1989, LaFollette Park Fieldhouse
Chicago, Illinois

LaFollette Park hosts a vital program for swimmers and numerous community groups in its west side Chicago neighborhood. Throughout the summer and fall of 1989 Haha met and worked with the water polo team, eventually focusing "Murmur" on the physical space and social aspects of the park. During the two-day installation/performance, we projected images of Antoine Caver, a member of the team, on the fire screen at the front of the proscenium stage in the auditorium. Multiple projections periodically blended from black and white to color, articulating Caver's image as he tread water, an endurance exercise that the swimmers practiced up to 24 hours at a time as part of their rigorous training. Live miked sound of swimmers in the pool down the hall played in the otherwise silent auditorium. The auditorium entrance was blocked by rows of folding chairs. A thick blue audio cable running down the hall led visitors from the auditorium to the natatorium at the other end of the park fieldhouse. On the same level as the hallway, the elevated running track circled the pool one story above. Swimmers from LaFollette water polo team performed the same durational exercise of treading water in the pool. Benches placed at intervals around the running track provided places to sit. A few months later, Haha helped provide technical support for LaFollette Park's water show "Keep the Love Alive." Details of the production included large-scale projected images of individual participants as they made their entrance into the pool area, and dramatic lighting exaggerating silhouettes for the drag show.