Dan Conrad: Keening Tony

On Friday, April 7th, ISSUE gathers a group of artists who all shared a friendship with Tony Conrad, and a deep devotion to his music and art. In honor of Tony, who passed away on April 9th, 2016, Spectral Density is an evening of music and expression that sees original works by Henry Flynt, Dan Conrad, and Arnold Dreyblatt, as well as a performance of Tony’s Three Loops for Performers and Tape Recorders (1961) by Lary 7. The evening is curated by Tony’s close friend and 2010 ISSUE Artist-In-Residence MV Carbon.

Longtime ISSUE Project Room friend, collaborator and Board Member Tony Conrad (1940 – 2016) was a true polymath: composer, filmmaker, video artist, media activist, philosopher, writer, and educator. Amongst his countless contributions to experimental culture, Tony was associated with the founding of minimal music and underground film -- well known for drafting post-Cagean music compositions and text pieces, video works such his his 1966 film masterwork The Flicker, and collaborations with artists such as Henry Flynt, Jack Smith, Faust, and—as part of legendary drone ensemble Theatre of Eternal Music—La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela, and John Cale. He performed and exhibited extensively, influenced countless artists, and was loved widely -- a profound and inspiring creative legacy. Tony was also a founding member of the ISSUE Project Room Board and a fundamental part of the ISSUE family.

This event is part of a series planned by Greene Naftali with friends, family, curators, and collaborators of Tony, including concerts and screenings at venues such as The Kitchen, Anthology Film Archives, Knockdown Center and ISSUE Project Room. The series centers around a memorial the afternoon of Saturday, April 8th, at the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center. The memorial will feature speeches, videos, and musical performances from artists and writers that were close to Tony. For more information, please see: http://tonyconrad.memorial/

Dan Conrad pursues the challenge of developing technology-assisted art, while continuing to work with traditional media in visual and sound art. Experimentation opens fresh avenues of expression, and the cross-stimulation of diverse artistic interests furthers the development long-held core concepts. Dan Conrad’s flute music has been a creative reference point for him since the age of six. Twenty years ago he joined the experimental music scene in Baltimore, Maryland. Looking for further possibilities in sound, Conrad set aside the flute to invent other instruments. One product of these projects was a combination of electronic devices, which, when used with the flute, have redefined Conrad's relationship with his original instrument and opened fresh areas of experimentation and collaboration. Conrad received an MFA in painting from the Hoffberger School (MICA ). He taught physics and related subjects in high school for 23 years in Baltimore, where he lives and makes music and color-changing luminous art using LEDs and electronic circuitry.