Tony Conrad: Completely in the Present is a non-fiction film examining the pioneering life and
works of filmmaker, musician, artist and educator, Tony Conrad.
Tony Conrad was one the great American artists of his time, yet to the world at large he remains
criminally under appreciated. Since the early 1960s, Conrad's films and compositions have been
the stuff of legend for artists and musicians everywhere. He performed in and recorded the
soundtrack to Jack Smith’s legendary Flaming Creatures; he laid bare the paradigms of
cinema with The Flicker, a film composed of only black and white frames; his powerful
and startling drone compositions still have the music establishment scratching their heads; his
early work with La monte Young and John Cale played a role in the formation of The Velvet
Underground; as an early adopter of activist public access television he democratized the
emerging medium of portable video for ordinary citizens. His work was highly influential on
artists Tony Oursler (BFA Art '79) and Mike Kelley (MFA Art '78). His vast, fifty year inter-
disciplinary repertoire inspired and confounded generations of artists, collaborators and fans. In
his later years he continued to perform and make work that pushed the boundaries of reason for
which he has finally begun to receive worldwide attention.
Utilizing intimate footage of Tony and his collaborators shot over the last twenty-two years, as
well as his own archive of recordings and films, Tony Conrad: Completely in the Present mirrors
Conrad’s own playfully radical approach to art making. The non-linear structure allows Conrad
to wildly free associate his streams of consciousness, revealing an honest and humane way of
navigating a remarkable, creative life.