Social trees

Møstings Hus, ‘Nature Symphony’, Frederiksberg, Denmark. September – November 2022.

Birch plywood, pine, brass wire, plastic sheets, mechanical components, electronics, motors. 


190 x 40 x 40 cm.

Photos by Torben Eskerod. 

Videos by George Koutsouris.


Two interactive social trees were installed at different places in ‘Nature Symphony’. Each tree has a sensor that detects movement in front of it. With the presence of the viewer, the tree starts vibrating causing the transparent sheets to oscillate with vivid motion and produce ‘bubbly’ sounds. The moving sheets cast light reflections on their surroundings. 

As the viewer approaches the tree, the vibration becomes faster, as if the tree responds and socializes… However, if the viewer approaches too close the tree becomes ‘shy’ and stops moving. 

About 'Nature Symphony'

The solo exhibition Nature Symphony is a total installation triggered by mechanical sound sculptures that create an unpredictable soundscape of the movements from wind, water, plants etc. through Møstings’ high-ceilinged rooms. 

Koutsouris has been inspired by the movements and sounds of nature, and with this exhibition he examines human’s relationship with nature by questioning our increasing need for control in an otherwise uncontrollable world.  

With Nature Symphony, Koutsouris invites us on a journey full of contrasts. While we might think that we are listening to the trickling of water in the stream or the rustling of leaves in the wind, we see something completely different. In the exhibition we meet constructions of wood, metal, plastic and electronics, all clearly man-made and industrial. Most of the works turn on and off automatically by mechanisms created by the artist, while others are activated interactively by the audience. 

The works are created for Møstings, which in the 19th century was used as a summer residence, placed close to Frederiksberg’s cultivated nature. The exhibition connects the past and the present through a poetic narrative about civilization’s view on nature. The unique sounds of each work are carefully matched to the acoustics of the rooms, and together they form the sound of a wonderful landscape. By using low-tech mechanics to mimic nature, Koutsouris emphasizes that machines should be built to restore natural environments.  

Reviews by Sune Anderberg.

Politiken by Peter Michael Hornung.

Seismograf by Jeppe Rönnow.