Tune In

Outside the Museum on South High Street
May 6, 2021 - May 31, 2021

In the 1950s and ‘60s, television brought Americans together in living rooms across the country. Though it was often dismissed as mind-numbing entertainment, TV programming created shared experiences. It defined common culture—and sometimes defied it. Today, after the introduction of the internet, personal computers, and smartphones, experiences with media have become less universal and more individual. Should we look back with nostalgia or be proud of our progress? Tune In seeks to start a conversation around this question and many others. Designed by Rick Lazes and fabricated by a collaborative group of artists called the Art Factory, the outdoor diorama features six vintage TV screens that play a 12-minute loop, 24 hours a day. The collage of footage includes news, speeches, concerts, sitcoms, and dramas from television’s early years. Mid-century decor featuring wallpaper, curtains, and framed pictures helps to set the scene. Lazes and his partners hope that their work will give viewers a chance to take stock of social change, technological advancement, and the role of media in shaping our understanding of reality. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, they also wanted to support art museums and show that art can aid in this kind of reflection. In that spirit, the Akron Art Museum is only one venue in Tune In’s 2021 American Tour. Stop by the front of the Museum and see this engaging work of art while it’s in town!