Adams was born in England in 1953. He received a B.A. from the Newcastle Polytechnic Fine Arts Institute in Newcastle, England. A member of the Basement Group, a Newcastle-based exhibition and production venue for performance, video and film, from 1979 to 1984, he has received awards from the Arts Council of Great Britain, Northern Arts, and the Massachusetts State Council on the Arts and Humanities.
Adams has taught at institutions including Newcastle Polytechnic and Sheffield Polytechnic in England; the Museum School of Fine Art, Boston; and the Chicago Art Institute.
His videotapes have been exhibited throughout the world, at institutions and festivals including the Berlin Film Festival; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Sebastian International Film Festival, Spain; Bonn Videonale, West Germany; Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany; Institute of Contemporary Art, London; and The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston.
In 1995 Adams established Indigo Multimedia Ltd, a commercial company producing interactive software, video and online applications.
Since then, he has produced no video artworks but has been working in ceramics and writing stories and essays for printed publications.
Adams is a trustee of Locus+, the current incarnation of the original Basement Group.
Interview of John Adams
View the interview transcript here
Kick in the Eye (2 screen installation)
Bob and Jill (Pt 2)
It Seems Strange but its Almost Dinner Time, Margaret
Tynside Cinema Present Intellectual Properties, A Film on Video by John Adams: Poster for Projects U.K. Newcastle Media Workshops Tynside Cinema screening of Intellectual Properties, Newcastle-Upon Tyne
Video Screenings, Summary Video UK – Programme of video works from Recent British Video Exhibition, Toronto March ’84. Presented for the first time at the ICA Cinematheque, The Mall, London, 1984. Includes the work ‘Sensible Shoes’
Programme of ICA June 1984 events, screenings etc. Including ‘Tuesday Screening, Summary Video UK’ – video works drawn from Recent British Video Exhibition, Toronto March ’84. Presented for the first time at the ICA Cinematheque, The Mall, London, 1984
‘Alternative Television – contemporary video artists presenting their own work’. A selection of videotapes presented by the artists at the Northampton Arts Centre January 1984. Including Adams’ ‘Sensible Shoes’