Garrett Johnson draws on his practical and theoretical experiences in music in the Media Arts and Sciences (PhD) and Critical Theory (grad certificate) programs at Arizona State University, where he pursues interests including rhythm, gesture, dynamical systems, new materialisms, technicity, computation, and capital. His PhD is supervised by Sha Xin Wei (chair), Adam Nocek, and Todd Ingalls.
Johnson is active in a number of research and graduate organizations at ASU. He is a graduate student affilitate of the Synthesis Center and an experimental fellow at the Lab for Critical Technics (LCT) for 2018. In 2016 he co-founded Post-Human Network (PHuN), a grad-led critical theory interest group. He has served as the director of the Arts, Media + Engineering Student Association (AMESA) since 2015, where he organizes weekly graduate student symposiums.
Garrett creates immersive responsive media environments + installations, laptop orchestra pieces, sound-based fixed media, interactive dance works, and various performances for live electronics. In recent projects, he improvised regularly on laptop with the dark/ambient group Gulch, and with cello and laptop in the group gbjjck. He’s worked with artists and performers from many different disciplines, including among others Guillermo Gomez-Peña, Chris Ziegler, Sha Xin Wei, Julian Stein, and Britta Joy Peterson. His music has been invited to SEAMUS, the Oh My Ears! Music Marathon, Interference Series and the ACDA at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and his installations have been featured at the 2013 ASU Microtonal Music Festival, ARTEL PHX, and commissioned by Scottsdale Public Art for InFlux Cycle 6.
In 2015, he completed his MA in Musicology at Arizona State University, where he wrote a masters thesis investigating the role of the body in David Rosenboom's exploratory use of electroencephalography in musical performance. Garrett has presented some of his musicological investigations into the the bioregional music of experimental American composer David Dunn and the psycho-dramaturgy of Wolfgang Rihm’s opera Dionysos (2010) at various conferences in the US and Canada. In May of 2015, he co-founded, co-directed, and co-curated SSOO (something said only once), a four-day arts mini-fest thematizing improvisation, algorithmic creation, indeterminacy, and site-specificity.
Garrett led LORKAS (The Laptop Orchestra of Arizona State) from Fall 2013 to Spring 2015 as the group’s director. During his tenure, LORKAS performed at the A2RU national conference, the 2014 Southwest Electronic Music Festival, the 2015 Southwest Maker Festival, the 2015 Oh My Ears new music marathon, Glendale Community College's Experimental Music Festival 2015, and hosted an array of guests including Cycling 74 developer Tim Place (Networked Musics), experimental musician John Wiese, and Mark Hosler of Negativland.
He holds a Bachelor of Music in Music History with a minor in German from Ohio University. The 2011 Deutsche Akademische Austausch Dienst (DAAD) undergraduate scholarship award supported study and research at the University of Leipzig, where he performed and toured with the Leipziger Universitaets Orchester, took courses at the Institut der Musikwissenschaft, was awarded the highest certification in the German language (DSH-3), and wrote a bachelor’s thesis about Swiss composer-pianist Nik Bärtsch and his “minimal groove music”.