Bill Fontana

Artadia Awardee

Bill Fontana (b. 1947) is an American composer and artist who developed an international reputation for his pioneering experiments in sound. Since the early 70’s Fontana has used sound as a sculptural medium to interact with and transform our perceptions of visual and architectural spaces. He has realized sound sculptures and radio projects for museums and broadcast organizations around the world. He has studied at John Carroll University, Cleveland (1965-67) and the Cleveland Institute of Music (1967) before receiving his BA at the New School for Social Research, New York in 1970.

His work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum Ludwig, Cologne, the Post Museum in Frankfurt, the Art History and Natural History Museums in Vienna, both Tate Modern and Tate Britain in London, the 48th Venice Biennale, the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, the Art Gallery of NSE in Sydney and the new Kolumba Museum in Cologne. He has done major radio sound art projects for the BBC, the European Broadcast Union, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, National Public Radio, West German Radio (WDR), Swedish Radio, Radio France and the Austrian State Radio.

He is the recipient of many awards and fellowships including most recently the Prix Ars Electronica, 2009, Linz, Golden Nica Lifetime Achievement Award in the Digital Musics Category; Bay Area Treasure Lifetime Achievement Award, SFMOMA, 2009; Center for Cultural Innovation, Investing in Artists Grant, 2007; and the Research Fellowship, Arts Council of England, 2004-2005.

He currently lives and works in San Francisco.