Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste

“Instrument—Body:” Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste - Y’all Don’t Wanna Hear Me (You Just Wanna Dance)

Friday, November 10, 2023 at 2:00pm
South Gallery, Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery


“Instrument—Body” is a series of performances, presented in conjunction with the seminar of the same name and curated by Visiting Assistant Professor of Music and cellist Ethan Philbrick, that will stage musical encounters in site-specific locations across the Wesleyan University campus this fall.

Read Music in Unexpected Spaces in The Wesleyan Connection.

The works by these visiting artists examine the tension between being and playing a body and an instrument through both improvised and scored compositions. What does it mean to make yourself an instrument? To be instrumentalized? Is the instrument an extension of the body or a body all its own, and what does it mean to play and be played by it?

This performance will feature artist and performer Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste's "Y’all Don’t Wanna Hear Me (You Just Wanna Dance," a lecture performance about instruments of sonic torture and state brutality.

Please note this event will require the audience to walk around the Wesleyan campus starting from the South Gallery of the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery. 

Wesleyan University is committed to making its educational programs and facilities accessible to people with disabilities. If you plan to attend an event and will require reasonable accommodations, please call 860-685-3324. It is recommended that arrangements be made ten business days in advance of the event. Please visit the Accessibility website for more information.

Please notify the box office in advance if you have special needs.

“Y’all Don’t Wanna Hear Me (You Just Wanna Dance)” is a performance in which a long-range acoustic device (LRAD)* 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.

* Often referred to as “sound cannons,” long-range acoustic devices 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.

Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste is a New York-Based artist, composer, and performer considering notions of errant relations which thrive across subjectivities. Toussaint-Baptiste was a 2017 Artist-in-Residence at Issue Project Room and received a Bessie Award in 2018 for Outstanding Music Composition and Sound Design. He has presented visual and performance work at MoMA PS1, Performance Space New York, The Brooklyn Museum, The Kitchen, Issue Project Room, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, FringeArts (Philadelphia), Tanz Im August at Hau3 (Berlin), and Stoa Cultural Center (Helsinki) among others. Toussaint-Baptiste is a founding member of the performance collective Wildcat!, and frequently collaborates with performers and visual artists including Will Rawls, Yanira Castro/a canary torsi, Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, and André M. Zachery. Toussaint-Baptiste lives and works in Brooklyn, New York and holds an MFA from Brooklyn College’s Performance and Interactive Media Arts program.

Image: Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste, “Y’all Don’t Wanna Hear Me (You Just Wanna Dance),” 2022, performance with LRAD 100x, dimensions variable, ArtPapers Live, Atlanta, GA.