AARON TAYLOR KUFFNER
New York based conceptual artist Arron Taylor Kuffner studied and submerged himself into the art of traditional Indonesian gamelan musical instruments during his time living in Java and Bali. Kuffner preserves and reinterprets these ancient traditional instruments by retrofitting them with mechanical mallets that are connected to a self-built computer network that transcribes his compositions. His site-specific sonic, kinetic sculptures are hand fabricated using Indonesian forging techniques, and finished with traditional bronze, brass, iron instruments and robotic technology.
Kuffner is a trained painter and metal sculptor, a former street artist, theatre director, international DJ and music producer. Kuffner lived and studied at the Institut Seni Inodenesia Yogyakarta, where he embraced the traditions of both the gamelan and village life. Dedicated to expanding the legacy and creative cultural power of gamelan through innovation, Kuffner’s viscerally powerful installations and site-specific performances have stood alone both as art works and mechanisms that tell us a story of globalization and modernization.
Kuffner has performed and exhibited work more than 400 times in 22 countries in the last eighteen years. He has created more than twenty Gamelatron sculptures in the last seven years. His recent installations have been exhibited by the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, California (2017); the Drawing Center, New York (2016); 56th Venice Biennale at the Palazzo Grimani Museum Venice (2015); The Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C. (2013); and The Clocktower Gallery, New York (2012). He also received grants, in-kind supports and awards from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in association with the Clocktower Gallery, New York; The trust for Mutual Understanding; The Experimental Television Center; The New York Council for the Arts; Ableton Gmhb; The CEC Artslink; Scope Arts; Artist Wanted; Techshop; The New Orleans Airlift; The Indonesian Foreign Ministry; The Dharmasiswa Scholarship; The Berlin Arts Council; The European Commission; I-D Media Berlin; Schloss Brollin Art Labor; The Black Rocks Arts Foundation; The James F. Robison Foundation; The Soros Foundation; Swiss Air; The Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation; the US Artists International partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts; and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.