Inside Mana Contemporary (Sound As Sight project)

by Andy Slater

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Inside Mana Contemporary

Sound As Sight is a field-recording project that studies the relationships blind and visually impaired people have with sound. Participants are encouraged to explore their lives through sound by using accessible IOS recording devices. ‘Inside Mana Contemporary’ is Andy Slater’s contribution.

With every massive multi-studio warehouse compound comes sounds that cannot be ignored. Hums, dins, bangs, EVP, freight elevator clunks, mysterious power saws at 4 AM, and the occasional unruly art party sonically saturate the wide spaces and tiny corners of every floor. Mana Contemporary is cluttered with these wonderful sounds.

Andy Slater has spent his time as a High Concept Labs sponsored artist listening to and capturing everything he hears. This installation and composition feature sounds that are always present around the HCL studio. These are sounds that Mana inhabitants might take for granted and no longer “hear” them. Being legally blind, Slater uses these sounds as landmarks for navigating the space. Certain sounds might indicate a close proximity to the coffee maker or the northwest stairs. These sounds are important for getting around but one cannot deny that they are unique and intriguing and well worth a listen outside of their environment.

‘Inside Mana Contemporary’ follows Slater as he roams the 4th and 5th floors of the building tapping his cane on everything around him. Sound sources include the vent in the 4th floor men’s room, the hum in the cafe, the HCL Spring Open House, people howling like werewolves, banging on stuff in an empty 20,000 sq foot concrete room, the tripped alarm of an emergency door, the delicate sound of wind flapping a tiny piece of paper through the crack in a door, and the anxiety inducing walk through a crowded party.

For more info on Sound As Sight and the Society of Visually Impaired Sound Artist visit and

Sound As Sight recordings are made using the Shure Motiv app and MV88 microphone.


released June 20, 2017

'Inside Mana Contemporary' was recorded March-June 2017 during Andy Slater's sponsored artist residency at High Concept Labs. This recording and installation were produced as part of the Society of Visually Impaired Sound Artists' 'Sound As Sight' project.
All sounds recorded by Andy Slater at Mana Contemporary Chicago, IL.
Mixed and edited by Andy Slater at Frogg Mountain Studio Chicago, IL.