Be Seated

March 2023

What if a chair is able to express its wants and needs? What does that imply for its usability and position in our surroundings? Do we develop a different relationship to objects when they are given a voice?

A series of 3 chairs that try to influence a user through interactive audio compositions. By embedding audio devices into chairs, I literally give furniture a voice. While interacting with the interface on the backrest, a user can alter a granular filter, thus choosing how the chair communicates.

There is a power structure in place between designed objects and their users: objects are created to serve a purpose in our society. The philosophical movement of ‘object oriented ontology’, doesn’t recognize the privilege of humans as “subjects” over nonhuman beings as “objects”. It instead proposes a flat hierarchy where objects exist independently of human perception. Following this line of thought, ‘Be Seated’ aims to give chairs a sense of agency. Will you listen to what the chair says, or will you turn its voice into abstract background noise?

This installation is developed with support of Suomen Kulttuurirahasto.

Created during a working period supported by Alfred Kordelinin Säätiö.

It was exhibited at [of sound], and exhibition curated by Äänen Lumo at Oksasenkatu11 during March 2023