+ Room, - Room

Please silence your cell phones, iPods, corduroy pants, and crinoline dresses. If you require hearing aids that can create interference with audio systems, go see the Henry’s excellent William Kentridge show instead while your friends listen carefully—very carefully—to the + Room, - Room installation. In these two small facing galleries, whispering, rustling, chewing gum, and hard-soled shoes are strongly discouraged. The trick to appreciate this collaboration between Yann Novak and Jamie Drouin is to walk back and forth between the two rooms (which consist of white walls, benches, and speakers) and listen for the difference. The two visiting artists built their sonic dialectic from the original gallery “room tones,” originally recording the buzz and thrum and hiss of the creaky old ducts when the Henry was completely silent and empty. (“We let the AC have its own individual voice,” Novak drolly said during a recent walk-through.) Then they added digital processing and voilà—one room is positive, the other negative. One is more of a low underscore hum, the other more of a sibilant sine wave. Which artist created the soundtrack for which room? You’ll have to read the placards. It’s like the world’s slowest DJ battle, with the turntables running at 2 rpm. (Closed Mon.) BRIAN MILLER

Feb. 28-May 3, 11 a.m., 2009

 
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