Soundman (2017) is an acoustic sculpture based on the principle of sound reflection and it’s assembled with readymade elements: a satellite dish, polished as a mirror surface, reflecting the whispering sounds of a polyethylene tube, that dances to an airflow generated by a small ventilator. This assemblage generates an unpredictable composition of sound and image which the visitor can experience from various points of view.
The title of Soundman refers to ‘Soundman-cyclus’ (1981-1990), a series of installations and music theater pieces by Dick Raaijmakers (1930-2013). Raaijmakers was a The Hague-based pioneer composer of electronic music, media artist, theater maker and theorist. ‘Soundman-cyclus’ in turn was inspired by ‘Night Owls’, the first sound film with American comedians Laurel & Hardy from 1930. In the film Laurel & Hardy are two burglars trying to enter a house in the middle of the night. Almost all sounds they produce while trying to pass the obstacles, are explicitly followed by a ‘…shhh!…’ Particularly for their first sound film Laurel & Hardy left a large part of the twenty-minute costly soundtrack deliberately unused –
a sublime interpretation of sound in film history.
In this context Soundman is a semiotic prolongation of Raaijmakers’ pieces, in its effort to dramatise the perception of sound and light phenomena.