Steve Heimbecker began creating his “soundpool” installations in the early 1990s. They sought to test the individual’s relationship to space-time through the use of sound.
Deploying scientific theories with characteristic whimsy, he presented a jerry-rigged noise cancellation system in Soundpool: The Manufacturing of Silence. The principle was to fight noise with noise, as certain noise cancellation systems do. When a sound wave is superimposed on its mirror image so that the crests of one wave coincide with the troughs of the other, both waves are cancelled out and silence is all that’s left.
Heimbecker’s installation consisted of eight paintings hooked up to motors with cams and camshafts. The rotation of the cams made the painting shimmy and shake. There was also a highly visual noise-cancelling device that attempted nothing less than the elimination of all urban noise, using a silencing mechanism with its own highly audible side effects, under optimum conditions.