Situation, 1985, Dominicanerkerk, Maastricht, Holland, Video
Admittedly, Pétursson began his career using an ordinary tape recorder as a medium around the time that the mechanical age was rapidly yielding ground to digital technology. In 1985 he set up a work in the Dominicanerkerk in Maastricht together with Dutch artist Leidi Haaijer, which consisted of 25 stereo cassette players and 750 wooden chairs. Titled Situation and well recorded on video, this performance gave an early indication of Pétursson's feeling for space and its potential. At Easter, the sounds - a mixture of human voices and electronic reproductions of a Gregorian chant and ringing of bells - were played through loudspeakers screwed to the cushions of golden chairs. Most of the loudspeakers where located in the quire and the flow of sound resounded constantly to transform the church into a single, all-pervasive musical sculpture.