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Ken Butler’s Voices of Anxious Objects
Location One is happy to present Ken Butler’s Voices of Anxious Objects. The performance will take place in the gallery and be streamed live on our website.
The artist/musician performs mesmerizing world trance textures and driving gypsy grooves on an amazing arsenal of amplified hybrid string instruments made from household objects and tools. Duchampian Dada meets Hybrid Hindu Hendrix. Function and form collide as audio-visual antics and explorations create a provoking cultural portrait of man/machine adaptation and transformation. A performance may also include interactive hybrid audio-visual keyboards powered by motorized strummers which control lights, slide animation, motion, and video projections.
“. . . a crazy instrument builder who can get virtuoso riffs from anything.” — Kyle Gann, The Village Voice, 12/29/92
“Ken Butler’s work is enormously interesting, particularly his idea of recycling and giving voice to found objects.” — Laurence Libin, curator of musical instruments at The Metropolitan Museum, The New York Times, 6/12/94
His works have been featured in numerous exhibitions and performances throughout the USA, Canada, and Europe including The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and Exit Art, Thread Waxing Space, The Kitchen, The Brooklyn Museum, Lincoln Center and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City as well as in South America, Thailand, and Japan.
His works have been reviewed in The New York Times, Artforum, The Village Voice, and Smithsonian and have been featured on PBS, CNN, MTV, and NBC, including a live appearance on The Tonight Show.
Awards include fellowships from the Oregon Arts Commisssion, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Ken Butler studied viola as a child and maintained an interest in music while studying visual arts in France, at Colorado College, and Portland State University where he completed his MFA in painting in 1977. He has performed with John Zorn, Laurie Anderson, Butch Morris, The Soldier String Quartet, The Tonight Show Band, and The Master Gnawa musicians of Morocco. His CD, Voices of Anxious Objects is on Zorn’s Tzadik label. Works by Ken Butler are represented in public and private collections in Portland, Seattle, Vail, Los Angeles, Toronto, Montreal, and New York City including the permanent collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.