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History

Presently based in Brooklyn, Kuffner crafts sonic kinetic sculptures and stages site specific installations around the world as the principle artist and chief builder of the Gamelatron project, which marries Indonesian ritual and sonic tradition with modern robotics. The project was born from years of study at the Art Institute at Yogyakarta and field research in Bali and Java in collaboration with Eric Singer, one of the fore most experts in robotizing musical instruments. Kuffner still uses the moniker Zemi17 he developed in 1997 as a recording and performing artist heavily tied to the use of field recordings, insect calls and found sounds commonly presented on custom built immersive surround sound systems.

In Berlin in 2002 and 2003 Kuffner co created and curated the Resonant Wave Multi Media art festival and composed original scores for Thikwa, a theater group comprised entirely of mentally disabled adults.

In New York during the late 90s and early 2000s with his bother Geoffrey, and dancer/filmaker Kathi Von Koerber, Kuffner spearheaded a multi media performance group called the Ransom Corp that blurred the line between theater and life creating spectacle performances that toured Europe several times. During the same period Kuffner started the community pirate radio station WJMZ in South Williamsburg Brooklyn, was instrumental in the New York City chapter of Reclaim the Streets, and held series of dinner parties deprived of different senses. He was instrumental in resurging a culture of subway party takeovers, unauthorized rituals in city parks, co-creating the Task Force for Inventive Philanthropy (TFIP), founding the 23 windows community art space and working with prolific event producers: the Blackkat Sound System, Havoc, and Complacent Nation (later know as the The Danger).

Living in San Francisco and New Orleans in the mid 90s Kuffner started Cicada Enterprises, an in depth street art advertising campaign devoted to the proliferation of the mythology surround the famed insect cicada. With his brother Geoffrey he was a seminal member of the Assault Poetry Unit, which targeted public officials to give readymade art objects inscribed with poems and demands as a means of social awareness and change.

In the early 90s Kuffner was largely an abstract color field painter, who also worked in graffiti and performance art. With Jim Leonard he founded the Sky and Culture Corporation, that obtained permits to go door to door selling subscription plans to sky and membership plans to culture in suburban Syracuse.