Tony Conrad Thought of Everything
By Shiv Kotecha for Frieze
May 15, 2019
No one ignored technology’s prescriptive limits better than Tony Conrad. In his six-decade long career as a composer, filmmaker, installation artist, activist and teacher, Conrad agitated countless aesthetic, sensory and perceptual regimes. In Introducing Tony Conrad: A Retrospective at the ICA, Philadelphia, Conrad’s scamp-like approach to mainstream media’s surveillance tactics, the art world’s cultural hubris and academia’s authoritarian push towards professionalization are magnificently displayed. No medium of expression passed Conrad by without becoming a site of aesthetic intervention and epistemological questioning: ‘Hold the sound’, Conrad asks his audience, and discover ‘what kind of things there are in there’.