Nathan Gray is an artist and experimental musician whose work is often characterised by its utopian or optimistic tones, and its dynamic physical structure. His exhibitions are almost always interactive, utilising viewer participation to help shape the work. Most recently Gray has been exploring moire-effect installations made from recycled and haphazard materials, which Gray likens to cheap magic or cheap drugs: an atmosphere of optical illusions constructed at little cost. Extending from his recent domino-effect tableau installations and psychedelic aggregations, Gray’s moire installations create varied forms of optical effects, each object relating to each other to form different phenomena.
Gray’s most recent work stems from an interest in the written musical scores made by members of Cornelius Cardew’s Scratch Orchestra. Acts at Utopian Slumps in 2012 formed part of Gray’s wider interest in the open score and an expanded definition of musical performance.
Gray studied toward a Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) at Curtin University, Perth in 1994, completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Electronic Design and Interactive Media at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne in 2002. Selected solo exhibitions include Works: In Under 30 Seconds and Things That Fit Together, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2014; Theorist Training Camp/Practice Piece, West Space, Melbourne, 2012; In the year 2525, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2011; Gertrude Contemporary Project Space, Melbourne Art Fair, 2010; Tudo Que Acho/ Everything I Think, The Narrows, Melbourne, 2008; Quem Ao Viu O Vento, Escola Dos Belos Artes, Salvador, Brazil; 2008; Untitled Installation, Mirka @ Tolarno for the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, 2007; and Love, Purity, Accuracy, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2007. Selected group exhibitions include 19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire, Sydney, March – June 2014; Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, 2013; Sonic Spheres, TarraWarra Biennial, TarraWarra Museum of Art, 2012; The Social Life of Things, Monash University Faculty Gallery, Melbourne, 2012; New Psychedelia, University of Queensland Art Museum; ACCA Art #2, Horsham Regional Art Gallery, 2011; Territorial Pissings, Utopian Slumps, 2010; Grow Wild, curated by Sleep Club, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2008; and Fire Fire, The Narrows, Melbourne, 2007. Gray completed residencies at Cemeti House, Indonesia in 2011 and at the Sacatar Foundation in Bahia, Brazil in 2008. He is a member of the improvised electro acoustic group Snawklor and band The French.