Heather Kapplow
& Liz Nofziger


"Ovation" is an interactive sounds installation by artists Heather Kapplow and Liz Nofziger, staged at ILLUMINUS with the help of Ian King.

Using warm light and audio recorded at live concerts by the bandYo La Tengo a few short days before ILLUMINUS, "Ovation" offers everyone the opportunity to feel the swell of enthusiasm that performers like musicians or actors experience when they receive enough cheering and applause to justify an encore or standing ovation.

Though many of us have given this kind of support to musicians or actors (or perhaps to athletes at Fenway Park) most of us never have this experience ourselves, so "Ovation" transfers it back just this once.

The effect of walking into the piece is that of being a wash in a giant wave of love. it wasn't love originally intended for you, but Kapplow or Nofziger have managed to capture it and are giving it you as a gift. Please bathe yourself in it for as long as you would like, and then allow someone else to have the same experience.


Project sponsored by the

Presented in partnership with the


Liz Nofziger and Heather Kapplow are both conceptual artists who work in a variety of mediums. Nofziger has an MFA from the Studio for Interrelated Media at Mass College of Art and has extensive experience making site-specific public installation art. Kapplow is a writer, artist and media producer who creates “engagement experiences” that elicit unexpected intimacies using performance, writing, audio and video. They have collaborated on occasional projects for 10 years. 





Ian King, a freelance lighting designer and technical director at the Fort Point Theatre Channel, has designed and programmed the sensor array and audio playback system for “Ovation" and Kevin Micka, Georgia Hubley, Ira Kaplan and James McNew made invaluable contributions to the project as well.




“Ovation” is an interactive sound installation by conceptual artists Heather Kapplow and Liz Nofziger. At Fenway Park, visitors approach the piece by walking down a ramp that leads towards the ball field. As you are descending the ramp, bright lights come into view in the distance and a gradual swell of applause becomes audible. The sound continues to grow as you near the entrance to the field. As you step out onto the field you are suddenly washed in an overwhelming sea of bright warm lights and surrounded by roaring applause and cheering. You are adored!
Many of us live lives where we will never have the chance to experience what entertainers, politicians and athletes have the opportunity to experience on a regular basis. Adoration. For Ovation, Kapplow and Nofziger aim to create that experience for the average person. The piece will feature recorded audience sounds from a series of Jo La Tango concert that take place the week leading up to Illuminus.
The idea came out of an experience Kapplow had while traveling with a musician friend on a tour where many nights ended with this kind of enthusiastic audience response. She realized that there is no equivalent experience for people who are not performers, but felt strongly that the warmth and pleasure of being very lovingly cheered for is something that everyone should have the opportunity to experience. Since then she has been excerpting and listening to the crowd cheering portions of live music albums and imagining ways to reproduce this in an immersive way in an art context without it coming across as jeering or ironic. Her collaborator Nofziger was invited to adapt the piece for an outdoor public space.
The placement at the iconic location of Fenway Park adds a new and exciting dimension to the piece. The fact that visitors are invited to actually step onto the field is already one that creates the experience of feeling “special.” Add to that the soundtrack of adoration and the bath of glowing warm lights and your personal ovation sensation is complete. According to the artists “Ovation” is like being awash in a giant wave of love. It wasn't love originally intended for you, but we have managed to capture it and are giving it to you as a gift.”