The Window Gallery presents the work of contemporary makers of unusual and newly invented musical instruments, including emerging artists as well as recognized pioneers. The emphasis is on originality in concept and design, recognizing the seminal role of the search for new sounds in the expansion of musical horizons. Equally essential to the exhibits are notions of beauty, craft, and humor.

The Window Gallery is curated by Bart Hopkin and David Samas. Located at 55 Taylor Street in San Francisco, the gallery is open to the public Monday through Friday, 9 am – 5 pm, and during performances.

Email the Gallery Manager for information, questions, comments or to propose an installation. View past installations.

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Wed, May 1 — Fri, May 31, 2019
Atrium Display: Leonardo at 500; Homage and Excuse by Larnie Fox


Atrium Display: Leonardo at 500; Homage and Excuse by Larnie Fox


Leonardo da Vinci was an early holistic scientific thinker. He didn’t recognize the boundaries between art and science. He didn’t recognize the boundaries between scientific disciplines. Quite the contrary, he brought everything he knew to bear on every problem he dealt with ~ and he dealt with many problems in many fields.

As Fritjof Capra points out in his book The Science of Leonardo, Leonardo’s science was synthetic as opposed to analytic. Our culture’s left-brained science ~ and general view of the world ~ looks at our environs and ourselves as mechanisms that can be broken down into their component parts and thus comprehended. What this world view does not take into account is that by splitting living systems into component parts, the systems are then killed, or made available for killing in order to understand and then utilize them. We see the tragic results of this kind of reductionist thinking manifested in our world in too many ways. Leonardo’s holistic view of the world represents an antidote to that kind of reductive thinking. It is unfortunate that he and his heirs made small efforts to publish his work. Had they done so, his influence may well have eclipsed that of Galileo and Newton.

There are lessons to be drawn from Leonardo’s work that are increasingly relevant today: There are deep connections between them microcosm and the macrocosm. The earth, and likely the cosmos is a living system. Rigorously following one’s own interests and inclinations may be more productive than falling in line with the demands of the hierarchy. Rational and spiritual thought are not mutually exclusive. Close observation, unbiased investigation and radical curiosity may save us.


Two and a half years ago curator David Samas flattered me by asking if I would like to do a show on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death (May 2, 2019). I think he asked me because he’d seen some studies for ornithopters and other contraptions that I had made in my notebooks, slightly reminiscent of Leonardo‘s. He also knew that, like Leonardo, I designed musical instruments.

Around the same time, my wife Bodil and I were honored with a residency at the Montalvo Arts Center. When we were there, I began re-evaluating the studies, sketches, and ideas in my notebooks. I began seeing them as art, not just as a preparation for art making. I noticed a qualitative difference in studies for projects, as opposed to renderings of the projects after the fact. The studies were much fresher and authentic. In order to make them more solid, more like “real art“, I begin keeping my notes on wooden panels supplied by Ruszel Woodworks. (Thanks Jack!). Later I collaged actual notebook pages onto wooden panels after copying them for replacement in my notebooks. I also started doing studies on larger panels, like my Artist’s Coffee Table. I began to use such panels to build new instruments or sculptures, or other items, such as toilet paper roll holders.

In spite of the fact that I lack a significant percentage of the the master’s skills, intelligence and energy I still identify with him. Like Leonardo I keep notebooks, paint, make sculptures, design musical instruments, have an interest in spiritual geometry, leave many projects unfinished, don’t recognize the boundaries between art and science, don’t like being told what to do, skip from medium to medium, and while I’m working on one project my mind is often elsewhere.

For the past couple of years I have used this upcoming show as an excuse to immerse myself in the master’s history and work. I spent time in the library, I read books, I looked at tons of images and stood in front of some of his best work at the Louvre. I looked at my notebooks and studies in a new light. I encouraged my own curiosity.

I hope this exhibition encourages your curiosity.

Larnie Fox


Larnie Fox is a visual and sound artist known for monumental bamboo sculpture, sound installations, performances and painting. His kinetic/sound sculptures and new instruments have been shown in numerous one-person and group shows and performances in the SF Bay Area and nationally. He is a founding member of 23five, a non-profit to promote sound art, directed the Crank Ensemble who performed on hand-cranked instruments he built, and currently is performing with the new music group Contraption Quartet. He holds an MFA in Painting from the University of Utah and is the former Executive Director of Arts Benicia and former Director of the Children’s Fine Art Program at the Palo Alto Art Center. He lives, works and collaborates with his wife Bodil in Benicia.

Thu, May 9 — Sun, Jun 30, 2019
Fiction and Fables: Compositions Through Sonification

Fiction and Fables: Compositions Through Sonification

Curated by Eliza Phelan-Harder

Fiction and fables are a part of a long history of storytelling. Every culture has its own stories or narratives, which are shared as a means of learning, teaching, preservation of cultural histories or instilling moral values. Interpretation of tales are embedded through social practice and hold certain values. Our lives are narratively engrained, humans construct their existence and shape themselves from collective memories that are passed to them. This show extends itself to representing personal narratives, political commentary and expanding cultural standards. Fiction and Fables: Compositions through Sonification explores a multitude of storylines through sonic mediums.

About the Artists and Curator

Julia Fairbrother is an interdisciplinary artist whose work challenges the social, political and economic processes associated with the evolution of science and technology.

Giuliana Funkhouser combines digital code and imagery with analog stills and animations to produce story driven art installations.

Raven Kemp and JoseIgnacio Ramirez form their collective Turwv De Venado. This collective creates visualizations of indigenous stories and sonifying them.

Steph Kudisch is a genderfluid artist reinterpreting Jewish myth and tradition.

Michael LaRocco work as a writer, filmmaker, and sound artist is primarily concerned with shattering barriers, provoking dialogue, and presenting alternative narratives about social and political issues with a decidedly queer bent.

Amina Shah work explores the ideas of cultural identity referencing colonial history, diasporic experiences, and political landscapes.

Curated by Eliza Phelan-Harder who is an interdisciplinary artist working in sound through a deaf lens, photography, and installation art.

All artists and the curator have a connection to San Francisco Art Institute, from current students to alumni. This collaboration with the Center for New Music is to help demonstrate SFAI upcoming Sound program.



Sat, Jun 1 — Sun, Jun 30, 2019
Atrium Display: Graphic Scores/Spores by Alan Courtis 


Atrium Display: Graphic Scores/Spores by Alan Courtis

This exhibition shows for the first time in USA graphic scores by Argentine composer Alan Courtis. It consists in a selection of graphic and conceptual pieces employing diverse techniques and strategies helping to connect the graphic and sound universes. Some of these scores work defining precise interpretation codes, some others leave all to the interpreter’s imagination. In between of both poles, we can find a wide spectrum of possibilities including: traditional notation, anomalous scripts and “imposible” writting. Most of these scores are unreleased except for few of them which were published on the specialized books like “Deep Listening Anthology Vol2” (Deep Listening Publications) or “Tonebook” (Inpatient Press). There are also some new compositions exhibited for the first time.

Recent Exhibitions:

Cruce. Madrid. Spain. 2019

Art & Space Cococara. Tokyo. Japan. 2018

BAfoto. Fuera de Foco/Fundación El Mirador. Buenos Aires. Argentina. 2018

Laboratorio Proa21. Buenos Aires. Argentina. 2018

Centro de Exposiciones Subte. Montevideo. Uruguay. 2018

Artist Bio

Alan Courtis was born in Buenos Aires in 1972. He has been working in the field of sound-art, electro-acoustic music, drone, noise, improvisation and composition. His written music has been played by ensembles from England, Thailand, Switzerland, Wales, Netherlands, Mexico, Canada, United States, Spain and SouthAmerica. He was commissioned by Phoenix Basel Ensemble (Switzerland), Český Rozhlas (Czech Republic) and was artist in residence at EMS (Stockholm), GRM (Paris), Cafe Oto (London), USF (Bergen), etc. He has more than 400 solo releases and collaborations on respected labels. Courtis has toured internationally extensively, and has collaborated with musicians like: Pauline Oliveros, Phill Niblock, Keiji Haino, Merzbow, Lee Ranaldo, Jim O’Rourke, David Toop, and numerous others. His music always has strong experimental sense and usually based on high-skilled techniques of prepared sound, tape manipulations, processing of field recordings, live electronics, objects, cymbals, synthesizers, computer tools, playing traditional (both acoustic and electric) instruments as well as self-built, strange and unusual instruments (eg. unstringed guitar). Courtis has made music for films/videos by Jaime Davidovich, Claudio Caldini, Greg Pope, Hang Jun Lee, Sergio Subero, Pablo Mazzollo, Guillermo Ueno, etc. He has also coordinated a many music workshops internationally.

The Window Gallery at the Center for New Music is supported by the San Francisco Arts Commission in 2016-17.

The Window Gallery at the Center for New Music was supported by New Music USA in 2014.