Event Press Release

SFMOMA Hosts The Sixth Annual activating The Medium Festival 2003 February 7–9, 2003

Release date: December 26, 2002

What The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) joins 23five Incorporated to present the Sixth Annual Activating the Medium Festival 2003. This year's festival presents performances, installations and panel discussions from internationally recognized sound artists exploring the expansive dialogue between sound and architecture. The festival will travel to four other locations in California after launching at SFMOMA.

See below for information on this year's featured artists.
Schedule Performances
Friday, February 7
8 p.m., doors open at 7:30 p.m. • Phyllis Wattis Theater
Performances by Leif Elggren, Infrasound, Brandon LaBelle and Michael Gendreau

Saturday, February 8
2 p.m., doors open at 1:30 p.m. • Phyllis Wattis Theater
Performances by Carl Michael von Hausswolff/Leif Elggren and Achim Wollscheid

Friday–Sunday, February 7–9
11 a.m.–6 p.m. • The Schwab Room
Installation by Christina Kubisch

Panel Discussion
Saturday, February 8
3 p.m. • Phyllis Wattis Theater
Panel Discussion with Leif Elggren, Michael Gendreau, Christina Kubisch, Scott Arford, Jim Haynes and Achim Wollscheid. Moderated by Brandon LaBelle.
Where The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Phyllis Wattis Theater: Performances and panel discussion
The Schwab Room: Installation on view
151 Third Street (between Mission and Howard Streets)
Tickets Friday performance: $12 general; $10 SFMOMA members, students with ID and seniors. All other events are free with Museum admission. Admission and event tickets are available at the Museum with no surcharge or through www.ticketweb.com.
Who Featured Artists:
Achim Wollscheid's work involves reducing art objects to systematic responses in given situations: lights react to passers-by, sound banks play in response to voices and ambient noise, lights dim randomly, objects and rooms resonate against the drumming of small hammers. Through applying these systems of interaction and response, the art object as a singular body disappears in order to reveal the broader, delicate interplay of multiple bodies within social space. (Brandon LaBelle)
Carl Michael von Housswolff is a Swedish composer currently working in Stockholm. His work involves studies of electricity, frequency and intonation within the framework of a challenging conceptual ideology of sound. Much of his sound art incorporates the use of a tape recorder as the main instrument. Hausswolff's audiovisual installations have been shown at biennials in Istanbul and Johannesburg; his music has been performed throughout Europe and North America.
Infrasound is a spatial-acoustic concert series performed by Randy Yau and Scott Arford. This series explores the ability of sound to measure the capacity of architecture. The principal mission is to activate both body and space through the translation of sound into vibration. In so doing, the artists create conditions in which audience members develop new modes of perceiving and experiencing their own bodies and the space around them.
Leif Elggren is a Swedish visual and recording artist currently working in Stockholm. He is one of the most important contemporary artists in Sweden, but remains comparatively unknown in the United States. Over the years, he has collaborated with artists such as Thomas Liljenberg, Kent Tankred, CM von Hausswolff and Erik Pauser. His work has been shown at biennial exhibitions in Venice and Johannesburg, and his music has been released throughout Europe.
Christina Kubisch was one of sound art's female pioneers in the 1970s. Her work fluctuates between sound installations, performance and spatial configurations in which she experiments with light and objects. Kubisch's work is often described as a "synthesis of arts"—the exploration of acoustic space and time in the visual arts juxtaposed with investigations into the relationship between material and form in music. Her most recent work incorporates the technical components of sound as aesthetic elements.
Michael Gendreau is a sound artist most recognized for his work with Crawling With Tarts, a musical collaboration in which sound operas combine surface noise, institutional records and offset transcription discs. As an acoustic engineer for Colin Gordon & Associates, he also specializes in environmental noise studies using computer models. Gendreau creates reports on interior noise and vibration control and structural dynamic testing, as well as vibration design criteria and interpretation of local noise regulations.
Brandon LaBelle is both a sound artist and a writer, currently working out of Los Angeles. His work with sound installation and performance aims to draw attention to the phenomenal dynamics of sound as it is found within spaces and objects, public events and interactions, language and the body. Through a performative interaction with found sound, built electronics and contact microphones, specific architectural environments become "live instruments." LaBelle's work has been featured in Bitstreams at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and at the ninth International Symposium of Electronic Arts in Liverpool and Manchester, England.

The Sixth Annual Activating the Medium Festival 2003 is presented by 23five Incorporated, SFMOMA, The Goethe Institute, San Francisco and Oscar Printing, San Francisco.

Media Contacts

  • Neal Morgan, 415/357-4170,
  • Libby Garrison, 415/357-4177,
  • Jessica O’Dwyer, 415/357-4176,


San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
151 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Founded in 1935 as the first West Coast museum devoted to modern and contemporary art, SFMOMA is currently undergoing a major expansion project that will significantly enhance gallery, education, and public spaces, enabling the museum to better showcase more of its expanded permanent collection. While the museum is temporarily closed for construction,  through 2016, SFMOMA is “on the go” with an extensive array of off-site programming across the Bay Area, including collaborative and traveling museum exhibitions, major outdoor projects and commissioned installations, and new education initiatives.

Visit sfmoma.org or call 415.357.4000 for more information.