Exhibition Spotlight

September 06, 2013 - January 20, 2014
Zarouhie Abdalian: Occasional Music Zarouhie Abdalian: Occasional Music

Date + Time

Through January 20, 2014
Daily times vary; check schedule for details.


Frank H. Ogawa Plaza

Oakland, CA 94612 Map

Visitors are encouraged to go to the amphitheater.


For Occasional Music (2013), Zarouhie Abdalian's largest public commission to date, the artist programmed brass bells to simultaneously ring from rooftops radiating out from Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, at 14th Street and Broadway in downtown Oakland.

Activated for several minutes once a day at varying times, each bell plays a randomized rhythmic structure of accelerated and slowed tempos, causing them to sound different every time. The surrounding environment, consisting of natural and built elements, also ensures that the ringing is never heard the same way, as the bells articulate space in this downtown area and add to its layered textures. Created for the city where the artist lives, this experience-based work shifts our attention and awareness of this city center, a historic place associated with community gathering, performance, and protest.

Download a PDF of the exhibition catalogue essay and conversation with the artist. The full publication is available for purchase at the SFMOMA MuseumStore.

Admission + Ticketing

Free and open to the public

Image: Zarouhie Abdalian, Downtown Oakland (production photograph for Occasional Music), 2013; Commissioned by SFMOMA, courtesy the artist and Altman Siegel, San Francisco; with special thanks to the City of Oakland Public Art Program and Public Art Advisory Committee; Cultural Arts and Marketing Division, Department of Economic and Workforce Development for their generous assistance.; © Zarouhie Abdalian