Animal Collective Takes Installation to the Digital Masses With New Website

Posted April 24

In New York City, music, technology and art often merge and mingle, fusing to form unique experiences at places like MoMA, the Guggenheim Museum, and — shameless plug — The O Music Awards Unboxed series. While installations and experiences of this nature are a boon to New Yorkers and the city’s myriad visitors, it’s kind of a bummer that the rest of the world can’t get in on the action. Until now, that is, as the band Animal Collective and video artist Daniel Perez have just unleashed their latest endeavor, Transverse Temporal Gyrus, on the web at large.

Last March, Animal Collective played a special show/installation at the Guggenheim Museum along with Perez (who has also worked on music videos with the band, as well as a film screened at Vice’s Creator’s Project). Now, the band is bringing that experience to the masses; they released a 12″ featuring music from the installation this past weekend for Record Store Day, and, this week, launched an interactive website replicating the act of visiting the installation.

The site is pretty simple in essence: When you first hit it up, you can download a music player that will stream tunes from the original installation. You can then click through to the site and scroll down to animate the visuals that accompanied said jams. Apparently, the music was created via songs and sounds fashioned by each member of the band. During the performance, the tracks were fed into a computer program (created by Stephen Moore) that mixed up the order of the sounds and merged them together. The resulting music was then blasted from a surround sound system rigged up around the museum. The player that users can download online is meant to replicate this experience, creating new sounds and patterns each time it’s fired up.

It’s pretty commonplace nowadays to stream and share concerts online, but this digital effort is something relatively new. Not only are online audiences able to hear music that was originally only performed in one location, they’re also able to replicate the experience of being at the exhibit. Granted, this is a rather barebones effort, but one that will likely become more and more common as bands and artists dip their proverbial toes deeper into the tech world.