Bowdoin turns art installation into instrument

Two exhibitions will work in tandem with a mobile app to let visitors to the Bowdoin Museum “play” an art exhibit as if it were an instrument.

Linn Meyers‘ artwork “Let’s Get Lost” is a largescale artwork made up of individually drawn lines sprawling out. The artwork debuted in autumn at Bowdoin College Museum of Art. At the same time, “Listening Glass” launched as an installation. It is the product of collaboration between designer Rebecca Bray, composer Jimmy Bigbee Garver and app developer Josh Knowles.

“Listening Glass” works in tandem with “Let’s Get Lost”. Visitors use their mobile phones and a specially created app to discover the sounds of “Let’s Get Lost” by holding their phones up to the artwork. The sounds play from speakers set up in the gallery.

Rebecca Bray said: “It can feel quite limiting, the way that we are expected to—or we expect ourselves—to experience art in a typical institutional or curated setting.”

The sounds include a piano-like sound, a plucked sound, a voice and a bell – but the app can be tailored or change to add new sounds.

Images, video courtesy Bowdoin College