A painting resembling trees by Annie Blazejack and Geddes Levenson

Listen to the Trees at Sertoma Arts Center

A SEEK project by Annie Blazejack with support from Raleigh Arts

What does it mean for a tree to be an actor rather than mere scenery? How do we give agency and voice to different kinds of sentience? How does listening to these new voices help us empathize with the non-human? 

The Trees' Macbeth is a computer-assisted adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth play. It is performed by a circle of trees near Sertoma Arts Center.

The script was composed in collaboration with a machine learning algorithm. Computer scientists Sergey Feldman and Alex Rubinsteyn ‘fed’ the Macbeth script and books about Everglades ecosystems into their learning machine. It then generated hundreds of paragraph-long blocks of text. Artists Annie Blazejack and Geddes Levenson finessed the computer’s output, cutting it up and rearranging it into a nine-character play with a loose plot.

You can listen to the play at the top of every hour and at regular 20-minute intervals between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. at Sertoma Arts Center.

Learn more and download the script for The Trees' Macbeth

About SEEK Raleigh

The Trees' Macbeth is a 2020 SEEK Raleigh project. SEEK Raleigh is an annual series of site-specific art installations and performance art events that engage the community through public art. SEEK 2020 features local artists creating temporary installations and performance pieces in the City of Raleigh Parks, greenways, and/or community. SEEK 2020 projects connect visitors to the site, park landscape, community, and/or history of the neighborhood. All works are free to the public.



Kelly McChesney
Public Art Director

Sertoma Arts Center