David Tudor and Composers Inside Electronics Inc.

Rainforest V (variation 1)

Oct 21, 2019–Jan 5, 2020


Rainforest V (variation 1). 1973/2015. Twenty objects, sound. Dimensions variable. Conceived by David Tudor, realized by Composers Inside Electronics, Inc. (John Driscoll, Phil Edelstein, and Matt Rogalsky). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Committee on Media and Performance Art Funds. © 2019 David Tudor and Composers Inside Electronics Inc. Installation view, October 21, 2019–January 5, 2020, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Heidi Bohnenkamp
  • MoMA, Floor 4, Studio The Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Studio

Rainforest V (variation 1) (1973–2015), conceived by David Tudor and realized by Composers Inside Electronics Inc., is a sound installation constructed from everyday objects, such as a metal barrel, a vintage computer hard disc, and plastic tubing, which are fitted with sonic transducers and suspended in space to increase their resonance.

Tudor’s first Rainforest, from 1968, served as the musical score for choreographer Merce Cunningham’s dance of the same name. In 1973, working together with a group of young artists and musicians, Tudor expanded the work from a musical composition to a performance installation titled Rainforest IV. Composer Gordon Mumma described their collective artistic process as “a garden of shared ideas with minimal fences.” The group would later be named Composers Inside Electronics (CIE) (active 1973–present), and to this day includes John Driscoll and Phil Edelstein, among others. Tudor continued to work with CIE on multiple iterations of Rainforest over the next several decades. This last evolution of the work, Rainforest V (variation 1), transforms an installation once activated by performers into a rich visual environment animated by a computer program.

To inaugurate the Studio, MoMA’s dedicated space for live art, CIE will create a new realization of Tudor’s rarely performed Forest Speech (1978/79) through a collaborative workshop of musicians and artists working across generations and approaches.

On October 24, 26, and 27, Forest Speech will be performed by Phil Edelstein, Marina Rosenfeld, Stefan Tcherepnin, Spencer Topel, and Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste.

On November 14, 16, and 17, Forest Speech will be performed by Lea Bertucci, John Driscoll, Ed Potokar, Margaret Anne Schedel, and Phillip White.

On December 12, 14, and 15, Forest Speech will be performed by Ginny Benson, Cecilia Lopez, Daniel Neumann, Sergei Tcherepnin, and C. Spencer Yeh.

The Rainforest V (variation 1) installation will be closed to the public for performances on October 27, November 17, and December 15."

Organized by Ana Janevski, Curator, and Martha Joseph, Assistant Curator, Department of Media and Performance; performances produced by Kate Scherer, Manager, with Ginny Benson, Assistant Performance Coordinator, Performance and Live Programs.

  • Experience a VR environment of Rainforest V (variation 1) as it was installed in MoMA’s Kravis Studio. The VR view was created by Seth Cluett and Chris Manzione. Explore the installation above, or view it in VR on a compatible device.

The exhibition is presented as part of The Hyundai Card Performance Series.

Generous support is provided by The Sarah Arison Endowment Fund for Performance.


  • Press release 2 pages


Installation images

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