John Hudak
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John Hudak : : Curriculum Vitae

Tuesday 23 March 2004, by John Hudak

born 3 28 58 Framingham Massachusetts

26 Parkway Drive Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522

I have been interested in sound and music from the age of four, when I began to play a variety of instruments. At the University of Delaware and the Naropa Institute for the Arts, I studied English, video, photography, creative writing and dance. I then began to create taped soundtracks for my solo performance-art/dance pieces, that later developed into audio, audio-video, and mixed-media pieces. Language has also been a predominant focus, and I have studied and published haiku poetry, the literary equivalent of the reductive, minimal, and nature-based sound forms that interest me.

In recent years, I have concentrated mainly on sound, particularly on natural and simple sounds, that form the basis of digitally manipulated audio works. My current work focuses on the rhythms and melodies that exist in our daily aural environments. These sounds usually remain hidden, as we tend to overlook their musical qualities; or, their musical qualities are obscured through mixture with other sounds. This work takes the form of audio CDs, web-based projects, mixed-media installations and performances. In simplified terms, what I am doing could be considered reframing and transforming sound in our environment so it can be noted, admired, and valued.


University of Delaware, BA, English 1981

Naropa Institute for the Arts, 1979


Sound engineer, RBH Multimedia, 2007-present

Independent bookseller, 1998-present

Sound designer and engineer, "The Universe," written and directed by Richard Foreman, The Ontological/Hysteric Theatre, New York, 1996

Selected Solo Recordings

- on and on | CD | 2008 | Presto !? Recordings |

- miss dove, mr. dove | CD | 2008 | afe recordings |

- sotto voce CD | 2006 | conv recordings |

- sand or stars CD | 2005 | and-oar recordings |

- room with sky | CD | 2004 | spekk recordings |

- old moon CDr (2 - 3 inch) | 2003 | kissy records |

- may fifth CD | 2003 | XZF |

- tall grasses CD | 2002 | digital narcis ltd. |

- figure 2 CD | 2000 | intransitive recordings |

- highway CD | 2000 | edition . . . |

- my eye | my son’s eye CD | 2000 | generator sound art |

- don’t worry about anything, i’ll talk to you tomorrow | CD | 1999 | alluvial recordings |

- pond CD | 1998 | meme recordings |

- natura | 7" vinyl | 1994 | Apraxia |

Selected Compilations

- Another Kind Of Language : dedicated to Andrei Tarkovsky 2CDs | 2003 | and-oar |

- the audible still-life : a collection of audio compositions derived from still-life CD | 2003 | stasisfield |

- Helen Marie: Reinterpretations 2CDs | 2002 | alluvial recordings |

- Inflation CD | 2002 | p+c mu-label |

- Ringtones CD | 2002 | Touch Recordings |

- Cyberarts 2001 CD | 2001 | ORF/Prix Ars Electronica | Linz, Austria | companion to the Prix Ars Electronica

- Total Electric Living CD | 2001 | Queens Museum of Art, Queens, NY | companion to the Crossing The Line exhibition, June 24-October 7, 2001

- BitStreams CD | 2001 | JDK productions | Amsterdam, The Netherlands | companion to the BitStreams exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, March 22 - June 10, 2001

- State of the Union CD | 2001 | Electronic Music Foundation Recordings |

- variious CD | 2000 | intransitive recordings |

- effe/sukora 001 CD | 2000 | effe

- scatter CD | 1997 | Ash International |

- a fault in the nothing CD | 1996 | Ash International |

New Media

- soundtracks for images curated by tu’m:

curtain | 2001 | tu’m recordings

- artifact | 1997 | | artifactual sounds and images collected from the web |

- itravel | 2000 | | interactive sounds and images in varying juxtapositions |

- short | 2001 | | haiku-like phrases presented in a natural environment |

- | still life | 2002 | every three minutes, a new picture of Hudak’s dining room, colorized with the palette of Van Gogh’s Starry Night, and translated into an audio signal |

- manray project | ongoing from 1998 | in collaboration with Steve Bradley | an ongoing collection of experimental web-based artwork | jhbk

Installations and Performances

- Experimental Intermedia, New York, NY, 8 December 2010 | A collection of electroacoustic miniatures inspired by European folk melodies, Asian street songs, and the inflections inherent in the speaking voices of various peoples of the world; from the murmurings of medieval monks to the songs of birds; video visual accompaniment and audio collaboration supplied by Bruce Tovsky

- new turf | Group show, Fleming Gallery, The University of Vermont, July 6 - October 30, 2006 | fleming | Sound installation featuring room with sky (see solo recordings)

- hear ing | For a Long Time... a festival of music, sound, and ideas | Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT | 30 April to 2 May, 2004 | a steel cone mounted on a swivel base, installed on a grassy knoll, with a large rose garden and many trees. Multiple bird feeders were placed within the rose garden three weeks prior to the installation. This piece is now in the permanent collection of the Wesleyan World Instrument Collection.

- rabbit in a cage | office ops, Brooklyn, NY,, August 3, 2003. With Bruce Tovsky, video | Resonator guitar played in a repeating pattern based on a recording of the BaBenzale Pygmies of Central Africa |

- shifiting limbs | Museum of Contemporary Art, Lyon, France, March 6 - May 18, 2002 | A live image of tree limbs will be input to a computer thorugh a surveillance camera. A constant sound, derived from a live picture of the limbs (through video to audio conversion software) will be produced at a low volume, with movement of the limbs triggering subtle changes in the pitch and quality of the sound. The image of the tree limbs will be presented on a small monitor placed inside an old wooden view camera. The viewer will look into the lens and see the live black and white video image of the trees inside the camera (on a small video monitor). The lens will magnify the image and distort it a bit, giving it the quality of a past image (when in reality, if the windows are nearby, you can see the trees themselves).

- modification 3: a digital feedback system | Experimental Intermedia Foundation New York, NY | |December 19, 2001. With Bruce Tovsky (video) | A feedback system where the visual (live video of my hand moving) modifications are controlled by the audio whose modifications in turn are based on the video.

- from where I am | WKCR - 89.9 FM, New York, November 2, 2001 | A live broadcast (and computer manipulation) of sounds from contact and open-air microphones receiving input from where Hudak lives, on the Brooklyn-Heights promenade, over the Brooklyn-Queens expressway, facing the bottom of the east river, lower Manhattan, and the Brooklyn piers.

- tall grasses | Diapason Gallery, New York, July 28, 2001 | | An all-day installation of a full wall video projection of grass blowing in the wind, with accompanying sound derived from contact microphones placed in the soil

- pinwheels | Performance with Stephen Vitiello, part of the performance series, June Bugs, curated by Kyle Lapidus, on the rooftop of 306 Dean Street. Brooklyn, New York, June 3, 2001 | Six children’s pinwheels were attached to the rooftop, amplified with contact microphones, then sampled and processed live with an Apple G3 powerbook and hardware sampler.

- fun with sandpaper | Solo performance, AC Project Room, New York, April 21, 2001, part of Soundoff: A Series of New Sound Performances, curated by Neil Benezra | Sandpaper is the only sound source, amplified with contact microphones. The sound is layered and granulated live with an Apple G3 powerbook. The sandpaper and the sanding hand are projected on the wall before the audience.

- BitStreams | Group show, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, March-June 2001, | Sound installation featuring pond (see solo recordings)

- Facade | California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland. September-October, 2000, Multi-media installation | On a gallery wall, a continually changing image of the building housing the gallery (from an external computer quickcam) is projected, accompanied by an audio signal extracted from the image. As the day progresses to evening, the image changes as does the sound.

- VOLUME: Bed of Sound | Group show, P.S. 1, Long Island City. July-September, 2000 | featuring don’t worry about anything, i’ll talk to you tomorrow

- Woolworth: A Building | Studio Five Beekman, New York. February, 2000, | Multi-media installation featuring live, digitally modified images of the Woolworth building, visible from the window of the gallery, projected on a video screen accompanied by sound digitally extracted from the image.

- transmissions 002 | Sound Festival, Carborro, North Carolina, May, 1999 | Live performance of My Eye, My Son’s Eye (see solo recordings), with a video projection of my eye, which by blinking, triggers samples of a child’s music box .

- Blue and Red | Greenwich House Music School, New York, 1995, part of the Stormy Mondays New Music Series | Sounds of grounding hum, produced with a home-made hum-maker that controls the hum through four different speakers; and the sound of eight battery-operated clock motors, that moves around a quadraphonic amplification system, creating cross-rhythms.

- Dendrites | Rotterdam Museum of Art, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 1995, part of Klangpark’Sound Festival | The amplified sound of tree limbs and leaves blowing in the wind, broadcast on loudspeakers in the museum park.

- Natural Selection | Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA, 1994 | Sound and video performance with Steve Bradley, part of the Small Computers and the Arts Symposium | Video manipulations of the images of fruit flies with accompanying sound derived from the fruit flies.

- Time Tunnel | Philadelphia Artist’s Cooperative, Philadelphia, PA, 1992 | A black and white spiral mounted on a fan turns while a performer, completely wrapped in white cloth, runs toward and into the spiral with strobe light and sound.

- The Toiling Eye | Upstairs Gallery, Philadelphia, PA 1992 | A performer lies on the ground facing away from the audience with a video camera aimed at one of his eyes. On the other eye, is a contact microphone. The sound of the blink coordinates with its video image on a monitor in the middle of the stage.

- The Struggle of the Magicians | Community Education Center, Philadelphia, PA, 1992, part of Performance in an Informal Space | One performer kneels with his naked back to the audience, arms outstretched, and pulls metal cables kept taut by two assistants. The wires are amplified, the sound changing with varying degrees of tension. Another performer in white face walks extremely slowly across the back of the room.

- Siren | Painted Bride Arts Center, Philadelphia, PA 1991 at the Philadelphia Dada Festival | Three seated performers with music stands holding sheet music prepare to play the following instruments: a clarinet, a saxophone, and a trumpet. As soon as the performers begin to play, a siren is turned on and stays on for the length of the performance.

- Yellow Sheet | Logos Foundation, Ghent, Belgium, 1990 | The performer lays beneath a yellow sheet with a contact microphone amplifying his heartbeat, and an airplane pilot’s throat microphone amplifies sounds of breathing. One of the performer’s hands is exposed to the audience, and members of the audience are invited to touch the hand in order to manipulate the sound.

- Wooden Sections | Gallery 455, San Francisco, CA, July, 1988 | The amplified sounds of logs being played with thick tree branches in a steady rhythm, and of leaves in a large amplified wooden box being rustled, with variations in rhythm using a mixer and two digital delay units.

- Marble | Gallery 455, San Francisco, CA, August 1987 and Dionysus Gallery, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 1990 | Marbles are rolled for 30 minutes in a round metal tub amplfied with a contact microphone.

- Traveling | Private performance, San Diego, CA and Philadelphia, PA, July 1987 | Friends were asked to meet for a short period of time at the airport in Philadelphia. At the appointed time, I stood at the edge of the ocean on the opposite coast in San Diego, letting the water create the feeling of pushing me backward to the other coast.

- Dissection of Limbo | The Lab, San Francisco, CA, October 1986, and Community Education Center, Philadelphia, PA, June 1986 | Performer dressed in white lab coat, with surgical gloves and scalpel, dissects a paper-mache head filled with garbage, narrating the significance of each piece of garbage.

- There Are Two Lives | Group Motion Studios, Philadelphia, PA, March, 1986, Theatre Jarry, Washington, DC, March 1986, and Alchemical Theatre, New York, NY, February, 1986 | The performer, wrapped in bandages head to toe, slowly moves around the performance space to the accompaniment of static chords played on an accordion. Eventually the performer reaches into the bandages covering the chest area and finds there is a mackerel (fish) that has been wrapped there for the entire performance. The performer holds the fish and offers it a glass of milk.

- Desire | Group Motion Studios, Philadelphia, PA, December 1985 | Dressed as a woman, the performer moves in an extreme slow motion dance to the sound of five radios tuned to different stations.

- Fire | Alchemical Theatre, New York, November 1985 | Solo dance exploring soundless emotion.

- Imaging | Community Education Center, Philadelphia, PA, October 1985 | The performer plays static sawing notes on a violin while walking around the audience, stopping to utter random images that come to mind.

- The Poetics of Self-Effacement | Community Education Center, Philadelphia, PA, June 1984 | One performer is seated with eyes closed. Two other performers draw cards which tell them to drink coffee, think of a word, or close their eyes. One sustained pitch rises in volume throughout the length of the 20 minute performance, while colored dye is dripped by eye dropper into a bowl of water sitting on an overhead projector. The spreading color is projected on the performers, dressed in white.

- Portraits on Newspaper | ARTCORE Gallery, Berlin, West Germany, 1985 | Exhibition of India ink portraits done on full open sheets of the New York Times.

Other Projects and Honors

- Prix Ars Electronica | Honorable Mention | Linz, Austria, 2001 | for: highway (see solo recordings)

- The Sound of the New | The Kitchen, New York, April 18, 2001, part of the series Digital Happy Hour. A compositional demonstration, followed by a discussion moderated by Carl Goodman, curator of American Museum of the Moving Image. Co-featuring Ben Rubin and Morton Subotnik

- Prix Ars Electronica | Honorable Mention | Linz, Austria, 1999 | for: the ant moves/the black & yellow carcass/a little closer Collaborative sound work with Bernhard Gunter

- The Universe | Sound design and engineering for the play, written and directed by Richard Foreman, The Ontological/Hysteric Theatre, New York, 1996

- Henri Chopin - les 9 saintes-phonies: a retrospective | Staalplaat Recordings, Amsterdam, 1994 | Produced and edited the CD retrospective of the seminal sound poet’s work, with companion monograph containing an interview of Henri Chopin by John Hudak and essays by contemporary sound poets.

- Artist in Residence | Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center New York, 1994

- Silent Meeting Club |1993-1994 | A group of people, organized by Hudak, have meetings on a regular basis at various pre-determined sites in Philadelphia. They met for an undetermined amount of time without speaking.

- Homage to Beuys Mail Art Show | Abandoned and condemned building at 46th and Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA, 1986 | International mail art exhibition organized by Hudak to commemorate the death of Joseph Beuys. Solicited mail art was displayed on the walls while an accordion played sustained notes and a small tape player played tiny metallic sounds. The participants were arrested and detained by the Philadelphia police for trespassing in a city-owned building. The "Beuys 10" became a cause celebre in the Philadephia papers and were eventually granted a mayoral pardon.

Selected Bibliography

- Cotner, David, "Earmarked: Tagging the New and Noteworthy." e/i music electronic and otherwise, 6(winter/spring 2006), p. 10

- Marks, Laura, "Immanence Online" The Haptic Critic: Sensuous Theory and Artists, Media , 2001

- Haynes, Jim. "Outer Limits." The Wire, Adventures in Modern Music, 207(May 2001), p. 77

- Breslin, Ramsey Bell. "Child’s Play." East Bay Express, October 13-19, 2000

- Akins, Robert. "Some Notable Sites." Art in America, 87(April 1999), p. 91.

- O’Reilly, David. "A Club, So To Speak." The Philadelphia Inquirer, Tuesday June 2, 1992

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