Inside a geodesic dome erected in the museum’s courtyard and filled to capacity, 500 listeners craned their necks for a view of Mr. Jaar, who sat behind his laptop, the screen’s glow illuminating his blue eyes. Warm clouds of crackly hiss issued from obelisklike speakers, building gradually over 15- to 20-minute cycles from washes of ambient noise into roiling, steamy house music, then dissipating back into an ethereal burble.
Above Mr. Jaar black-and-white video images of skeletal trees and Gothic church spires crawled across the dome’s ceiling. He shifted occasionally from the laptop to an array of keyboards and a turntable, creating textures and percussion from sampled records. As the hours melted away, he was joined in collaboration by a saxophonist, a female vocalist and an interpretive dancer.
“From Scratch,” the inaugural performance in MoMA PS1’s