X

Tom Sachs' biggest, baddest boom boxes (pictures)

Look and behold: the Brooklyn Museum hosts a collection of DIY boom box art.

headshots_Steve_Guttenberg.jpg
headshots_Steve_Guttenberg.jpg
Steve Guttenberg
Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Stereophile.
Steve Guttenberg
dsc5163.jpg
1 of 12 Steve Guttrnberg/CNET

Sachs' 'Presidential Vampire Booth'

It took a while, but boom boxes cultural currency finally caught the attention of a major New York arts institution, the Brooklyn Museum, which is currently hosting Tom Sachs "Boombox Retrospective, 1999-2016."

Here's Sachs' "Presidential Vampire Booth" and speakers hunkered down in the main space.

dsc4974.jpg
2 of 12 Steve Guttenberg/CNET

Sachs' big speaker

One of the gigantic horn speakers flanking the "Presidential Vampire Booth."

dsc4950aa.jpg
3 of 12 Steve Guttenberg/CNET

'Toyan's Arsenal'

"Toyan's Arsenal" loomed large -- it's 144 inches wide and 96 inches tall (3.6 by 2.4 meters). Its clean white cabinet with black drivers made for a striking presence.

dsc4984.jpg
4 of 12 Steve Guttenberg/CNET

'Defender'

One picture can't do full justice to "Defender," so I included two. This beast's speakers are constructed out of old refrigerators, but Defender wasn't playing when I visited the show, which was too bad. I like the idea of using old refrigerators as speaker cabinets. The jet black speakers and old arcade game system looked like it could easily fill a decent sized club with sound.

dsc5020.jpg
5 of 12 Steve Guttenberg/CNET

'Guru's Yardstyle'

"Guru's Yardstyle," replete with vintage Bose 901 speakers, turntable and McIntosh electronics, stacked on a hand truck, made me smile. Model One is clearly the most audiophile-oriented piece.

dsc5030.jpg
6 of 12 Steve Guttenberg/CNET

'Sarah'

"Sarah" sports just a pair of speakers and a sword perched on top, just in case!

dsc5033.jpg
7 of 12 Steve Guttenberg/CNET

McDonald's boom box

A boom box to eat Big Macs by.

dsc5047.jpg
8 of 12 Steve Guttenberg/CNET

NASA boom box

A NASA boom box -- fairly restrained by Sachs' standards!

dsc5050.jpg
9 of 12 Steve Guttenberg/CNET

'Phonkey'

"Phonkey" has a lunar lander spacecrafty look, thanks to its large solar panels flanking a 1980s boom box. Sachs' art definitely has a sense of humor.

dsc5146.jpg
10 of 12 Steve Guttenberg/CNET

NASA truck

Another NASA-inspired boom box, configured as a truck!

dsc5156ss.jpg
11 of 12 Steve Guttenberg/CNET

Goes to '11'

This is a detail of the volume control from one of Sachs boom boxes -- like "Spinal Tap" it goes up to 11.

dsc5171.jpg
12 of 12 Steve Guttenberg/CNET

The Brooklyn Museum

Bonus pic: the Brooklyn Museum on a beautiful April day.

More Galleries

My Favorite Shots From the Galaxy S24 Ultra's Camera
A houseplant

My Favorite Shots From the Galaxy S24 Ultra's Camera

20 Photos
Honor's Magic V2 Foldable Is Lighter Than Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra
magic-v2-2024-foldable-1383

Honor's Magic V2 Foldable Is Lighter Than Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra

10 Photos
The Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus Looks Sweet in Aluminum
Samsung Galaxy S24

The Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus Looks Sweet in Aluminum

23 Photos
Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra Now Has a Titanium Design
The Galaxy S24 Ultra in multiple colors

Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra Now Has a Titanium Design

23 Photos
I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites
img-0368.jpg

I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites

34 Photos
17 Hidden iOS 17 Features and Settings on Your iPhone
Invitation for the Apple September iPhone 15 event

17 Hidden iOS 17 Features and Settings on Your iPhone

18 Photos
AI or Not AI: Can You Spot the Real Photos?
img-1599-2.jpg

AI or Not AI: Can You Spot the Real Photos?

17 Photos