* 1934 New York
† 1993 Wiesbaden
The New York artist Joe Jones first studied composition at the Hartnett Music School and started his career as a jazz drummer. Due to his white skin, however, there were few jobs for him in this field in the early sixties, since New York only had two active jazz clubs at that time. Because of this Jones began to study experimental composition under John Cage and Earle Brown in 1960. Through his teachers he got acquainted with Dick Higgins and Alison Knowles. When Higgins and Knowles travelled to Europe in 1962 to participate in several Fluxus Festivals, Jones rent their studios. Here he developed his first music machines, with which he was very successful from the beginning. Since 1963 Jones participated in the Fluxus-movement and took part in a number of performances with his music machines. In 1963 he performed at the Yam festival in New Brunswick for the first time, a year later he performed at the Avantgarde music festival in New York. Many exhibitions and actions in New York and Nice followed until Jones opened his own 'Music-Store' in New York in 1969. In 1972 he produced the album 'Fly' together with John Lennon and Yoko Ono and founded the 'Fluxus-Airline' with George Macunias. At that time he settled down in Europe; he lived in Amsterdam, Asolo (Italy), Berlin and Wiesbaden and exhibited worldwide in galleries and museums. In 1980 Jones was a guest of the DAAD's Berlin artist program, before he took up residence in Düsseldorf and Wiesbaden. Since the mid-eighties Jones produced short films with his computer, the so-called 'Fluxus-Home-Movies', and he also devised larger orchestra-like installations with his music machines. His busy exhibition schedule remained unchanged: In 1988 his works could be seen at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, in 1992/93 there was a big touring exhibition with stops in Helsinki, Nuremberg, Rotterdam and Wuppertal.
In addition to that his music machines have been represented in the worldwide exhibition 'Fluxus in Deutschland' since 1995, which could be seen in Gera, Budapest, Istanbul, Brünn, Copenhagen, Athens, Tel Aviv and Warsaw so far; further stops are planned for Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Africa until 2002.