For artist Alex Metcalf, the inner workings of trees has been a lifelong obsession. So, after he graduated from design school he utilized his artistic skills to create the "Tree Listening Installation"—a project designed to educate the public about what happens inside a tree. The system he created allows visitors to listen to a live performance of a tree sucking up nutrients using either a simple metal cone that looks like an old-timey hearing aid, or a set of headphones linked to a specially designed solar powered sensor placed on the tree.
Using these devices, visitors are treated to a clicking sound indicating water being pulled up from the roots to the leaves through the xylem tube. If this sounds like some weird hippie crap to you, I definitely hear that. However, I can appreciate Metcalf's unique artistic approach. Plus, it does represent an interesting way to fuse nature and technology. The Tree Listening Installation is currently on exhibit at the Royal Botanical Gardens just outside of London. [Alex Metcalf via Oddinstrument via Coolbuzz]