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#74: The Art of Noise at SFMOMA

I loved this podcast chat with San Francisco Museum of Modern Art associate curator of architecture and design, Joseph Becker. What a rare privilege to get a glimpse behind the scenes of how a major exhibition like their definitive Art Of Noise is put together, and how someone becomes a curator in the first place.

Go behind the scenes of the groundbreaking Art of Noise exhibition at SFMOMA. Curator Joseph Becker takes you on an immersive audio/visual journey through 100 years of design revolutionizing how we experience music – from classic album artwork to innovative sound installations and vintage audio tech.

About SFMOMA Art Of Noise

Art of Noise Exhibition at SFMOMA Celebrates Pioneering Designs Shaping Our Music Experiences

Featuring Over 800 Artworks + Four Audio Installations that Amplify Sound through Visuals and Technology

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (January 11, 2024; updated April 19, 2024)—The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) announces the exhibition Art of Noise, on view May 4–August 18, 2024, celebrating groundbreaking design that enhances and visualizes our musical experiences. From concert posters to record albums, phonographs to digital music players, handheld radios to surround sound, Art of Noise takes visitors on an exploration of how design has shaped our relationship to music over the last century. Drawn largely from SFMOMA’s collection, the exhibition covers the Floor 7 galleries with a staggering 800 artworks: 550 posters, 150 album covers, 100 design objects and four large-scale installations that merge inventive design and audio.

Art of Noise spans the gamut of design for music, from pioneering products and high-tech audio engineering to DIY graphics designed for live venues. Museumgoers will have the rare opportunity to see a floor-to-ceiling installation of rock posters and album covers—a dazzling array of influential and often familiar designs that remain imprinted on our memory. Visitors will also enjoy communal listening spaces and unique sound environments designed by teenage engineering and Yuri Suzuki, as well as live-curated experiences in Devon Turnbull’s audio sculpture, to be activated by musicians and audio archivists throughout the run of the exhibition.

“Design has the ability to revolutionize and strengthen our relationship to sound. This unique exhibition shows how trailblazing graphics and design objects fuel our bonds to music and help us develop lasting memories of fleeting musical phenomena,” says Christopher Bedford, Helen and Charles Schwab Director of SFMOMA. “Art of Noise also manifests our goal to create captivating exhibitions that connect contemporary culture with art and design from a wide range of makers and perspectives.”

“This exhibition is a chance for visitors to reflect on our collective experience of music as visualized through expressive and often cutting-edge design,” Joseph Becker, associate curator of architecture and design, notes. “The San Francisco Bay Area has been an influential center for graphic and industrial design, including audio products that merge aesthetics and engineering, and era-defining posters and fliers. SFMOMA’s design collection reflects these local strengths, as well as iconic designs from around the world, which can be seen in the hundreds of surprising and familiar works on view in Art of Noise.”

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Audio Talks

A podcast on all things audio presented to you by HARMAN and our family of audio brands including JBL, Harman Kardon and AKG. Host Oisin Lunny, music journalist and audio enthusiast, will interview expert guests, legends of the music industry, and audio scientists to discuss the power of music and audio in all its facets.

Audio Talks is presented by Harman.

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