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MoMA

AUTHOR: MAGGIE BRYAN

Posts by Maggie Bryan
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May 26, 2011  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
Talking to Tony Conrad

Tony Conrad. In Line. 1986. Video, color, sound, 7 min. © 2011 Tony Conrad

One of the major aims of Looking at Music: 3.0 is to examine the impact of technological innovation on music and art during the 1980s and 1990s. The advent of the music video, the proliferation of TV, and the development of cheap, immediate, color video recording equipment were significant events of this era that had a huge impact on the media artists used as well as the content they investigated. Read more

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May 18, 2011  |  Collection & Exhibitions
Looking at Zines

Kathleen Hanna, Billy Karren, Tobi Vail, Kathi Wilcox. Bikini Kill: A Color and Activity Book, no. 1. 1991. Photocopy; cover by Hanna.

During the world premiere of  Who Took the Bomp? Le Tigre on Tour, which we screened in April in conjunction with Looking at Music: 3.0, we got a great response to the riot grrrl fan zines in the exhibition. Read more

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May 11, 2011  |  Collection & Exhibitions
Afrika Bambaataa: Saluting the King of Hip-Hop

Laura Levine. Afrika Bambaataa, NYC. 1983. Gelatin silver print. Image courtesy of the artist

With so much talk of royalty in the air, it’s fitting that this week we salute another monarch: Afrika Bambaataa, the king of electro funk and godfather of hip-hop. In Looking at Music: 3.0 we feature “Planet Rock,” the influential 80’s disco hit he made with the Soulsonic Force. Although Kool DJ Herc is credited with creating hip-hop’s signature sound, specifically the “break,” or extended instrumental beat, it was Afrika Bambaataa who pushed hip-hop into new territory as both a musical style and a cultural movement. Read more

April 6, 2011  |  Collection & Exhibitions
At the Crossroads of Art and Sound in the 1980s

TELLUSTools. 2001. Double-LP. Inside cover Art by Christian Marclay

TELLUSTools. 2001. Double-LP. Composition: 12 1/4 x 24 5/8\

Long before the days of turntables and synthesizers, the composer John Cage revolutionized the way art saw music and music saw art with pieces like the infamous “4:33,” in which he took the stage, sat at the piano, prepared to play, and then sat in silence for four minutes and 33 seconds before exiting the stage. The legacy of Cage’s work is alive in many of the pieces on view in Looking at Music 3.0, particularly in the work of Brian Eno, David Byrne, Christian Marclay, and John Zorn. Like Cage, these artists were invested in experimental composition and built their careers at the nexus between fine art, music, and performance. Read more

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March 1, 2011  |  Collection & Exhibitions
A Monster-Like Force in the Transnational Lady-Made Movie Scene

Miranda July. The Amateurist. 1998. Video still. Courtesy Miranda July

Before Miranda July became an acclaimed director, she was a film school dropout who moved to Portland and started a video chainletter for women, Big Miss Moviola (later Joanie4Jackie). My favorite chainletter intro opens with July in front of a skyscraper wearing a navy suit, demonstrating with delightful irony how her scrappy video ‘zine had grown into a corporate behemoth; a “monster-like force in the transnational lady-made movie scene.” In reality, July was dubbing over old VHS on outdated VCRs that she kept in the living room, and often struggled to get by. Read more