Although the way we listen to music has changed, there's no arguing that the invention of the record player had one of the most enduring influences on pop culture.
There was a time when vinyl was king, and music royalty hummed into our living rooms from discs that have since gone the way of the dinosaur. It was vinyl that first freed music from the confines of the dance hall and made it democratic and accessible to everyone.
In celebration of the record's lasting impact on history, the Miami Art Museum (101 W. Flagler St., Miami) is setting the Big Mango's roof on fire with "The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl," a groundbreaking exhibit and citywide celebration of the iconic platter and its transformative sway on several generations, from the '60s to the present. It is the first show of its kind ever held in a museum.
Featuring close to a hundred works by 41 international artists, the sprawling exhibit includes sound pieces, sculpture, installation, drawing, painting, photography, video, and performance in a broad arsenal of artistic approaches and media. The blockbuster ode to the record adopts an intergenerational approach to the subject and seamlessly incorporates audio with visual riffs and chords of pop culture.
On view will be works ranging from Laurie Anderson's hybrid violin and record player to a life-size Polaroid photomontage by David Bowie to an early piece by Dario Robleto, who fashioned hand-painted buttons out of old Billie Holiday records.
"Vinyl records belong to the category of objects that have managed to play particularly significant roles in cultural history," observes Rene Morales, MAM's associate curator. "This exhibition is an homage to a technology that has enriched our lives, expressed through the work of diverse artists who share a deep love for vinyl." The exhibit runs through June 8. MAM is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission costs $8. Call 305-375-3000 or visit miamiartmuseum.org.
Tue., March 13, 2012