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Sergei Tcherepnin

Photograph of the lights in the Whitney Museum Lobby with artist’s notations, 2013. Source material for Sergei Tcherepnin’s installation at the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Courtesy the artist. © Sergei Tcherepnin

Photograph of the lights in the Whitney Museum Lobby with artist’s notations, 2013. Source material for Sergei Tcherepnin’s installation at the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Courtesy the artist. © Sergei Tcherepnin

Born 1981 in Watertown, MA
Lives and works in New York, NY

Integral to artist and composer Sergei Tcherepnin’s work is an ongoing fascination with how materials can receive and transmit sound. Through his performances, sculptures, and videos, he considers how visual experiences are part of a larger multisensory network. For the 2014 Biennial, the artist attached surface transducers—devices that convert signals into vibrations—onto eight of the Marcel Breuer−designed light fixtures in the Museum’s Lobby. These small mechanisms allow sections of the overhead lighting system to emit sound, creating what the artist describes as “speaker-instruments.”

Ambient Marcel (Waiting, Working, Erupting) plays continuously, but the synthesizer-derived tones and harpsichord sounds, as well as silent passages, wind through variable moods and sonorities depending on the time of day. Although the Lobby typically functions as a transitional space between the world outside and the art inside, Tcherepnin redefines it as a place to pause and actively listen.

On View

Museum Lobby

Sergei Tcherepnin’s work is on view in the Museum Lobby.