Plumbing yard art installation by Lori Wahl

Happy 4th of July!

I thought I’d share with you my experience at the plumbing yard a couple  of weeks ago.

Boulder (CO) artist Lori Wahl created a site installation/intervention entitled “Rayback Plumbing Supply, Inc.: A Sonic-Optic History.” Lori emailed a scan of her postcard (to those she didn’t mail it to) with this information . . .


After 58 years of business, Rayback Plumbing Supply, Inc. continues to provide exemplary service and advice to the Denver/Boulder community.  Rayback is a place of commerce that is committed to the reuse and renewal of resources.  Along with standard plumbing and heating stock items and items that were purchased at discounted buyouts, Rayback’s property contains used appliances and plumbing and heating parts brought to the site by individuals in the community who want to recycle.  These used items have been inspected, cleaned, carefully assembled and displayed for sale.

Wahl’s intervention on this site occurs in Rayback’s yard. A short documentary is played in the warehouse while nine viewing and listening scopes made from the site’s new and used plumbing materials are placed throughout the yard. These scopes collect and frame sounds and images that exemplify the polyphonic, momentary happenings and the collected and thoughtfully arranged objects on the site. This investigation allows the viewer to hear, observe and experience Rayback Plumbing and the subtle histories of the site.

My favorite part of the whole day was driving into the plumbing yard (one might describe it as a junkyard). Two small girls greeted the cars with this question: “Are you here for the plumbing or the art?” I loved it! I’ve never been asked that question or given that specific choice before.

Some photos from the day . . .

Artist Lori Wahl.

My husband, Rob, listening, looking and, um, just sitting.

Something you don't see every day.

Me listening to one of Lori's recordings. You had to get in all kinds of weird positions to experience this installation!

A colorful discovery.

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