Ed Osborn
Biographical Narrative


Ed Osborn (born 1964, Helsinki, Finland) is a sound artist, composer, educator, and sound designer who has performed, exhibited, lectured, and held residencies in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and South America. His sounding artworks take many forms including installation, sculpture, radio, video, performance, and public projects. They demonstrate a visceral sense of space, aurality, and motion combined with a precise economy of materials. Ranging from rumbling fans and sounding train sets to squirming music boxes and delicate feedback networks, Osborn's kinetic and audible pieces function as resonating systems that are by turns playful and oblique, engaging and enigmatic.

Osborn has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Creative Work Fund, Arts International, Meet the Composer, and Harvestworks/Studio PASS and been awarded residencies from the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program (Berlin), the Banff Centre for the Arts (Banff, Canada), Het Apollohuis (Eindhoven, Netherlands), STEIM (Amsterdam), Polar Circuit (Tornio, Finland), the Tryon Center for Visual Art (Charlotte, NC), the Headlands Center for the Arts (Sausalito, California), the Djerassi Resident Artist Program (Woodside, CA), and the Center for Research and Computing in the Arts at UC San Diego.

He has performed and exhibited at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), Sonambiente Festival (Berlin), Logos Foundation (Gent, Belguim), the Museum of Applied Arts, (Helsinki, Finland), Lincoln Center (New York), Galerie DARE-DARE (Montréal, Quebec), LACE (Los Angeles), the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (North Adams, MA), the Institute of Modern Art (Brisbane, Australia), the Auckland Art Gallery (Auckland, NZ), the Sherry Frumkin Gallery (Santa Monica, CA), SKOP (Frankfurt, Germany), the Sound Symposium (St. John's, Newfoundland), Artspace (Sydney, Australia), and New Langton Arts (San Francisco, CA).

He has taught sound studies at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), the California College of Arts and Crafts (Oakland, CA), and San Francisco State University, and has lectured at Georgia State University (Atlanta, GA), the San Francisco Art Institute, the Columbus College of Art & Design (Columbus, OH), Otago Polytechnic School of Art (Dunedin, NZ), the Queensland College of Art (Brisbane, Australia), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY), the University of California at Davis, and the Academie voor Beeliende Kunst St. Joost (Breda, Netherlands).

He has produced soundscores for film, dance, and installation projects by Mel Chin, Fred Wilson, Ilya Kabakov, and Shu Lea Cheang (among others), and composed the soundscores for the Swatch Pavilions at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and at Expo 98 in Lisbon. He served as the Director of SoundCulture 96, a Bay Area-wide festival of the sonic arts of the Pacific region and continues to serve on the SoundCulture International Steering Committee. He lives and works both in Oakland, California and in Berlin. He is represented by the Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco.