The Arthur Ross Gallery’s newest exhibition, titled Landscape / Soundscape, consists of a paired collaboration between landscape photographs from Penn’s Univerity Art Collection and commissioned soundscape compositions. Our first Artists Spotlight of the exhibition features the collaboration between photographer Andrew Moore and audio-visual artist Michael Roy Barker.
Michael Roy Barker is an American audio-visual artist and sound artist who resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He uses a variety of electronics, homemade instruments, vocals, and processed audio from found video to create his sound art. Barker wrote that when he first saw Moore’s Imagination Station, “the immense layers of decay that exist in Detroit by evidence of this photograph was awe-inspiring.” He created layers in his own piece to mimic these. Barker literally incorporated the photograph into his sound by converting the image and digital data of the photograph into audio. He further described the process: “This audio was then manipulated and processed through software and the synthesizer to create the sound that you hear. I also used hydrophone field recordings, electromagnetic field recordings via an Elektrosluch, an Axidraw plotter, and a Eurorack synthesizer…” Overall, Barker’s piece speaks to the layered decay that draws the eye in Moore’s photograph.