Walking by the Salon 94 booth, I heard the instrumental version of Dr. Dre’s classic turn-of-the century banger “The Next Episode” play out of a ceramic boombox at a moderate volume. This is the work of the artist Tom Sachs, who has been making these things for years now, and recently staged an exhibition at The Contemporary Austin called “The Boombox Retrospective 1999-2015.”
“This is made out of ceramic, a baseball bat, sharpies, and of course electronic elements,” said Samuel Zients from Salon 94 about the work, which is called Big Tits, perhaps a reference to the two large speaker grills on the front of the box, or perhaps not. I hung out for a little bit, hearing music from, in addition to Dre, The Beatles and The Notorious B.I.G.
I was ready to stay for a few more songs in an attempt to suss out any possible greater meaning in Sachs’s musical curation in relationship to the piece’s provocative title, but it’s a good thing that I talked to Zients sooner rather than later.
“It’s our director’s Ipod,” Zients said. “The music is up to us.” That’s not to say that the artist didn’t have his limits.
“[Sachs] said the only thing he doesn’t want is Katy Perry,” Zients said.