Animation depicting the intended effects

We hope to bring Arborealis to Critical 2023.

Nature is the greatest “work in progress”. Each plant and animal on the planet is constantly growing, changing, evolving. There is no life without progress. This light and sound installation will highlight the growth and beauty of trees.

In a small clearing in the trees, concealed flood lights illuminate the surrounding foliage. The colors and brightness flow and undulate to highlight the beauty and structure of the branches and leaves. Foreground and background lights alternate, allowing the trees to inhabit a dynamic shadow theater. Soft ethereal sounds are heard to accompany the lights. A ring of lawn chairs indicates the viewing area. If needed, a small illuminated sign points the way from the main trail to the piece. I would expect viewers to spend 1-5 minutes with the piece.

The lights are 10-watt controllable LED flood lights positioned such that they illuminate the trees but are not directly seen by the viewer. They will be attached to the trees (ideally with a screw or two, but a strap could be used if preferred) and wired overhead to avoid tripping hazards. A concealed computer will drive the program. A single low-power speaker provides the sound. 

This is a light-art project that is made to be viewed at night, away from other powerful light sources. It would ideally be placed in a small clearing between some trees, somewhat isolated from the hustle and bustle. This project will require a 110V, 15A power connection. The lights will need about 200W and the computer another 200W. The speaker is maybe 20W.

Sound volume is low – it’s meant to be heard by the people enjoying the piece and not much beyond that. Volume along the lines of a speaking voice. Because of this, it would also ideally be located in a quieter area.

The project could be adapted to face a stand of trees rather than being in a clearing.

Stretch goals: If there is time, I would like to add a measure of optional interactivity. This might take the form of a motion or proximity sensor, or could involve a button pad. This would also allow the system to turn itself down when not in use to save power. Maybe a fog machine for extra atmosphere?

Past works that demonstrate a similar aesthetic, quality of work, and ability to execute:

Borealis Breaks, a tree-based light and sound installation at Electric Sky 2016
Totally Legit Chandelier display at Lusio 2021
Inifinity Kaleidoscope – A walk-through light installation at Bumbershoot 2019

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