Artists Space Announces Upcoming Exhibitions

Artists Space is pleased to announce our upcoming season of exhibitions:

Yasunao Tone: Region of Paramedia
January 13 – March 18, 2023

Renee Gladman
January 13 – March 18, 2023

Additionally, we will present the following performances and events:

Friday, November 18, 7pm
Saturday, November 19, 8pm
Saturday, December 3, 2pm

keyon gaskin
December 14, 16, and 18. Showtimes will be announced soon.

Segue Reading Series
Beginning December 3rd. Saturdays at 5pm
December – January: Curated by James Sherry & Lonely Christopher

Following is more information about the exhibitions.

Yasunao Tone: Region of Paramedia

January 13 – March 18, 2023

Artists Space is pleased to present Region of Paramedia, the first retrospective dedicated to the work of Japanese American conceptual artist, composer, and theorist Yasunao Tone, whose deep investigation of the potential uses and misuses of emerging technology has made him a pioneer in performance, sound, and digital composition.

This landmark exhibition and event series will encompass a comprehensive range of mediums and materials, from graphic scores to manipulated sound objects to documentation of performative actions and rare ephemera, and will include live events as well as first-time restagings that cover both Tone’s frequent, wide-ranging collaborations and his individually authored works.

Spanning the 1960s to the present, Region of Paramedia unfolds over two core chapters: the Japan years and the New York years. It begins with Tone’s varied artistic efforts during his time as a founding member of the Japanese branch of Fluxus, a co-conspirator of Hi-Red Center in their social interventions, and a pivotal member of the key postwar collectives Group Ongaku, the world’s first freely improvising music ensemble, and Team Random, the first computer-art collective in Japan.

Tone’s active participation in unsettling artistic forms, genres, and social expectations across these disparate affiliations boldly presaged his future activities. Tone’s penchant for collaboration only deepened with his move to the United States in 1972, where he soon began to work with a prolific range of dancers, visual artists, and musicians that included Merce Cunningham, Blondell Cummings, Allan Kaprow, Senga Nengudi, Butch Morris, and George Maciunas.

Since coming to New York in 1973, Tone’s work has been distinguished by his radical procedures of transmuting media into unpredictable and unstable forms through both analog and digital systems. Works like Molecular Music (1982)— in which Tone arranges light sensors on the surface of a projection screen to actively interpret 16mm images (characters from Chinese poetic texts) and sends that information to sound-producing instruments—bring together contingent systems, contemporary continental philosophy and media theory, and traditional Eastern culture.

Tone subsequently originated the use of “glitch” in artmaking thanks to his groundbreaking modifications of ready-made compact discs, becoming the first person to compose via the inbuilt potential for their digital disruption. In performances and compositions beginning in the mid-1980s such as Music for 2 CD Players (1985), Tone disorders patterns of binary digital data by physically altering the surfaces of compact discs, overriding their error-correcting system and generating wild unpredictability in playback. Highly attentive to the evolving technological landscape, Tone has also experimented with interventions in MP3 technology and artificial-intelligence applications.

The artist calls these deviations paramedia, a shorthand way of describing a practice of diverting technological devices from their intended purposes in order to, in his words, “create pieces that are simultaneously multipliable and non-repetitive.”

In conjunction with the exhibition, Yasunao Tone will perform on multiple occasions at Artists Space including January 19 and February 16, 2023, with more dates to be announced. These events will launch with Tone in performance with renowned flutist and composer Barbara Held, collaborating in person for the first time since the early 1990s.

The retrospective will conclude in March with a weekend of film screenings, organized in collaboration with film scholar Go Hirasawa and the Brooklyn cinematheque Light Industry.

Exploring Tone’s relationship to Japanese experimental cinema—from the sound compositions he created for prominent filmmakers such as Takahiko Iimura, Kenji Kanesaka, Masao Adachi, and Michio Okabe to his rare individually directed films—the series will spotlight a wide range of radical moving-image work.

Exhibition support for Yasunao Tone: Region of Paramedia is provided by the Japan Foundation, New York. Yasunao Tone (b. Tokyo, Japan, 1935) is a multidisciplinary artist working in New York City.

Tone graduated from Chiba University in 1957 with a major in Japanese literature and became an important figure in postwar Japanese art during the 1960s. He was a key member of Group Ongaku and Team Random and was involved with several other collectives and artists such as the Neo-Dada Organizers, Hi-Red Center, and Butoh founder Tatsumi Hijikata. His first concert, “One Man Show by a Composer,” was held at the Miami Gallery in Tokyo in 1962.

Tone was also a founding member of the Japanese branch of Fluxus, with many of his works performed at Fluxus festivals or distributed by George Maciunas’s Flux Press. Relocating to the United States in 1972, he has composed numerous scores for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and has given concerts at the Kitchen, Experimental Intermedia Foundation, Just Above Midtown, Dia Art Foundation, Roulette, PS1, Whitney Museum of American Art, Chicago Art Club, Issue Project Room, among other venues.

Since 1976, Tone has been designing musical compositions as a compound of cultural study based on post-structuralist theories and audio-visual materials compiled with ancient Oriental texts and musical sounds generated by electronic means.

Renee Gladman January 13 – March 18, 2023

“I began the day wanting to bring into convergence three activities of being—what I’d seen, what I’d read, and what I’d drawn—and to say about these acts how they made lines in the world that ran alongside other lines, and how all these lines together made environments of the earth, where I could put my body and you could put yours, and these would be lines always entwined because there was little if anything you could say or make without calling forth other lines, and this was how you knew you were where you were and the ground was worth cultivating and that there was life beneath the ground.” —Renee Gladman

Artists Space is pleased to present the first New York solo exhibition of the poet, novelist, and visual artist Renee Gladman. Beginning in 2006, Gladman’s extended cross-genre experimentation has compelled her to invent a unique hybrid drawing-writing practice that allows her to, in her words, “feel through the syntactical preconditions for language.”

In mixed-media works on paper, she interpolates multiple diagrammatic systems—those emerging from architecture and city planning, planetary movements, data visualization, and mathematics— within an exploration of her own nervous system and bodily gestures. Gladman’s drawings initially appeared in book form, with the printed page serving as a test site for her eventual efforts in recombining and intercalating prose, poetry, architecture, and drawing.

The written word and language itself are simultaneously embellished and obliterated in series of formally particular works that have increased in complexity and scale as they have gained independence from their association with the printed page.

As dense interior spaces of subjective unknowing, they move through a vast range of graphic and associative potentialities that assess the impact of Blackness, futurity, and erupting architectures on the topographies of the sentence.

For her exhibition at Artists Space, Gladman will present a selection of new and recent drawings made with pastel, gouache, acrylic, and white pigment on primarily black paper. Her sometimes collaborator, the critic Fred Moten, has referred to this initial surface as “the blackground: that nonrepresentational capacity that lets all representation take place.”

Renee Gladman (b. Atlanta, Georgia, 1971) is a writer and artist preoccupied with crossings, thresholds, and geographies as they play out at the intersection of poetry, prose, drawing, and architecture. Her work examines how drawing emerges from the body and how narrative takes shape below the semantic level. Gladman’s first solo exhibition, THE DREAM OF SENTENCES, took place at Wesleyan University in Fall 2022.

She is the author of three collections of drawing-writing—Prose Architectures (2017), One Long Black Sentence (2020), and Plans for Sentences (2022)—as well as many works of fiction, essay, and poetry, including Calamities (2016) and the Ravicka series (begun in 2010). Gladman has been awarded fellowships, artist grants, and residencies from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, the Foundation for Contemporary Art, the Lannan Foundation, and the Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, and she is a 2021 Windham-Campbell Prize winner in fiction.

SCRAAATCH Performances: Friday, November 18, 7pm Saturday, November 19, 8pm Saturday, December 3, 2pm Tickets are free with RSVP at

Guests will be added to a waitlist once we are at capacity.

Installation on view: November 23 – December 3, 2022

Artists Space is pleased to announce a new performance and installation by SCRAAATCH, the artist duo of E. Jane and chukwumaa (who also record music individually as MHYSA and lawd knows, respectively).

Their commission at Artists Space draws on the choreography of prefight scenes in a selection of reality television shows. Sourcing gestures, sculptural objects, and sound of all types from these tense moments, the artists will activate sonic sculptures across three nights of aleatory sound, movement, and interactive video.

SCRAAATCH has also invited photographer Elle Pérez to take part as a third performer and collaborator. After the performances, the project will remain on view as an immersive sensory multimedia installation until December 3rd. Together, E. Jane and chukwumaa form the sound and performance-art duo SCRAAATCH.

They create multimedia performances, experimental music, and hybrid DJ sets. Their work focuses on communication across the Black diaspora, generational trauma, social upheaval, and the social conditions of urban environments.

They are interested in communication attempts, communication breakdowns, societal breakdowns, and how communication can be meditated on through performance.

SCRAAATCH’s works employ a combined phenomenology of digital, visual, aural, and corporeal effects. Their performances typically unfold over durations that allow the viewer time to fully experience the feelings their sights, sounds, and gestures conjure.

Elle Pérez is an artist born and raised in the Bronx who lives in New York City. Their work considers the ways violence is attached to everyday life and pain as a catalyst for transformation.

Their work is currently on view in the exhibition no existe un mundo poshuracán: Puerto Rican Art in the Wake of Hurricane Maria at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. keyon gaskin Peformances: December 14, 16, and 18.

Showtimes will be announced soon. Tickets are forthcoming and free with RSVP at keyon gaskin is one of the most mercurial choreographers and dancers working today.

On all levels, their work problematizes conventional notions of entertainment and artistic excellence in dance. gaskin’s dances are contingent and highly adaptable for the space and conditions in which they occur and invoke the dynamics between audience and performer to create a charged intensity that is virtuosically held and modulated, often with extremes of stasis and action, silence and noise.

Their commission at Artists Space is the first time a performing artist will occupy the entirety of our downstairs venue and open upstairs galleries.

Segue Reading Series Satudays at 5pm December – January: Curated by James Sherry & Lonely Christopher December 3: Robert Fitterman & David Rothenberg December 10: erica kaufman & M. Lamar December 17: Sue Landers & Mónica de la Torre January 7: Kyle Dacuyan & Judith Goldman January 14: Kay Gabriel & Paolo Javier January 21: Jean Day & Ted Rees January 28: Erica Hunt & Jacob Kahn

Banner Image: Yasunao Tone performing Music for 2 CD Players, Dia Art Foundation, New York, 1987. Photo: Paula Court. Image Credit – Artists Space 

Artists Space

Founded in 1972 in downtown Manhattan, Artists Space fosters the artistic and cultural life of New York City as a primary venue for artists' work in all forms. An affinity with emerging ideas and artists is central to our institution, as is attentiveness to the social and intellectual concerns which actively inform artistic practice. We strive for exemplary conditions in which to produce, experience, and understand art, to be a locus of critical discourse and education, and to advocate for the capacity of artistic work to significantly define and reflect our understanding of ourselves.

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