The mixing of media took off in the late 1960s, as the barriers between artistic disciplines broke down and artists began moving freely between painting, sculpture, photography, film, and video. Today, many artists simply choose one medium or over another to suit the idea of a specific work.

Music is at the forefront of this interdisciplinary experimentation. Musicians led the way in developing new working methods—they were interdisciplinary from the start. The work of Laurie Anderson, Brian Eno, and Michel Gondry evinces their backgrounds in music; Anderson was a teenage violin soloist, Gondry played drums in a rock band, and Eno is a well-known pioneer of electronic music.

Music is infused with a wild, innovative energy that has proven especially invigorating to media art, an art form that thrives on trampling conventional restrictions. The development of media art over the recent decades paralleled the transformation of our musical environment. For Anderson, Eno, and Gondry, music and art are not separate forms. In their art and in their careers, these artists merge the two forms seamlessly. Installations, feature films, performance pieces, and other hybrid projects are imbued with a sensibility that owes much to the artists’ musical background.

Each evening, the program will pair an artist with a commentator who finds the artist’s work exhilarating. The dialogue between the artist and the interviewer will be rounded out with screenings, sounds, and other media works.

Music and Media is organized by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in association with Science and the Arts at the City University of New York Graduate Center, with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation.

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