Arts & Events: Sound Art Pioneer Christian Marclay at Cantor Arts Center


By: Aleksandra Bulatskaya

Before B-Boys and hip-hop virtuosos from the Bronx used the turntable to revolutionize music, as we know it, Christian Marclay began experimenting with sound collages on the turntables and pioneered sound art as an artistic genre.

The Stanford University Cantor Center for the Arts is now showing Marclay’s acclaimed, “Video Quartet” sound and video collage. Four screens feature a video and sound montage of various sounds made by icons like Marie Callas, Jimi Hendrix, Marilyn Monroe and others.

Born in San Rafael California to a Swiss father and American mother, Marclay invented sound collages with the help of turntables and musical instruments in the 1970’s. Although he developed his style independently from hip-hop’s early legends, the cut and paste technique he used to create multi-sensory art experiences is similar.

In 2011 he won a Golden Lion award, the Venice Film Festivals highest honor for his revolutionary 24-hour video collage, The Clock. “The Clock” explored the concept of time as an invisible force that controls our daily lives and of time as a relative concept.

Marclya’s work broke barriers in what was considered art by the establishment, much in the same way hip-hop broke barriers in music. Like two scientists working in separate corners of the globe on the same hypothesis and coming to the same conclusion.

For more information about the exhibition visit:

Stanford University Cantor Arts Center

Showing now through February 10.
Wednesday – Sunday, 11 am – 5 pm
Thursday until 8 pm.