After our (relative) success creating an unauthorized audio tour for our local Seattle Art Museum, on March 14, 2009, PDL drove to Portland and set up a makeshift recording studio in a room at the Jupiter Hotel to do the same for the Portland Art Museum. We were not invited- we just thought we needed to expand our scope. Over the course of three days, we toured the museum’s permanent collection by day and returned to our room to write entries and record what we came up with late into the night.
At the end of this marathon weekend, we had compiled 34 tracks, weaving through a wide range of PAM’s permanent collection, from antiquities to contemporary works. Highlights were the chipper radio ad touting Van Gogh's Charrette de Boeuf (the Ox Cart) as the ultimate low-emissions vehicle, and a re-enactment of a conversation between 2 sisters peeking at their mother's sordid diary for Renoir's innocent painting Young Girls Reading. Most tracks for this go around took the approach of creative responses to the pieces- whether it be humorous poetry commenting on the piece, narrative giving the piece a voice, telling what the piece is thinking, or soundtracks to help enhance one's engagement with the piece. Only a few involved falsified origin stories, like the one for Lee Kelly's ARLIE, a clunky metal sculpture that we claimed used to be covered in fur and would come to life at night and play with the other art. We didn't figure anyone would accuse us of wool-pulling with that one...
An edition of fifty CDs were burned and Jed drafted a map identifying the works that were explored by PDL. While the power of this tour is only fully realized in the museum itself, a selection of tracks from the tour are posted below, since the collection had long-since rotated many of the chosen items out of display.
This audio tour was written and engineered by Arne Pihl, Jed Dunkerley, Greg Lundgren, and Mike Katell with essential contributions of voice talent from Christine Taylor, Chris Lundgren, Karrie Pukstas, Diana Falchuk and Amy Jo LaRubbio.