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Per Biorn

1937, Copenhagen (Denmark); lives in Gainesville (Florida, U.S.)

Interview with Per Biorn, August 25, 2004
Interview with Per Biorn, August 25, 2004
After completing his military service in Denmark, Per Biorn studied electrical engineering, then emigrated to the United States in 1962. He began working for Bell Telephone Laboratories (Murray Hill, N.J., U.S.) in 1964, focusing primarily on solid-state circuit research. For 9 Evenings, Biorn designed the technological components controlling various elements (projectors, objects, lights) for Carriage Discreteness by Yvonne Rainer. In addition, he developed some of the TEEM decoders and helped design the Ground Effect Machine used in Vehicle by Lucinda Childs.

As an engineer participating in Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.), Biorn was asked by Martha Minujin to design the interactive elements of her installation Minuphone (1967). As part of another E.A.T. collaboration (with Ralph Flynn and Robby Robinson), he developed the light and sound modulation system used by Carolee Schneeman in her performance Snows (1967). In 1968, Biorn built some of the interactive elements of the Soundings and Solstice installations (1968) by Robert Rauschenberg.

During the 1990’s, he restored these works and occasionally fine-tuned the technology for the artist retrospectives. In 1970, Biorn built several components for the sound dispersion system in the Pepsi Pavilion designed by E.A.T. for the Osaka World Exposition held that year. Since 1966, Biorn has also worked with Lillian Schwartz (1968), Merce Cunningham (1969), Jean Toche (1970), Julius Tobias (1972), Trisha Brown (1986), Lillian Ball (1991, 1993), Irina Nakhova (1994), Robert Whitman (1995), Nina Sobell (2001), and Marjorie Gamso (2002).

[Documents available in the collection about Per Biorn...] 

[Documents available in the collection by Per Biorn...] 

Vincent Bonin © 2006 FDL