Twin Pillows

Alisa Tarabrina

See it On Campus: Level 1

Visitor Info

Air mattress, pillows, rocks, audio, projection, monitor.

Twin Pillows is a sculpture and audio installation that is part of an ongoing series involving experimentations with rock-filled pillows and contact microphones. In this iteration, the two pillows sink into a half-deflated air mattress, while a slowly changing gradient projects opposite onto the wall. The main audio component is the 15 minute 3 channel composition that plays through speakers, which blends white noise and sounds of rain and ocean waves intermittently alongside synths. Underneath the mattress is another stereo speaker, which plays audio of a previous performance of the rock pillows, in which the contact mics that were embedded inside the pillows were processed through a reverb and looper guitar pedal.

The work speaks to unrest in both an individual and intimate context. By combining audio meant for sleep aid with synthesizers that simultaneously have eerie and serene qualities, I wanted to have a space where the viewer feels enveloped in this sonic conflict, and through that mirror my own frustrations surrounding sleep and the lack of it. The series had began with this concept, hence the kilograms of rocks that fill these typically soft and light objects. After bringing the mattress in, the pillows started mimicking bodies in this space, huddling against each other and sinking together. Through that, it grew into a reflection on intimacy and the metaphorical weight of sharing a bed and a body with another.

Sample of the audio composition.

The following videos are documentations of two performances done with the rock pillows — one in the morning, one in the evening. They are available to view on campus on a monitor next to the installation.

Alisa Tarabrina

Alisa Tarabrina is an interdisciplinary new media artist living and working on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh nations (“Vancouver”, BC). They are creating works involving web-based forms, sound sculpture, and lo-fi video, and are exploring physicality and disorientation in relation to digital media. They love things which can be touched, and files which can be crushed.

Profile image of Alisa Tarabrina