Jon Brumit

Jon Brumit is an artist whose work centers on public engagement, sound, and improvisation, all performed with the energy of a madcap inventor, and plenty of humor. In fact, his website includes not only a traditional bio (“so last year” he comments) and a “real bio. all true” that includes 7th grade science fair projects, the time he “had the good fortune of being punched in the face for shooting off fireworks behind a woman at a gas station in Tennessee,” and a life-size soggy cardboard model of a Buck Rogers Flight Craft cockpit. His CV on the site is incomplete due to having run over his laptop with an excavator “WHILE DEMOLISHING MY OWN HOUSE” (sic).

Brumit has channeled his energy into solo and collaborative works exhibited internationally including at the Whitney Museum of American Art, DeYoung Museum, MCA Chicago, Artists Television Access (SF), Venice Architectural Biennale, Novi Sad Contemporary Museum (Serbia), Radio Web MACBA (Barcelona), MOCA Los Angeles, MOCAD Detroit, SF MOMA, 0047 (Berlin), and In-F (Tokyo). Brumit’s pieces in these venues showcased his humor and engagement and collaboration with his audience, for instance, in his MCA Chicago series, he transmitted directions to museumgoers over FM radio to do things at specific times, such as dropping their keys and emptying their pockets on the ground to “fill the space with quiet sounds,” or clapping. Brumit was also responsible for organizing the annual “Bring Your Own Big Wheel” tricycle race down Lombard Street in San Francisco.

His inventions include the Creamed Corn Synthesizer and the Broadcast Bike, which records and amplifies the potholes, cracks, and other surface sounds of the road like a giant record needle, amplified by a piece of drainpipe.