BADROOM: 1996, sound installation, Helsinki/FI


The MUU-Base in Helsinki houses an installation featuring weird shifts of perception. Bad Room is an audio-visual environment injecting the feel of sticky dust and moist heat into a cold a windy environment. The visitor, entering from the streets of chilly Helsinki in late autumn of 1996 is immediately embraced by a soundscape consisting of mosquito swarms and individual insects caught inside tins and glasses. These virtual beings seem to be desperately trying to get out - every now and then one hears the buzzing getting louder, then they are silenced again as if they were exhausted by the attempts of their escape.

There are 3 big wooden boxes inside the room - boxes, which are used for transportation on cargo-ships. They are closed and look like having been on a long journey [do you come across the movie where dynamite is being carried by a truckdriver]. The floor is soft and covered with soil, sawdust and dry hey which is obviously also inside the wooden boxes. One recognizes that by closer looks at the cracks of the boxes. In another corner there is an old metal bin and even farther to the left there are 3 metal devices - parts of a machine - which might have been used to keep dangerous liquids cold. Four oiltins of 10 litres capacity each stand beside the box. Somebody must have taken away the top to make them look like pails. The light is yellow-brownish and extremely bright, the temperature is high and feels even more unpleasant due to the humidity of the air. There is also a smell in the air, which does not allow for precise classification but it hints that organic substance is rotting. Adding the unpleasant touch of the light, the smell and the temperature there is a multichannel set-up of noises usually connected to trouble. Insects, low frequency hums and the painstaking sound of a dentists' drills in action - very soft, but impossible not to be recognized...