Kenneth Lee Butler (born August 3, 1948) is an American artist and musician, as well as an experimental musical instrument builder. His Hybrid musical instruments and other artworks explore the interaction and transformation of common and uncommon objects, altered images, sounds and silence. The idea of bricolage, essentially using whatever is "at hand", is at the center of his art, encompassing a wide range of practice that combines live music, instrument design, performance art, theater, sculpture, installation, photography, film/video, graphic design, drawing, and collage.
|Birth name||Kenneth Lee Butler|
|Born||August 3, 1948|
Bethesda, Maryland United States
|Genres||Experimental art and music|
|Website||Ken Butler's Hybrid Visions|
He is internationally recognized as an innovator of experimental musical instruments created from diverse materials including tools, sports equipment, and household objects.
His works have been exhibited and performed in galleries, clubs, museums, festivals, and theatres throughout the USA, Canada, and Europe including The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and Lincoln Center and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City as well as in South America and Japan.
Butler studied viola as a child and maintained a strong interest in music while studying the visual arts at Colorado College and in France at The Institute for American Universities in Aix-en-Provence, completing his MFA in painting from Portland State University in 1977. He moved to New York City in 1988 from Portland, Oregon.
In the past and currently Butler has worked with artists like John Zorn, Laurie Anderson, Butch Morris, The Soldier String Quartet. Butler has released an album on John Zorn's label Tzadik Records, and performed in many places including the Knitting Factory.
His works have been reviewed in The New York Times, The Village Voice, Artforum, Smithsonian, and Sculpture Magazine and have been featured on PBS, CNN, MTV, and NBC, including a live appearance on The Tonight Show.