ART PAPERS LIVE: Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste

Toussaint-Baptiste presented an AP LIVE artist talk alongside, and embedded within, the performance of 2 works, Y’all Don’t Wanna Hear Me, You Just Wanna Dance and … and Drive (Far Away). The event included two performances of … and Drive (Far Away), bookending the artist talk/performance of Y’all Don’t Wanna Hear Me, You Just Wanna Dance. After the performances, there was a Q & A with the artist, and dancing. This event was free and open to the public.

Event Schedule:

6:00           Welcome and introduction by Art Papers Editor + Artistic Director, Sarah Higgins
6:10             Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste performs … and Drive (Far Away)
6:30             Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste and Sarah Higgins in conversation
7:00             Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste presents Y’all Don’t Wanna Hear Me, You Just Wanna Dance
7:20             encore performance of … and Drive (Far Away)
7:35-8:00   Q&A with audience, meet & greet

Y’all Don’t Wanna Hear Me, You Just Wanna Dance is a durational performance in which a portable acoustic device* is used against its intended purpose of crowd dispersal, alternatively presenting it as a technology that might unite and even guide a crowd through sonic affect. Over the course of the device’s battery life, Toussaint-Baptiste will play music through the device, using its built-in microphone to speak with willing attendees and talk about his artistic practice, recite facts about the device’s history, and otherwise find ways to misuse the technology in an effort to reclaim something that has been funded by the public but used against the populace, and instead use it to bring public joy and conversation.

Toussaint-Baptiste will then perform his work … and Drive (Far Away), a mixed media sound installation and durational performance that approaches a cross-country drive along I-10 and I-95, from Tucson, Arizona to Richmond, VA, through the lens of Gulf South sonority. This phenomenon is deeply tied to the automobile, and generates a context through which history, marronage, sonic pageantry, and physical sensation may all collapse upon one another. Making use of custom car audio and window tint, the performance and installation of sonorous non-instruments looks at—specifically—a decommissioned Ford Police Interceptor/Crown Victoria simultaneously as a sociocultural-audiovisual marker key to Gulf South sonic ecologies; and as a space of potential self-abstraction, fraught with risk and ripe with potential for withholding, disappearance, or even flight, while drawing attention to the oft-dangerous labor required of migration.

Presented in collaboration with Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University, 1708 Gallery, and Martos Gallery.

Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste (b. 1984, Baton Rouge, LA) He holds an 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).

* Often referred to as “sound cannons,” Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD)’s have been deployed by police forces across North America as a “non-lethal” sonic weapon against civilian populations engaged in protest as far back as 2004.

** The device will not be activated at the decibel levels or frequencies used for such purposes during Toussaint-Baptiste’s AP LIVE talk or performances. **

Event Address

Perkerson Park Pavilion
770 Deckner Ave SW,
Atlanta, GA 30310


Photos taken by Raven Schley