Ever wondered what the Art Institute's famous lions might sound like? Well, world-renowned sound artist Bill Fontana will have an answer for you shortly. But it might not quite be the "ROAR!" that you would expect. Rather, in order to produce his audio recording, Fontana worked with museum conservators and employed beeswax to attach an accelerometer to the hollow resonating body of the northern-most bronze lion. Thus, he was able to capture an ambient recording from the literal belly of the beast. This process for recording the lion (which is unofficially called "On the Prowl") is similar to one he used when making recordings of ancient Buddhist temple bells at a monastery in Kyoto, Japan. As opposed to creating an audio file of the bells ringing, he documented the sound of the bells at rest.
Fontana is also the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's Bill and Stephanie Sick Distinguished Professor this year and he will be speaking at the museum tonight! If you want to hear (pun intended) more, Please join us in Fullerton Auditorium to hear his Visiting Artists Program lecture and learn more about the process, and meaning, behind his practice. This lecture is free and open to the public. Doors open at 5:30 and the lecture begins promptly at 6:00 p.m.
—Thea N., Program Coordinator, Visiting Artist's Program