Yasunao Tone

The Graham Foundation

Madlener House
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, Illinois 60610

Artist, writer, theorist and composer Yasunao Tone presents new work embracing artificial intelligence.

Tone has collaborated with Professor Tony Myatt, University of Surrey UK, and a team of researchers including Mark Fell and Dr. Paul Modler, with the support of Issue Project Room. A series of performances using Tone’s MP3 Deviation software were captured in a laboratory then used to train Kohoen Neural Networks to develop artificial intelligences that can simulate several of his performance approaches. The A.I.s are integrated in a software framework and computer performance system that extracts attributes from the audio they generate to “listen” to the output and make performance actions as if they were virtual Tone performers. Five versions of Tone A.I. exist in the performance software, each of which exhibits certain responses modeled on those previously adopted by Tone.

Here for Lampo, Tone performs AI Deviation V1#7 and AI Deviation V2#2.

In concert Tone deviates and controls A.I. versions of himself along with the mechanisms that each A.I. uses to hear and respond to the audio they generate—corrupting the technologies designed to simulate his own performances, and interacting live with A.I. versions of himself as performer.

Yasunao Tone (b.1935, Tokyo, Japan) has been active in creating event works and experimental music since the 1960s and has been an organizer and participant in Fluxus, Group Ongaku, Hi-Red Center and Team Random (Japan’s first computer art group). His work typically employs random events and indeterminate compositional techniques. Tone coined the term “paramedia art” to describe his work, and his artistic inventions include prepared CD and interventions with an MP3 system. Primarily a composer, Tone has worked in many media, creating pieces for electronics, computer systems, film, radio and television, as well as environmental art. His work is distinguished by conversion of text into music via images with analog and digital means, and with a critique of the medium in use. Tone has presented concerts at The Kitchen, MoMA and the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona; the Ars Electronica Festival, Linz; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Sonic Lights, Amsterdam; and ATP festivals and Lovebytes festivals, UK, among many others. Honors include the Ars Electronica Golden Nica prize and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts award in music.

Yasunao Tone presented his Paramedia Mix and Wounded Kanji Dictionary at Lampo in April 2007. He also performed in the Lampo series in November 2002, joined by Florian Hecker in the duo’s first U.S. concert.

Presented in partnership with the Graham Foundation