Discipline: Visual Art – mixed media

Che Chen

Discipline: Visual Art – mixed media
Region: Stonybrook, NY
MacDowell Fellowships: 2006

Che Chen is a sound artist and improviser based in Brooklyn and Stonybrook, New York. Largely a self-taught musician, Che uses the violin, guitar, and other musical and “non-musical” objects in works that explore perceptual phenomena and improvisation. His recent solo performances have consisted of improvisations based on the harmonic overtones of idiosyncratic tunings (scordatura) for the violin, played against sine wave pedal points. Che’s interests in difference tones (closely tuned pitches that result in beating patterns), phasing, repetition, decay, spacialization of sounds, and the structural relationship between “audience” and “performer” have led him to use a variety of methods that include analog tape delay systems, loops and manipulation, placing acoustic and electronic sound sources in various locations around the performance area, and generally eschewing the idea of “the stage.” He is interested in music and sound principally as a means of being in time and a way of radically inhabiting the present.

Che has toured in the United States, Europe, and Japan, presenting solo performances and collaborations with Jozef Van Wissem, Robbie Lee, Chie Mukai, Tetuzi Akiyama, and others. Che is also one half of the band True Primes, and has collaborated with artists Mary Walling Blackburn and Sherlock Terry. As an anthologist, he has produced the private press artists’ magazine, O Sirhan, O Sirhan and Attention Patterns. Che runs his own label, Black Pollen Press, as an outlet for these endeavors.



Che Chen worked in the Adams studio.

Given to the MacDowell Association by Margaret Adams of Chicago, the half-timbered, stuccoed Adams Studio was designed by MacDowell Fellow and architect F. Tolles Chamberlin ca. 1914. Chamberlin was primarily a painter, but also provided designs for the Lodge and an early renovation of the main hall. The studio’s structural integrity was restored during a thorough renovation in…

Learn more