Tony Conrad 1940-2016 R.I.P.

TonyConrad_October2003

A stalwart of the avant-garde, he worked with everyone from members of the Velvet Underground, LaMonte Young, krautrockers Faust, Rhys Chatham, Jim O’Rourke and Genesis P-Orridge.

By Fred Mills

There’s not a lot of detail that’s been disclosed as of this writing, but what we know is sad enough: limits-testing music/film pioneer Tony Conrad apparently passed away early this morning, April 9, from complications related to pneumonia and his ongoing battle with prostrate cancer. He was 76.

According to The Buffalo News (Conrad was a professor at the University of Buffalo’s media studies department), “An event honoring Conrad’s career and retirement had been planned for May 2 in the University at Buffalo’s Center for the Arts… a press release announcing that event [stated] ‘Tony Conrad cannot be put into a box. Best known as an experimental musician and filmmaker, he is also a painter, writer, video and performance artist, and eminent mentor and teacher. In 1966, Conrad made Flicker, a seminal work in structural and phenomenological film. Other prominent works include Coming Attraction and Straight and Narrow (1970), Articulation of Boolean Algebra for Film Opticals (1975), Phonograph andCycles of 3’s and 7’s (1977), Hail the Fallen (1981), and In Line (1986). While his films often examine perceptual issues, he also explores narrative structures in his video works. In the 1970s and 80s, Conrad began investigating socio-cultural power structures, which led to the creation of Squeaky Wheel and various community focused projects (Studio of the Streets, Homework Helpline).’”

 More details as we learn them.

Photo Credit: Via Wikipedia Creative Commons, by Seth Tisue; Conrad is pictured in 2003.

 

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