Damping Chamber

Audio installation
Media: 1/2” felt, water, 6 speakers, multitracker, enamel, buckets; (chamber structure) studs, 2×4, drywall, paint
Dimensions: 5’ x 8’ x 6’ (chamber interior), sizes 7 & 9 (swimsuits)
Duration: 04:40 loop

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. The soundtrack is heard only when inside a small, dark, dampered chamber, its walls, ceiling and floor completely insulated with thick felt. The illusion of being submerged is further conjured through the sounds of deep water and two synchronized swimmers practicing a difficult routine, moving and singing vertically through the chamber while in dialogue with each other across horizontal space. A fine tension is set in motion between breathing, trust, and trauma. Outside the chamber, where it is quiet, 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 our ongoing inquiry into the collaborative process and the complex negotiations made in pursuit of synchronicity.