Artists Space

Yasunao Tone Concert #3

Concert
March 16, 2023, 8pm

11 Cortlandt Alley
Free RSVP's are at capacity.
For livestream, please click here.

Paramedia, 1990
The Seminar on the Purloined Letter, 1998, performed with Annea Lockwood and the Ghost Ensemble
AI Deviation, 2015

Color image of a figure looking to the left and leaning over a table filled with audio equipment. The figure holds sheets of paper with instructions, and manipulates an audio machine.
Still from video of Yasunao Tone performing Paramedia, Experimental Intermedia Foundation, 1990 [Color image of a figure looking to the left and leaning over a table filled with audio equipment. The figure holds sheets of paper with instructions, and manipulates an audio machine.]

This performance features a variety of works from the 1990s through the present. One of Tone’s technological-intervention pieces, Paramedia uses a device built in collaboration with Steve Giordano in 1990. Featuring multiple inputs routed to four CD players, the machine consists of a frequency-to-voltage converter with logic circuits that conjoin multiple layers of recorded found sounds while varying their pitch and tonality. The Fluxus-style The Seminar on the Purloined Letter (1998) is a looping, linear, a-logical composition performed by trombone, guitar, clarinet, and voice overlaid with an eponymous text written by Tone that results in a dizzying amalgamation of vocal and instrumental sound. AI Deviation (2015) elaborates on Tone’s MP3 Deviation (2007), in which the artist assigned samples to corrupted sound files that he then combined at different playback speeds. For AI Deviation, he collaborated with professor Tony Myatt from the University of Surrey UK, and a team of researchers including Mark Fell and Dr. Paul Modler, who helped produce the system. In the lab, performances of MP3 Deviation were captured and used to train with Kohonen Neural Networks to develop artificial intelligences that simulate his performance.

Yasunao Tone is a multidisciplinary artist working in New York City. Tone graduated from Chiba University in 1957 with a major in Japanese literature and became an important figure in postwar Japanese art during the 1960s. He was a key member of Group Ongaku, Team Random, and the Japanese branch of Fluxus, and was involved with several other collectives and artists such as the Neo-Dada Organizers, Hi-Red Center, and Butoh founder Tatsumi Hijikata. Relocating to the United States in 1972, he has since been a crucial force in the philosophical and material advancement of durational art across myriad live forms, gaining a legendary reputation as a musician, performer, and writer. He has collaborated with a prolific range of dancers, visual artists, and musicians including Merce Cunningham, Blondell Cummings, Allan Kaprow, Senga Nengudi, Butch Morris, and George Maciunas.