Summer Sonar, 2017
2-channel sound installation
Andrew Paul Keiper is a sound artist based in Baltimore, Maryland. He is a faculty member of the Animation BFA program at MICA. Andrew received his BFA in painting from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and his MFA from MICA’s Photographic and Electronic Media program. His recent work addresses themes including the Manhattan Project, race and white supremacy in Baltimore, and the frontier between sound art and experimental music.
“Let us take water as a metaphor for the unconscious. The surface of the water can figure as the threshold of conscious awareness, and in the water below swims our dreams, aspirations and fantasies. Our fears lurk beside them, in the deep.
What if this water was a swimming pool, one that served a population subjugated under a system of apartheid? What dreams, aspirations, fantasies and fears would those who swam here have had? What echoes of these might have surfaced, and which would have had to stay submerged, unvoiced aloud?
Desegregation filled in this pool, but it did not bury white supremacy. When we walk across the grassy lawn of Pool No.2, let us take care to heed what currents flowed below our feet, and still do, warm and cool, refreshing or perilous.”
A note on loudspeakers
We take loudspeakers for granted as objects that serve a purpose neutrally, while in fact they have rhetorical meaning and a relationship with social power and hierarchy in their very design. The loudspeakers that seem most utilitarian are some of the most potent in this regard: horn-speakers, as one often sees installed on the side of institutional buildings. These loudspeakers connote authority and privileged access, and they enunciate in the imperative.
For an artist to use loudspeakers is to seize control of this rhetorical implication, and perhaps to point it somewhere unexpected, even back at itself.