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Marcel Zaes

Electronics Performer

Born in 1984 in Bern/SWITZ.
Based out of Providence, Rhode Island/USA
Marcel Zaes (b. 1984 in Bern, Switzerland), is an artist and artistic researcher, holding degrees from University of the Arts in Bern and Zurich University of the Arts, and has studied composition with Alvin Curran in Rome and with Peter Ablinger in Berlin. Currently, he is pursuing his Ph.D. in Music & Multimedia Composition at Brown University.

Marcel explores the ways in which rhythm forms the basis for community, that is, rhythm affords the sociality that is traditionally called “making music together,” or “dancing together,” even if no such action is involved at all. He investigates mechanical time, its politics and its socio-cultural contexts with an interdisciplinary framework that encompasses sound and media studies, new technologies, critical race studies, performance and dance studies.

Marcel’s artistic practice encompasses installation pieces, “living installations” with human performers, concert music for ensembles and electronics, and multimedia solo performances that he calls “post techno beat music.” His works consist of assemblages of self-made software codes that act as mechanical time keepers and human performers who “play along.” Most of his pieces harbor an affective potential to perceive and re-think the gap between what is congenitally conceived of as “human,” versus what is conceived of as “mechanical” temporality.

For his work, Marcel Zaes has been awarded a number of grants and prizes, has played numerous concerts and taken part in exhibitions internationally, worked many times as artist in residence, has had his works played by ensembles internationally, and he has published eleven albums to date. Most recently, his work has been showcased at the at ISEA Hong Kong (2016), at the Center for New Music San Francisco (2018), at Goethe Institute New Delhi (2018), at the Biennial of Contemporary Arts Lisbon (2019), at Cabaret Voltaire Zurich (2019), and at Columbia University in New York (2019).
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