Come to the Table

Dimensions variable, installation of dining room furniture, food, and sound, 2015


A participatory installation and sound piece installed in the CCWA Building.

Participants were invited to take a break and enjoy a homemade meal at my dinner table. The guests ate bread, homemade chicken noodle soup, and Scottish shortbread cookies (family recipes). Throughout the dinner, a pre-recorded audio loop played. The pre-recorded sounds were from a dinner I shared with my husband, Codey. The sounds included clinking dishes, ice cubes dancing in our glasses, conversation, laughter, and silence. Eating dinner together is my favorite part of the day and I wanted to share this ritual with others.

Before guests arrived, the audio loop played to an empty room, which felt rather ghostly and mysterious; however, the smell of soup and a prepared dinner table was inviting. Simple directions encouraged guests to help themselves. As guests began to arrive, their own conversations began to create a second layer on top of the recorded one; when the guests grew quiet, the recorded conversation and the clinking dishes were heard. 

Taking time out of our busy day to sit down and eat together is important. Even if the table-talk fades away, sharing time and space with others makes the silence seem full.