1999, sound sculpture. Loudspeakers, copper wire, audio system, 8 channel composition,
ø 3.5 m Height 0.95 m
Schloss Werdenberg, Switzerland
A circle of sound from eight loudspeakers hovers in the room. An eight track minimalist content is used.
The material is eight purring cats.

Photos © Daniel Ammann (2), Dieter Haber, Clara Oppel


Voices and bodies make up the space. Eight cushions hang in a circle. Suspended from the ceiling at around hip level by practically invisible threads, they constitute a second horizontal plane. 

The cushions contain loudspeakers which produce acoustically active zones around the cushions, by means of a rasping sound in front of an oscillating backdrop. The artist uses recordings from her own familiar environment, altered and many times layered, for her multitrack minimalist composition.

The elements are real things, which, in the new Kontext Galerie, reveal in an almost exemplary way various relations with their origins.

In size and appearance the cushions are like real cushions, but by losing their functionality because of the position they occupy in space, they open many different ways of seeing them. Despite their number and strict arrangement, the individual objects gain in autonomy. The additional voice lends an almost lifelike independence.

We are looking at synaesthetic beings, whose essential characteristics are made up of very varied factors: the cushion is soft like a cat, but it is also the place of the purring cat. The cushion looks like what we expect of a cloud, and it floats, cloud-like, over the Earth – the floor.

Strings support the cushions, which are carried by sound, and which purr, but not in such a way that one would believe there are real cats inside: the sounds are more mechanical and the cushions are more similar to each other than we are used to with cats.

Softness and floating, cloud and cat, these things almost seem like general characteristics in this space; they are different, and at the same time they constitute a new unity, a new situation in time.

Text: Reiner Zettl
Translation: Keith David Harris