space around it are used as antenna for radio reception in an effort to listen to what electromagnetic signals are physically permeating through the natural world. The received signals are heard through speakers placed about the roots of the tree such that we, and the tree, are listening to this electromagnetic ecology present in the forest in real time. We use technology to listen to an environment that would be invisible to us otherwise in the hopes to re-claim our relationship with technology as a tool to listen closer.

Photo of Miles Scharff

Miles Scharff is a sound artist and musician who’s work lies in improvisation, spatial audio, and sound sculpture. His work seeks to create viscerality from ephemerality through presenting and exaggerating interactions between sound and material, treating sound as a physical object. This is ultimately an investigation of the properties of sound signals, both audible, non-audible, and of the inner ear, and how those properties can define listening, presence, and the invasion of privacy. Miles has used self-constructed wave field synthesis arrays for installations and experiences for The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, and the Rube Goldberg Foundation. He has exhibited sound sculptures at the Fridman Gallery and the Wallach Gallery in New York City. Miles received his bachelors in Physics and Music Technology from Carnegie Mellon University, and is currently an MFA candidate for Columbia’s Sound Art program.