Tate today announced that Bloomberg News will sponsor a range of interpretation aids and resources at Tate Modern, which opens on 12 May. Among the resources are the 1,000 audio guides of the Collection displays and of Tate Modern’s architecture currently being produced, ready for the first visitors to the new gallery. Bloomberg will also be supporting reading areas and, available from October, ten audio points throughout the galleries and concourses.
The new guide, Tate Audio, contains a huge variety of voices from cultural commentators to artists. Al Alvarez, Mark Anthony-Turnage, Frank Auerbach, AS Byatt, Richard Cork, Michael Craig-Martin, Hamish Fulton, Nan Goldin, Antony Gormley, Richard Hamilton, Susan Hiller, Jenny Holzer, Bruce McLean, George Melly, Cathy de Monchaux, Claes Oldenburg, Bridget Riley and Sam Taylor-Wood have all been involved in producing the three hours of commentary. Tate Audio also includes archive recordings and music relating to the art on show.
State of the art technology has been used for this digital guide and an ergonomic handset for the equipment has been developed. Produced in association with Acoustiguide, Tate Audio allows visitors to choose their own route through the galleries by random access, simply keying in numbers to create their own personalised tours around the displays.
Within the commentary listeners will hear an overview of each of the four suites of displays followed by a brief introduction to each room. To hear more detailed information the visitor enters an additional number to hear artists talking about their work, or to listen to archive recordings, or responses by leading cultural critics, musicians, writers, and academics. The aim of the tour is to provide a wide variety of views and interpretations of the works and displays. By August of this year, Tate Audio tours will also be available for children and the visually impaired, and there will be a personal tour recorded by the Director of Tate Modern, Lars Nittve.
There will be four reading areas in the gallery, with seating and tables designed by Jasper Morrison, where visitors can browse through books and other information relating directly to works on display in the vicinity. The ten audio points will, from October, be positioned in strategic points throughout the displays and building and will provide focused information relating to a particular work or architectural feature nearby. These are also developed in association with Acoustiguide.
Tate Audio will be available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish and is priced at £1.