Listening to Light | Boulder Street Light Survey Project

Listening to Light | Boulder Street Light Survey Project explores how deep listening practices and field recordings can create an awareness of the larger environment. Created by artists Brittney Hofer and Aaron Treher, this collaborative public art project combines Deep Listening practices and sonic interpretations with the Boulder Street Light Survey Project, a community-based biodiversity survey aimed at documenting insects and other animals around street lights, porch lights, and other artificial lights.

Located at a public street light that has a high rate of attraction to bugs, an official project sign, survey box, and biodiversity survey will guide residents to collect information and document insects at street lights within Boulder city limits. The survey will also be available online at the iNaturalist : Street Light Survey Project page.

Deep Listening Workshops led by sound artist Brittney Hofer will be held in conjunction with the Boulder Street Light Survey Project periodically. You can register through the event page for each date:

Each Deep Listening Workshop includes:

  • movement exercises from Heloise Gold’s Deeply Listening Body
  • an extremely slow walking practice / sound walk
  • a closing sonic and sensory meditation leading into a discussion of Boulder Street Light Survey Project with Aaron Treher. 

Community members are also welcome and encouraged to take their own self-guided walks at any time outside of the workshops as well and can complete the survey with any street light, porch light or other artificial light within Boulder County.

Survey results can then be dropped in any of the survey boxes located at Arbor Institute and at other locations in the City of Boulder or input online at the  iNaturalist project page.

Following the conclusion of the survey period in Fall 2020, survey cards, images, and survey data will then be collected to construct a graphic music score, corresponding electronic composition, and public exhibition, engaging and emphasizing the importance of community through social practices, public and visual art, and contemplative practices.

Additional information about the Boulder Street Light Survey and survey box locations will be posted to this website when the boxes are installed.

Learn more about the survey process and download the app at iNaturalist : Street Light Survey Project

Interview with artists Brittney Hofer and Aaron Treher on KGNU radio:


More about Deep Listening

Deep listening is a contemplative practice founded by Pauline Oliveros that dances between creating an expanded awareness of the surrounding environment while simultaneously creating focused inward attention of self which offers an understanding of the roles humans play in the environment. This practice is open to all ages and body types – no experience required.

“Take a walk at night. Walk so silently that the bottoms of your feet become ears.” – Pauline Oliveros, Sonic Meditations

Learn more about the practice at the Center for Deep Listening.

Listening to Light is hosted by organizers of the Boulder Street Light Survey Project in partnership with the Arbor Institute in downtown Boulder, Colorado.

Boulder Street Light Survey Project is facilitated by Amanda Eberly, M.S., Plant Science, Delaware State University, Brittney Hofer, M.F.A., Art Practices, University of Colorado Boulder, and Aaron Treher,  M.F.A., Art Practices, University of Colorado Boulder.

This project is sponsored in part by the Boulder Office of Arts and Culture through the Creative Neighborhoods: COVID-19 Work Projects