Commissioned by the CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco, CA.
Created for the Rooms for Listening exhibition, Mute Room invites visitors to recline upon a wave of memory foam that fills the gallery space. As a room-sized device for listening to experimental electronic music, a contour of the foam's surface operates as a sound baffle to enhance acoustical clarity. Similar to the way that musical notes 'decay' in the air before dissipating, this surface has a transitory quality - impressions linger until fully erased by the slowly acting foam.
Many people will have experienced the intelligent material of memory foam in the form of earplugs that expand to fill the cavity of the ear, often used to dampen the sound of airplane engines or over amplified sound systems. In Mute Room, the sticky foam functions more like a giant hearing aid - its texture and pink color, suggestive of orthopedic devices, are uncannily responsive to the presence of its occupants.