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JONATHAN CHEN’s work includes composition, improvisation, and installation. Many of these areas encompass one another. Some works have a conceptual focus out of which materials emerge, other works are born out of experimentation with the actual materials involved in the work. That all the works are related necessarily blurs the distinction between what is concept based and what is aesthetically motivated. The more overtly concept based works might be thought of in terms of the ways in which they seek to reveal conditions of perspective towards the creation of new values.
Chen’s work has been performed or installed at The Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), The Soap Factory (Minneapolis), Sonic Circuits International Festival of Electronic Music and Art (Boston & NYC), 2 Kolegas & D22 (Beijing), Goldsmiths College (London), Chicago Cultural Center, Labor Sonar (Berlin), Eyedrum (Atlanta), The Flea (NYC), and many others. As an improviser he has performed as violinist, violist, and/or electronicist at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), Renaissance Society (Chicago), Resonance FM (London), Malta Festival (Poznan, Poland), The Stone (NYC), Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park (Chicago), The Smithsonian Institute, Sounds Like Now (NYC) Chicago Jazz Festival, Galapagos Art Space (NYC), The Metro (Chicago), Roulette (NYC), and many others.
Chen received his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Electronic Arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, in 2012. He received his Master of Arts in Music Composition from Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, in 2006, and his Master of Music in Violin Performance from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL in 1999. Chen has studied composition, improvisation, and installation with Alvin Lucier, Anthony Braxton, and Pauline Oliveros. He has also studied video with Anna Jermolaewa and Igor Vamos. He has released work on the Asian Improv, Interval, and Striking Mechanism record labels.