Phil Dadson is a seminal figure in New Zealand’s art history, both for pushing the boundaries of sound and intermedia art since the 70s and for his influence on a generation of now leading mid-career artists. His highly inventive transdiciplinary approach to making art includes solo performances and exhibitions, building experimental musical instruments and sonic objects, digital video/audio and installation, music composition, graphic scores and drawing, sound sculptures and improvisations with invented instruments. Video remains a constant passion for Dadson, as much for its ability to synergistically combine image and sound as for its unique physicality (perhaps not so obvious today with technology closing the gap between film and video resolution.)
One of the foundation members of Scratch Orchestra (London, 1969, with Cornelius Cardew, Michael Parsons and others), Dadson returned to New Zealand to establish Scratch Orchestra (NZ) and later From Scratch (1974). From Scratch – whose founding members included Don 1 BOWEN AVENUE AUCKLAND 1010 NEW ZEALAND T +64 9 379 9556 C +64 21 378 940 firstname.lastname@example.org WWW.TRISHCLARK.CO.NZ McGlashan, Wayne Laird and Bruce Barber – is now defunct, but is remembered internationally as a highly original and influential rhythm/performance group. It was the subject of Gregor Nicholas’ film ‘Pacific 3-2-1-Zero’, awarded the Croisette d’Or Grand Prix at the Cannes Music Film Awards in 1994, which is now included in the Permanent Film Collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Dadson continues to exhibit and perform prolifically both in New Zealand and internationally. In 2014 he participated in Sounding Tiritiri Matangi, a unique open-air sonic event that roamed over Tiritiri Matangi Island in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf. He performed alongside Taonga Puoro player Rob Thorne and Chilean modified instruments/ electronic artist Enrique Siques in x-current; a touring event showcasing new music from across the Pacific, culminating in a performance at Auckland’s Audio Foundation as part of S3D’s Invented Instrument minifest.
Appointed to the Sculpture Department at Auckland University’s Elam School of Fine Arts in 1977, Dadson held the position of Head of Intermedia/Time-based arts from 1986 – 2001. Throughout his career Dadson has been the recipient of many key awards and fellowships, enabling opportunities to make art and perform in the USA, Antarctica, China, Russia, Japan, Australia, Canada, Thailand, Indonesia, Hungary, UK, India, Austria and Argentina. Dadson became a New Zealand Arts Foundation Laureate in 2001, and an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) in 2005.