Bill Fontana: Landscape Sculpture With Foghorns
San Francisco Art Institute
Through Apr 22nd
The San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) | Fort Mason Campus presents the revival of U.S. composer and media artist Bill Fontana‘s legendary 1981 soundscape installation, “Landscape Sculpture With Foghorns,” at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture. The landmark sound installation is re-presented in its original 1981 location on the eastern outside wall of Pier 2, now home to the SFAI campus. SFAI’s Gray Box Gallery and Main Gallery also contain elements of the exhibit. The re-invented exhibit also features Fontana’s never-before-seen “acoustical visions” — audiovisual artworks that celebrate his decades of attention, concentration, and deep looking.
In 1981, Fontana set out to create a live acoustic map of San Francisco Bay by dropping microphones at eight strategic spots along the waterfront to broadcast and record multiple acoustic delays from the Golden Gate Bridge foghorns. The microphones farthest away from the bridge captured the most delayed horns sounds. Listeners at Pier 2 heard overlapping sounds from different locations simultaneously, which translated topography into sound. Waterfront sounds right at the pier also contribute resonance to the soundscape.
Fontana has earned international acclaim for his pioneering work in audio, acoustics, and sound installations. He has created sound art for many museums, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, London’s Tate Modern, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and many more. His sound art radio projects have been heard on the BBC, Radio France, and other broadcast organizations.
The “Landscape Sculpture With Foghorns” sound installation is active at Pier 2 daily from 9:00 a.m to 9:00 p.m. through Spring 2019. The ancillary exhibits in SFAI’s Gray Box and Main galleries are open February 16, 2018 through April 22, 2018, Wednesday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The opening reception takes place on Friday, February 16, 2018, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.