John Duncan was born in the United States, currently lives and works in Bologna. Duncan portrays his work as a catalyst, inciting a transmission of energy through which he seeks to compel the audience to actively participate in the process of investigation and self-discovery. His lengthy career of electroacoustic intensity and confrontational performance art events is the result of rigorous investigations into a number of arcane, metaphysical, and at times transgressive themes. Duncan is a rare artist who is totally immersed in existential research.
– Jim Haynes, The Wire (UK)
His audio releases THE CRACKLING (1996 with Max Springer), TAP INTERNAL (2000), PALACE of MIND (2001 with Giuliana Stefani), FRESH (2002 with Zeitkratzer), THE KEENING TOWERS (2003), PHANTOM BROADCAST (2004), NINE SUGGESTIONS (2005 with Mika Vainio and Ilpo Väisänen), THE NAZCA TRANSMISSIONS (2009) and THERE MUST BE A WAY ACROSS THIS RIVER (2010 with Michael Esposito) are all considered by critics and composers alike to be benchmarks in the field of experimental sound and contemporary music.
Duncan’s events and installations have been held at Färgfabriken, Fylkingen and Gallery Niklas Belenius in Stockholm, the NoorlandsOperan in Umeﾃ･, Fondazione Antonio Ratti in Como, Palazzo Appiani for PX2 in Piombino, the IPCA Ecomuseum for Eco e Narciso in the province of Turin, Teatro Piccolo Jovinelli in Rome, The Atlantic Waves festival in London, MUTEK in Montreal, The Compound in San Francisco, the Watari Museum of Art in Tokyo. His work in performance has been shown at the Getty Center, The Box and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles; the Osterreichisches Museum für Angewandte Kunst (MAK), Vienna; Museu d’Arte Contemporani, Barcelona (MACBA); and Museum of Tokyo (MOT).