03.07.2021: Les Nuits des Forêts, Lorraine, FR

A day with: Office National de Forets, CA et forêt privée, COFOR and artist Marjolijn Dijkman as part of Les Nuits des Forêts.

For two days during the festival Les Nuits des Forêts, a hundred forests in France will be open to the public for nature experiences, collective actions in the forest, shows, artistic works, evening events and knowledge sharing.


Auscultation is a public and experimental launch of the Between the Lines project in collaboration with Vent des Forêts and Les Nuits des Forêts. Through a sound process, we will explore spruce trees affected by the Ips Typographus bark beetle in the forest in an unconventional way.

First, we’ll listen to recordings of bark beetles inside trees made by American sound artist David Dunn. Over the past few years, David Dunn has been recording a species related to Ips Typographus with contact microphones, creating “symphonies of destruction” inside trees. Sound is an important element in how bark beetles perceive and organize their world inside trees. In collaboration with UC Santa Cruz, he has developed a technological means of amplifying these sounds in affected trees and using them as a weapon against bark beetles. Just as soldiers in the trenches of the First World War were shocked by the sound of explosions, bark beetles are shocked by the sound inside their galleries and are unable to continue reproducing.

We’ll then carry out some experiments on the trees of the forest, using an electronic stethoscope and a few medical tuning forks. A medical stethoscope can be used in spring (preferably April or May) to hear water running through the trees but also to listen to other sounds, such as branches moving in the wind. With tuning forks, we resonate different frequencies inside the trees, which can also be heard with the stethoscope.

Medical auscultations on people are often used to test hearing or to check for broken bone fragments, for example. During this tree auscultation, we can hear how long sound frequencies resonate in the trees and whether or not they are interrupted. The duration of resonance is influenced by the amount of water in the trees, the density of the wood, and whether the trees are alive or dead. Together, we can examine whether affected trees resonate differently from living ones. This experiment is physically non-invasive for the trees but allows us to speculate on the potential impact of our intervention on their inhabitants.

Les Nuits des Forêts

Start session 1: 08:00
Start session 2: 14:00