16 November–21 December 1997 / Casco HQ
In 1996, William Speakman twice carried out a diving performance in his 3.5 meter high wooden Dive Cabin. He remained under water for long periods in another world, a world of silence where the physical experience is completely different to that in the outside world. Visitors, who could follow Speakman through the underwater windows, must have been able to experience something of the stillness in the cabin. However, they would have been most affected by the gentle slow-motion movements of the diver. Speakman’s Dive Cabin is one in a series of “test chambers:” isolated cells designed to stimulate a specific sense to maximum effect, to intoxicate mind and body, or to generate complete concentration. In Casco, William Speakman builds three such spaces in which the processes of sawing, cooking and drying will take place. In a sound-proof room is a mechanical saw. The floor and wall are covered in felt. On the floor lies sawdust. The air is dry, dusty and warm. The pieces of cut wood are transferred to the neighboring cell, a tent with a water basin in which the wood is cooked. A sultry, damp and pungent atmosphere is created in the tent. The wet wood is then dried on a construction above a wood-burning stove and then burned. In the cold winter months, visitors can enjoy a steam bath and then gather around the warmth of the fire.