'Turntablism' pioneer Christian Marclay
(b. 1955) is a visual artist and composer based in New York. He is particularly renowned for his acclaimed early turntable work.
Marclay was born in 1955 in San Rafael, CA and grew up in Geneva, Switzerland, where he studied at the Ecole Supérieure d’Art Visuel. During his studies, Marclay became interested in Joseph Beuys and the Fluxus movement of the 1960s and '70s. He eventually moved to the United States to complete his BFA at the Massachusetts College of Art.
A former lecturer of video and sound at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, the visualization of sound – and the musicality of the visible – is central to Marclay’s work; he has made sculptures from discarded CDs, melted vinyl records, sewn record covers together to create mixed media works and created installations invoking the latent musical life of objects from museum collections.
His pioneering use of turntables and records as media for performance began in the late 1970s, and was developed independently of hip-hop's use of turntables-as-instrument. Unable to recruit a drummer for performances with his fledgling band, Marclay solved the problem by employing the rhythmic skipping of records as an instrument.
Marclay has performed throughout Europe, Japan, Canada and the United States and recorded both solo and in collaboration with many musicians, including John Zorn, William Hooker, Elliott Sharp, Otomo Yoshihide, Butch Morris
; the Kronos Quartet, he has also performed with the group Sonic Youth, and in other projects with Sonic Youth's members.
> Christian Marclay on northwestern
> Christian Marclay on Studiomuseum
> Christian Marclay on European Graduate School
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