Chicago Phonography at the Museum of Contemporary Art

For Immediate Release (July 16, 2009)

Chicago Phonography performing at the Museum of Contemporary Art, photo a href=
Chicago Phonography performing at the Museum of Contemporary Art, photo giantmolecules

Museum of Contemporary Art presents an installation and five performances by members of Chicago Phonography (Chad Clark, Brett Ian Balogh, and Eric Leonardson). In the installation, Chicago Phonography (the name of the piece as well as the collective’s name), take recorded ambient sounds from the urban environment and translate them into an engaging and continuous visual experience.

When museum visitors enter the gallery installation space, Balogh’s video projection reveals a wall-sized 3-D cityscape of downtown Chicago. Lights shift and move across this panorama, following the movement of sounds in the space. The sounds are an audio mix of recordings captured by members of Chicago Phonography from actual locations in and around Chicago. In the computer-generated cityscape, multiple sounds and lights move throughout the gallery in a manner similar to a flock of birds in flight.

During the performances, which occur in locations outside the gallery around the museum, Chicago Phonography members mix sound recordings. Their collective mixing is improvised, creating new and unexpected combinations of events in the sound of familiar environments. The result may be experienced in different ways: as scenes that could never be seen in film or real life, as abstract music, or both at the same time.

Opening Night, With Live Performance

Tuesday, July 21″¨ 7 PM

Museum of Contemporary Art
McCormick Tribune Orientation space (2nd floor)
220 East Chicago AvenueӬChicago, IL 60611
Tel: 312.280.2660 | 312.397.4010
Admission is FREE all day on Tuesdays


Tuesday, July 21 – Sunday, July, 26

Regular museum hours

MCA, McCormick Tribune Orientation space (2nd floor, 12 X 12 Gallery)

Additional Live Performances

Saturday, July 25 at 11:30 AM—12:30 PM, and at 2:30 PM—3:30 PM (4th floor atrium)
Sunday, July 26 at 11:30 AM—12:30 PM, and at 2:30 PM—3:30 PM (MCA Plaza, outdoors on the steps)

About Chicago Phonography

Chicago Phonography is a local sound collective that performs by playing and mixing audio recordings culled from Chicago’s urban soundscape. The following people who are members of the group and are performing in and contributing audio to the installation include:

Todd Carter

Noé Cuéllar

Chris Hammes

Joshua Manchester

Greg O’Drobinak

Patrick Scott

Aaron Zarzutski

Installation audio contributors from outside of Chicago include:

John Kannenberg (Ann Arbor)

Linda O’Keefe (Dublin)

Steve Barsotti (Seattle)

This work is in conjunction with a series produced by the MCA titled Here/Not There that aims to stretch something ephemeral – performance – into something more lasting. It explores how something can be experienced in one place and yet offer a sense of the experience in another.

Slideshow of the preparation, installation, and opening night:

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