Give a Listen to Lewis & Clark’s New EAR Forest

An innovative project, titled the Experimental Art Research (EAR) Forest, will soon be in place at Lewis & Clark, thanks, in part, to a four-year $500,000 grant from an anonymous foundation.

The EAR Forest will enable artists, musicians, poets, and performers to create site-specific audio work that addresses ecological themes. The project focuses on the senses of hearing, seeing, and touch. Elements of the EAR Forest

  • A 24-channel sound system installed among select trees on campus, allowing L&C students to create and experience guided “sound walks.” The sound system will be installed on a specially constructed pathway, which will run through the trees behind the college’s historic pool house.
  • A new surround-sound recording studio for audio production, housed in Fields Center for the Visual Arts.
  • An archive of forest sounds for creative projects, captured by microphones that will continuously record in the campus’ lower forest. These sounds will be available in the EAR Archive, located online through Watzek Library.
  • Newly acquired augmented reality (AR) headsets, which will allow creators to make AR experiences along the forest path.
  • An outdoor projection screen mounted to Fields Center for the Visual Arts, which will provide an additional venue for students and faculty to see artwork outside and in the world, responsive to the surrounding environment.
  • A maker-space workshop, featuring a 3D-printer, digital embroiderer, industrial digital sewing machine, computer numerical control (CNC) machine, and a laser engraver with equipment modified to work with organic substances.
  • Visiting artists, who will make work with the EAR Forest and do workshops with students.
  • A culminating Festival of the EAR Forest.

Jess Perlitz, associate professor of art and studio head of sculpture, will be spearheading the project.