Looking at Music

Aug 13, 2008–Jan 5, 2009

Nam June Paik and Otto Piene. Untitled. 1968. Manipulated television set and plastic pearls, 9 × 13 × 10″ (22.9 × 33 × 25.4 cm). Gift of The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Greenwich Collection Ltd. Fund, and gift of Margot Ernst. © 2003 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Thomas Griesel

In the 1960s, the decade that saw astronauts land on the moon, artists were likewise seeking to expand boundaries of time and space and to have new experiences. At the same time, portable video equipment reached the consumer market— suddenly simultaneity and “now,” the present and the past, became content. Musicians led the way in developing new working methods, and music was at the forefront of interdisciplinary experimentation during the early days of media art. This exhibition looks at the dynamic connections that occurred from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s with a display of early media works by Nam June Paik, Bruce Nauman, Steve Reich, Joan Jonas, Yoko Ono, Laurie Anderson, and David Bowie presented alongside related drawings, prints, and photographs by John Cage, Jack Smith, Ray Johnson, and others.

Organized by Barbara London, Associate Curator, Department of Media.

Publication

  • 7 pages

Artists

Installation images

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].

Licensing

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research-and-learning/circulating-film.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].

Feedback

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].