here-ing

A participatory art experience at the KU Field Station




ABOUT

here-ing is a walking labyrinth in the shape of the anatomy of the human ear and created by artist Janine Antoni. At the heart of the project is an invitation for the public to return to their bodies through intimately relating to the land.

“Walking the circuitous path gives us an opportunity to slow down, arrive in our bodies, and enter a receptive state. As we continue to draw the ear with our steps, we listen more deeply.” – Janine Antoni

The 2-mile roundtrip path takes about 1 hour to walk. Elevation change is minimal, but the path is not ADA accessible. We recommend wearing closed-toe shoes with long pants tucked into socks. Bug spray can help avoid ticks. Hats, sunscreen, and water are highly encouraged.


VISIT

You can explore here-ing for free on any day between sunrise and sunset. It is located adjacent to the Roth Trailhead at the KU Field Station. Find here-ing on Google Maps.

From US-24/US-40 near the Lawrence Airport, take East 1600 Road north for three miles. The Roth Trailhead at the Suzanne Ecke McColl Nature Reserve is on the west side of the road.



PROJECT HISTORY

The Spencer Museum commissioned Janine Antoni to create a public artwork at the University of Kansas. The resulting project is a partnership that includes the Spencer Museum, the Kansas Biological Survey and Center for Ecological Research, and the DesignBuild Studio in KU’s School of Architecture.

> March 2022: With guidance from KU Field Station staff, Antoni and community members assisted with a prescribed prairie burn to prepare the site for here-ing. This was the first of several efforts to create a healthier grassland.

> August–October 2022: Antoni worked with students in KU Professor Keith Van de Riet’s design-build class to survey and mark a grid in the field. The grid was then used to lay out the labyrinth’s design of the outer ear. We then welcomed visitors to begin walking the path into the land.

> March 2023, Melinda Adams, who belongs to the N’dee San Carlos Apache Tribe and is assistant professor in Indigenous environmental studies at KU, led a cultural burn of the here-ing field assisted by students and tribal members. The project team then gridded the next extension of the labyrinth’s path to include the shape of the inner ear.

> June 2023: The project team gridded the central field to include the shape of the middle ear, completing the entirety of the path.

> September 2023: Two large boulders were placed at the entrance of the labyrinth and Karl Ramberg carved a finger labyrinth that mirrors the shape of the walking labyrinth, giving the participants an overview as well as an experience for those who cannot access the path.



UPCOMING EVENTS

Connecting to Place: An Immersive, Interdisciplinary Experience at here-ing 

Friday, June 14 | 6:30PM – 7:30PM | Roth Trailhead, KU Field Station, E 1600 Rd

Saturday, June 15 | 10AM – 11AM | Roth Trailhead, KU Field Station, E 1600 Rd

Immerse yourself in the tallgrass prairie with a guided tour through the “here-ing” labyrinth at the KU Field Station, along with participatory poetry led by Kansas poet Lori Brack. Please wear long-sleeved shirts and pants and closed toe shoes. Bug spray, sunscreen, and water will be provided.