Damping Chamber



collaboration with Evelyn Von Michalofski


In Damping Chamber, the structural capacity of felt in terms of its potent absorption and saturation characteristics is approached metaphorically through the vibration of sound and water, both being elements that are readily absorbed. A small, dark chamber is made into a dampered, claustrophobic space, its walls, ceiling and floor completely insulated with thick felt. The illusion of being submerged is conjured through the sounds of deep water and two synchronized swimmers moving and singing through a difficult routine. A fine tension is set in motion between breathing, trust, and trauma. Outside the chamber, a pair of swimsuits, presumably worn by the swimmers, are made of the same heavy, dark blue wool felt that lines the interior of the chamber. In the absence of bodies, the disturbingly weighty soaked suits drip dark blue water into catch buckets below. Damping Chamber stems from the artists’ ongoing inquiry into the collaborative process and the complex negotiations made in pursuit of synchronicity.



audio excerpt from Damping Chamber



media: 1/2” felt, water, 6 speakers, multitracker, enamel buckets, drywall, wood, paint
dimensions: swimsuits sizes 7 & 9, chamber interior 5’ x 8’ x 6’

audio duration: 04:22 min. looped
libretto: Millie Chen & Evelyn Von Michalofski
composition: Millie Chen (based on Schubert’s Impromptu Op.90, Movement I in C-)
vocals: Jennifer Kozack, Christina Downey
sound engineering: Chris Smith, Stephen Sauvé


Curated by Kathryn Walter for the exhibition “Felt.” Commissioned by Textile Museum of Canada. Supported by The Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.