Steve Aoki has been around for years and a is crowd favorite due to his antics and showmanship. The fact that he sits comfortably at the #11 spot on this year's DJ Mag Top 100 DJs list, it's only reinforces his popularity. From his cake-smashing ways to the signature Aoki jump, he is not just a talented musician but a true entertainer.
As part of the Ray Dolby Gateway to Culture exhibit, visitors to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will explore American history through culture, entertainment, and the arts. It began just last week and focuses on music and sound. It serves as the entryway to a series of installations including two-time Grammy-nominated DJ and producer Steve Aoki’s DJ equipment.
Ray Dolby Gateway to Culture comprises a series of eight installations centered on sound, stadium, and screen. At the center of the floor is the Nicholas F. and Eugenia Taubman Hall of Music with side-lobby displays highlighting the museum’s jazz and classical instrument collections. Outside the music hall are two cases highlighting the museums most recent acquisitions to the arts and culture collections. They currently have on display Steve Aoki’s CDJs and mixer as well as Elisabeth Moss' costume from The Handmaid’s Tale.
The acquisition is part of an important narrative the museum is assembling through research and collections illustrating the evolution of turntable and DJ technology. This also makes Aoki the first EDM artist to be featured in the iconic Smithsonian Museum. Aoki's gear joins DJ Bob Casey's equipment from the 1950s and Grandmaster Flash's turntable from decades later.
The exhibit paints a picture of how Americans have repurposed and transformed existing technology in order to create dynamic new musical experiences. Unlike DJs and turntablists before him, however, Aoki is now the first DJ to be featured therein with an entirely digital system.