I am sitting in a room is a sound installation by renowned American composer Alvin Lucier, first performed in 1969, that is being re-created for the first time as an installation in UMMA’s Irving Stenn, Jr. Family Gallery. In the piece, Lucier himself is heard reading a text, playing the recording back into a room, and then re-recording it. The re-recorded material is then played back and re-recorded. This process is repeated multiple times, until eventually the words become unintelligible. The text being read by the artist describes this process: it begins “I am sitting in a room, different from the one you are in now. I am recording the sound of my speaking voice.” Lucier’s work explores the physical properties of sound—the resonance of spaces and the transmission of sound through physical media. This work, as it fills the gallery and reacts to its acoustic properties, transforms the space with sound.
Lead support for this exhibition is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost and the Herbert W. and Susan L. Johe Endowment.