Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste: I Would Prefer Not To (Stay Cool)
May 7 6:00 pm - May 27 9:00 pm
Gallery Hours: Wed-Sun noon-6PM
We highly recommend emailing [email protected] to make an appointment to view the exhibition.
The installation employs Amacher’s work on “psychoacoustics” alongside “acousmaticism” (psychoacousmaticism) through the lens of Herman Melville’s short story Bartleby, The Scrivener. Considering Herbert Marcuse’s notion of the “Great Refusal” as an indictment of emergent military-cum-consumer technology being weaponized against citizen-civilian populations, it provides a quiet blueprint for protecting oneself from such phenomena. I Would Prefer Not To (Stay Cool) makes deliberate misuse of a decommissioned military-issue Long Range Acoustic Device, or LRAD*, (specifically, LRAD 500x), its ability to transmit sound, pre-recorded or live, is baffled by placing six inverted riot shields, mounted to oscillating fans in front of it. These inverted shields not only deflect the sound from a potential aggressee, but their inversion also refracts the sound back to its source with the same intensity. The placement of the shields on indeterminately oscillating fans also physicalizes the sentiment of cool, steely refusal put forth by Bartleby’s repeated utterance, “I Would Prefer Not To,” enacting a chance-operation in which these “refusals” go in and out of phase.
On the occasion of the exhibition’s opening and closing, there will also be a performance-lecture in which the LRAD is used to make explicit and call attention to the anti-social history of the LRAD and its increasing use on citizen-populations.
*Often referred to as “sound cannons,” LRAD’s have been deployed by police forces across the United States, including NYPD, as a “non-lethal” sonic weapon against civilian populations engaged in peaceful protest as far back as 2004.
The project was funded, in part, by a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant.
Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste (b. 1984, Baton Rouge, LA) MFA in Performance and Interactive Media Arts from Brooklyn College. He currently lives and works in New York, NY and Tucson, AZ.
Select exhibitions include: “Set It Off,” ICA @ Virginia Commonwealth University and 1708 Gallery, Richmond, VA (2021), “Devo (Listenin’ Out The Top Of Ya Head),” Berlin Atonal, Berlin, DE (2021), “Pendulum Music: An Arrangement for Four Performers and Geodisic Dome,” MoMA PS1, Queens, NY (2018); “Club,” Performance Space New York, New York, NY (2018); “Evil Nigger: A Five Part Performance for Julius Eastman,” The Kitchen, Brooklyn, NY (2018); “Study Of ‘Study Of Three Heads’,” Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA (2018); “Evil Nigger Part IV and Evil Nigger Part V,” Issue Project Room, Brooklyn, NY (2017); “Who Needs To Think When Your Feet Just Go+ Never Not Doing,” The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY (2016).
Select awards and residencies include: Camargo Foundation Core Program Fellow (2022), Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts Sound Artist-In-Residence (2021), Bessie Award for Outstanding Music Composition and Sound Design (2018); Issue Project Room Artist-in-Residence (2017); Jerome Foundation Airspace Residency at Abrons Arts Center, New York (2019); Rauschenberg Residency 381 (2019). He is also a founding member of the performance collective Wildcat!.
Human Resources LA presents Everything in Air, a series of public programs over the course of a year—new commissions, exhibitions, performances, and forums, often in hybrid combinations—using key concepts within artist and composer Maryanne Amacher’s work as points of departure. The series was supported by a Mike Kelley Foundation Grant.