VWGoA and MoMA team up for Björk retrospective

Volkswagen Group of America and The Museum of Modern Art team up to create groundbreaking audio component for MoMA’s Bjork retrospective

–       Global museum debut for pioneering augmented audio guide
–       Customized audio experience for each visitor
–       Functionality based on Volkswagen technology

vorschau1Volkswagen Group of America (VWGoA) has partnered with The Museum of Modern Art to create a first-ever augmented audio guide as an integral part of Björk, a retrospective of the Icelandic artist and musician Björk, opening at MoMA on March 8, 2015.

The augmented audio guide provides an intimate sound experience customized by each visitor, developed through a collaborative research program between MoMA, Björk, the VWGoA Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL) in Silicon Valley, California, and the German sound agencies Klangerfinder and S12. Volkswagen Group of America collaborated on development of a suite of advanced audio technologies working with a range of international collaborators, helping MoMA to achieve the creative vision for the show.

The innovative technology is based on the application “Sound Journey” developed by Volkswagen, which generates a personalized sound track using data gathered from driver inputs such as rate of acceleration/deceleration, steering angle of the steering wheel, and vehicle speed. With Sound Journey as a platform, the augmented audio guide for the Björk retrospective creates a 3D listening experience by building on the combination of signal processing, location-based trigger points, and movements of each individual visitor to create a customizable experience for each visitor of the exhibit.

The sophisticated Björk audio guide software uses Bluetooth® signals emitted from transmitters that are seamlessly integrated into the design of the exhibition, location information, and a tracker that monitors the head movement to provide the visitor with a unique experience. The specially developed music and narrative content was composed and created by Björk and the Icelandic author Sjón, and directed and narrated by the Icelandic actress and storyteller Margrét Vilhjámsdóttir.

Volkswagen Group of America is supporting the exhibition as part of a multi-year partnership with MoMA and MoMA PS1.

Tina Unterländer, Head of Operations, Volkswagen Group of America Electronics Research Laboratory in Belmont, California, explains: “Just as Björk’s work revolutionized the world of music, the team at the ERL strives daily to delight our customers by creating experiences supported by new breakthrough innovations. We are grateful to have been given the opportunity to work with Bjork to develop a new pioneering form of augmented audio technology that will provide MoMA visitors with an unparalleled 3D audio experience unlike any other.”

“Our goal was to create a personalized experience of the narrative for our visitors,” said Klaus Biesenbach, Chief Curator-at-Large at MoMA and Director of MoMA PS1, who is organizing the exhibition. “The exhibition’s augmented audio guide marries scientific research with sound and music composition to create an immersive experience. We were thrilled to collaborate with our partners at VW, and their Electronic Research Lab, and to benefit from their innovative technology.”


MoMA presents Björk, a retrospective, dedicated to the multifaceted work of the singer, composer and musician, from March 8 – June 7, 2015. The exhibition draws from more than 20 years of the artist’s daring and innovative career, beginning with her eight full-length albums and multiple collaborations with directors, photographers, designers, artists and other experimental practitioners, culminating in a new immersive music and film experience commissioned by MoMA. The exhibition is conceived and organized by Klaus Biesenbach, Chief Curator-at-Large at MoMA and Director of MoMA PS1, and is made possible by a partnership with Volkswagen Group of America.

About Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWGoA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, one of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers and the largest carmaker in Europe. VWGoA operates a manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee and houses the U.S. operations of a worldwide family of distinguished and exciting brands including Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Volkswagen, as well as our financial arm VW Credit, Inc. Founded in 1955, the company’s headquarters are in Herndon, Va.; VWGoA brings vehicles to the U.S.  that marry the science of engineering and the art of styling, with the goal of offering attractive, safe, and eco-conscious automobiles that are competitive and set world standards in their respective classes. The company has approximately 6,000 employees in the United States and sells its vehicles through a network of approximately 1,000 dealers.

Further information with regard to the exhibition will be published under #MoMABjork on Twitter.