Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest and LTER site launched an arts and humanities initiative in July 2012 to honor the seminal research at Hubbard Brook.
“Wind Words” was a participatory art project in collaboration with artist Xavier Cortada, who, along with composer Juan Carlos Espinosa, is the 2012 Artists-in-Residence at White Mountain National Forest. The residency is presented in collaboration with the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire (www.aannh.org).
Cortada and Espinosa have worked together on numerous projects, most of them relating to their shared environmental concerns. Their eco-art practice is defined by interdisciplinary collaboration and participatory practices that involve artists, scientists, communities with the goal of public awareness and bioremediation.
During July 2012, the artists worked with White Mountain National Forest foresters, scientists and trail builders and the local community in developing ideas for their work. Inspired by and responding to the forest, the artists created site-specific works and temporary installations like “Wind Words.”
“Wind Words,” was conceived as a “ritualistic installation” the Hubbard Brook researchers who study the forest’s soils, water, vegetation and wildlife. The ceremony was held on July 26th, 2012 at the C.L. Graham outlook along the Kancamagus Highway, White Mountain National Forest. Xavier Cortada and Lindsey E. Rustad, Ph.D., Team Leader and Forest Ecologist at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, read scientific articles to the four winds, the four corners of the Earth. They stood beneath four 3 x 8 foot banners, created by Xavier Cortada, that represented water, soil, wildlife and vegetation. The banners will remain at Hubbard Brook for a year.
Through this performance art work, Cortada aimed to bring science to the broader community. By having scientists come out of their labs and speak their words to the wind they were conceptually sharing their work beyond the pages of refereed research journals and across the Earth where their research also matters. Cortada also wanted to shed light on the issue that a growing sector of our society question and deny science.
For more information, see:
Lindsey E. Rustad, Ph.D.
Team Leader and Forest Ecologist, Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest
Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire
Frumie@aannh.org or visit