Saturday, 6 October 2012

What does wallpaper sound like?

As regular readers of this blog will already be aware, MoDA relaunched as a new kind of museum about a year ago, with a new strapline: Online, On Tour and On Request.  The thinking behind this was that we would make better use of new technologies to enable researchers, students and members of the public to engage with the museum’s collections in different ways. 

Our latest project, Sonic Wallpapers, is both an online exhibition and a ‘real life’ exhibition touring to physical venues.  Over the past year, we’ve been working with sound artist, Dr Felicity Ford, of Oxford Brookes University.  We commissioned her to create audio pieces inspired by a selection of wallpapers from the museum’s collections. 

 You can hear the first few of these pieces by going to the online exhibition on MoDA’s website.  More wallpapers and accompanying sound pieces will be added to the online version over the coming week as we build up to taking this to its first real life venue: this year’s Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace (11th-14th October). 
At Alexandra Palace we’ll be inviting visitors to scan QR codes with their mobile phones in order to hear the sound pieces.  You can do this too by scanning here:

‘Gothic’, wallpaper, 1955 (BADDA 2298

What does this wallpaper sound like to you?

This project is an example of MoDA fulfilling its remit to make the collections accessible in new ways, and to support innovative research in practice.  Using QR codes is something of an experiment in itself; if you have any comments about Sonic Wallpapers (either about the content, the concept, or the delivery) please leave a comment, tweet us: (#Sonicwallpapers) or email

A book and accompanying CD containing all the sound pieces will be published shortly, and will be available from MoDA’s online shop within the next week or so.

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