ABOUT THE PROJECT
Did you know deep, resonant sound can be heard inside trees? Among the roots of plants, in shifting soils, in streambeds, rivers, oceans, and even in mud?
The Underground Sound Project is a series of underground recordings made by artist Nikki Lindt over the course of several years.
The Soundwalk installation can be experienced in Prospect Park. Along a wooded trail, you will encounter features such as a stream, an old growth maple tree, the forest floor, wildflowers, and many more. Via a sign with a QR code at designated locations along the walk, you will be able to experience the corresponding subsurface sounds.
Underground acoustics tell us a lot about the soils beneath us, but also about ourselves. Our human created sounds often affect this subterranean world in unexpected ways and places. The Underground Sound Project encourages you to explore this exciting and mysterious frontier but also asks you to slow down and listen deeply. And by doing so, gain a more intimate view and connection to the expansive world right beneath us!
Attention teachers! NYC Environmental Protection has created a learning module which can be downloaded here.
HISTORY OF THE PROJECT & COLLABORATION
In 2018, during a work trip to the Arctic, artist Nikki Lindt noticed sounds inside thermokarst failures - which are deep holes in the ground created by thawing permafrost. There she recorded her first underground sound. Ever since, she has continued recording underground acoustics wherever she can; in ecosystems in rural New York State, in New Hampshire (a residency at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest), and all over the natural areas of New York City.
In 2021, Nikki Lindt was named an ‘Urban Field Station Collaborative Arts Program’ resident where she was able to fully focus on this work for a year. There she worked closely with the USDA Forest Service, NYC Parks, and The Nature of Cities. She had access to and collaborated with a group of ecologists, social scientists, land managers, and others. These experts gave her deep insight into the ecosystems and communities of New York City and beyond. During this time she focused on the human impact on underground sound as well the relationship of the ecosystems of New York City to those of rural New York State. This became the groundwork for the Soundwalk, a part of The Underground Sound Project.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Nikki Lindt is a New York City-based artist who grew up in the Netherlands and the United States. She works primarily in the mediums of painting, video and (underground) sound on longer term projects. She often collaborates with scientists, philosophers, social scientists, sociologists and others to examine climate change and relationship to place. She has done residencies at many field stations including, the Toolik Field Station, in the Arctic (where she is project leader in an ongoing project), Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, and the Urban Field Station in New York City.