On March 5, 2001, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), the Goethe-Institut Inter Nationes, Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM) Karlsruhe, Germany, and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, will jointly launch CrossFade: Sound Travels on the Web, an online initiative that focuses on the Internet as a performance and distribution space for sound art. As it unfolds throughout the year, CrossFade will act as a base for access to sophisticated, sound-related artist projects and thought-provoking media essays and critical writings in English and German by prominent experts in the field. It will be available on the Web site of each of the co-organizing institutions: www.sfmoma.org/crossfade, www.goethe.de/sanfrancisco, www.zkm.de and www.walkerart.org.
Two projects will go online March 5: Ping by Chris Chafe and Greg Niemeyer, a Web interface to the artists’ installation in the exhibition 010101: Art in Technological Times (which opened on March 3 in the SFMOMA galleries), and an essay by German musician and cultural critic Golo Foellmer, which will include a series of links and streaming media interviews with musicians who are breaking new ground in sound experiments. Launching on March 10, a 100-day project with artist and musician Yoko Ono, SonicFlux: Yoko Ono, will allow online visitors the chance to interact with an Ono score. In April these works will be joined by a second essay, “Music and the Net: Musaic,” by Dutch sound artist and theorist Josephine Bosma, an expansion of a lecture on the state of the field that includes links to many current sound projects. Projects planned for May include works by composer Anthony Moore and San Francisco–based artist Chris Salter with the art-and-research collective Sponge.
Curatorial flexibility is a hallmark of the CrossFade initiative; certain projects are being put together by a single institution while others are organized collaboratively by curators Steve Dietz (director of new media initiatives, Walker Art Center), Kathleen Forde (curatorial associate, SFMOMA), Johannes Goebel (director of the ZKM-Institute for Music and Acoustics), Dieta Sixt (director of the Goethe-Institut Inter Nationes, San Francisco) and Benjamin Weil (curator of media arts, SFMOMA). The Web interface for CrossFade has been designed by Cavil (www.cavil.com), a New York–based firm of information architects.
Experimenting with the Network
The sound installation Ping, 2000–01, is a sonic adaptation of a network tool commonly used for timing data transmission over the Internet—the tones that are heard make audible the time lag that occurs while moving information from one site to another between networked computers. Ping is an outgrowth of composer Chris Chafe’s research at Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) and digital artist Greg Niemeyer’s work at the Stanford University Digital Art Center (SUDAC). Visitors to the CrossFade installation can expand or change the list of available sites as well as influence the types of sound produced, choosing different instruments, musical scales and speaker configurations in the surround-sound environment.
In the piece SonicFlux: Yoko Ono, sound contributions from the networked audience come to form the substance and material of the work. Invited to respond to an Ono score, the audience can make contributions which are recorded via the familiar network of the telephone and made visible online. Coinciding with the retrospective exhibition YES YOKO ONO at the Walker Art Center, the piece will run for 100 days, from March 10 to June 17, 2001.