The Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, which is home to one of the largest and most comprehensive Asian art collections in the world, was doing an exhibition on Shanghai. Being in San Francisco, a city with a rich history of Asian culture, the museum knew that there would be many visitors to the exhibition that would have a relationship to Shanghai as a city. In light of this, they invited us to do an audio intervention of sorts: We set up shop outside of the exhibition, for two days, and interviewed visitors about their experiences with or memories of Shanghai.
After meeting and recording the stories of many different people of all backgrounds and ages, we selected the most compelling audio, then edited, mixed and produced several podcasts that the museum could share, inspiring people to come to the exhibition while extending its message to those that couldn’t.
The Museum was bold in what was a very new medium at the time: Podcasts. But the experiment proved to be successful. What was special about this project was not just the production of a podcast but creating live, unrehearsed and unscheduled recordings on site. It made for serendipitous moments that could not be captured otherwise.