Brain Goreng: Paintings and Audio by Matthew Shoemaker

In May 2018, Jack Straw and Arts and Visually Impaired Audiences (AVIA) presented an accessible art workshop at Jack Straw in conjunction with the installation Brain Goreng, a collection of visual and sound art by the artist Matthew Shoemaker, who died in 2017. The installation was created by Jack Straw artists Dave Knott and Robert Millis in collaboration with Jack Straw and the Shoemaker family.

Matthew Shoemaker explored many non-traditional instruments in his music- and sound-making, including springs and Slinkys. Springs were used in the early days of sound reproduction to simulate the sound of an instrument in a large room. Springs can become a kind of antenna, picking up the sounds of the environment. When sound is sent through the springs, they make it possible to feel the sound.

Working with Dave Knot and Steve Barsotti, workshop participants began with listening and sounding games and exercises, exploring the textures and sound-making possibilities of springs, and finally recorded their own sound compositions in the studio. Through listening and touch, amplified springs allowed participants opportunities to practice listening exercises, as well as create their own short, sound-based pieces using both improvisational and compositional techniques.



Dave Knott

Dave Knott

David Knott, MM, MT-BC is a board-certified music therapist, fellow in the Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy, instrument maker, improvisor and composer living and working in Seattle.  In…


Robert Millis

Robert Millis is a founding member of Climax Golden Twins, Messenger Girls Trio, and AFCGT. Solo or in collaboration he has composed soundtracks, worked with choreographers, created sound installations and…



Matthew Shoemaker - Brain Goreng

Brain Goreng

An installation of paintings and audio by Matthew Thomas Shoemaker, who took his own life in August 2017

April 13 – May 18, 2018

In collaboration with Jack Straw, Dave Knott…