Derek Hoffend | Boiler Room
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About This Project

Boiler Room

January 2010

Size: Installation Variable

Materials: Sound, Boiler Room, Various Microphones, Audio Hardware, Speakers


Boiler Room was a collaboration with Jed Speare and Asher Thal-Nir for the exhibition Transpositions, and involved positioning microphones around the boiler room (which resides on the other side of the large brick-wall in the gallery) of the Distillery Building in South Boston, MA, to pick up and amplify sounds as they occur in real-time, such as motors, fans, electrical boxes, a drainage shaft, steaming pipes, and water pumps. The invisible workings of the boiler room are revealed – each microphone corresponding to a white speaker in the gallery that has been positioned in rough proximity to its sound’s location in the boiler room.


This project expresses the artists’ mutual interest in listening to the qualities and details of found-sounds created by environmental processes. The composing of these sounds through selection, amplification, transmission, and repositioning, creates an environment that transposes site and sound: a soundscape varying with periodic events, textural layerings, and pitched droning plateaus that underscore the almost organic life and cycles of this mechanical system.