yesterday i went to the taipei fine arts museum to take in the vivienne westwood show. i wasn’t sure what i was going to make of it since my interest in fashion is practically nil. the show was mainly clothes she had designed displayed on manicans. i went through it pretty quickly. i wish there would have been more from her punk days. the highlight for me was seeing a couple of pictures of jordan. for some reason she always makes me happy.

as is usual with tfam, the best stuff was hidden away in the basement galleries. currently there is a show called b!as – interenational sound art exhibition. as the title would suggest it was art with sound.

the highlight of the show for me was christina kubisch’s bird tree. this was a tree drawn on the wall with wires. you wear headphones while viewing the piece and depending on where you stand you will get different sounds. birds and other wildlife noises. the further from the wall you walk the quieter the sounds get.

in one darkened room they had six video screens set up with benches and headphones in front of them. so you could sit and watch the video while enjoying the sound up close and personal. i only managed to see 4 of the six as it was a bit crowded and only two people could listen at one time. what i saw was pretty nice. one piece featured music by ryuichi sakamoto(his was the only named i recognized of all the sound artists).

in another area there were headphones set up for you to listen to pieces that were only sound. unfortunately there was nowhere to sit so listening to these pieces wasn’t the best experience. it all brought up a point in my mind: why are these pieces sound art and not just music? i’d wager that the difference is that as a museum piece the artists can make a lot more money than if something is mass produced on cd and released on a small label. of course i could be wrong and all these pieces may also exist as cds for sale. however,it does seem like museums like small limited editions because they can be valued more monetarily than something that is mass produced.

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