Katie Hood Morgan

Bill Fontana: Landscape Sculpture with Foghorns
San Francisco Art Institute, Fort Mason
Main Gallery and Gray Box Gallery: February 16–April 29, 2018
Pier 2, Fort Mason, East Wall: through Spring 2019

Music is continuous; it only stops when we turn away and stop paying attention.
—John Cage

As part of the year-long opening celebrations of SFAI’s new Fort Mason Campus, internationally-renowned sound artist Bill Fontana’s 1981 work Landscape Sculpture with Foghorns is re-presented in its original location on the eastern wall of Pier 2, now San Francisco Art Institute’s Fort Mason campus. This temporally-specific installation layers and overlaps with the contemporary soundscape of the San Francisco waterfront.

The original 1981 iteration of this work was a live acoustic map of San Francisco Bay. Microphones were installed at eight different positions around the bay in order to hear the multiple acoustic delays from the foghorns on the Golden Gate Bridge. Sounds were broadcast to the facade of Pier 2 at Fort Mason Center. Listeners are able to hear various locations simultaneously, delayed by the distances the sound has to travel, translating topography into sound.

For this exhibition, Fontana also presents never-before-seen audiovisual artworks, which he refers to as “acoustical visions,” extensions of his decades-long practice of concentrated attention and deep looking.

Bill Fontana: Landscape Sculpture with Foghorns is curated by Katie Hood Morgan, Curator of Exhibitions and Public Programs.

Opening Reception
February 16, 6-9pm
Featuring remarks by Bill Fontana and Katie Hood Morgan

Performance: Red Culebra: 4 Cycles + 1
March 23, 6-8:30pm
Red Culebra is a collaboration of Bay Area performance artists led by gal*in_dog, aka Guillermo Galindo, and Cristóbal Martínez. 4 Cycles + 1 is a one-hour long performance art work structured by five sound invocations composed for two Moog analog synthesizers.

Round Table: Resoundings
April 12, 7-8:30pm
San Francisco Art Institute will present a round table discussion with exhibiting artist Bill Fontana, Marnie Burke de Guzman, and Rudolf Frieling, moderated by Katie Hood Morgan. Following a discussion of Bill Fontana’s recent work and current SFAI exhibition Bill Fontana: Landscape Sculpture with Foghorns, the conversation will expand to address the challenges and possibilities around exhibiting and curating sound art for museums, public spaces, and beyond.

Marnie Burke de Guzman, Founder and Principal of ArtRise Projects
Bill Fontana, Artist
Rudolf Frieling, Curator of Media Arts at SFMOMA
Katie Hood Morgan, SFAI Curator of Exhibitions and Public Programs

Sarah Hotchkiss, KQED, Why Are You Hearing Foghorns on a Sunny Day?, February 16. Illus. Link.

Jesse Hamlin, San Francisco Chronicle, Sound sculptor Bill Fontana re-creates 1981 installation at Fort Mason, January 15. Illus. Link.

Bill Fontana, Landscape Sculpture with Foghorns (installation view), 1981.

Courtesy of the artist.

Bill Fontana, Space Voyage (video still), 2015.