Christian Marclay (born in California, 1955, raised in Switzerland) is a New York based visual artist and composer whose innovative work explores the juxtaposition between sound recording, photography, video and film. He studied at the Ecole Supérieure d'Art Visuel from 1977 - 1980 in Geneva, Switzerland. From 1977 - 1980 he studied sculpture at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. He also studied as a visiting scholar at Cooper Union in New York in 1978.
As a performer and sound artist Christian has been experimenting, composing and performing with phonograph records and turntables since 1979 to create his unique "theater of found sound." Christian was influenced by Marcel Duchamp. Christian offers a unique, fresh and innovative voice that has inspired an entire generation of musicians, artists and theorists. While atttending the Massachusetts College of Art, Christian developed his interest in performance art and punk rock. It was the music world that inspired him versus the art scene.
Christian continually works with the idea of deconstructing the record, in sound and theory. He is attempting to bring to light the background deterioration of the vinyl as a medium. Attending to the residual noises that are often lost helps make the listener aware of the medium of vinyl. The materiality of the cheap plastic the music is recorded on. Christian finds creative potential in the recorded glitches that usually are ignored within music. Giving voice to the breaks and scratches within the recorded sound provides an insight into the chaos and undetermined potential of creativity.
Christain has collaborated with musicians such as John Zorn, Elliott Sharp, Fred Frith, Zeena Parkins, Shelley Hirsh, Christian Wolff, Butch Morris, Otomo Yoshihide, Arto Lindsay, and Sonic Youth among many others. A dadaist DJ and filmmaker his installations and video / film collages display provocative musical and visual landscapes and have been included in exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art New York, Venice Biennale, Centre Pompidou Paris, Kunsthaus Zurich, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.