Tad Ermitaño is a key figure in new media art in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. His sphere of influence reaches back to the late 1980s, when he co-founded the media collective Children of Cathode Ray, one of the first experimental sound art groups in the Philippines. Considered to be one of the seminal pioneers of sound art in the country as well as an explorer of experimental film, his artistic practice encompasses a remarkable examination of the processes, semiotics, and structures surrounding man’s relationship with machines.
Ermitaño’s projects often involve the manipulation of aural and visual phenomena so that they interact with spatial structures. He expresses his fascination with sound through different technologies, from digital video (Sex2Speech, 2017) and mechanical instruments (Hasa, 2015), to analog circuitry (Bell, 2011) and computer programming (Twinning Machine, 2012; Sammy and the Sandworms, 2013).
The sensibility displayed in the artist’s works reflects an education grounded in philosophy and the sciences rather than art; Ermitano studied Biology at Japan’s University of Hiroshima, earned a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy at the University of the Philippines, and trained in film and video at the Mowelfund Film Institute. He has held solo exhibitions at 1335MABINI (PH, 2015) and Pablo Gallery (PH, 2011), and has participated in numerous group shows in Japan, Italy, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Hong Kong. He represented the Philippines at the 2006 Ogaki Biennale New Media Festival and in the Main Juried Exhibition of ISEA 2008. In 2016 his work “Gillages” formed part of the Philippine Pavilion’s exhibit at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale.