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Tony Conrad, Influential Experimental Filmmaker, Dies at 76

Tony Conrad, Influential Experimental Filmmaker, Dies at 76

Tony Conrad, whose experimental films and music influenced generations of creative thinkers, passed away on April 9 at age 76 after struggling with prostate cancer and pneumonia, The Buffalo News reports.

Conrad was an artist of many talents, and made a deep impact on the film scene with 1966’s “The Flicker.” The 30-minute project consists of five flickering frames that create stroboscopic effects. Although the production proved to be quite divisive, it made a splash at the fourth New York Film Festival. Take a look at some excerpts from the film here:

Additionally, Conrad was an influential musician and composer. In the early ’60s, he was in an early incarnation of The Velvet Underground called The Primitives, with Lou Reed and John Cale. But Conrad later became known for his drone work on violin. 

Since 1976, Conrad taught at the University at Buffalo’s media study department, constantly involved in film, art and music projects along the way.

Fans will have a unique opportunity to pay tribute to Conrad by checking out MoMA’s An Evening with Tony Conrad on Monday, April 18. Two of the artist’s films (including “The Flicker”) will be played, along with the String Orchestra of Brooklyn performing his 2015 composition “Empire for Strings”. Click here for more info.

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