James Hoff

Rebuild Foundation

Stony Island Arts Bank
6760 South Stony Island Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60649

In his first Chicago performance, artist James Hoff presents a new four-channel sound work using computer viruses to infect beats, where the mutated results become the building blocks for new compositions.

Hoff’s interest in computer viruses lies in their ability to self-distribute through (and ultimately disrupt) networks of communication. His agency as an artist centers on placing these parasitic forms into pre-existing genres, such as dance music.

“Viruses, like art, need a host. Preferably a popular one,” he writes.

James Hoff (b.1975, Fort Wayne, Ind.) is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, N.Y. His work encompasses painting, sound, writing, performance and publishing, among other media. He has maintained a strong focus on distributed forms and experiments with language, including cross-disciplinary investigations that address orally-transmitted syndromes, computer viruses and ear worms. Taking cues and inspiration from the computer works of Emmett Williams, BP Nichol and Jackson Mac Low; conceptual writers Vito Acconci, Aram Saroyan and Douglas Huebler; and early to late computer viruses (from Pervade to Flame), Hoff works with malware to infect media files as a compositional strategy for painting and music.

Hoff is also a co-founder of Primary Information, a nonprofit arts organization devoted to publishing artists’ books and art historical documents. Recent exhibitions include Skywiper at Callicoon Fine Arts (New York City) and The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over the Lazy Dog at Supportico Lopez (Berlin). His latest record BLASTER was released by PAN in 2014.

Artist Talk: James Hoff discusses the history of artists’ books and Primary Information, the organization he co-founded to publish books and writings by artists. Stony Island Arts Bank, 6760 S. Stony Island Ave. Saturday, December 12, 2:30pm. 

Presented in partnership with Rebuild Foundation and the Graham Foundation