Thanks to my brother for telling me about this incredible new installation Playing the Building. Basically, the always-awesome DB (inspired by a similar exhibit in Stockholm) hooked up the the inner workings of the Battery Maritime Building to a wooden church organ, and has invited the public to come play. http://www.davidbyrne.com/art/art_projects/playing_the_building/index.php
In an interview about the project, Byrne calls it a “social apparatus… a shared communal experience.” Audience/participants interact with each other and their environment with a heightened awareness to the art of listening as much as performing. Byrne doesn’t preach that art has intrinsic moral value (“Plenty of monsters like great music and art.”) but believes it can have social value.
As for rhetorical goals: “I’d like to say that in a small way it turns consumers into creative producers, but that might be a bit too much to claim. However, even if one doesn’t play the thing, it points towards a less mediated kind of cultural experience. It might be an experience in which one begins to reexamine one’s surroundings and to realize that culture–of which sound and music are parts–doesn’t always have to be produced by professionals and package in a consumable form.”
I love this guy. Have I mentioned he’s made PowerPoint into an art form? And you haven’t lived till you’ve seen him dance…