Man Ray’s Metronome, Digital War Shirt

Sound art artifacts at the Montclair Art Museum in Montclair, New Jersey (

  1. Man Ray‘s “Objet Indestructible” (Indestructible Object), 1923/1965, is a metronome of lacquered black wood to which is affixed by paper clip a photo of the eye of Lee Miller. The museum wall text notes: “A music lover, Man Ray painted to the beat of the metronome,” adjusting his speed to its tempo. “He attached the eye to create the illusion of an audience. … Originally titling his work ‘Object to Be Destroyed,’ Man Ray obeyed this command in 1923 by smashing it when he found the silence of the now static metronome unbearable.”

  2. Bently Spang‘s “Modern Warrior Series, War Shirt #3, The Great Divide,” 2006, is a contemporary take on Cheyenne garb. The war shirt, Spang explains in his artist statement, is traditionally decorated with symbols of the tribe’s history. It’s “a physical way of honoring and protecting … and speaks of the past, present and future all at the same time.” The piece is made from photographs, hemp, glass beads, wood, UV resistant plastic, compact flash card, metal plastic, reservation deer horn — along with compact discs and plastic CD case spacer rings.

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