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What to Expect at Listening Forest in 2023

It’s time to return to the forest!

After a successful debut in August of 2022, Listening Forest, created by artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, returns for a new season of the outdoor, nighttime experience in the North Forest.

Open Wednesday through Sunday, March 1 – May 28 and August 30 – December 31, 2023, this immersive exhibition includes eight installations that can only be activated with your participation. From platforms that detect your pulse and video screens that visualize your heat to giant light robots you can control with your body and installations that record your voice, Listening Forest only comes to life with your participation.

With free admission for youth ages 18 and under, It’s a great activity for the whole family that keeps everyone active and helps us contemplate our relationship with nature and what we leave behind.

To plan your trip, here’s what you can expect during the Listening Forest experience in 2023:

Getting Here

Your journey begins at the parking lot on the corner of Museum Way and J St.


a black and white map showing directions from the parking lot to the entrance of Listening Forest

Click to zoom.

Listening Forest is located in the North Forest at Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, Arkansas. We’re asking that all guests attending Listening Forest park at the gravel parking lot on the corner of Museum Way and J St. (across the street from the Amazeum). From there, follow the path of lights into the North Forest. The check-in kiosk is found just within the trees (see map above).

Once you check in, keep following the paved path.

(Psst! If you attended North Forest Lights in previous years, it’s the exact same path!)


Nine Things to Know Before You Go

a lit kiosk that says
Listening Forest | Bosque Atento, by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, sign, Photo by Stephen Ironside.

There are a few things you should know before you arrive:

  1. This is a nighttime, outdoor event, so please check the weather before you go and dress accordingly.
    • Pro Tip: You can always call the Inclement Weather Line at (479) 657-2488 to check on any cancellations or delays.
  1. We recommend wearing comfortable walking shoes. The eight installations are spread throughout the North Forest, so be ready to explore.
    • Accessibility assistance is available for anyone needing it—scroll down for more info.
  2. Plan on spending 1–2 hours at Listening Forest to see and enjoy the whole experience. You’re of course welcome to spend more or less time depending on your preferences.
  3. Taking photos and videos is encouraged, however, flash photography is prohibited. Flashes from phones and cameras will interfere with light experiences.
A young girl stands facing a screen outside at night that displays a face blurring and combining into a composite portrait.
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Listening Forest, "Recorded Assembly", 2022, Bentonville Arkansas / United States, Photo by Stephen Ironside.
  1. Please Note: The exhibition relies on sensors and recording cameras to activate each installation. Rest assured that the recordings are only used for archival purposes and will not be shared anywhere beyond the exhibition.
  2. You can bring your furry friends! Well-behaved dogs on a leash are allowed in Listening Forest.
  3. No outside food and drinks will be allowed inside, but that doesn’t mean you have to go hungry. There’s always plenty of seasonal snacks and drinks available for purchase at the Village inside the forest (keep scrolling to learn more!).
  1. Listening Forest is a cashless experience. Please bring a credit or debit card to make purchases in the exhibition.
  2. Walk-up tickets are slightly more expensive ($5 more per person). We recommend reserving tickets ahead of time—get yours today!

Once You’re Here

Be prepared for lots of walking. Accessibility assistance will be available.


a black and white map of the eight installations of Listening Forest and where they can be found throughout the North Forest

Click to zoom.

There will be about 1.5 miles of walking in total, including the walk to and from the additional parking lot. The trails created for this experience are wheelchair and stroller-accessible. Depending on the age and abilities of your group, you may also choose to bring strollers or wagons.

We understand that this might be a lot for some family members, so we will have assistance available. A mobility shuttle will be offered to transport folks with accessibility needs by request from the parking lot to the entrance of Listening Forest where they can meet back up with their party.


Installations and Experiences

As you make your way down the North Forest Trail, you will come across two of the installations before you make your way to the main event:

  • Recorded Assembly merges the facial features of participants into a constantly changing portrait of previous forest visitors
  • Arkansas Text Stream consists of brief texts sourced from Northwest Arkansas community members animated as a slow stream of letters. Projected on the footpath, these letters transform into phrases as the presence of people is detected.

The other six interactive installations are waiting for you deeper in the forest. Get ready to use your body, your voice, and your memories to create an unforgettable experience and bring each work to life:

  • In Pulse Forest, visitors can add their heartbeat to an array of 3,000 lightbulbs, each glimmering to the pulse of a different participant from the past.
  • Thermal Drift features a thermal camera that registers a visitor’s heat signature and visualizes that energy as particles floating into the surrounding space.
  • Remote Pulse consists of two identical pulse-sensing stations that connect strangers and beams of light across the forest. One is located in the Village area near the restrooms and the other is located near the Rock Ledge Shelter (see map above).
  • Embodied Light Beacons allows guests the opportunity to control giant, 20-foot-tall stick figures made of light.
  • In Voice Forest, guests can leave a voice recording that joins a chorus of voices left by previous forest visitors.
  • In Summon, microphones pick up sounds from visitors on a bridge and translate them into an array of light in the ravine below.

Learn more about the installations and artworks here.



Food, drinks, and restrooms are available inside Listening Forest.

The Village food court area will offer snacks and drinks, including warm, cold, and alcoholic beverages. A smaller drink and snack stop is also available in the North Forest as you make your way to the entrance of the experience.

Restrooms and merch stands are also available in this area. No outside food and drinks will be allowed inside.


Listening Forest is a cashless experience.

Just a friendly heads up that there is no cash in the Listening Forest experience in an effort to minimize contact and speed up transactions. Please bring a credit or debit card to make purchases in the exhibition.


Other Questions

Have a question we haven’t answered here? Check out our FAQ, or contact Guest Services at (479) 657-2335.


Listening Forest is open Wednesday-Sunday in the spring and fall, March 1 – May 28 and August 30 – December 31, 2023. Get your tickets online or with Guest Services today!


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