A huge, 107-foot-wide digital canvas is now lit up at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), with a year-long exhibition celebrating the city’s people and history.
Says a press release:
To create the piece, called The Chronicles of San Francisco, artist JR set up a mobile studio in 22 locations around the city, where he filmed, photographed, and interviewed more than 1,200 people from across San Francisco’s many communities. In the completed work, a digital mural scrolls across the enormous LED display, bringing together the faces and untold stories of everyday people.
The digital display, which contains a total of nearly 26 million pixels, is among the highest-resolution LED displays in the U.S. and is comparable in size to the largest exterior digital displays in Las Vegas and New York’s Times Square.
Sensory Interactive provided design, technical specification, procurement, and project management services for the display, and it was manufactured and installed by SNA Displays. Both firms view this installation as a milestone for digital art in the museum environment, and as a type of project they expect to see more of in the future.
“The affordability, reliability, and flexibility of large-scale LED surfaces have reached the point where LED is a realistic alternative to projection systems for video art in many museums,” said Sensory Interactive Managing Director Christopher Graefe.
“This is giving museums the ability to bring video art out of the traditional darkened room and into wide-open spaces like the Roberts Family Gallery at SFMOMA,” Graefe continued. “We think we’re seeing the beginning of a trend toward more of these types of high-profile installations.”
SNA Displays’ Executive Vice President Jason Helton agrees about the significance of the new SFMOMA display.
“We’ve manufactured several digital displays used in the artistic space,” said Helton, “but this one is the largest and highest-resolution. It’s also a great example of how the latest LED display technology can help an artist realize a creative vision, even for the most ambitious pieces.”
Presented in SFMOMA’s Roberts Family Gallery, The Chronicles of San Francisco runs for approximately one year. It is free and accessible to the public.
The exhibit got a nice little endorsement from a tech titan:
This is a must see—The Chronicles of San Francisco mural is a moving masterpiece by my good friend @JRart, adding a new dimension to his work. Everyone has a story and JR brings them to life. Congratulations, JR! @SFMOMA pic.twitter.com/fztBOWW8Bw
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) May 25, 2019
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.