Tranquil Beauty, ARS Project Space, Tallinn

Borrowing the name for the exhibition from a snippet in an interview by a colleague where she characterises the previous exhibition (Perfect Wordls) using those words, I have made and found a collection of pieces, which in a longer duration of time formed within the influence of this imaginary double helix. The name and concept stuck and demanded attention, refusing to be binned. Figures, forms and sounds swirl in a gravitational field of tranquil beauty as if to pose a question what chance do they have in these times of turmoil, uncertainty and dust.

The exhibition transforms the ARS Project Space into a total environment, where both sonic and visual elements combine into tuning the visitor to the conceptual frequency of tranquil beauty. Four helium-filled large balloons are vibrating on their resonating frequency and fill the space with infrasound. The small speakers in the corners of the space are emanating an additional layer of sonic activity that has been composed within the space and played 
back non-stop for the duration of the exhibition  as a non-synchronised sound piece conceived on modular synthesizers. The visual counterpart to the sound consists of analog photographs of swan feathers in ice and a series of small tondos of lichen, an installation with enlarged photos where two framed pigment prints are  combined with a composition of pillows to form an installation and a video program of short vignettes of approximately a minute or so.

Sixteen silkscreen prints form a matrix composition where the artist has printed the members of his family as a table of different mathematical operations with references to their relationships with each other. Also presented is an online augmented reality environment that can be used to place objects on an indicated marker to the gallery space. These are 3D scans of real objects that have been digitized using the photogrammetric method. Visitors can take snapshots of the gallery space with these objects within and keep them as souvenirs. The soundscape in the space was streamed continuously to LokaalRaadio (lokaalraadio.ee) throughout the duration of the exhibition due to visitor demand from the guestbook on the first day of the exhibition.


mem: interference, Villa Elisabeth, Berliin

A sound installation for three parabolas and helium balloons in two adjoining rooms was presented at Villa Elisabeth in Berlin in the framework of the project Unexpected Territories, by Singuhr Projekte, curated by Carsten Seiffarth and Markus Steffens, which focused on the legacy of David Tudor featuring performances and lectures by the members of Composers Inside Electronics (CIE) John Driscoll and Phil Edelstein, Paul DeMarinis, Julie Martin, You Nakai, Matt Rogalsky, Michael Johnsen, Mats Lindström and others. Alongside the program sound installations were presented which connected to David Tudor's artistic legacy.

The artistic legacy of David Tudor is characterised by a focus on experimentalism, especially inclined towards site-specific multichannel long-form live performances and the fact that performances were seldom repeated. Many of the remaining ‘scores’ or technical notes were only meaningful to the composer himself or a small circle of technical assistants. Electronic devices were used and treated with an approach which one regards a living organism. Even a composed piece was altered when Tudor found it wasn’t meeting his expectations within a specific space, as happened to several Merce Cunningham’s Dance Company’s performances in different venues. The ‘Rainforest’ series long-form compositions lasted for hours. The pieces are characterised with the absence of a single listening point. Tudor always regarded a sonic event as a living organism which had its own life. ’I let it play itself as much as I can, but if it doesn’t, then I interfere’, he has himself said about the compositional strategies of his live performances. Tudor was also a proponent of self-oscillating and noise generating systems, often utilising no-input devices and bending the operation principles of the devices by switching the inputs and outputs of this equipment as testified several times by his close associates. All in all - he was identifying with sonic soundscape - one that was ‘organic’, evolving and unexpected.

Some of these principles can be found in mem - a series of concert installation pieces where I have used similar strategies of organic, lifelike cumulation of material, where pieces evolve over a period of time and are then organised into the presented sonic material. The sound creation method here is electronic, generative and initially improvised, it is then presented as an unsynchronised playback of recordings of the performance in a system of parabolic reflectors. So in some ways, mem is a sonic memory unit dispersing sound back into the space. 

mem: interference is an installation where additionally three large balloons filled with helium are tuned to their lowest resonating frequency for sound generation with their bodies/membranes in one room. This is complemented by three parabolas, which play back recordings generated with a modular synthesiser on site in long form and cut into separate unsynchronised recordings. Together the balloons and parabolas create a sonic interference system, which interacts with both rooms. In between the two rooms, three moire pattern panes additionally reflect and interfere with both sound and light in the space.

the documentation photos are from Martin Franken, Udo Siegfried and Roman März.


Living In A Bubble (with Hello Upani)Haihatus Art Centre, Joutsa, Finland

Raul and Hello were participating in 2013 at Estomania II - a group exhibition of Estonian and Finnish artists, where they were performing as a noise duo, Raul was exhibiting his series of Notes / Scribblings, pages from his notebooks as well. In the summer of 2022, Raul and Hello collaborated in producing an installation, which consists of 3 silkscreen prints and a resonating sonic object - a helium filled large balloon. This complements both Hello's bubblegum piece 'Nätaki' from 2008 and Raul's focus on balloons in the recent years. Both Estomania exhibitions were curated by Johanna Sipilä.


Perfect Wordls,
mail art, Draakoni Galerii, Tallinn

The exhibition initially was to take place in March 2020, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all the galleries were closed to the public and the exhibition was postponed and moved a year forward. I expanded the exhibition and prepared three boxes with similar, but not identical sets of 'exhibitions' to be exhibited in people's homes. They were then sent back to me to be exhibited n the gallery with additions from the participans. However, when it opened in spring 2021, another round of quarantine was effective, so the gallery that housed the exhibition, although visible through the window, was actually off-limits to the public for a month. Following is the short explenatory text from 2020 upon sending out the three sets of 'exhibitions'.

The exhibition started from my interest in miniature form and urge to expand the apartment exhibition format into kitchen territory. The conceptual impulse came from a set of glass negatives from the early 20th century, which I acquired and which came from the estate of one photographer. All of the glass negatives were depictions of books of cultural and aesthetic importance - repros from the history of art, important persons, books and outstanding architecture. I made contact prints from all of the 9 x 12 cm negatives  - they all had the devices - pins, holders etc. for photographing the material visible, complementing the image and giving an idea of the meticulousness and care of the person who shot them. All the images had strong compositional gravity. 

I decided to have a dialogue with this perfect world by shooting a series of photographs in medium and large format. There are three sets of photographs, each consisting of 15 pieces in separate boxes circulating as an exhibition. All of these images are shot on black and white negative film and of these contact prints have been made. A contact print includes the analogue information within the negative in actual size. Some of the negative material was expired and some of the photographic paper used for prints is at least a hundred years old. There’s a physical material link, but due to that some effects may be present in the photos.

The documentation presents some views from the gallery installation along with images of the boxes and their contents. Additional b/w documentation photos from the gallery by Martin Buschmann


Fading Signals, In Conversation With Felix Moor
| Estonian Broadcast Museum, Türi

Estonian Centenary project EV100 hosted a series of events called Artists in Collections where artists collaborated with museums in the form of artistic interventions and/or drawing their work upon the collections of regional musums in Estonia. Keller presented a mediaarcheological intervention in collaboration with the Estonian Broadcast Museum in Türi, a small town in central Estonia notable for having the highest radio broadcast tower and transmission station in the 30s in Europe. Keller’s work took his 2012 piece Process, which used a DIY-style modified recordplayer to cut and print technical drypoint onto plastic discs one step further by reanimating a sole surviving piece of equipment from the Estonian State Broadcast of the former Estonian Republic, namely a lacquer cutting lathe manufactured by Sander und Jannzen in Berlin in 1938. Two live performances with prepared sound and improvisation were cut live in front of a small, but involved audience and the piece from the latter, In Conversation With Felix Moor is now stored permanently in the museum’s collection as a revisit into the realm of 30s radiophonic sound. Felix Moor was the first and most well-known radio presenter in the prewar State Broadcast and some of his recordings have survived due to the same technology. Estonian State Radio with its equipment and archives were destroyed along with the national opera house Estonia in which it was housed during the bombing of Tallinn on March 9, 1944 by the Soviet Army.


ravi / cure | Haapsalu Linnagalerii

Ten folding chairs are positioned underneath windows that extend downwards from the roof and shed natural colored light filtered into blue, yellow, red and green hue. Terry towels are laid on the head section of the chairs, the little pull-out tables have downward facing books from an Estonian sci-fi series 'Mirabilia' (published in the 1980s and 1990s by the state press Eesti Raamat). Every book carries lowtech solar powered sound generators that make low volume high frequency and buzzing sounds depending on the intensity of the light. All the sound devices have a slightly different tuning. At the back of the gallery there's a small blackbox which houses an installation consisting of a small tabletop lamp shedding a light on a world radio. The radio is playing silently a distant shortwave station and there's a wooden chair with brown upholstery next to it. The visitors are encouraged to spend time in the gallery and rest on the folding chair taking in the natural colored light or alternatively sit in the dark room on the chair listening to the radio.


Six Drums | SIC Space Galleria, Helsinki, Köler Prize 2016, EKKM, Tallinn

Six frame drums installed in a gallery setting in a circular formation with a complementing speaker element and a LED light form a 6-channel audio system where each drum is tuned to its resonant frequency. The position of the drums and their respective space in the room creates low and high pressure sound nodes in the gallery, enablling the viewer/listener to experience different sounds while exploring the space. The installation was exhibited also at Köler Prize 2016, where the drums were hung chest height from the ceiling in a similar circular composition. 



Art's Birthday | Estonian Public Broadcast Studio One, Tallinn

A quadrophonic site-specific concert-installation dedicated to Estonian Public Broadcast Studio One, which was due for renovation, broadcast from Klassikaraadio (Classical music station) to EBU (European Bruadcast Union) stations throughout Europe on Art’s Birthday. The radio broadcast was stereophonic, however the listeners on site were able to listen to multichannel sound along with light installation on some of the provided matresses. Archived audio at Klassikaraadio



What You Hear Is What You Get (Mostly) | Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (CAME/EKKM)

The solo exhibition tuned the approx. 450 square meters of the Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (CAME/EKKM) into a sonic work consisting of 6 site-specific installations and interventions along with a photo series in pigment print. The exhibition also invoked an unexpected intervention by an anonymous situationist who installed a layer of fresh sawdust following the shape of one installation piece as a carpet of approx. 8 cm thickness.

moondur / shifter | Meinblau Projektraum, Berliin

The installation was an outcome of a residency in the framework of Singuhr-projekte curated by Carsten Seiffarth in Berlin. As a site-specific sound installation it consisted of a retangular membrane-speaker following the shape of the French window at the ceiling of the gallery partially blocking the natural light and creating a subsonic acoustic amplifier. Attached to the upper object with ropes was a round trampoline shaped membrane-object which amplified mid-frequency sound emitted from the speaker underneath. The whole installation with a height of approx. 8 meters was part of a feedback system with a microphone picking up the sound played through the membranes and adding to its sound according to feedback nodes created in various room locations. Additional layer of sound was installed with speaker elements in the corners of the room directing sound toward the round arches of the space. A series of photographs was exhibited on the upper floor of the gallery documenting the work in progress during the residency. A poster/booklet with a 7” vinyl with the recording of the piece published by Singuhr gallery and MKDK Records.

// work in progress at the gallery

attahk / motattahk | Hobusepea Gallery, Tallinn

The exhibition was comprised of two conceptually linked parts on the two floors of the gallery. On the ground floor a series of anaglyphic prints on acrylic base was exhibited which presented a view from the adjoining room as a ‘window’ to the space. 3-D glasses were provided for stereoscopic rendering of the space. In the basement two series of photographs and a digitized 16mm film print with a view to a same location were presented. The two series of prints were pigment print from slides on aluminium and enlargments on silver gel coated rotogravure paper. There was a soundtrack prepared for the basement (Published in a catalogue New Material, EKKM (CAME)


Notes, Scribblings | Malonioji 6, Vilnius, Leedu

Notes and scribblings from personal notebooks (2006-2013) were presented as enlarged black and white prints. One of the drawings was copied to the wall and accompanied by a corresponding written text on the walls. A quadrophonic, unsynchronised soundtrack was installed into the gallery space with miniature speakers on microphone stands.


Symbolistica | Weltecho Gallery, Chemnitz, Germany

Symbolistica was performed at SoundExchange - Experimental Music Cultures of Central and Eastern Europe as partially precomposed and recorded, partially improvisational concert-installation. The quadrophonic imaginary live radio-play used low-fi and yesteryear technology such as 8-track tape machine, analog mixers, tube tape delays etc. along with performers live instruments (electric violin, bowed guitar, trombone, electronic devices, toy instruments) and was narrowcast on local FM frequency along with a prepared speaker system which deflected sound on the location with parabolic dishes. The conceptual starting point of the piece was the spectral sound analysis of various pop-imagery and cultural symbols accompanied by dialogue synchronised to tape. The performance was carried out under the radio project LokaalRaadio with Hello Upan (el. violin, sfx, voice, image cards). The concert-installation was exhibited in the Weltecho gallery space for a solo exhibition with captured sounds from Symbolistica performance.

The same concept for a gallery installation (recording of a concert-installation and repeating parts of it in a multichannel parabolic dish / speaker system) was also used at the exhibition Out of Sync: a historical view on sound art, KUMU (Estonian Museum of Art), Tallinn in 2013, as Reflektor 2 and at a festival Sequences VII in Reykjavik, Iceland under the title mem, in 2015. Both installations were also narrowcast on local FM radio.

// Reflector 2Out of Sync: a historical view on sound art, KUMU, Tallinn, 2013.

KLANG! | Estonian Maritime Museum Gunpowder Depot, Tallinn

A total installation where several different installation pieces were combined in a spacially, sonically and visually interdependent environment. Of the pieces exhibited, ACTA I, presented a process of replicating a vintage Goodmans loudspeaker box in silk screen as  documentation, Dark Disco, a quadrophonic sound installation with large soundsystem speakers, custom trampoline-mebrane speakers and parabolic dishes was repeating a daily renewed looping minimal soundtrack, Process presented a series of technological drypoint prints made on a modified turntable bent into a rudimentary vinyl cutter. Other pieces included Black Music Box (see 2010) and Torpedoes In (2011).

// Process as exhibited in 2013. at Out of Sync: a historical view on sound art, KUMU, Tallinn, 2013 


Torpedoes Out | Tuned City Tallinn, Kalarand, Kalamaja

5 sculptural torpedo-shaped sound objects with a megaphone in the front end, were installed on concrete pillars of a dismantled fence next to a former seafortification and prison Patarei at Kalarand, a unofficial city beach in Tallinn city centre. The objects had a simple pulse generator with a propeller in the back and had a possiblility of rotating on their base according to the wind direction. Amplified by the megaphone, the pitch and volume of the generated sound were directly proportional to the speed of wind. Together the objects formed a modulating sound field with approx. 30 meters in width. The installation at Kalarand was battery powered. The same sculptural group was exhibited at Raul’s solo exhibition KLANG! with the objects installed on microphone stands, powered by line voltage with a mechanical valve controlled air system to rotate the propeller blades. The name of the indoor installed sculptural group was Torpedoes In and it was also exhibited at KUMU 2013. exhibition Out Of Sync: a historical view on sound art.

// Torpedoes In at Out of Sync: a historical view on sound art, KUMU, Tallinn.

Girl in the Sewer | City installation festival LIFT11, corner of Harju and Väike-Karja Street

The interventionist installation takes its name from a poem by one of the most renowned Estonian poets from the second half of the 20th century Juhan Viiding and was installed in the sewer grille at the entrance of cafe Pegasus in front of the Writers’ House in Talllinn Old Town. The installation was comprised of lifelike modeled hands with fingers clutching the ribs of the grille. Additionally a sound system was at the bottom of the well which produced moans and cries for help. The installation disappeared on the first night, but was brought back after news coverage about the theft on the public television. During the installation time fingernails were repeatedly removed until someone cut off the fingers from one of the hands.



Black Music Box | The Way, kim? project at Riga airport

The object exhibited at the Riga airport passenger lounge was a music box producing mechanical sounds from a black paper roll by rotating the crank at the side of the device. A black box has at least dual meanings in this context. First a technological device with an unknown principle of operation is called a black box. The other common devices known under the moniker are the flight data and onboard sound recorders of aeroplanes. The black paper roll had names of flight destinations (Berlin, Paris, Delhi, Riga etc.) punched in producing readable text and the holes operated as a score for the music box inside the object. The piece has additionally been exhibited at Tallinn Art Hall exhibition Exotic and at KLANG! in Gunpowder Storage Depot. The documentation images are from KLANG!


Attraction I, II | TDK, Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (EKKM), Tallinn

The site-specific installation used stage decorations and woodscrap found in the yard of the museum, reshaped into a small architectural pavillion-like form. The entrance of the installation was fitted with industrial megaphones which produced drone generated with a lo-fi synthesizer on site. Entering, a circus-like tent covered with colored fabric could be observed, with two membrane-speakers hanging vertically from the roof facing each other, creating a vertical shaft of sound generated by the membranes tuned to low frequency vibration. Attraction II exhibited a digitized scratchy 16mm film loop of a scene from Goa, India, where a local flavoured Mickey Mouse revolved around its axis. The projection was exhibited on the ground floor of the museum.

// Attraction I, Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia, 2009.

Brewing | Cesis Art Festival, Hero Of Our Time, Latvia

The site-specific installation was located in the defunct fermentation hall of the former beer brewery in Cesis housing the art exhibition. The fermentation tanks which had been disassembled and removed left two approx. 3 metre holes in the floor between the two rooms. Two reworked trampolines prepared as membrane-speakers specifically constructed for the holes were installed which turned the two rooms into an open baffle speaker system. This type of soundsystem is able to produce especially low frequencies. Additionally a movement sensor triggered strobe system was fitted in the room as a light source.


L’Art Conteporain en Europe, Pommery, Reims, France

The leading art magazines from European Union countries each chose two representatives for the exhibition in the champagne estate Pommery in Reims. KUNST.EE magazine chose Kristina Norman (Field of Genius, video in collaboration with Paul Rodgers, R.K) and Raul Keller who presented two site-specific installations Welcome and Ping. The chalk mines underneath the Pommery estate from Roman times form a labyrinthine network of tunnels of which approx. one kilometre is opened to public to display contemporary art and harbour bottles of maturing champagne along with guided tours for visitors.


A special type of ultrasonic speakers was used for a highly directional beam of sound which was bounced off champagne bottles installed in rows of racks typical for maturing champagne. The bottles dispersed the sound from a small cave-like storage room on the side of a corridor. The sound was a recording of an underwater sonar, typically used for detecting submarines. According to a local legend of the guided tours, a cargo of champagne for the marine officers of tsarist Russia was discovered on a battleship sunk during WW I and excavated from the Baltic Sea, later to be auctioned off at Christie’s.


Welcome was installed as a site-specific sound installation utilizing the forementioned ultrasonic speakers into the main stairway leading downstairs to the basement from the main lobby. On the soundtrack Serge Gainsborough’s classic pop-canon Je' taime.. moi non plus was mixed with the uncorking of a bottle of champagne and the bubbly sounds emanating in the process. Thus a welcoming and sensual atmosphere was created for the arriving guests surrounding the staircase.


Margate Sands | Margate, UK

Modern Art Oxford and Turner Contemporary in Margate were partners in Arrivals, a project which in Oxford and Margate introduced and exhibited contemporary art from the countries recently having joined the EU. Estonia was represented by two artists, Kristina Norman (The Pribalts, video in co-operation with R.K) and Raul Keller with a site-specific sound installation on Margate Sands, an inner city beach in Margate, a resort town past its heyday in Kent, UK. 

The beach is walled off by a stone embankment on which a pathway of approx 1 km has a public announcement system installed on lamposts. This sound system was used as a means to reproduce a 24-hour piece comprised of sound recordings made and found in the perimeter of the beach during a residency of one month. Also tapes bought in a local second hand shop along with a cassette-player, provided some of the soundtrack. The piece was composed so as to unobtrusively complement the natural sound environment in the vicinity. The public announcement system created a stretched out soundfield of approx. 400-500 metres, best heard from the beach and modulated by the movement of air by the wind.

// A video diary as part of the residency in the project:

Reflector | New Wave, Tallinn Art Hall

Reflector was constructed from three megaphones attached to a wooden pole installed in the front of Tallinn Art Hall reproducing a 24-hour loop recorded during three weeks in the close proximity of the installation. The sound reproduction followed the natural sound environment in intensity and reflected back some of the collected sound. The riots in Tallinn following the removal and transfer of a WWII monument to a military cemetery coincided with the collection phase of the sounds echoing a disturbing soundtrack for the duration of the exhibition. The installation was reconstructed in 2009. at EKKM as part of the exhibition Museum Files which presented the works in the permanent collection of the museum.


Feast At the Time of The Plague | Culture factory Polymer, Tallinn

The site-specific installation was constructed from old window frames which formed a large robust object shaped as a horse head filling the room from top to bottom. It was covered with unbleached linen and painted in natural pigment and animal glue. Around the construction approx. 1,2 meters off the floor a tape loop (8 meters) was running on steel bearings pulled by a roller of a 1/4 tape machine. The sound was reproduced from cinema speakers on the sides of the installation. Due to the friction of the tape on the rollers and the stretching of the tape the installation started to modulate the recording with its vibration. Croutching under the loop, one could enter the installation where a small ladder leading to a velvet covered platform allowed the visitor to reach up to a mouthpiece of a funnel forming the horses throat opening at its mouth. Thus one was able to speak through the horse.


Main Menu