Visual Arts

Arty Girl: "Rewind Remix Replay" at SMoCA

A month or so ago, I was quasi-obsessed with this:

It's a video/preview/advertisement for the new Julian Casablancas album. The whole thing is filled with compelling visuals with instrumental parts of the songs - edited like a movie trailer. Of course, being that I really enjoy this album, I'm charmed by the whole idea.

And I've been wondering if the movie-preview-style-YouYube-video will be the next "thing" for music.

Then I was reading about this "Rewind Remix Replay" show that's opening tomorrow at SMoCA and realized the organizers of the exhibition have been thinking a lot about the history of "things" in music.

The full title of the show is "Rewind Remix Replay: Design, Music and Everyday Experience". SMoCA has been doing a lot of research on how we've related to music in the past and how that has changed through the years.

They're looking to the design of music objects as the physical evidence of the change. In other words, each item expresses the particular way in which a person related to and experienced music in that particular time period.

Let's look at the cassette tape as an example. When I think about a cassette tape, I think back to my elementary school days when we would actually buy albums this way. In fact, I bought Pearl Jam's Ten on cassette (I know, I know). Then, in high school, the mix cassette tape was the ultimate communication tool for messages of adolescent affection.

Those days are long gone. Now, I relate to music in an entirely different way. I have instantaneous access to anything I want to hear via the web. And the era of romantic mix tapes will never be again. Now all we have are playlists which seem far less tangible.

Way back in June, I blogged about SMoCA's request for historic music equipment. Since then, they scored some locally owned items that will be on display alongside prized objects from corporations like Numark, Seattle's Experience Music Project and other valuable objects from private collections.

The time period spans from the late 1940's to today. So bring gramps and your dad to this and watch as they inevitably relive their own versions of my beloved mix tape.

"Rewind Remix Replay: Design, Music and Everyday Experience" opens January 2 and runs through May 23rd, 2010 at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 E. 2nd St. in Scottsdale, 480-874-4666,

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Lilia Menconi
Contact: Lilia Menconi