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William C. Altreuter
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Monday, April 11, 2016

I met Tony Conrad when I joined the board of SqueakyWheel/Buffalo Media Resources in 2001. I was new to media arts at the time-- oblivious to Buffalo's rich history and (I blush to admit) unaware of Tony's work. Even so, it was evident every time he spoke that he was brilliant, and passionate and saw the world differently than anyone else. Best of all, he was adept at showing others new ways to see the world, and it was always exciting to be in his presence. He'd frequently give me a lift home in his beater van (as I recall it was a point of pride for him that he never paid more than $800 bucks for a vehicle). We seldom talked about what had gone on at the meeting-- he was always restlessly moving forward onto the next subject. What I remember best from those rides is that he would frequently pull out a Sharpie and make notes on whatever blank surface in the van he could locate: on the dashboard or the headliner, or the door panel, wherever. The interior of the van was full of his cryptic messages to himself. At some point he had an idea for an international poetry/interdisciplinary arts festival in Buffalo and my partner and I worked with him on setting up what the legal outline for such an event might look like. He was amazing, I was lucky to have known him, and I will miss him terribly

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