Kevin Patton is a musician, scholar, and technologist active in the fields of experimental musical and multimedia theatre whose work explores the intersection of sound, technology, multimedia, and performance. The design of new musical instruments as well as interfaces and computer systems for analysis, composition, and performance is at the center of his practice. Kevin is also a frequent collaborator in installation, network art, and performance art projects. His work has been recognized for a collaboration with visual artist Maria del Carmen Montoya with the prestigious 2009 Rhizome commission for the piece, I Sky You, an installation that combines chemically synthesized light, video tracking, and sound design. He has also contributed to John Ewing’s award winning Virtual Corners, and the collective Ghana ThinkTank, designing audio interactions and physical computing in support of their projects.
His scholarship includes presentations and writing about the contemporary practice of improvisers who are deeply mediated by technology, as well as more theoretical approaches to agency, subjectivity, improvisation, and even circuit design. “I am interested in improvisation as a temporal convergence of technology and agency, spirit and expression. A moment-of-now, if you will, that can be used to posit questions of not only automation and design but also ability and ethics. Does the moment-of-now provide a potential basis for ethical interactions at the interface of expression and technology? The issues of virtuosity and musicianship can be reframed as a question of the location of the limits of human physical capacity or ability or skill. If musical expression/performance is really the physical management of varying amounts of autonomy, could it be that virtuosity is really a question of devising the right schema, system, or conceptual framework to activate potential, both specifically and uniquely?”
His musical practice engages technology through performance and composition but centrally through improvisation. He has performed with many notable musicians including Sam Rivers, John Abercrombie, Pauline Oliveros, Chris Potter, G.T. Hogan, as well as having recently performed the chamber music of George Lewis. Composition teachers include Joseph Butch Rovan, Todd Winkler, Hans Tutschku, Jon Christopher Nelson, Gerald Shapiro, Joe Kline, and Christopher Theofanidis.