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Installation view, Self/Realization: 2024 MFA Thesis Exhibition. Photo: Wes Battoclette, 2024.
Image courtesy of the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH

Andy Demczuk’s MFA thesis exhibition is inspired by his instrumental indie pop album, Twelve Hours released in 2023. The album tells the story of an opera singer returning home after a performance where she falls asleep and relives the same show—only her voice is digitized into midi synthesizers and time begins to stretch. Demczuk expanded the thirty-minute album into a twelve-hour-long soundscape to experience the singer’s full dream. He then made twelve schematic paintings in response to each hour—mapping out the effects, production, and mixing notes. Within the same images, geometric and abstract forms seem to float in cytoplasmic pools of sound. Inhabiting these spaces built of noise are humanoid assemblages—depicted moving through pixelated cityscapes, buildings, doorways, and staircases. In Demczuk’s work, sound and gesture dance in a sinusoidal cycle of descent and ascent, as if the very waveforms of life's emotions are being recorded and traversed.


The exhibition consisted of three "audio spot lights" or dome speakers that were placed in the ceiling above each series of four paintings. The viewer was able to walk around the space and experience each wall with a different soundtrack. Standing in the center of the room, it was possible to hear all three series at the same time. Like a human panning device, the viewer took agency in what they heard depending on the space they were in the room. Demczuk said he never saw the same show twice visiting the exhibition, bringing up the element of chance in the viewing experience.  

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