Atau Tanaka was born in Tokyo, and was raised in the U.S. He bridges the fields of media art, experimental music, and research. He moved to Paris with a residency at the Cité des Arts to work at IRCAM, was Artistic Ambassador for Apple France, and was researcher at Sony Computer Science Laboratory Paris. He was also active in the Tokyo noise music and media arts scenes.
Atau creates sensor-based musical instruments for performance and exhibition, and is known for his work with biosignal interfaces. His recent work seeks to harness collective musical creativity in mobile environments, seeking out the continued place of the artist in democratised digital forms. His work has been presented at Ars Electronica, SFMOMA, Eyebeam, V2, ICC, and ZKM. His work is supported by the Daniel Langlois Foundation, UK and French research funding bodies, and the European Research Council (ERC). He has been mentor at NESTA, Artistic Co-Director of STEIM in Amsterdam, Director of Culture Lab Newcastle, and is currently Professor of Media Computing at Goldsmiths, University of London.