“Relative Fields in a Garden” at the Queens Museum October 7, 2018 – August, 2019

Materials: Acrylic paint, ceramic, bamboo, birch veneer, mirror film, metal chairs, Serge analog synthesizer, sound transducers, light sensors and multichannel looping audio players

In their first artistic collaboration, mother Liz Phillips and daughter Heidi Howard present a multimedia mural and sound work. Howard, a painter, depicts Phillips, a sound artist, in her Sunnyside, Queens garden with fantastical flora that bridge representation and abstraction and transition through the seasons: spring on the left to winter on the right. In spring is Howard’s self-portrait, gazing into an ornate mirror. In fall, Howard painted a yellow floral scarf owned by her late grandmother Geraldine Phillips.

As part of her long-time work in interactive sound installation, Phillips has created sound fields using wave transmissions. Here, sculptural elements including ceramics made by Howard, bamboo, and birch veneer have become speakers through contact with a transducer, which converts electrical signals into tactile sound. They play Phillips’ continuously modulating composition–some of which was recorded in her garden–of seasonal wildlife, water, leaves, and city noises. With the use of sensors, these sounds respond to the passage of sunlight across the wall. Both the mural and the audio become increasingly abstracted in the winter section, where shard-like strips of mirror film are paired with distorted sounds of ice melting and people sorting cans and bottles. Visitors are invited to sit in three garden chairs previously owned by Geraldine. Also functioning as speakers, they vibrate with river sounds, in homage to her lifelong affinity for water.

Sound for Wavecrossings in Souvenirs: New New York Icons at Storefront for Art and Architecture, September 16th – November 18th, 2017


Blog for Wavecrossings on Governor’s Island, 2017

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 12.04.24 PM

BIYUU, Roulette, Brooklyn, NY, 2012

WATERFALL, Fredericke, Taylor Gallery, New York, NY,  2004

ECHO LOCATION, The Queens Museum, 2004

“Echo” is a poetic 3-D video projection that takes us into the kitchens of local ethnic restaurants. Two projectors converge on a spherical screen, creating warped double-exposures on the semi-translucent surface. Slow motion shots of dough being spun into sheets overlap with images of people laughing around a table, arranging breadbaskets, smoking pipes. The effect is mesmerizing, and the multicultural music playing enhances the dreamlike quality of the images…-Laurel Angrist, NY Arts Magazine


ECHO EVOLUTION, The Kitchen, 2002

This is an excerpt on a video from my exhibition at the Kitchen in NYC.This interactive installation uses custom designed neon tubes . Ultrasonic rangefinders pick up audience position and motion. Light flows and shifts color with motion and stillness of audience. Sound samples morph and locate in space. Sounds are made from samples of spinning objects and digital sound and signal processing.


This is a prologue to the interactive installation of the same name presented by Creative Time at the Anchorage in the summer of 2001. It was part of the last show, Massless Medium, permitted in that amazing space under the Brooklyn Bridge. In only a month or two 9.11 would end all that. This is the story behind the project, as told by Liz Phillips, one of the pioneers of interactive sound art.

Intermingling, 2002 The Jewish Museum




An interactive light and sound installation using capacitance and ultrasonics to pick up audience motion and respond with sound events radiated from highly directional homemade loudspeakers (the bowl, vase, horns on the ceiling and in boxes.

Mersonic Illuminations, Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria, 1992


This interactive sound installation uses sensors to locate fish (light) and audience (ultrasonic) and feedback sound and light structures. The idea for this work is taken from a childhood experience of ice skating on a pond filled with swimming carp.

Graphite Ground,The Whitney Museum, Capp Street Project , San Francisco, CA, 1988

GraphiteGround01 GraphiteGround02


A dry rock garden with natural copper conductors radiating fields, Sounds shift and distribute themselves time-sharing and orienting themselves to the presence and activity of the viewers.


Fluid Sound, 1988
Kala Institute, Berkely, California



Fish and audience activated environment with a pool of koi and sand paths for audience observation and interaction. Two ultrasonic systems are used to sense the fish and the audience.

Sound Syzygy, 1983
Walker Art Center

Sound Syzygy02


Sound Syzygy was part of an installation commissioned by the Walker Art Center for John Cage’s 60th birthday. It uses three ultrasonic range finders to locate and feeds back a quadraphonic synthesized soundscape.


Sunspots, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 1982

Sunspots02 Sunspots01

Sunspots is a site-specific sound installation that is tuned to the room in which it’s heard. Audience presence and nearness to a copper coiled arch and suspended brass screen determine the combination of sounds.



Sound Syzygy Quicktime, 11MB

Walker Art Center Quicktime, 6.2MB

Sound Tables Quicktime, 2.2MB

Graphite Ground Quicktime, 1.5MB

Graphite Ground Quicktime, 1.5MB

Cymbal Quicktime, 9.7MB

Fish Quicktime, 10.8MB

Wave Table Quicktime, 90.6MB

Collaborating with Nam Jun Paik and Robert Kovich Quicktime, 125.2MB

Windspun Quicktime, 24.6MB

Echo Location Quicktime, 109.9MB

Waterfall Quicktime, 43MB

Leave a Reply