3-13 September 2015 - Moss Center for the Arts

Virginia Tech - Blacksburg, VA

Ants attack an accelerometer after hearing insect alarm calls

The product of a collaboration between world-renowned sound artist Stephen Vitiello and evolutionary biologist Kasey Fowler-Finn, "A Scuttering Across the Leaves" brings listeners into the depths of the world of plant-borne sound. A unique 145 speaker system (The Cube) at Virginia Tech creates a world as experienced by plants and small organisms.





A Scuttering Across the Leaves


This project was precipitated by a fortuitous meeting between Kasey Fowler-Finn and Stephen Vitiello when their time at Mountain Lake Biological Station (MLBS) coincided in 2014. Kasey was there on an Early Career Fellowship studying harvestmen, and Stephen was a resident artist at MLBS's ArtLab recording airborne sounds. Their mutual joy of experiencing the world through sound and appreciation of nature led to the development of the project.

In 2015, they returned to MLBS and recorded sounds from the stems and leaves of plants, which Stephen then edited and spatialized to recreate the experience one might imagine an insect scutttering in the leaves might have.

The crew: Olivia, Stephen, Kasey, Dowen, and Will after a successful week of acoustic prospecting at MLBS for the exhibit.

Sound Art

Sound art is a contemporary art discipline in which sound is used to create the product.

Visit Stephen Vitiello's page to learn more about sound art!

Overlap between science and art

Science have a lot in common - both are grounded in observations and interpretations about our world. They share the same joy of discovery, and the same need to communicate to others. Thus, it is a natural combination to settle on!


Mountain Lake Biological Station created ArtLab in recognition of the natural synergy between art and science. This program bring artists to the field station to interact with biologists and the natural world they study.

Mailing: Department of Biology, Saint Louis University

              3507 Laclede Ave. Saint Louis, MO 63103

Email:    Contact Dr. Fowler-Finn

Lab: 143B Macelwane Hall

Office: 324 Macelwane Hall

 2015  K Fowler-Finn, all rights reserved. Last updated 10/2015