Tuning in to “trees”
730 Montgomery St. San Francisco, CA 94111
trees: Downy Oak
Who knew forests could sing? Sure, there's the occasional rustle of leaves, but dig a bit deeper by needling tiny microphones beneath the surface of trees, and there is indeed much more to listen to, and much more to learn. This is exactly what Marcus Maeder, a researcher at the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology at the Zurich University of the Arts set out to do with Roman Zweifel, a forest and tree expert at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape. The two teamed up on the research project "trees: Rendering Ecophysiological Processes Audible," which they’ve transformed into a three-dimensional audio installation at swissnex San Francisco from July 25 through August 18.
Marcus Maeder studied art at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Lucerne, in Switzerland, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in philosophy at the University of Hagen, in Germany. Maeder runs the music label domizil, which he co-founded in 1996 with Bernd Schurer. He has worked as an editor and producer for the Swiss radio station DRS and has been working as a curator and research associate at the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology since 2005. His artistic work focuses mainly on sound art, and on media art extensions of computer music. Maeder has also written on a number of topics in the fields of sound art and digital media.
Roman Zweifel studied biology at the University of Zurich and at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich), where he received a Ph.D. for his ecophysiological work, The rhythm of trees. Zweifel’s research has focused on whole tree gas exchange, mechanisms of water flow and water storage in trees, and using wood anatomy to link water with growth and carbon balance. He is significantly involved in how continuously measured stem radius changes are mechanistically coupled to growth and tree water relations, and his current research activities are focused on linking tree physiological processes with the processes on the forest ecosystem level.