DAVID BYRNE: TIGHT SPOT
September 16 – October 1, 2011
NEW YORK, August 22, 2011—The Pace Gallery is pleased to announce that a new site-specific installation
by David Byrne will be on view for two weeks under the High Line at 508 West 25th Street, inaugurating a
space recently acquired by the gallery. Tight Spot, a 48-by-20-foot inflatable terrestrial globe will be on
view from September 16 through October 1, 2011, with a public reception on Thursday, September 15
from 6 to 8 p.m.
The globe, based on the type used in primary schools, is enlarged and wedged within the confines of the space,
becoming deliberately distorted in the process. Byrne imagined the pastel map we associate with childhood: “a
wholly unrealistic world, a world of somewhat arbitrary political units, not a planet of clouds, deep blue oceans,
beige deserts and swaths of green jungle.” However, like the world around us, Byrne’s globe is subject to both
the elements and human presence.
A low-frequency vibration will emanate from speakers placed deep within the globe. The sound is meant to be
heard from the surrounding streets and elevated park, enticing passersby to discover the installation. “I knew
what I thought that sound should be, and rather than using instruments, synthesizers or samplers to make the
sounds that I imagined, I simply made them with my voice,” said Byrne. “It was the easiest and fastest way of
creating what I was hearing in my head. I filtered and processed my voice so that it wasn’t recognizable.”
The combination of sonic and visual elements as part of a unique work of art was also integral to the artist’s
acclaimed 2008 installation Playing the Building. Commissioned by Creative Time and installed at the Battery
Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan, Playing the Building was an interactive sound installation in which the
infrastructure and physical plant of the building were converted into a giant musical instrument. Devices attached
to the building’s interior structure—including metal beams, pillars, and heating and water pipes—were activated by
wind, vibration, and striking that caused the interior to shift, resonate, and oscillate, resulting in an unconventional
symphony. Playing the Building has also been installed at Roadhouse, London (2009), and Färgfabriken in
Stockholm, Sweden (2005).
Byrne has been named a juror for the 68th Venice International Film Festival, which will run from August 31 through
September 10, 2011. He has also toured North America in 2010 and Latin America in 2011, curating and
participating in travelling panel discussions about “Bikes, Cities and the Future of Getting Around,” in which he
discusses his book Bicycle Diaries (Viking/Penguin, 2009), a personal account of cycling around major cities
throughout the world, which has been translated into multiple languages. Byrne is currently at work on a new
book, How Music Works, slated for publication in 2012, and is developing the theatrical release of “Here Lies
Love,” the story of Imelda Marcos, with New York City’s Public Theater for 2012–13.
Co-founder of the innovative rock group Talking Heads (1974–91), David Byrne (b. 1952) is a musician, artist,
writer, filmmaker and activist. He has been involved with visual art and design since studying at the Rhode Island
School of Design and the Maryland Institute College of Art. Byrne is recognized for his innate ability to create
extraordinary visual and sensory experiences out of ordinary and mundane materials, elevating the most banal of
subjects to a high art form. Byrne has exhibited his work since the mid-1990s in major solo shows and public art
projects around the world. His multimedia art has also provided the material for several books published by the
artist in recent years, including Arboretum (McSweeney’s, 2006); Envisioning Emotional Epistemological
Information (Steidl/PaceMacGill, 2003); David Byrne Asks You: What is It? (Smart Art Press Pinspot # 13, 2002);
The New Sins (McSweeney’s, 2001); Your Action World (Chronicle Books, 1998); and Strange Ritual (Chronicle
Books, 1995). In 2008, Byrne—an avid bicyclist for more than 30 years—partnered with The Pace Gallery and New
York City’s Department of Transportation to permanently install a series of bike racks of his own design around
Manhattan and Brooklyn.
For more information about David Byrne: Tight Spot, please contact the Public Relations department of
The Pace Gallery at 212.421.8987. For general inquiries, please email email@example.com; for
reproduction requests, email firstname.lastname@example.org.