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“Song 1” Goes Live at the Hirshhorn

The groundbreaking installation features live performances tonight instead of its recorded soundtrack.

"Song 1" at the Hirshhorn. Photograph courtesy of the Hirshhorn.

We’re not usually advocates of misbehavior in the name of art (except when the occasion really merits it), but today’s two-part “Song 1” happening at the Hirshhorn might just merit an early escape from the office. If you haven’t already seen the groundbreaking multimedia installation by Doug Aitken, read our review here. The 360-degree projection includes a film made by Aitken, featuring Tilda Swinton and Devendra Banhart and set to the song “I Only Have Eyes For You,” recorded by a variety of artists.

The installation, which has been running nightly from sundown to midnight since March 22, has proved so popular that it’s been extended for a week until May 20. Today’s activities include a 3 PM symposium in the Hirshhorn’s Ring Auditorium with artists and writers David Allin, Aaron Betsky, and Zabet Patterson, discussing the concept of “liquid architecture and the culture of modification.”

Tonight, the Hirshhorn is also hosting a live performance outdoors to accompany “Song 1,” directed and choreographed by Aitken. For one night only, instead of the recorded accompanying tracks, bands including High Places, Nico Jaar, Tim McAfee Lewis and Leo Gallo, No Age, and Oneohtrix Point Never will perform their own versions of the song. Tickets are sold out, but we’re assuming you’ll be able to hear and see a fair amount from the nearby Mall. Pitchfork is also streaming a live broadcast of the performance, which you can watch from the comfort of your own home.

For more information, visit the Hirshhorn’s Tumblr.

  • Genny

    Aaaand it totally sucked. Here's a bad idea. Take a highly artistic video, set to romantic rhythmic music - and then divorce the audio from the video. Make it so that there is no connection between the two. What's going on visually is not what is going on audibly.

    Song 1 is brilliant. Last nite was a bunch of posers who thought they were cool because they attempted to associate themselves with something that was in fact cool - and thereby ruined it.

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