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New site-specific installation by David Byrne "Tight Spot" exhibited by The Pace Gallery
David Byrne, Tight Spot, artist's rendering, 2011© David Byrne. Courtesy The Pace Gallery.

NEW YORK, N.Y.- The Pace Gallery presents a new site-specific installation by David Byrne on view for two weeks under the High Line at 508 West 25th Street, inaugurating a space recently acquired by the gallery. Tight Spot, a 48-by-20-foot inflatable terrestrial globe will be on view from September 16 through October 1, 2011.

The globe, based on the type used in primary schools, is enlarged and wedged within the confines of the space, becoming deliberately distorted in the process. Byrne imagined the pastel map we associate with childhood: “a wholly unrealistic world, a world of somewhat arbitrary political units, not a planet of clouds, deep blue oceans, beige deserts and swaths of green jungle.” However, like the world around us, Byrne’s globe is subject to both the elements and human presence.

A low-frequency vibration will emanate from speakers placed deep within the globe. The sound is meant to be heard from the surrounding streets and elevated park, enticing passersby to discover the installation. “I knew what I thought that sound should be, and rather than using instruments, synthesizers or samplers to make the sounds that I imagined, I simply made them with my voice,” said Byrne. “It was the easiest and fastest way of creating what I was hearing in my head. I filtered and processed my voice so that it wasn’t recognizable.” The combination of sonic and visual elements as part of a unique work of art was also integral to the artist’s acclaimed 2008 installation Playing the Building.

Commissioned by Creative Time and installed at the Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan, Playing the Building was an interactive sound installation in which the infrastructure and physical plant of the building were converted into a giant musical instrument. Devices attached to the building’s interior structur—including metal beams, pillars, and heating and water pipes—were activated by wind, vibration, and striking that caused the interior to shift, resonate, and oscillate, resulting in an unconventional symphony.

Playing the Building has also been installed at Roadhouse, London (2009), and Färgfabriken in Stockholm, Sweden (2005). Byrne has been named a juror for the 68th Venice International Film Festival, which will run from August 31 through September 10, 2011. He has also toured North America in 2010 and Latin America in 2011, curating and participating in travelling panel discussions about “Bikes, Cities and the Future of Getting Around,” in which he discusses his book Bicycle Diaries (Viking/Penguin, 2009), a personal account of cycling around major cities throughout the world, which has been translated into multiple languages. Byrne is currently at work on a new book, How Music Works, slated for publication in 2012, and is developing the theatrical release of “Here Lies Love,” the story of Imelda Marcos, with New York City’s Public Theater for 2012–13.

Co-founder of the innovative rock group Talking Heads (1974–91), David Byrne (b. 1952) is a musician, artist, writer, filmmaker and activist. He has been involved with visual art and design since studying at the Rhode Island School of Design and the Maryland Institute College of Art. Byrne is recognized for his innate ability to create extraordinary visual and sensory experiences out of ordinary and mundane materials, elevating the most banal of subjects to a high art form. Byrne has exhibited his work since the mid-1990s in major solo shows and public art projects around the world. His multimedia art has also provided the material for several books published by the artist in recent years, including Arboretum (McSweeney’s, 2006); Envisioning Emotional Epistemological Information (Steidl/PaceMacGill, 2003); David Byrne Asks You: What is It? (Smart Art Press Pinspot # 13, 2002); The New Sins (McSweeney’s, 2001); Your Action World (Chronicle Books, 1998); and Strange Ritual (Chronicle Books, 1995). In 2008, Byrne—an avid bicyclist for more than 30 years—partnered with The Pace Gallery and New York City’s Department of Transportation to permanently install a series of bike racks of his own design around Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Pace Gallery | David Byrne | Tight Spot |  |

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