Waking Agents


In the age of smart everything, even the personal space of sleep is invaded. The installation consists of a set of six pillows in an immersive environment. Visitors are invited to lay down and nap with a “smart” pillow, attended to by its embedded intelligence. The intelligence serves as guide, companion, and caretaker while the user drifts between awareness and unconsciousness. Unbeknownst to the visitor, each pillow is driven by a human performer serving as intelligent attendant.


documentation image of the installation. close up of three people laying facedown on their respective mattresses, one with a white shirt and dark pants and the other two with dark clothes long sleeve shirts.
documentation image of the outside view of the installation. the curtain is slightly open showing four people laying upside down (except for one) on their respective mattresses. all of them don't have their shoes on.documentation image of the installation. five people laying face down on four different mattresses, one of them has their phone next to the mattress and that same person and the person next to them are closer together than the other two that are further back in the space..documentation image of the installation. closeup of a person laying sideways looking down smiling on their mattress while the mattress directly next to them is empy..documentation image of the installation from the outside view. the curtains are hanging from a metal structure that surrounds the entire installation.documentation image of the installation from the outside view. the curtains are hanging from a metal structure that surrounds the entire installation. there are five people participating in the installation.documentation image of the installation from the outside diagonal bird view. the curtains are hanging from a metal structure that surrounds the entire installation. there are four people laying face down on their mattress in the installation.
dark room showing a circle of people viewing their computers, which is the only thing lighting their faces, besides a small light in the middle showing a lot of cables.
a person sitting on a bench in a gallery space, they are wearing headphones while looking away from the frame.
documentation image of the installation. there are five people laying on their respective mattresses , two are laying sideways and the other three are facing down. the mattresses are on a large block of plywood creating a separation between the installation and the floor, there aren't any curtains in this installation.
Waking Agents was awarded the ACT Award and commissioned for STRP Festival. It was curated by Juliette Bibasse. Development prototyping by Jeff Gray. Fabrication and design in collaboration with Lela Barclay de Tolly.

Photos by Lauren Lee McCarthy, Juliette Bibasse, Hanneke Wetzer, and Sébastien Bozon.