Marfa Dialogues

No Soul for Sale at X-Iniative

Kaffe Matthews

24-28 June 2009

Featuring Kaffe Matthews’ Sonic Bed_Marfa
548 West 22nd St, New York
24-28 June 2009, 1-9PM
Opening Reception: 23 June 2009, 6-9PM

From 24 June through 28 June, Ballroom Marfa will be participating in No Soul For Sale: A Festival of Independents at X-Initiative, New York. The festival will bring together 38 of the most exciting, creative, and respected not-for-profit centers, alternative institutions, artists’ collectives, and independent enterprises from around the world that contribute to the international art scene by inventing new strategies for the distribution of information and by supporting a diverse cultural program.

At No Soul For Sale, Ballroom Marfa will showcase Kaffe Matthews’ Sonic Bed_Marfa, which was originally included in The Marfa Sessions, curated by Regine Basha, Rebecca Gates and Lucy Raven in 2008. Sonic Bed_Marfa is one of many artists’ projects Ballroom Marfa has commissioned since opening in 2003, as part of our mission to help artists and curators realize projects that are challenging and difficult to produce in a traditional gallery context.

Sonic Bed_Marfa is one in a series of purpose built portable venues which plays music, and acts as a sonic and social experiment for exploring our perception of sound. Visitors are invited to lie in the bed, and experience a unique composition by the artist, as the sound moves up and down and around their bodies via a twelve channel sound system hidden within the bed. As part of Kaffe Matthews’ ongoing research laboratory, Music For Bodies, Sonic Bed_Marfa plays music to feel rather than just listen to.

Sonic Bed_London was the first bed in the series, with the subsequent beds specific to Shanghai, Taipei, Quebec, and Scotland through the use of locally sourced materials, fabrics, labor, and sounds. Sonic Bed_Marfa was made primarily of locally weathered plywood, marked and colored over years by the sun and wind as it stood sealing empty windows in vacant houses in the town. Its music, “Yellow,” was made by the artist transforming and synthesizing tones of light which she played, processed, and drew around the bed whilst lying in it.

Sonic Bed_Marfa will be located on the third floor of X during No Soul For Sale, within an open-plan installation designed as an exercise in coexistence. “Participating organizations will exhibit alongside each other without partitions or walls. As on the set of the legendary Lars von Trier’s movie Dogville, participants will be assigned spaces that are only marked on the floor, creating a map of an imaginary city of art, where distances and hierarchies are abolished.”

See pictures from the event on

For more information on Kaffe Matthews:
For more information on The Marfa Sessions:

    Ballroom Marfa’s participation in No Soul For Sale has been made possible by the generous support of Ballroom Marfa members. Special thanks to Sally Coleman, Jonathan Mergele, Alexander Mills, and Gory Smelley of Marfa Recording Company for their invaluable assistance on this project.