SOUND-CHANNEL @ Whitney Museum

Commission: Whitney Museum
Type: Exhibition Design
Location: Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Size: 1,000SF
Design: 2001
Photography: Danny Bright

SOUND-CHANNEL is a listening "channel" in which visitors can relax by leaning against a diagonal foam wall while enjoying 25 different sound pieces selected for the BitStreams exhibit. Each piece is accessible on its own set of headphones connected to a dedicated CD player. The players are inserted in an exposed-metal-stud wall frame parallel to the leaning foam wall. 50 fluorescent tubes, wrapped in dark blue gels, are attached to this wall frame, which is wrapped with clear plastic tarp. The fluorescent tubes are activated by sensors that are obstructed when visitors lean against the foam wall. From outside the installation, within the exhibition lobby, visitors are partially visible as they lean and listen, creating a long row of bodies and gaps that, together with the rhythm of on/off fluorescent tubes, echo the sequence of ones and zeros that constitute a "bit stream." Fluorescent yellow tape on the floor leads visitors to marked listening stations.