Media Presentation

 

Above Sonic Shadows

 

SONIC SHADOWS - San Francisco Musem of Modern Art - Novemrber 20, 2010 to October 16, 2011

 

Interview in the SFMOMA Boiler Room with Bill Fontana

 

SFMOMA Artcast Interview

 

Radio Feature about Sonic Shadows at SFMOMA on the Unobserved, a radio magazine

 

Radio Feature on KALW Crosscurrents

 

KQED California Report

 

Press Release

 

 

"What ambient sounds does the museum generate? San Francisco–based sound art pioneer Bill Fontana has spent more than forty years investigating the musicality of the natural and built environment. He is fascinated by the hidden acoustical worlds of structures such as bridges, which are alive with sounds that are normally inaudible. Commissioned by SFMOMA in honor of the museum’s 75th anniversary, Sonic Shadows uses a network of high-tech vibration sensors and speakers to transform central features of this building into musical instruments, creating a live acoustic translation of the architectural space surrounding the fifth-floor pedestrian bridge.

 

Speakers installed in the ventilation holes above the bridge are paired with moving ultrasonic speakers below whose narrowly focused audio beams reflect off of the surrounding surfaces, creating what the artist describes as a transparent, acoustic wall drawing in which “the shapes of the architecture become sound.” As visitors cross the bridge their footsteps contribute to the live composition. Exploring the internal resonance of structural elements, the piece mixes real-time recordings of sounds produced by the bridge, the walls, and the pipes in the boiler room hidden behind the opposite wall. Whereas some of the artist’s past sound sculptures integrated recognizable sounds from nature or urban locations, this site-specific piece transforms more abstract, mechanical noises into an ever-changing dreamscape complemented by shifting patterns of sunlight and shadows. Fontana activates this transitional, non-gallery space, producing an immersive sensory experience of the museum itself".

Rudolf Frieling, Curator of Media Arts

 

 

 

 

 

 

Support for Sonic Shadows was provided by Arup and Meyer Sound Laboratories, Inc.

 

Bill Fontana Home Page