Name of Work: Sit and Listen

Patinated steel / 85"w x 85"d x 90"h

About the Work:
“Sit and Listen” is a sound sculpture in the form of a patinated steel tête-à-tête. The piece comprises two benches facing back to back, fastened together by cylindrical tubes that transfer the voices and sounds of each seated participant. Unlike a traditional tête-à-tête, which aims to cultivate intimate forward-facing conversation, “Sit and Listen” isolates both participants while amplifying the subtlest sounds of their voices so they can share even the slightest whisper. Inspired by the childhood game of tin-can telephones, I designed this lounge (pre-pandemic) to function as a playful, sonic, social experiment. Considering the shifts in social dynamics resulting from COVID-19, the lounge highlights the significance of maintaining intimacy and contact while being at a distance. In contrast to its playful nature, it also offers a solution to conversations that are difficult to have face to face. When communicating vulnerable information, having physical space catalyzes a clear and cogent expression of thought. The hope for Sit and Listen is that it will cultivate a unique opportunity where, simultaneously, one can be present and intimate with someone, while also having space for solitude and self-reflection.

About the Studio:
Teruko Kushi is an interdisciplinary artist, designer and metal fabricator based in Brooklyn, New York. Casting a wide net in subject matter and materiality, Teruko’s studio combines traditional handcrafting techniques with contemporary fabrication processes and design. She draws her inspirations from organic forms and believes that the greatest designs are found in nature.