Titles with or about Tony Conrad

Your Friend

1982-1985, 9:53 min, color, sound

"In looking at media as an opportunity to change people’s minds, I have become intrigued by the various strategies available for rapidly effecting profound interpersonal influence: brainwashing, torture, religious conversion, theatricality, salesmanship, hypnosis, and salaries. Your Friend, seen here in an edited Buffalo performance, drew upon the vocabulary of evangelical religion. By stretching the audience’s indulgence— distressing them—and then quickly offering them a recovery at my expense, I was successful through my various live performances to the extent that audience members I later ran into would sing “I’m a Friend of Tony Conrad” back to me, even years afterward. Although it is couched in an ironic framework, Your Friend does contain an authentic gesture of empowerment and authorization, extending to the audience real tools for achieving effectiveness as musicians. This gesture becomes a fully articulated enablement only later, in the Studio of the Street." — Tony Conrad

Video by Kathryn High