Sound Spaces: Jason Kahn, Joe Colley and Scott Arford

In collaboration with 23 Five Incorporated, swissnex San Francisco welcomes Zurich-based sound artist Jason Kahn for a lecture and a live performance, including a collaboration with Joe Colley. San Francisco’s Scott Arford also performs.

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
730 Montgomery St., San Francisco, 94111 United States


March 26, 2009 from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00)

Zurich-based sound artist Jason Kahn returns to San Francisco to perform at swissnex and to present his work at a free lecture.

A New York native brought up in California, Kahn is a longtime Switzerland resident and a close collaborator to some of the country’s greatest electro-acoustic sound explorers, including Günter Müller and ex-Voice Crack member Norbert Möslang. Starting out as a drummer before gradually reducing his percussive arsenal and integrating live electronics into his performances, Kahn has traced an impressive path through improvised music and sound art, making significant contributions through frequent collaborative endeavors, the direction of larger ensembles of directed improvisation, as well as through sound installations and a large body of work in solo performance mode.

swissnex San Francisco joins forces with 23five Incorporated, who’s set to release a new collection of works by Jason Kahn in 2009, to present a unique evening pairing Jason with Oakland’s Joe Colley and also featuring the intense sound work of San Francisco’s Scott Arford.

As an introduction to this unique performance bill, Jason Kahn will present his work during a no-frills lecture, offering direct insights into his use of and opinion on technology, his approach to performance and to installation works, and the relation of sound and spaces.

This show is a must-hear for seasoned followers of the sonic avant-garde, and a guaranteed ear-opener for newcomers.


6:00 pm Jason Kahn presentation
Lecture – Free
8:00 pm Jason Kahn and Joe Colley, Scott Arford
Performance – $7.00

Click here for a high-definition, full-size event poster.


Jason Kahn

Originally a percussionist, Jason Kahn later began integrating live electronics into his playing. He currently performs with different combinations of percussion, analogue synthesizer or computer. As a composer, Kahn’s work draws on electronic and acoustic sound sources to create slowly developing compositions imbued with a sense of timelessness. His work addresses the entity of sound as both a physical and psychological factor shaping our consciousness. Kahn’s sound installations seek to enhance spatial awareness through sonic intervention, focusing on expanding our perception to other dimensions of seeing, hearing and feeling a space.

Joe Colley

Joe Colley explores the multiple conceptual possibilities of sound, through music production, installations, or collaborations with video artists, dancers, and even prisoners. His latest installations attempted to dissimulate the artist by concentrating on the instigation of unstable situations unique to the composition of random sound. Colley first began recording under the moniker Crawl Unit in 1993, and later dropped the name in favor of his given name in 2001. He’s released numerous recordings for Auscultare, Antifrost, ERS, Manifold, C.I.P, and his own Povertech Industries. In 2006, Colley won an Award of Distinction for the 2006 Prix Ars Electronica in Digital Music for his album Psychic Stress Soundtracks.

Scott Arford

Scott Arford is one of the leading figures of new media arts in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has produced numerous works for sound and video including multichannel installations, live performances, CD and DVD projects. He was awarded an Honorable Mention in the 2005 Prix Ars Electronica. Arford has shown his work at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Sounding Festivals in Guangzhou, China and Taipei, Taiwan, the LEM festival in Barcelona, Spain, Liquid Architecture in Melbourne, Australia, the Festival de Video/Arte/Eolectronica in Lima, Peru, Sonic Light in Amsterdam, and the Center for Contemporary Arts in Kitakyushu, Japan.

Founded in 1993, 23five Incorporated is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the development and increased awareness of sound works in the public arena, and to the support and education of artists working with and discussing the medium of sound. 23five Incorporated has remained at the forefront in bringing the most adventurous elements of sound art to the San Francisco Bay area. 23five has served as an important benefactor to artists such as CM von Hausswolff, Christina Kubisch, Francisco Lopez, Olivia Block, Matt Heckert, Zbigniew Karkowski, Atau Tanaka, and many more.

for more information:

This event is part of swissnex San Francisco’s ongoing series of encounters at the crossroads of art and technology, made possible thanks to the support of the Swiss Arts Council, Pro Helvetia.


Photo: Myleen Hollero