Raul Keller, Process, drypoint, 30 x 30 cm, 10 works in series, 2012. Tartu Art Museum collection.

Raul Keller (1973) is an artist, who focuses mostly on site-specific sound installations, sound performances, musical improvisations and radiophonic experiments. Keller’s work is largely drawn from processes, acoustics of the space and DIY-practice. Keller is also the founder and manager of a record label MKDK, which focuses on experimental music (first release was in 1998). He has given concert-performances with LokaalRaadio and performed under the pseudonym Paul Cole.

One of his first radiophonic experiments was “Jammer” (2002). It was a radio program, which was broadcasted with a monophonic transmitter at a frequency of 105,8 MHz in Tallinn. The broadcasting channel was open to everyone for three hours. It was intended to create a low-frequency democratic environment, which would try to maintain a broadcasting channel for creative and technological possibilities without the censorship of technical complexities. With the work “Radio – It’s Really Simple!” (2002) Keller promoted the making of a radio receiver by yourself. This work appropriates the title from French radio enthusiast’s Eugen Aisberg’s book “Radio? … It’s Really Simple!”, which was translated into Estonian in 1969.

Keller often makes use of already existing sound in his installations. For example, “Reflector” (2007) is a piece, which is a 24-hour sound composition, for which he recorded sound bites in the location over a two week period. This installation reflects the natural sound environment of the location by also complementing and shifting it. “Torpedoes in” (2013) is a material-based space installation, which uses sound powered by “natural” means – five self-made torpedoes rumble due to air flows. There’s also the similar “Torpedoes out” (2011), also powered by air, without electrical assistance.

Keller had his first retrospective exhibition “KLANG!” in the Estonian Maritime gunpowder magazine (2012), in which he gave an overview of his sound objects and installations made in the 2nd half of 2000s. A personal exhibition “What You Hear is What You Get (Mostly)” in the Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia, was formatted as an installation through three floors, in which sound work in low-frequency explored the relationship between architectural space, human perception and forms of habit, offering transformations galore on the perception of space.

Raul Keller studied art pedagogy in Tallinn University (BA, 1999) and interactive multimedia at the Arts Academy of Estonia (MA, 2002). He has been to several residencies like Meinblau Projektraum, Singuhr-projekte, Berlin (2014); Turner Contemporary, Margate (2007) and Colina Lab, Marseille (2006). He has “Six Drums” (2016, SIC Galleria, Helsinki), “moondur/shifter” (2014, Meinblau Projektraum, Singuhr-projekte, Berlin) and “Notes, scribblings” (2013, gallery Malonijoi 6, Vilnius). With LokaalRaadio he participated in a radio program curated by Knut Aufermann and Sarah Washington at São Paulo biennial (2012). He has participated in group exhibitions and festivals. He was awarded with the annual prize of Cultural Endowment of Estonia in 2015.

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Selected projects

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