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T h e C a g e e f f e C T T o d ay

William Anastasi Soledad Arias Cleste Boursier-Mougenot Waltercio Caldas Jos Damasceno Hanne Darboven Matthew Deleget LIZ DESCHENES Felipe Dulzaides Len Ferrari Robert Filliou YukiO Fujimoto Nicols Guagnini Lynne Harlow Douglas Huebler Gareth James David Lamelas Reiner Leist Jorge Macchi Christian Marclay Rivane Neuenschwander Kaz Oshiro Edgardo Rudnitzky Fred Sandback Frank Scheffer Ushio Shinohara Linda Stillman Daniel Wurtzel

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Notations: The Cage Effect Today Curated by Joachim Pissarro, together with Bibi Calderaro, Julio Grinblatt, and Michelle Yun Hunter College/Times Square Gallery February 17-April 21, 2012 HUNTER COLLEGE OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK Jennifer J. Raab, President Vita Rabinowitz, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Erec Koch, Dean, School of Art and Sciences Thomas Weaver, Chair of the Department of Art THE HUNTER COLLEGE ART GALLERIES Thomas Weaver, Executive Director Joachim Pissarro, Bershad Professor of Art History and Director Katy Siegel, Chief Curator Michelle Yun, Curator Karli Wurzelbacher, Assistant Curator Jessica Gumora, Curatorial Assistant to the Director Phi Nguyen, Preparator Tim Laun, MFA Building Studio Director THE BERTHA AND KARL LEUBSDORF ART GALLERY Located in the Hunter West Building at the southwest corner of 68th Street and Lexington Avenue Hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 1 to 6pm Information: 212.772.4991 HUNTER COLLEGE/TIMES SQUARE GALLERY 450 West 41st Street between 9th and 10th Avenues Hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 1 to 6pm Information: 212.772.4991

PHOTO CREDITS p. 4:   Used by permission of C. F. Peters Corporation. All rights reserved. Digital Image The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, NY p. 6: Courtesy of the John Cage Trust p. 11: Photo Albert Mendelewski p. 14: Photo Loren Robare. Courtesy of the John Cage Trust p. 23: Photo: Jason Mandella p. 25: Cleste Boursier-Mougenot. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York p. 31:  2012 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Digital Image The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, NY p. 33: Matthew Deleget p. 39: Courtesy of Fundacin Augusto y Len Ferrari and Haunch of Venison p. 41:  Marianne Filliou. Photo Philippe Migeat. Courtesy CNAC/MNAM/Dist. Runion des Muses Nationaux/Art Resource, NY p. 45: Photo Jeffrey Sturges p. 47: Lynne Harlow p. 49:  2011 Estate of Douglas Huebler/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York. Digital Image The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, NY p. 51: Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis T.B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 2009 p. 53: Reiner Leist, Installation view, Museum for Photography Berlin, 2007 p. 55: Photo courtesy Jorge Macchi and Galeria Benzacar, Buenos Aires p. 57: Christian Marclay. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York p. 59:  Rivane Neuenschwander. Courtesy of Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York; Fortes Vilaa Gallery, So Paulo; and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London p. 61: Photo Amy Thoner. Courtesy Galerie Frank Elbaz, Paris p. 65: Estate of Fred Sandback. Courtesy David Zwirner, New York p. 67: Frank Scheffer. Interview Frank Scheffer with John Cage, August 1987, L.A. p. 69: Ethan Cohen Fine Arts p. 71: Photo Michael Fredericks p. 83: Courtesy of the John Cage Trust p. 88: Photo Henning Lohner. Courtesy of the John Cage Trust This book was designed by Tim Laun and Natalie Wedeking Set in Whitney type Edited by Claire Barliant and Michelle Yun Printing by GHP Media, West Haven, CT Edition of 1,000 ISBN 978-0-9839261-4-6 Cover image: Soledad Arias phonetic neon [aha] (detail), 2011 White neon 40 x 1/2 (101.6 x 0.6cm) Collection of the artist photo: Jason Mandella

T h e C a g e E f f e ct T o d ay
February 17 April 21, 2012 Curated by Joachim Pissarro, together with Bibi Calderaro, Julio Grinblatt, and Michelle Yun

Hunter college / times square gallery 450 West 41st Street (between Dyer and 10th Avenues) New York, NY

John Cage. Untitled (640 numbers between 1 and 16), 1969 Ballpoint pen, pencil, and colored pencil on printed paper 11 x 8 1/2 (27.9 x 21.6 cm) The Museum of Modern Art. The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection Gift (purchase, and gift, in part, of The Eileen and Michael Cohen Collection)

Co ntents
7 F oreword 
Jennifer J. Raab
President, Hunter College

John Cage: The Multiple Paths of Instantaneous Ecstasy

Joachim Pissarro
Bershad Professor of Art History Director, Hunter College Art Galleries

19 74

Plates Under the Influence of Cage

Julio Grinblatt
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Art


Bibi Calderaro

84 86

Checklist of the Exhibition Acknowledgments

John Cage, preparing a piano (c. 1961)

NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

On behalf of Hunter College, I welcome you to Notations: The Cage Effect Today. As 2012 marks the centennial of John Cages birth,this exhibition serves as a timely platform to examine Cages diverse and widespread influence on contemporary art throughout America, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Theimpetus for Notations: The Cage Effect Today came from a graduate seminar on John Cage, taught first during the spring of 2008 and most recently in fall 2011, by Joachim Pissarro, the Bershad Professor of Art History and Director of the Hunter College Art Galleries. Our Departments of Music, Dance, Religion, and Creative Writing helped shape the seminar content in the spirit of Cages interdisciplinary approach to art. In addition, as an integral part of the seminar, our students had an extraordinary opportunity to be involved in the planning of the exhibition, the selection of its textual elements, and in the writing of essays for the accompanying catalogue. We are grateful to Dr. Pissarro, his talented co-curators Julio Grinblatt, (MFA 10), Bibi Calderaro, and Michelle Yun, and all the MA and MFA students who assisted in the creation of this extraordinary exhibition and its catalogue. Over the past several years, Hunter Colleges art galleries have presented an outstanding series of exhibitions, providing our graduate students with the unique opportunity to advance their talents as curators, art critics, and artists while working with the expert faculty of Hunters Department of Art. Notations: The Cage Effect Today exemplifies this unique cross-pollination. We express our deep appreciation to the exhibit sponsors and lenders whose generosity made this project possible. Thank you for joining us at this exciting exhibition. Jennifer J. Raab President, Hunter College

NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

Joh n Cage: Th e Mu ltiple Paths o f Insta n ta n eous Ecstasy

By J oac h i m P i ssa r ro

In memory of Ralph Kaminsky

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Most selflessly . . . he encouraged the young to discover new directions.

John Cage on Henry Cowell1

Global Experimental Actions

I dedicate this essay to my students in two seminars I taught on John Cage. The first class (spring of 2008) was co-taught with Professor Geoffrey Burleson, Director of Piano Studies. While I first discovered Cage through my abiding interest in Jasper Johnss and Robert Rauschenbergs artistic careers, suddenly facing the task of teaching a seminar on this unclassifiable musician-artist-thinker-poet-critic-composermycologist was akin to facing an abyss: mesmerizing and scary. That first class led me to understand that, contrary to my earlier assumptions, John Cage cannot be dealt with as a normal academic topic, nor, for instance, as an historical epiphenomenon of post-structuralism. Transcending fossilized labels, he continues to be alive in surprising ways, almost like a live wirethrough generations of artists across the globe: this became the stimulus for the present exhibition. The operations set off by Cage throughout his incredibly rich life of experimentation, reflection, not to mention his contagious sense of humor, were difficult to convey in the confines of an academic classroom. There are two simple reasons for this. Cage, in order to do justice to his multifarious and daunting practices, forces us to think across disciplines, and across continents. The history of the arts (plural) is not used to thinking in this way; the discipline at large is still divided according to mediaand according to continents (Africa, Asia, Latin Americaand Europe, the only continent which, for some reason, continues to be divided up in countries). Cage merrily crossed all such bordersphysically, intellectually, artistically. He was not afraid of disciplines other than his own; in fact, he made almost any artistic discipline his own. From poetry to music, from drawing and printing to filmmaking, there was not a single form of art that did not offer some points of fascination to Cage. He was insatiably curious, open-minded, generous beyond wordsand always willing to be challenged intellectually. This was a set of qualities that made him a hero among artists. Art historians continue to find him difficult and challenging, however, because our discipline, still structured as it was in the 1950s, is not yet equipped to deal with such a phenomenon. For Cage, all of the arts formed a large, and endlessly fascinating, continuum, each one potentially enriching the other, without any particular form of art dominating the others. Cage was a true anarchistartistically speaking.

NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

Similarly, if Cages thinking and creative process was induced by cross-fertilization from one artistic medium to the next, he was also a restless travelerfrom one world to the next. This exhibition explores this aspect of Cages personality; it takes us back upon the paths that Cage opened up half a century ago, and leads us to many different areas where he continues to be such a source of admiration and enablement among generations of artists. To get a sample of this, we will only cast a brief glance at Cages inordinate capacity to immerse himself in cultures by looking at his presence in Japan first, and then in Brazil. In fact, the wide diversity of artists presented here, and the multitude of propositions inherent in their works, made the rich and compelling complexity of The Cage Effect fully apparent to us. Cages unique sensibility triggered a dynamic still prevalent today, as can be gauged from one room to another in the present exhibition. Going back to Cages inimitably direct and simple prose, an experimental action is simply an action the outcome of which cannot be foreseen.2 In order to test the full measure of these unforeseeable strings of outcomes, we moved to the Hunter MFA building on 41st street, in order to physically test how this risk-taking stance took shape todayhow Cages acute and deep interest in next to nothing (whether in music, or in any form of expression) was embodied in our MFA students daily creative practices. There, the works by MFA students, Bill Abdale, Paul Helzer, Martin Murphy, Arrick Underhill, Steven Rose, Austin Willis (as well as Julio Grinblatt), to name but a few, convinced me that The Cage Effect was vibrant and alive in todays generation of artists. For all of them and their artistic practices, the presence of Cage was in each case very different but pivotalthis came as a total surprise to me. Not only did these MFA students articulate through their artistic practices one or several tropes of Cages incredibly complex, and infinitely rewarding system, but they also produced some memorable essays, together with their MA and a couple of Ph.D. colleagues: I would like to recognize, among them, Cara Manes, David Duncan (both of whom were teaching assistants in 2008), and Lauren Pollock. In the end, this class taught me that with Cage (maybe uniquely?), an intense effort of reflection brings its fullest result only if it is co-extensive with an act of equally intense, almost physical, engagement in Cages own practice. Under Professor Burlesons cathartic aegis, we ended up performing Imaginary Landscape IV (1951) in the West Lobby of Hunter College on 68th street (possibly the premiere collaboration at Hunter between graduate students from the Music, Art History, and Studio Art departments). In his seminal 1961 book, Silence, Cage wrote about this composition:
It is thus possible to make a musical composition the continuity of which is free of individual taste and memory (psychology) and also of the literature and traditions of the art. The sounds enter the time-space centered within themselves, unimpeded by the service to any abstraction, their 360 degrees of circumference free for an infinite play of interpenetration. Value judgments are not in the nature of this work as regards either composition, performance, or listening. The idea of relation being absent, anything may happen. A mistake is beside the point, for once anything happens it authentically is.3

Cages words took on a different resonance (literally) after this performance (which can be seen on YouTube).4


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

More recently, in the fall of 2011, I decided to take the discoveries I made with the class of 2008 as the premise for another Cage seminarfor which Renata Contins and Alex Niemetz receive here my heartfelt thanks. This time, we started with the assumption that Cage (far more so than Warhol) was the American artist who first achieved a truly international reputation and a global recognition. His impact on the Western European scene (let alone the rise of Fluxus) needs no more corroboration. His presence in Japan may be a little less known. His presence on the Latin American continent was scarcely known. This exhibition, and its catalogue, examines Cages presence worldwide, and his impact across several generations. His visit to the dry garden of the Ryan-ji Temple in Kyoto, in 1962, has drawn ample commentsthough not much in art history.5 In part due to Ozu Yasujirs famous film on the Ryan-ji garden, its impeccably raked bed of sand and fifteen rocks, this Kyoto garden gave rise to a whole Western-oriented form of literature, plotting the tension between the impermanence of the sand versus the solid monumentality of the rocks. Except that, as a young critic from Japan expressed in a seminar on Aesthetics at the University of Paris in 2005, these standard Western theoretical constructions have very little to do with a Japanese way of looking and thinking. Suzuki Yuuko, looking at Ozus film (which Cage knew well) insists, instead, on the notion of continuity of no-continuity. Yuuko refers to Ozus famous cuts on the Kyoto garden as mashots (ma means interval). These disrupt time and space in such a manner that the rhythm which they introduce may not be controlled according to our normal ways of reading or phrasing. Indeed, when we read or phrase a sentence or melody, we try to ward off, at least in principle, the irregular and the unpredictable.6

View of Ryan-ji dry garden, 15th century, Kyoto

NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today


This is precisely where John Cage comes into it. When he visited Ryan-ji in 1962, he turned to his host and suggested that if the planes of neatly raked sand were to be taken for the Void, or for Infinite Emptiness, then the placement of the rocks could be seen as resulting from chance operations. Cage had inverted the Western perspective on the enigma of this garden and, letting go of the principle of neatly separating the irregular from the orderly and predictable, invited us to celebrate another reading of Ryan-ji that would yield to irregularity, permanent unsolvability, and unpredictability, instead of a binary system of oppositions. What is spectacular about Cage is that, being an American, he was endowed with an infinite capacity to shed any remnant of his Western upbringing, in order to readily adopt other concepts and ways of thinking. Ryan-ji made an impression on Cage: twenty years later, he took to collecting rocks, finding in them the same riches as in an exhibition of several works of art. He started drawing, and then published lithographs of these works; and finally, began composing his Ryan-ji series. It consisted of several superimposeable gardens of sounds for various instruments (flute, oboe, contrabass, voice, and cello), but was left incomplete when Cage passed away in 1992. This episode only represents but a tiny fragment of Cages intellectual and artistic biography, giving us a sense of the considerable mass of material, works, texts, and ideas that he left behind. Today, the presence in the exhibition of Ushio Shinohara, who came into contact with Cage via Rauschenberg and Johns in the early 1960s, and of two artists a generation youngerYukio Fujimoto and Kaz Oshirowhose oeuvres, each with very individual tones, elaborate on the impossible fusion of sound and sculpture (which are, however, complementary) testify to the richness of Cages continuous impact in Japan. The nature of our knowledge of Cage in Japan was enriched by the welcome publication of a book packed with facts, archives, and images. This book, by Hiroko Ikegami, is titled The Great Migrator,7 which might have been a perfect metaphor for Cage himself, but in this context refers to the figure of Robert Rauschenberg, who once told me that Cage had authorized him to do things he had not thought possible before. In Ikegamis book, one attends the spectacle of a double case of authorization: here, in part, Rauschenberg (having been authorized to do things unimaginable) in turn authorizes a new generation of Japanese artists (among them Shinohara) who ipso facto test the ground that Rauschenberg laid in front of them. This, in truth, is a perfect case of compounded experimentation in the Cagean definition. While examining the global effects of Cage today, the most obvious case of gaining new knowledge through this last seminar came from our immersion in Cage and Latin America. Here, I would like to thank those colleagues and friends who have contributed to this reflection on the presence of John Cage in the Latin American art scene. Bibi Calderaro, Renata Contins, Professor Julio Grinblatt, Adjunct Professor of Art, Professor Harper Montgomery, the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Professor of Latin American Art, and all the students who delved into this theme through class here receive my profuse thanks. A lecture given by Professor Montgomery on Cildo Meireles and Cage was one of the highlights of that semesterand opened up new perspectives to think afresh about contemporary Latin American art, but also hinted at other possible directions of focus within the Cage studies.


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

I believe that we have only begun to scratch the surface of a whole new field of research that indicates, again in both directions, Cages abiding interest in the Latin American continent, and the unexpectedly high number of living artists, coming from different generations, who continue to explore through their own practices a particular Cagean problematic. Once, when struck by the number of artists who have found Cage conducive to their own research, I asked Professor Grinblatt why so many artists are looking at Cage in Brazilhe answered without even a blink: The entirety of Brazil is Cagean! In 1963, the musicians Damiano Cozzela, Rogrio Duprat, Jlio Medaglia, Gilberto Mendes, and Willy Corra de Oliveira, launched the Musica Nova, and composed a manifesto declaring their total commitment to the contemporary world. Through the No Msica Nova Festival, they introduced Cages compositions (among other notorious European or American experimental composers) to the Brazilian public. They also gave The Cage Effect a distinctly political and radical inflection, and shared this characteristic with many artists who developed an interest in him throughout the Latin American continentwhich could only happily suit Cage, given his repeated intentions to demilitarize language and his close ties with anarchism. But, as with all things Cagean, surprise has been the most consistent thread of our research. Bibi Calderaro, Renata Contins, and I (almost on the same day, but independently) came to realize that one of the big attractions of John Cage to Brazil was concrete poetry, namely through the agency of Augusto de Campos. I quote an email from Calderaro, dated November 15, 2011:
On Friday I attended a conference by the translator and scholar of Augusto de Campos, his name is Charles Perrone from Univ. of Florida. When I approached him to tell him about our show, he proclaimed: you must include Augusto in the show! and I have footage of Augusto embracing John when he came to So Paulo...

Marjorie Perloff, however, was one of the first authors to have pointed out that one of the ties between Cage and Brazil was mainly through poetry, and namely the Brazilian Noigandres group (Augusto de Campos, Haroldo de Campos, and Decio Pignatari), with whom he shared many aesthetic principles and who have assiduously translated and disseminated his writings.8 But while the link with Brazilian concrete poetry existed, the relationship between Meireles and Cage, for instance, had not elicited much study: it is very likely that concrete poetry, and more specifically the Noigandres, provided the link that tended to make Cage so widely known in Brazil. According to concrete poetryAugusto de Camposs Luxo (1965) or Pignataris Beba coca cola (1957)an image replete in the works by Meirelesthe visual predominates, whereas with Cage, it is always the aural that has the upper hand. Perloff further explains:
However visually striking Cages verbal scores may be, the mesostic column creating an interesting pattern and the punctuation marks of the original often strewn around the page, as in Roaratorio, poetic density depends primarily on sound, as actualized in performance. Cage was, after all, a composer even when the materials he worked with were linguistic rather than musical.9

Despite (or maybe because of) the differences in their poetic practices, Cage and de Campos remained close. De Campos is responsible for a vast effort of translation of Cage in Brazilian Portuguese, and,

NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today


undeniably, acted as an important cultural bridge that permitted the dissemination of Cagean aesthetics. It is interesting to think that the first emergence of John Cage in Latin America would have been first and foremost through his interest in poetry. This gives us a brief aperu of the phenomenal diversity of interests that John Cage pursued, and begins to give us a sense of the multiple directions that Cage explored through his career, with a degree of openness, curiosity, and generosity that is a very rare attribute. This very fast and too short survey of the expansive presence of Cage almost all over the globe and through so many different media, and artistic practices, also explains the considerable diversity of artists who responded in singular ways to the The Cage Effect.

John Cage during the performance of How to Get Started, 1989


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

And what is the middles meanings and endings? And what is the beginnings middles and meanings ?10

be-ginning of no ending of no
John Cage

Were here together, so begin!11


Beginnings Ends Beginnings

Strictly speaking, the present exhibition is not about Cage, but about Cages effect on the contemporary art scene globally. I would like, however, to say a few words about a period of Cages work that is not much spoken about: The End. Three years before his death, John Cage appeared in an interactive performance, planned for a sound design conference in Nicasio, California.12 One ought to be careful when using the word planned while referring to John Cage: indeed, what was planned actually never happened. Instead, a performance that had not been planned took place. Here is Cage (in the photograph on the left), now seventy-seven years oldnot exactly a beginner anymoreabout to begin a performance of How To Get Started. The marks of his jovial, generous, often infectious, laughter are indelibly etched on his wrinkled, yet youthful face. There is something deep, grave, and light-hearted at the same time about his facial expression: as if nothing had ever begun, or as if everything was just about to get started. Perhaps, yes, after seventy-seven years, things were only just about to get startedand starting something is, at any given point, daunting. Or, was he thinking that, in the end, it IS the end of ones life that brings forth the beginning? I never thought of John Cage and Georg Wilhelm Hegel as having much in common, but in The Phenomenology of the Spirit, Hegel says something that sounds oddly Cagean. The True, says Hegel, is the process of its own becoming, the circle that presupposes its end as its goal, having its end also as its beginning; and only by being worked out to its end, is it actual.13 Or again, Hegel resumes the same metaphor, that of the circle that returns into itself, the circle that presupposes its beginning and reaches it only at the end.14 This last sentence could read as the legend for the photograph above. It is echoed by Cage:
A finished work is exactly that, requires resurrection.15

We will not know what Cage was thinking that day, but this moving photograph shows us the aging John Cage, with a deep air of gravity, as if he was experiencing some stage fright, as if this new beginning (one of many thousands of beginnings in his incredibly rich and fertile career) was his first. This is certainly an

NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today


important aspect of the legacy of John Cage today: each time one stands on a stage, sits in front of ones canvas, looks in the lens of ones camera, is always for the first timeeverto experience art for the now-moment:
This is the very nature of the dance, of the phenomenon of music, or any other art requiring performance of music, or any other art requiring performance (for this reason, the term sand painting is used: there is a tendency in painting (permanent pigments), as in poetry (printing, binding), to be secure in the thingness of a work, and thus to overlook, and place nearly insurmountable obstacles in the path of, instantaneous ecstasy.16

This emphasis on the creative unit (any, and all creative instants) as a prime point of departure is a shibboleth with Cage:
We are, as Gertrude Stein said, the oldest country of the twentieth century. And I like to add: in our way of knowing newness.17 Each act is virgin, even the repeated one, to refer to Ren Chars thought.18

And when he refers to painters, he quotes Paul Klee, for instance:

I want to be as though new-born, knowing nothing, absolutely nothing about Europe.19

or de Kooning:
The past does not influence me; I influence it.20

The exhibition Notations: The Cage Effect Today, takes account of this factthat beginnings and ends are inherently (if not dialectically) interwoven. As we are celebrating John Cages one hundreth anniversary, it is fitting to observe that what he had startedand what he kept starting for about six decades of assiduous, and relentless inventive creation, has never stopped starting, and is about to get started again. Beginning and end mutually inform each other: younger and older artists, from all over, are picking up where Cage left off. The one hundreth anniversary of his birth coincides with the twentieth anniversary of his death, as if Cage had meant to conceive of his own biological cycle itself as a smooth, seamless continuum. After twenty years of his absence being felt in the art world, his presence is, oddly enough, also noticeable through younger generations of artists who have been deeply impacted in their practices and often in their lives by the Cage Phenomenon. Ironically, Cage has never been more alive than todaythrough generations of artists, all over the globe, who have been tenaciously exploring some of the tropes that Cage left behind. Let us return to How To Get Started. The piece consisted of an interactive performance between Cage and two electronic musicians whom Cage carefully thanks (using the future tense): And Im about to be grateful to two others: Dennis Leonard and Bob Schumacher. Cage had ten sheets of things written in front of him.
Some of these sheetsthere are tenIve jotted down ideas that Ive had for a long time. And others are things thatmost of them are things that have happened to me recently. Im not going to read them in the order that I wrote them, nor am I going to read them. Im going to use them as the basis for a kind of improvisation.21


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

While Cage read (but didnt really read) the first sheet that chance presented him, Leonard and Schumacher recorded his voice, and then went on layering his voice as he was continuing to read (or not read) his ten sheets of notes. As Aaron Levy and Laura Kuhn put it,22 This amounted to an experiment having to do with thinking in public, before a live audience.23 The present exhibition very much tests the possibilities, and the promises, laid out by this program: an experiment having to do with thinking in public, before a live audience. The hypothesis of the seminar was to demonstrate that Cage was the first American artist who acquired a truly global dimension. Closer even to his very end, literally a few months before his death, Cage began to tackle a medium he had never touched before: film. He certainly knew a lot about film very early on. He famously met Marcel Duchamp when the two artists were invited to collaborate on Hans Richters 1947 film, Dreams that Money can Buy. In 1949, in an enlightening text titled Forerunners of Modern Music, he opposes those who practice synthetic music working with magnetic wires (e.g., Norman McLaren) versus those who use film as a support:
Twenty-four or n frames per second is the canvas upon which this music is written; thus, in a very obvious way, the material itself demonstrates the necessity for time (rhythmic) structure.24

Exactly fifteen years later, Andy Warhol would push the fullest implication of this analysis in film, and create Empire (1964), arguably one of the most Cagean films, by setting the camera on an immobile tripod while the lens focused on the Empire State building. As if having read Cages remark about the necessity for time (rhythmic) structure, Warhol decided to twist the normal length from twenty-four frames per second to sixteen frames per secondthe whole film lasting eight hours and five minutesand the decision to reduce the rolling speed of the film by a quarter (twenty-four to sixteen frames per minute) was, almost perversely, practically unnoticeable given that the film fixes on a motionless subject: the Empire State Building. Cage, despite his early interest in filmand having often appeared in films directed by othersnever grappled himself with this medium, until 1992, the year of his death. The introduction to his film on the UbuWeb website reads:
John Cage created his only feature-length film in the year he died. A sublime performance for camera-person and light, One11 is a film without subject, in black and white. There is light but no persons, no things, no ideas about repetition and variation. The final impression is of another, timeless placefreely roaming the clouds or, perhaps, under the sea. Chance operations were used with respect to the lighting, camera shots and the editing of the film. The light environment was designed and programmed by John Cage and Andrew Culver. The orchestral work 103 musically accompanies One11. Like the film, 103 is 90-minutes long, divided into seventeen partsits density varies from solos, duos, trios to full orchestral tuttis.25

The film is very beautifulthe projection of light roaming around on white walls of a white room, randomly, and with no anchoring spatial point, has a spectral and daunting quality. What is extraordinary about it is that Cage, coming to the end of his lifeand a very long careerseems to want to take us back to the very beginning of things. The film is accompanied by 103, a composition created independently of the film that is also ninety minutes long. It recalls Cages early work: a full orchestra performs the score, which

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includes instrumentation for solos, duets, and trios. Yet, somehow, neo-romantic undertones can be detected in this composition having very little to do with the type of compositions Cage was creating at the end of his life. Cage seems to rewind his life back to the early days when he was studying under Arnold Schnberg. These beautiful chords, together with the minimal yet highly poetic beam of light dancing on the walls of the room, carry together a magical effect. This is what Cage had to say about this:
Of course the film will be about the effect of light in an empty space. But no space is actually empty and the light will show what is in it. And all this space and all this light will be controlled by random operations.26

The film One11 will open a program of films at Hunter, organized in concert with our colleagues from the Film Department, that will include a series of works by artists who follow suit with Cage with this medium, such as Rivane Neuenschwanders quasi-magical and ever-so-subtle Inventory of small deaths (blow) (2000), an approximately five-minute odyssey of a bubble floating through a landscape. John Cage was quoted as saying that he hoped that, through this film, viewers would be led to find themselves. It is our hope that going through the present exhibition, viewers will find themselves on the path that Cage began to pave for them.

1  John Cage, History of Experimental Music in the United States, Silence: Lectures and Writings (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1961), 71.

2 3

Silence, 69. Silence, 59.

12  Sound Design: An Invitational Conference on the Uses of Sound for Radio Drama, Film, Video, Theater and Music presented by Bay Area Radio Drama at Sprocket Systems, Skywalker Ranch, in Nicasio, California. 1989. 13  egel, G.W.F, The Phenomenology of Spirit, trans. A.V. Miller. H (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977), 10.

4  The recording of our performance in 2008 at Hunter College/ CUNY can be found on YouTube : http:/ / watch?v=A0BNsBlzQII) 5  See DanielCharles,Shattering Representation From Landscape to Soundscape: Cage/Japan,in Cycnos, volume 20 no. 2, June 25, 2005, http:/ / html?id=77 6 Ibid.

14 Ibid., 488. 15 Cage, Silence, 64. 16 Ibid., 65. 17 Ibid., 73. 18 Ibid., 36. 19 Ibid., 65. 20  Ibid., 67. Cage refers here to a discussion following a talk Willem de Kooning gave at the Art Alliance in Philadelphia. 21  Cage, Introduction, August 31, 1981, D=626f9a8309beb1b2def6e0a0704245f5 22  John Cage: How To Get Started, 23 Ibid. 24 Silence, 65. 25 Ubu Web, 26 Ibid.

7  Hiroko Ikegami, The Great Migrator: Robert Rauschenberg and the Global Rise of American Art (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2010) 153 203. See in particular chapter 4, A Dialogue in Tokyo: Rauschenberg Meets the Japanese Avant-Garde. 8  Marjorie Perloff, The Music of Verbal Space: John Cages What You Say, http:/ / html 9 Ibid.

10 John Cage, Lecture on Something, Silence. 11  Goethe, Faust (New York: Anchor Books, 1989) c. 1961, I.ii.263.


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

William Anastasi Soledad Arias Cleste Boursier-Mougenot Waltercio Caldas Jos Damasceno Hanne Darboven Matthew Deleget LIZ DESCHENES Felipe Dulzaides Len Ferrari Robert Filliou YukiO Fujimoto Nicols Guagnini & Gareth James Lynne Harlow Douglas Huebler David Lamelas Reiner Leist Jorge Macchi Christian Marclay Rivane Neuenschwander Kaz Oshiro Edgardo Rudnitzky Fred Sandback Frank Scheffer Ushio Shinohara Linda Stillman Daniel Wurtzel 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 54 56 58 60 62 64 66 68 70 72

NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today


W i l l i a m A n astas i
b. 1933 Philadelphia, PA. Lives and works in New York, NY William Anastasis Sink involves a simple action that turns into a meditation. A humble thick steel slab occupies the floor; the repetitive (daily) ritual of watering this slab ends up producing a rich, variagated patina. The accompanying artists instructions read: Set a rectangular piece of hotrolled carbon steel level on floor. Pour on it a measure of tap water so that the resulting pond holds its position short of overflow. Each time the water evaporates, repeat. 1 The work occurs on the molecular level, but also in the tending of the piece itself. The physicality of Sink has to do with chemistry in service to aesthetics. Yet the true potency of the work happens through the measure of time, tracked by the evaporating water and the interaction between the art object and its caretakers. The artist clears a space for this quiet collaboration to occur. Sink consists of an edition of four, and it is of no small significance that one found its way into the collection of John Cage and Merce Cunningham. Indeed, the devotional and softly intimate nature of Sink speaks to Cages sensibilities. One can find echoes of Chinese Gongshithose scholars rocks that deeply fascinated Cage, whose contours and capillaries are formed by river water working their surfaces over decades and centuries. Likewise, the deft tending of Japanese bonsai, and the composition of Zen rock gardens also conjure up Anastasis Sink. In each of these instances, objects are seen absorbing the impact of nature and time, without any human intention, other than setting up a context (such as placing the steel plate in a room and watering it). D.T. Suzuki, Cages mentor and professor of Zen Buddhism, comments on Eastern mysticism as being the silence of thunder, obtained in the midst of the flash and uproar of opposing electric currents.2 This is a quiet and contemplative site charged with the electric locus of ontological presence. Anastasis Sink implies such a dual nature. Sink is a noun; a basin and a receptacle of water, but also a verb; the action of descending below, somewhat tragically. Anastasis Sink is a noun in its status as art object, yet a verb in its constant flux and oxidation. The conditions of the work are Anastasis: he set up and wrote the instructions. Yet the incarnation, and the constant, slow, gradual transformation of the work belong to the caretaker of the piece watering and monitoring the metal as well as the chemical impact on the molecular chains of its surface. The work only performs its function over time, through change and chance, through discourse between materiality and constancy; no wonder Cage wanted to have it. Just as a scholars rock is only realized after centuries of slow unnoticeable sculpting by nature, so too does Anastasis Sink require the patience of attentive care and the passage of time. Zachary Hale
Sink, 1963 Rusted steel, water 20 x 20 x 1/2 (50.8 x 50.8 x 1.3cm) Collection of Michael Straus

Notes 1 2


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

So S o l e da d Ar A r i as
b. Buenos Aires, Argentina. Lives and works in New York, NY Soledad Arias works in a variety of media including neon, prints, installations, and interventions. She is interested in exploring human relationships towards different modes of communication. By combining visual effects with sounds and phonetics, she activates a multi-sensory experience, and challenges conventional perceptions of language. The artist began working on the ongoing white neon series (2002present) shortly after receiving her Masters of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Just as John Cage created drawings to illustrate his compositions, Ariass white neon series transforms specific words and phrases by emphasizing their graphic properties. Arias explains, I expose the intersection of the aural and the visual, one where words, text, and involuntary sounds are transformed into a visible form.1 In doing so, Arias imbues the words with an expressive physicality, and these light installations connect a signifier (the word) and the signified (its inherent meaning) with a third componentthe word as an aesthetic object, with a haptic attribute. In addition, the activity of reading/seeing/touching these word-objects activates their sound element. Cage reinvented our experience and understanding of music by embracing everyday sound as part of his compositions: think of Water Walk (1959), for instance. Arias proposes an alternative method of relating to words and narrative by highlighting their physical nature. As Cage stated, what was needed in music when I came along was the necessity of being physical about hearing.2 These few words aptly describe the essence of Ariass art practice. However, Arias presents this physicality in a most fundamental form. In contrast to Bruce Naumans neon phrases, for instance, tantalizing with their bright colors and swirling shapes, Ariass neon texts are monochromatic and linear, oddly serene, and restrained. This ensures an unmediated relationship between artwork and viewer and offers the possibility to assess the word individually, as well as to question the way in which it functions within a larger social and cultural context. Arias highlights the manner in which people think about and relate to language. Her work offers a multi-dimensional didactic interpretation that alludes to the expansive possibility of meaning, and in this way opens our minds to explore further how we mean what we mean. Claire Breukel
Notes 1 2 Interview with the artist, October 19, 2011. (Roth and Roth, pp 80-81).

phonetic neon [aha], 2011 White neon 40 x 1/4 (101.6 x 0.6cm) Collection of the artist


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

C l e st e B o u r s i e r-Mo u genot
b. 1961 Nice, France. Lives and works in Ste, France French composer and artist Cleste Boursier-Mougenot creates situations where sonic events take visual form or, conversely, where visual information is expressed acousticallya highly Cagean conundrum. In his sound environments, Boursier-Mougenot extracts the musical potential of everyday objects by creating systems and rules for musical situations to generate and sustain themselves.
indexes (v. 1), 2012 Pleyel piano P190 with PianoDisc system, computer and software 74 1/2 x 59 1/2 x 40 1/2 (189.2 x 151.1 x 102.9cm) Installation view, index, virus, solidvideo, detail, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY (3/19 4/25/09)

Courtesy of the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York Following in the tradition of Marcel Duchamps readymades, Boursier-Mougenot elevates the role of an ordinary object. Following in the tradition of John Cage, he explores each of these objects ability to produce unexpected sounds. In his piece indexes (v. 1) (2012), included in this exhibition, agrand piano is rigged to play in response to a live internet feed of stock market data from business news and financial information websites around the world. This piece is an iteration of index (v. 1-4,) an earlier series of works in which the piano sonically transcribed transmissions of the keyboard tapping of museum or gallery employees typing at their desks. The most recent version, created for two grand pianos, was exhibited at EMPAC (The Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center) with textual material provided by staff members working in their offices, out of sight of gallery visitors. In indexes (v. 1) the artist reconfigures a traditional instrument by inserting a software system of his own design, much as John Cage did decades earlier with his prepared piano compositions. The software that Boursier-Mougenot wrote links linguistic properties to musical properties, translating letters and phrases into pitch, repetition, and chords.

Boursier-Mougenot does not compose musical scores, but rather provides opportunities and systems in which musical arrangements may occur. In his untitled pool series (1998-2002), each installation consists of a blue inflatable childrens wading pool filled with water in which china dishes and bowls, glassware and miscellaneous porcelain float. The water circulates by a pump and sustains a consistent temperature of approximately 30 degrees celsius so as to increase the potential sonic reverberation of the items. The half-water-filled pieces of china swirl and gently collide with one another, creating a soothing and meditative sonorous environment. The different pools in any one series are made up of the same type and number of technical componentsinflatable swimming pool, pump, water-heater systemand also a collection of dishware that, although similar in appearance, has been chosen for its unique sound quality and the pitch of the note it produces when struck. No two installations sound alike. Boursier-Mougenot places equal importance on the sounds created by the objects and on the transformation of the objects by the sounds they make. In the series from here to ear (20072012), Boursier-Mougenot positioned amplified electric guitars horizontally in a gallery space filled with finches, whose gentle landing on the strings created a soundscape in which viewers were surrounded by the birds and discordant noises from the instruments. By rejecting a traditional musical performance, the artist placed the viewer at the center of a chorus of guitars, so to speak, in order to create a nonhierarchical experience of the piece. In this way, Boursier-Mougenot blurs the boundary between music and sculpture as living sound. Misa Jeffereis


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

Wa lt e rc i o C a l das
b. 1946 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Lives and works in Rio de Janeiro Waltercio Caldas does not wish to distance himself from art historical icons. Quite the contrary. He willfully and playfully maintains an active dialogue with classical and modern works, namely by Marcel Duchamp, Giorgio Morandi, and Man Ray, among others.1 Caldass work is founded in Neo-Concretism, a movement that began in Brazil in 1959 by rejecting Concretism, which was committed to non-figurative geometric art. Neo-Concretism not only sought to reevaluate the principles on which concrete art had been founded, but it rescued subjectivity, affirmed the presence of the arts, and turned the public into the subject of aesthetic actions, calling for a life experience that would conform to art itself.2
O transparente (da serie Veneza) (The Transparent [from the Veneza Series]), 1997 Stainless steel and acrylic over glass 79 1/8 x 59 7/8 x 59 7/8 (201 x 152 x 152cm) Coleccin Patricia Phelps de Cisneros

Combining disparate mediums, Caldas ruptures any traditional definition of sculpture by allowing his work to oscillate between two-dimensionality and three-dimensionality; drawing and sculpture; absence and presence; accessing the void, and presenting an illusion of reality. His sculptures appear to activate objects between spaces, as well as spaces between objectshovering between pure objectality and spatiality: I would like to produce an object with the maximum presence and the maximum absence, he once said.3 His structures loom large as they define wide areas of space, and yet, are made with scant material given the amount of square footage they occupy. Instead of merely presenting objects, Caldas says about his works that they evoke sculptural moments. As Agnaldo Farias writes, these moments remind us of how Caldass objects invade their surrounding territory, virtually pervading the invisible and silent air trapped in between things that we casually call emptiness.4 This tension between presence and absence, fullness and emptiness, conjures up Cagean notions of music as organized noise and silence, both inherently bound with each other through a carefully structured concept of duration. Although Caldass O transparente (The Transparent [from the Veneza Series]) is decidedly hollow, with no tangible core, no palpable substance, it is far from empty. The structure holds up these tensions and contradictions to the viewer who may choose to look at the object, or alternatively (but not simultaneously) look through the object, as the title suggests. O transparente (The Transparent [from the Veneza Series]) embodies the artists mandate of creating maximum presence and maximum absence at the same time; it can also be interpreted as a reference to Duchamps sculptures of etched and imaged glass (such as Large Glass and Small Glass). The steel structures, reminiscent of a Giorgi Morandi still life in terms of their sober and direct forms, offers a launching pad from which the viewer can explore the framed transparency. Farias aptly notes that inside Caldass artistic universe, absence and presence become interchangeable, in the same way that music intertwines with silence.5 Just as Cage drew attention to silence as an indispensable, and indeed, enjoyable component of his compositions, deserving as much consideration as sound, Caldas calls attention to transparency. Transparency is no longer merely the absence of material but acquires, at the artists hand, the same densityand power of fascinationas steel and glass, or any other medium. Claire Bergeal

Notes 1 Alicia Murria, Let the Object become intermingled with the situation it creates. Artecontexto, no. 20. 2008, 44. 2  Gabriel Prez-Barreiro, et al., The Geometry of Hope: Latin American Abstract Art from the Patricia Phelps Cisneros Collection (Austin: Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin, 2007), 58. 3 Guy Brett, et al., Transcontinental: An Investigation of Reality: Nine Latin American Artists (London; New York: Verso, 1990), 70. 4 Gary Dufour, et al., Out of Place. (Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery, 1993), 22. 5 Ibid, 30.


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

Jos Da m asc e n o
b. 1968 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Lives and works in Rio de Janeiro A primary theme of Damascenos work is the reification of space: his manipulation of negative space through the careful arrangement and accumulation of objects makes palpable that which is usually unseen and taken for granted as empty. Just as there is no such thing as true silence, (one of Cages foremost concepts), nor can space ever be full: it is always activated by the way in which it is occupied. Space, in Damascenos hands, is never a passive void either. Viewers are always aware of themselves in relation to the work, heightening their own consciousness in the act of seeing. Damascenos piece titled Step by Step (2006) provides an interesting example of this concretization of space. In this work, a dance is transformed into sculpture, with each step recorded in place by a marble footprint. As the absent dancers movements are tracked across the floor, the footprints begin to pile up, one on top of another as a record of the utilization of space. In this exhibition, Damascenos work again toys with our relationship to the space, and the manner in which it is inhabited. In 2 estudos sobre 1 dimenso perdida (2 Studies on 1 Lost Dimension), a small iron table lies on its side on the floor. Extending from each of its points, a line is drawn through space and anchored to the wall, suspending it in a state of both tension and rest. Referencing perspectival rendering from the Renaissance, this simple gesture draws attention to the way in which we understand objects in terms of dimensionality. Perspectival drawing is utilized as a means for depicting three dimensions on a two-dimensional surface, and in this piece we are presented with the inversion of that mechanism. Here, the threedimensional object becomes a two-dimensional abstraction, subverting and thus reinforcing our awareness of the space and the manner in which we negotiate it. Just as Cages composition 433 redefined the concept of silence, Damascenos work operates to transfigure space, making palpable that which is unseen. Annie Wischmeyer
2 estudos sobre 1 dimenso perdida (2 Studies on 1 Lost Dimension), 1996 Iron and elastic cord Installation dimensions approximately 7 7 x 15 10 x 35 (230 x 482 x 1080cm) Coleccin Patricia Phelps de Cisneros


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

H a n n e Da r rbov bov e n
b. 1941 Munich, Germany. d. 2009 Hamburg, Germany
II-b, 197073 German artist Hanne Darboven moved to New York in 1966, where she soon met artist Sol LeWitt Ink and typewriting on twenty-eight and critic Lucy Lippard among many others. New York was then the cradle of Minimalism and pieces of paper Conceptual art. Darboven began creating works on graph paper, developing her own very particular 28 panels: each 11 1/2 x 33 (29.3 x 83.8cm) use of the calendar as a foundation for much of her future work. Her daily practice of writing is The Museum of Modern Art. characterized by her extremely disciplined work ethic. Creation for Darboven was not fueled by any Gift of Ileana Sonnabend kind of personal pathos, but by a steadfast, continuous, seemingly unstoppable application of her inner logic to create Schreibzeit writing time. This daily grind directly echoes John Cages own daily practice and moreit highlights their shared values: indifference, pushing aside the ego, in an attempt to close the gap between art and life. As we know with Cage, his artistic practice and value of such goals were developed through his dedicated study of Zen Buddhism. Darboven, speaking in terms that evoke this kind of spiritual investment, once said: I have a clear conscience; I have written my thousand pages. In the sense of this responsibilitywork, conscience, fulfillment of dutyI am no worse a worker than someone who has built a road.1 Indeed, the abundance of her work captures the feel of time passing, the accretion of every square inch of her diaristic activities, indeed, much like that of a builder of a roadthousands of miles long.

Ungraspable time is a looming motif in Darbovens works, and in turn her works feel disorienting and seemingly endlessalmost like the sight of a highway crossing a desert. She began her studies as a music student who played piano and ended her career by translating her number-based pieces into musical notation. Her relationship of time to music was constant throughout her life, and ties her practice closely with Cage. She turned to mathematical writing as a highly abstract language functioning in an entirely self-referential manner.2 This lines up with Minimalist ideals of the time. Kulturgeschichte 1880-1983 (Cultural History 18801983) is Darbovens most colossal and all-encompassing work, comprising around 1,589 identically sized sheets of paper and 19 sculptural objects. The work is not easy to take in. The viewer must submit to her inability to fully grasp the work in its entirety, particularly without access to the codes required to make sense of it, in order to enjoy the work. Cage too, loved confronting the limits of his listeners graspabilityhis orchestration of Erik Saties famous piece Vexations (1893), in which a short piano composition is successively repeated 840 times, culminating in a performance lasting on average up to eighteen hours, offers a good example of this. Darbovens II-b, in comparison, is intimate: it is only comprised of only twenty-eight panels; however through her obsessive dedicated repetition, the drawings coalesce into a small ocean of methodical waves. Much of Cages work functioned the same way: having long abandoned Schnbergs twelve-tone system, he left the listener to wrestle with various sounds, unaided by any traditional hierarchical context. New music: new listening. Not an attempt to understand something that is being said, for, if it were being said, the sounds would be given the shapes of words, Cage said. Just an attention to the activity of sounds.3 For Cage this was achieved through severe reduction, an opening up or emptying out, so that the world could rush in. For Darboven it was about turning inward, overwhelming instead through her mass output of production. In the end, both gave the audience the space to build their own understanding out of a feeling of dislocation. Tryn Collins

Notes 1 Petra Stegman, Hanne Darboven: Discipline and Obsession, Artist Portrait: 2 Lynne Cooke, Introduction, Dia Art Foundation Website 3 John Cage. Silence: Lectures and Writings (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1961), 10.


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

M at th ew D e l eg e t
b. 1972 Hammond, IN. Lives and works in New York, NY Cages use of systems and chance operations was a means by which he could divest his work of selfexpression, preferring to let sounds be themselves, and ever fearful to have them bear the burden of carrying some meaning. Cage let go of the romantic notion of the artists hand: aesthetic decisions should have nothing to do with the artist. Taking up this mantle, Matthew Deleget writes: I am decidedly unromantic it is all a means to an end. His approach to his work is straightforwardpaint is used straight from the tube without any kind of emotional underpinningand applied without any romantic posturing. Cleansed of any expressionistic content, his work turns into an investigation of reductive abstraction and its capacity as a vehicle for meaningor lack of. In Monochrome (Sleeper Cells) (2007), Deleget uses the same white paint of the gallery walls and a roller to paint over a trio of mirrored paper surfaces. Inspired by the slapdash over-painting of graffiti by landlords hasty to obliterate the illicit signatures of street artists, Deleget turns the gesture on himself. In an act of artistic self-effacement, or rather defacement, Deleget circumvents any attempt to read expressive content in the work. A coat of white paint denies the reflection of the mirrored surface save for edges that peek from underneath serving only as a reminder of what is being rejected. The surface that had served as a mirror for both the artist and world is here rendered mute and impassive. Refusing to divulge any information, these paintings offer instead only a stoic silence. Or, in the words of Cage: I have nothing to say and Im saying it. Annie Wischmeyer
Monochrome (Sleeper Cells), 2007 Latex paint on mirrored paper, and silver pushpins 40 x 8 4 (101.6 x 254 cm) overall, each panel 40 x 32 (101.6 x 81.3 cm) Courtesy of Alejandra Von Hartz Gallery, Miami, FL


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

Li z D e sche n e s
b. 1966 Boston, MA. Lives and works in New York, NY Tilt/Swing (360 field of vision, version 2) is a series of six photogramssemi-reflective, imageless rectangles configured in a 360 viewing plane. Deschenes exposed photosensitive paper outside after dusk and brought the sheets indoors before sunrise. The sheets of paper captured nothing but the near-total darkness to which they were exposed: photographs are, etymologically, images made by the marks of light. Here, we have photographsliterally images of light taken when there is no light.
Tilt/Swing (360 field of vision, version 2), 2010 Six unique silver toned black and white photograms Dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist and Miguel Abreu Gallery

Descheness installation follows suit with Herbert Bayers unprecedented exhibition design Diagram of a 360 Field of Vision, as part of a 1935 exhibition installation for the Baugewerkschafts Ausstellung (Building Workers Unions Exhibition) in Berlin. There, artworks were displayed at every angle, on every possible surface including floors and ceilings. This all-out exhibition design allowed the viewers eye to wander throughout the whole room: up and down, left and right, east and west, not a single wall was privileged.1 This vast and critical expansion of the visual field broke away from the standard concept of art display (you might call it the first attempt at creating institutional critique). This placed the focus instead on the viewer and their full physical experience as they moved through the space of the display. We know that during his trip to Europe in 1930, Cage spent time with many Bauhaus artists, Bayer among them.2 It is quite possible that John Cage saw earlier studies of the 360 field-of-vision design; if not, he most likely heard about it. Descheness present reinterpretation of Bayers design incorporates highly-reflective photograms, presenting the viewer with a circle of planes that hold no discernible picture. Because of the reflective nature of the photograms, Descheness work accentuates the premises of Bayers installation, by shifting the emphasis from the subjectivity of the artist to the subjectivities of the viewers whose presence and gaze form a truly inter-subjective sphere that echoes and amplifies the artists initial intention. Self-expression, and means of exploration of the world are, arguably, the two principal directions taken by much photography in the past.3 Deschenes, paradoxically, addresses both branches of this alternativeher art is a means of self-expression, through which she tests the various methods and limits that photography presents. Tilt/Swing (360 field of vision, version 2) continues Descheness focus on pushing the boundaries of what photography iscapturing lightand how it is perceivedself-expression versus exploration. However, by simply focusing on and exploring the limits of the photographic medium, Descheness work is aligned with Cages foray into the elimination of subjectivity. As John Cage refers to Robert Rauschenbergs White Paintings: he is not saying; he is painting . . . The message is conveyed by dirt which sticks to itself and to the canvas.4 Analogously, Deschenes is not saying; she is displaying, exposing, and reflecting. The message conveyed is determined by the viewers interaction with the work. Claire Bergeal

Notes 1 Arthur A. Cohen, Herbert Bayer: The Complete Work (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1984), 289. 2 David Nicholls, et al, Cambridge Companion to John Cage (Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 23. 3 John Szarkowski, Mirrors and Windows: American Photography since 1960 (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1978), 19. 4  John Cage, On Robert Rauschenberg, Artist, and His Work, Silence: Lectures and Writings by John Cage, (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1966), 99.


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

Fe l i p e D u l z a i d e s
b. 1965 Havana, Cuba. Lives and works in Havana Working in a variety of mediums and contexts, Felipe Dulzaides explores shifting perceptions of the natural world. Projects include installations such as an inflatable heart, in which children can jump (What is essential is invisible to the eyes, 2006), to quickly constructed scaffolding whose function is to keep a ball from falling to the floor (Structure that keeps the ball off the ground, 2002). For his project Taking Chances (20092011), Dulzaides photographed and made short videos of a roll of toilet paper being thrown into the air and unraveled by the wind. Originally exhibited in a Los Angeles International Airport terminal, Taking Chances uses a very simple structure consisting of the interplay between gravity and wind acting upon the roll of toilet paper. The combination of these two forces (gravity and wind) interact to give the unrolling paper its own swirling, lyrical arabesques, as they trail it across the landscape enabling this prosaic everyday use object to acquire an arching poetic gesture. Taking Chances, and many of Dulzaidess short videos, including Unwind (2004), Blowing Things Away (2001), and Dialog with a Foghorn (1999) employ a mechanism used by John Cage starting in the early 1950s. Cage began to deploy a chance operation methodology as a structuring agent that allowed for both a conceptual and technical support for work. Resulting compositions, such as those from Cages Variations (19581967), were beyond the conceivable imagination of both composer and audience. Dulzaides also uses chance operations in some of his video shorts, such as Unwind or Making a Road (2001). Instead of relying on his own skills, he relies on the forces of wind and gravity. In this way, the paper draws a line that the artist would, in theory, not have been able to conceive or make. Using toilet paper as drawing tool again, in the series of photographs Toilet Paper Interactions (2001 2009), Dulzaides inserts toilet paper into landscapes thereby altering them in provocative ways. In one print, a blank slab of black top is converted by placing parallel lines of toilet paper mimicking the painted lines of a parking lot. Through this simple intervention, Dulzaides seeks to impose order onto an otherwise non-orderly space. That same desire to apprehend the natural world through at least some kind of methodology attracted Cage to the I Ching. The I Ching became, for Cage, the structuring agent for his use of chance operation. Dulzaides further elaborates on Cages chance operation in his short videos, and displays his kinship with Cages desire to interact with the natural environment in pieces like Toilet Paper Interactions. Reid Strelow
Selected Video Works, 19992011 Single channel video reel (looping video): Following an Orange, 1999, 1 14 Dialog with a Foghorn, 1999, 1 40 Time in My Hand, 2000, 2 13 Blowing Things Away, 2001, 2 45 Unwind, 2003, 00 45 Welcome to the Other Side, 2007, 4 32 In Between, 2011, 1 17 Courtesy of the artist


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

Le n F e rr a r i
b. 1920 Buenos Aires, Argentina. Lives and works in Buenos Aires Incandescent lines define the work of Len Ferrari, first appearing in his complex wire sculptures of the 1960s, then, in the same period, emerging in words, within a language meant to challenge violence and repression. In The Art of Meaning (1968), he criticizes avant-garde art that is restricted to formal innovation. He argues that meaning is essential aesthetic material, and states, Art will neither be beauty nor novelty; art will be efficacy and perturbation.1 With the Tucuman Arte project of 1968, he moved closer to an activist role. He and other committed Argentine artists joined together in an overt political action to expose the disenfranchisement of sugar cane workers by the military government. Works such as the Words of Others, a montage of the bible, newspaper reports, quotes from Hitler, Pope Paul VI, and President Lyndon B. Johnson, are assembled in such a way that they condemn the church, state, and all dominating Euro-American institutions for their interventionist policies, complicity, hypocrisy, and immorality. Colgante Escultura Sonora (Hanging Sound Instrument) is three meters high, consisting of slim metal rods, each stainless steel element suspended from a square steel armature. It hangs from the ceiling and the viewer is encouraged to enter the piece and take hold of the rods. Squeezing them together produces a heavy, rustling sound that envelops the viewer. Immersed in this field, a dematerialization takes place, as the reverberations redefine the vectors of listening, and reach infinite pulsation. Myriad particulars are always sacrificed by any abstract unifying concept, as John Cage illustrated when he redirected our attention to the particulars of every single particular sound. By employing rhythmic structures and chance, each sound can be experienced as unique. With his musical sculptures, Ferrari manipulates and shapes experience as viewer and sound intersect, splintering subjectivity into an electric field. Raphael Moser
Colgante Escultura Sonora (Hanging Sound Instrument), 1979/2010 Steel 118 1/8 x 15 3/4 (300 x 40 cm) Courtesy of Augusto and Len Ferrari Art & Acquis Foundation and Haunch of Venison Gallery

Notes 1 Len Ferrari. (Katzenstein 2004), 316.


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

Rob e rt F i l l i o u
b. 1926 Sauve, France. d. 1987 Les Eyzies, France A French member of the international Fluxus movement in the 1960s, Robert Filliou was in direct contact with John Cage. This can be seen in his work predominantly through an ongoing exploration of the interplay between silence and music, as in Telepathic Music No. 5. The work features a roster of traditional music stands that conjure up the presence of a traditional orchestra, each instrument player reading his score. Instead of the traditional music score, a double-sided playing card gives the potential orchestra member the clue of what s/he is to play or interpret. Fillious installation, evoking the leftovers of non-musical performance, opens up to a performance in which random passersby interact with one another, looking at various cards, left to their own devices to re-create what Telepathic Music could be about.
Telepathic Music #5, 197678 33 music stands, 32 playing cards and 34 small note cards Dimensions variable The Museum of Modern Art. The Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection Gift

Silence and indeterminacy, both key to Cages oeuvre, are crucial here, in Telepathic Music No. 5. The music implied by the title of the piece and the inclusion of stands is nowhere to be heard; it is purely a telepathic experience that takes place between the participants and the artist. In the experiential sense of the work, just as Cage manipulated sounds and a silence that do not exist, so too does Filliou allow silence to take the place of literal musicFillious silence, though, sounds different: it is telepathicit truly depends on an (impossible?) communication between the artist (or the conductor) and his players. Furthermore, indeterminacy dominates the performance aspect of this piece. A performance can only commence when two people look at either side of the card that is hoisted in front of them. The artist has no control over who these individuals are or how they will interact with the installation. These participants simply find themselves in the midst of a silent score for both a musical piece and a Fluxus performance. The concept of silence was important throughout Fillious career. As early as 1965, Filliou performed Yes an action poem, inspired not only by the idea of silence, but also by Zen, another key interest of Cages that reverberated on many of his friends and acquaintances. During the first half of this performance, Filliou sat, unmoving, on a stage while Allison Knowles described bodily systems. Fillious action, or lack thereof, constitutes both literal silence, as he said nothing, and the silence of the body, as his sole activity was the most basic of all, that of simply being. Meanwhile, Knowles complementary recitation described all of the things that Fillious body was, in fact, doing while he sat there in silence. Breathing and other necessary bodily functions, in this instance, are sounds that fill Cages and Fillious silence. This sitting also references the Soto school of Zen, which describes the practice of meditation as just sitting.1 This performance, then, references Cage through Fillious deep involvement with both silence and Zen. Jennifer Wolf

Notes 1 Ken Friedman, ed. The Fluxus Reader (West Sussex, UK: Academy Editions, 1998), 108.


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

Y u k i o F uj i moto
b. 1950 Nagoya, Japan. Lives and works Osaka, Japan Yukio Fujimotos combinations of sound installation, and found objects challenge traditional Japanese art practice. Often described as a sound artist, Fujimoto, in fact, is more interested in activating all senses by creating interactions that encourage viewers to see, feel, hear, and touch the art object. The artist describes these interactive provocations as philosophical toys. Fujimoto moved to Osaka in 1971 to study music at the Osaka University of Arts. Inspired by the Universitys program and its advanced use of electronic music equipment, Fujimoto studied the early advances made in this field, across the globe, and thus came across John Cage. Fujimoto soon began to develop his own creative style that challenged the conventions of music making in Japan. In 2001, Fujimoto was the featured artist at the Japan Pavilion of the Venice Biennale, followed by his decadelong project Bijutsukan-no-Ensoku (Audio Picnic at the Museum) (19972006). This annual show, which turned the Otani Memorial Art Museum in Nishinomiya City into an interactive exhibition for a single day, afforded him much international acclaim. In 2007, Fujimoto returned to the Venice Biennale, this time contributing his installation Ears with Chair to the international exhibition curated by Robert Storr. A site-specific work, Ears with Chair consists of three basic elementsan everyday chair (usually an office chair) and two pipes on stands or adhered to the wall. What activates the work, however, are two indispensable conditions: the viewer/listeners participation in the act of sitting down and grasping the two long tubes to bring them in contact with ones ears; and second, the ambient noise made by the circulation of other (potential) listeners/viewers. Ears with Chair conjures up Cages body of work in that it boils down composition to its most fundamental form: it involves only what is necessary to facilitate a viewing/listening experience. The two pipes connect the seated participant to sounds coming from the world outside. The pipes alter the acoustics of incoming sound, thereby altering the participants experience of reality and proposing the existence of another dimension. The participant is thus encouraged to focus on the physical action of active listening. At the same time, Fujimoto goes further than Cage by literally cornering the viewer/listener at the intersection of two long tubes. In so doing, the artist emphasizes the vulnerability of the participant, while activating all of their sensorial responses. Yukio Fujimotos practice brings together everyday life and art through found objects and materials, as well as utilizing the artworks surroundings. In Ears with Chair, Fujimoto allows what Cage termed chance sound to inform the participants experience. In this way, Ears With Chair, like 433, is a conduit for an indeterminate audio experience and a tool to appreciate the world.1 Claire Breukel
Ears with Chair, 1990 Installation Dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist

Notes 1


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

N ico l s G uag n i n i
b. 1966 Buenos Aires, Argentina. Lives and works in New York

Ga r e th Ja m e s
b. 1970 London, England. Lives and works in British Columbia, Canada In 2006 Nicols Guagnini, and his colleague, Gareth James, made a proposal to the Andrew Roth gallery to take a full-page ad in the summer issue of the art worlds Holy Grail, Artforum. The gallery agreed and Guagnini and James then invited seven artists: Alejandro Cesarco, Rodney Graham, Jutta Koether, Guillermo Kuitca, Seth Price, Nancy Spero, and Lawrence Weiner to create seven original works within this format. The advertisement ran as a blank page in the magazine, and separately, the works of art were sold as a deluxe edition. The resulting adwhich promoted work that was entirely fictionalbypasses the magazines economy and undermines the conventional modes of advertisement, promotion, and sales. This act exposes the intrinsically problematic nature of the interdependency between the magazines content and its ever complicated relation to the market and advertising.
Break Even, 2006 Intervention in Artforum 10 1/2 x 10 1/2 (26.7 x 26.7cm) Private Collection

Guagnini and James were both founding members of the cooperatively owned exhibition and gallery space, Orchard 47, located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan from 2005 to 2008. The gallery, like their work, was often associated with institutional critique, a practice that questioned and challenged the authority of the gallery and museum. In their own art practice one can indentify common themes such as social division, repression, psychoanalysis, and the capitalist structure in both Gaugnini and Jamess sculptural installations, Guagninis films and photographs, and Jamess typological work. In Break Even, Guagnini and James abandon traditional mode of authorshipfollowing suit with Cages abiding attempt to eradicate the artist out of the artwork. Paying lip service to these kind of concerns, Artforums notoriously jam packed editions repeatedly affirm, through advertisements and features, conventional ideas of what it means to be an artist; maker and product are inextricably linked. Guagnini and Jamess white page halts the custom trajectory of the art magazine and creates a space where we are no longer given an answerany answer. The white page presses upon us an instant of silence that might frustrate, shock, surprise, or even better, spur indifference. The artists intention, however, is to open the readers cognition beyond the limitations of prescribed paradigms. It is in fact not silent at all, but asks the viewer questions about production, value, authorship and how all these functions relate to each other. Furthermore, authorship shifts from Guagnini and James when they ask others to intervene on the blank page. Similar to Cages openness to indeterminate and environmental noises, Guagnini and James provide a structure, a 10 1/2 x 10 1/2 page, but allow a quasi-infinite multiplicity of interpretations, reactions, and markings to constitute the final form. It seems that Guagnini and James, like Cage, want to reveal the substructure and logic governing various arenas of societyand of this weird sub-strata, the art world. By highlightingand abstractingsome of the key functions inherent in this world (promotion, visibility, advertising) Guagnini, James, (and Cage, before them) expose the absurdity of authoritarian systems. Unlike Cage, however, Guagninis and Jamess work is often intended to criticize the economic system and its failure through an appropriation of capitalist signifiers, such as an Artforum ad. Despite this difference, Cage and his younger colleagues share a desire to engage in a collaborative process that challenges accepted norms and asks the viewer to reexamine the world in which s/he lives. Sydney Gilbert


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

Lyn n e H a r low
b. 1968 Attleboro, MA. Lives and works in Providence, RI and in New York, NY Jai fait les gestes blancs parmi les solitudes. Apollinaire Lynne Harlows work questions the limits of art, both in terms of the notion of the traditional art object and the viewers relation to it. Pushing the work almost to the point of dissolution, her work requires the participation of the viewer, even if only as witness, in order to operatein order to rescue its very existence. Toeing the edge of this abyss, Harlow pushes the limit of the physical presence of her work. This emphasis on sensorial deprivation however, is offered by the artist as an act of generosity. What she offers is an incomplete choreography, inviting the viewer to step outside the traditional artist/audience relationship and instead engage in a dialectic investigation. In her solicitation of the viewer, her work provides a space for an encounter, continuing the conversations and propositions set forth by previous generations in the form of Happenings. The origin of Happenings, a revolutionary performative practice that reached its apex in the 60s, can be traced back to John Cage and a particular event that occurred at Black Mountain College in the summer of 1952. Inspired by The Theatre and Its Double by Antonin Artaud, which encourages the integration of theatre and life to create a new hybrid art form, Cage organized an evening that combined painting, dance, a lecture, the recitation of poetry, and the playing of music. The traditional notion of the stage was inverted with the performances taking place in and around the audience. The result of this subversion of the traditional audience/performer relationship combined with the heterogeneity of media and experience had the effect of dislocating the conventional status of art in every sense. Following in Cages footsteps, Harlow plays with a similar disruption of relationships, both in terms of the juxtaposition of media as well as between the viewer and the work. She describes her installation BEAT as hovering on the border between drawing and sculpture. Indeed, it is difficult to categorize this work, which is composed solely of a monochromatic white drum kit oriented towards a large yellow square painted on the facing wall. Over the course of two hours a series of drummers play to this yellow wall, creating an exchange between the visual and the aural. What Harlow seems to be proposing is that the interstice between these realms is the domain of the Happening. The focus of the work thus becomes a dialogue between two disparate elements, their shared space and the energy created between them. All of this is then triangulated by the presence of the viewer, bearing witness to this conversation and engaging in it. Annie Wischmeyer
BEAT, 2007 Acrylic paint, drum kit, live performance with musicians Painted square 8 5 x 8 5 (245.1 x 245.1cm) Courtesy of the artist and MINUS SPACE, Brooklyn, NY


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

D o u g l as H u ebl e r
b. 1924 Ann Arbor, MI. d. 1997 Truro, MA Variable Piece #70 is one of many conceptual photographic works and documentations by Douglas Huebler, a major figure in Conceptual Art in the late 1960s. A bit older than other Conceptual artists, such as Lawrence Weiner, Jan Dibbets, and Richard Long, Huebler has held a critical role within the development of Conceptualism, namely by being a proponent of dissolving or dematerializing the art objectwhich soon became a shibboleth of Conceptualism. It was Huebler who famously said, The world is full of objects, more or less interesting; I do not wish to add anymore. I prefer, simply to state the existence of things in terms of time and space.1 The eerie parallel between this statement and some of the tenets of John Cages Zen-inspired philosophy has largely escaped attention. Yet, both artists individual research was characterized by an absolute openness to the flow of things. Both disciples of Marcel Duchamp, they used the constraints of time to explore the possibilities of chance. Huebler documented the residual effects of time, whereas Cage tackled real time.2 Both artists were fascinated by the notion that all all sounds, all objects, all peopleare equally worthy of attention.
Variable Piece #70, 1971 Black-and-white photographs and typewriting on paper 17 5/16 x 40 1/8 x 1 3/16 (43.9 x 101.9 x 3cm) The Museum of Modern Art. Partial gift of the Daled Collection and partial purchase through the generosity of Maja Oeri and Hans Bodenmann, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Marlene Hess and James D. Zirin, Agnes Gund, Marie-Jose and Henry R. Kravis, and Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley

Variable Piece # 70 offers a perfect illustration of this excessive interest in the whole world: this piece was meant to document the existence of everyone alive. Photographing mostly groups of people in public, the projectabsurdly grandiose in its objective missionwas doomed from the start. This ridiculous and seemingly arbitrary exercise exposes the cameras weakness as a tool, revealing the tension between surface blandness and infinite meaning.3 Hueblers documentation work is ephemeral and mind-teasing, a kind of systematic demystifying, only to create another shroud.4 As critic John Miller wrote, he [Huebler] consistently destabilizes the photos documentary status by pointing to the kinds of information it cannot convey.5 This early work operates by a kind of gambling and humor leading to what is beyond our grasp, impossible to measure. The work is negating not only the object but the author as well. John Cages work operates within a similar paradox. His writings in Silence seem straightforward, but ultimately they dive into the unknown or ungraspable. Similarly, in his Duration Piece #2 (1970), Huebler exhibits six timed snapshots of a statue partly obscured by passing cement trucks in order to illustrate the timeless serenity of the statue.6 Hueblers work is both frustrating and funny. It was Cage who pioneered the way for such chance operations to provide a framework for future artists. Variation # 70 offers a marvelously futile attempt to photograph everyone without being dictated by any particular logic, or programultimately, nothing but chance guides the artist in his grandiose, and unreachable plan. Tryn Collins

Notes 1 2 3 4 5 6 Roberta Smith. Douglas Huebler, 72, Conceptual Artist. The New York Times. July 17, 1997. Alexander Alberro. Conceptual Art and the Politics of Publicity(Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003), 77. Mike Kelley. Shall We Kill Daddy. Origin and Destination. 1997, (http:/ /, 3. Roberta Smith. ibid, 1. John Miller. Double or Nothing, John Miller on the art of Douglas Huebler. Artforum. (April 2006), 4. Mike Kelley. ibid, 6.


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

Dav i d L La a m e l as
b. 1946 Buenos Aires, Argentina. Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA David Lamelas helps us reconsider the forms and meanings applied to art in the 60s and 70s. His interest in media, especially cinema, is related to his greater concern with the nature of information and the means of conveying that information. For instance, Conflict of Meaning (Film Script) (1972) consists of a set of images simply arranged in various configurations to alter their coded meanings, while yet retaining an over all ambiguous message. The same year, with To Pour Milk Into a Glass (1972), Lamelas challenged societal conventions through the intentional mis-pouring of milk into a glass that was being progressively destroyed. Overall, Lamelas work offers us a dynamic, and complex analysis of the unsolvable problematic of subjectivity in contemporary art. Limit of A Projection I constructs a sculpture with light. A theatrical spotlight is situated above the gallery floor, and pointed down to emit a field of photons. The projected light forms an intense, bright-white cone. The room is darkened so that the pyramidal beam of light can be properly perceived. This work is formally minimal, yet conceptually loaded. The experience of the viewer is predicated on the reception of this intense conical source of light. The light appears all the more significant in contrast to its immediate environment: darkness. The light is illuminating, but illuminates nothing, but empty space. There is no material object to observe, nothing tactile, nothing visible nothing one would want to grasp. The only factor that brings this cone of light into existence is the passage of a viewer-observer. The analytical gaze of a participant is the condition of possibility of the meaning of this work. And, vice versa, the viewers imagination (and their own limitations) determine the limit to which meaning can be projected on to the piece. Without the engagement of the viewer the piece is incomplete, in fact, inexistent. Limit of A Projection I lives through its being perceived and processed through an observer, and dies without it. Lamelas shares with Cage a deep sense of selflessnessa rare commodity in the art world. The persistent theme of audience dependency throughout Lamelas greater oeuvre conjures up the Cagean notion of engagement. As both Lamelas and Cage are setting up environments for experiences, both artists are delegating responsibility to the viewerin a far more real and concrete way than Duchamp could ever have conceived. They thus both bring attention to the significance of subjectivity (and inter-subjectivity). In this way, the work questions who or what agent produces our experiences, including the mundane ones we take for granted. Matthew Cianfrani
Limit of a Projection I, 1967 Theater spotlight in darkened room 63 (160cm) to 74 3/4 (189.87cm) diameter Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. T. B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 2009


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

Re i n e r Le i st
b. 1964 West Germany. Lives and works in New York, NY Beginning in 1995, as a romantic gesture to a long-distance lover, Reiner Leist started taking a photograph from the same window of his midtown loft almost every day. The frame directs the viewers gaze down Eighth Avenue from the twenty-sixth floor of the artists building. The images are made using an archaic technique referred to as tin type. Consisting of not much more than a box with a small hole and a chemically treated sheet of tin, the technique was developed at the dawn of photography in the nineteenth century. This primitive form of harnessing light allows for little control over the optical physics and image chemistry, or, pixel manipulation that is now possible. The images, now numbering up to the thousands, were selected for exhibition through various strategies. For example, in 2006 at the Julie Saul Gallery, Leist selected images produced throughout eleven subsequent months of September in reference to 9/11 as a rebuking gesture of that dates loaded association. Given the prominence of the World Trade Towers within the composition of these images, their presence, or not, within Leists images is very charged. Leist, however, merely presents these images in a gridded light-box, organized chronologically. The consecutive, narrative implications are left to the curators choices. Leists work, though derived from personal experience, seeks to be generative rather than representative. Photography, more than any other representational form, seems to demand being read, not merely seen. Leist understands that ones subjective experience cannot be easily transmitted, at least not through the limited technology of photography. Rather, his system is one in which the viewer can engage on their own terms, extracting the elements of the image that are compelling, and developing an individual interpretation of the work. Abiding questions regarding authorship are shared concerns between Leist and Cage: the Window Project seems intent on delivering what is, rather than what the artist sees (or decides to see, or not to see). It is all there, uneditedas in some of Cages compositions (think of Imaginary Landscape IV, 1951). Leists technical process for Window Project requires very little manipulation beyond opening the shutter for a calculated set of time. The light pours in, bleeding at the edges, and imprints itself against the film-plate without any aid from a lens or aperture. The result is a grey, low-contrast composition. Through relinquishing control of the image, Leist produces a situation allowing the viewer to create his or her own experience. Matthew Cianfrani
Window Project, 1995-ongoing (work on loan spans 1995-2005) Installation: film, glass, plexiglass, wood and fluorescent lights Dimensions variable Installation view, Museum for Photography, Berlin, 2007 Courtesy Julie Saul Gallery and the artist


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

Jo rg e M Macch acchi i
b. 1963 Buenos Aires, Argentina. Lives and works in Buenos Aires
Chance, employed as a mechanism for creative production, offers the possibility of random yet often fortuitous moments that result in shifting conventional modes of understanding and the creation of new meaning. Resorting to chance operations in his compositional process allowed John Cage to enter the realm of quotidian and prosaic circumstances. The imprint of these unforeseeable and unquantifiable circumstances marked a radical shift in attitudes towards the authorial role of the artist. For example, rather than for divination as it was intended, Cage utilized the I-Ching, the ancient Chinese text, as an a priori system that allowed him to remove himself from the authorial position. This same interest in chance appears again in his utilization of radios and other such devices that when played during a piece, introduce an element of chaos based on location and circumstance. For Cage, chance represented an opportunity not only to distance himself from the burden of expression, but also to open up the possibility of discovering unintended significance through happenstance. Argentine artist Jorge Macchi shares a similar interest in the providential experiences that the utilization of chance creates. He is perpetually engaged with ideas of impermanence and circumstance, and chance operates for him as a mechanism to conjure these notions in a manner that allows for their analysis. The circumscription of chance within the confines of a system transforms the incidental into meaning.
Even when music is a consequence of chance what appears in the first place is an obsessive desire to assign sense or logic to the nonsensical. Thats how I understand the work we developed in Buenos Aires Tour: a tourist guide of Buenos Aires based on a chance operation like the breaking of a glass, a project focused more on the creation of meaning than on the superficial description of a city.1
Buenos Aires Tour, 2003 in collaboration with Mara Negroni (texts) and Edgardo Rudnitzky (sound) Mixed media: box, booklets, postcards, map, CD-Rom, and stamps Dimensions variable Private Collection

In his piece Buenos Aires Tour, Macchi orchestrates a tour guided by chance operations, inviting the participant to engage in the randomness produced. This randomness, however, affords the opportunity for the creation of unforeseen significance. Breaking a pane of glass, Macchi superimposes the lines of fracture on a map of the city, allowing the lines to suggest routes through the city streets and producing a series of itineraries. The product of a collaboration with poet Mara Negroni and composer Edgardo Rudnitzky, this piece is comprised of a guide, a map, a dictionary, a prayer book and other ephemera. This idiosyncratic collection of texts, sounds, and objects becomes a subversive tour guide, one that toys with our conventional mode of navigation. Thus, rather than the traditional city tour comprised of monuments and landmarks, unchanging markers designed to operate as timeless definitions of the city, Macchis tour offers an alternate view. Instead of the staid routine of programmed sites, chance operations provide an opportunity to traverse unexpected and often overlooked environs, affording the participant the chance to encounter the city in a new, and somewhat unexpected, manner. Annie Wischmeyer

Notes 1 Interview with Edgardo Rudnitzky,


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

C Ch hr r i st i an M a rc rcl l ay
b. 1955 San Rafael, CA. Lives and works in London, England and New York, NY In Indian Point Road, a camera was set on a tripod by the artist along a quiet country road in Maine. Throughout the video, a single frame captures, unedited, the indeterminate, and indeterminable flow of events that occur alongside the route. Pure indeterminacy, indeed: an occasional car driving by, the slight wavering movement of the foliage of trees in the wind. Nothing; something; anything. At any time. This video offers a moving homage to Cages life-long exploration of happenstance eventuality. This work was commissioned as a backdrop for one of a series of eight Events, performances collaged from existing choreography, organized by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company at the Joyce Theater in December, 2004. The dancers were accompanied by newly composed (or found) music: the sounds of Christian Marclays roadside. Much like Cages music and Cunninghams choreography, Indian Point Road proceeds freelyboth independently of the will of the artist, and autonomously from the performers on the stage. The random activity of the background traffic occurring on the screen is offset by the (necessarily unrelated) activities of the dancers. Randomness compounds randomness. Indian Point Road conjures up Cages famous dedication to, and pursuit of, an impossible silence: very little happens throughout this video and very little can be heard; yet, Marclay known for his acute dedication to the perfection of soundcarefully refrained himself here from adding (or editing) any prescribed audio to the video, thus confronting us, the viewers/listeners, with the occasional oppressing density of silence. These moments are punctured by ambient noisesbirds, insects, a breezethat Cage would welcome in his own work. This pastoral cacophony escapes the intention of the artist, who, through the mechanical device of his video, allowed them to be recorded. In so doing, the artist transmuted them into music. Marclays subject matter in Indian Point Road, is an ordinary American rural road. Not much happens there (as on most rural roads). The video opens its lens to this: very little. In a Cagean manner, the video, at times, can become monotonousetymologically, one and the same tone dominates. Yet, paradoxically, the peaceful tranquility of this slice of nature acquires a certain grandeur. It becomes mesmerizing, broken only by the sudden, indeterminate, startling burst of noise from a passing automobile. Also Cagean, here, is Marclays exploration of duration per se: by letting the video camera do the work, the artist seizes on time in its pure essencenot the time of an event (in which time itself is sunk), but time as the event itself. By the same token, the world around the artists camera, in its perfect ordinariness, in its naked and unedited simplicity, becomes the primary experience. Jennifer Wolf
Indian Point Road, 2004 Single channel video Duration: 30 minutes Dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

Ri va n e Ne u e n schwa n d er
b. 1967 Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Lives and works in Belo Horizonte
O trabalho dos dias/Days Work, 1998 O trabalho dos dias/Days Work was originally exhibited during the 24th So Paulo Biennial in 1998. Gathered dust onto squares of adhesive vinyl While she was living in London, Brazilian artist Rivane Neuenschwander swept up all the debris in her Dimensions variable home onto large square adhesive sheets. The results were two cubicles entirely tiled, from the walls Courtesy of Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York; to the floor, with the residue of daily life. These tiles remain active while they are being exhibited, Fortes Vilaa Gallery, So Paulo; and acquiring still more dust and grime from daily visitors. In this piece, the color white turns out not to Stephen Friedman Gallery, London be pure or neutral at all: there is no such thing as white. One sees here a direct parallel with Cages realization that there is no such thing as pure silence. O trabalho dos dias/Days Work also alludes to Rauschenbergs White Paintings. Cage, referring to the White Painting from 1951, gushes that they are airports for light, shadows, and particles...a painting constantly changing.1 But Neuenschwanders piece, although still receptive to the dimensions of light and shadow, acquires a more tongue-incheek and gritty tonality. Far from the White Paintings, the adhesive paper here conjures old-fashioned fly-traps and gives any neo-dada trope a different coloration: from airstrips for molecules, (Cages description of Rauschenbergs White Paintings) we move to sticky tapes for mosquitoessame function; different effect.

An important precedent for this work can be found in Duchamps and Man Rays collaboration, Dust Breeding, 1920. After Duchamp allowed one of his works, The Large Glass, to accumulate dust for a whole year, Man Ray photographed the results. But again, in contradistinction to this Franco-American duo and their careful and elegantly drawn lines of dust, Neuenschwanders industrial adhesive captures all and everything: the dirt and dust that sticks around is there to remind us what even Duchamp would have rather forgotten. In a lecture he gave late in life, Cage explained his use of chance, saying, Im speaking of nothing special, just an open ear and an open mind and the enjoyment of daily noises.2 Cage indeed, built much of his work around the aesthetics of non-intention, and was always careful to add that this was for ones enjoyment.3 He embraced the unpredictability of the day-to-day: whatever noise occurred in his aural environmentwhatever went on the radio, a sneeze, a fire truck hurtling bywas perfect. Much of Neuenschwanders work also embraces chance and uncertaintyand this astounding capacity to accept all. In her piece Starving Letters from 2000, she let snails eat undetermined patterns onto rice paper and, strangely enough, the end result resembles maps. For One Thousand and One Possible Nights from 2008, shown at her New Museum show in 2010, she punched holes out of a Portuguese translation of The Arabian Nights, letting the piles of clippings create arbitrary patterns on the floor. It is with this Cage-inspired openness that Rivane Neuenschwander is able to map the subtle beauty of the quotidian. O trabalho dos dias/Days Work is a testament to the overlap between art and life. Tryn Collins

Notes 1 John Cage, Silence: Lectures and Writings (MIddletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1961), 102103. 2 James Pritchett, The Music of John Cage (Cambridge and New York: University of Cambridge Press, 1993), 145. 3  Brooks Williams, Music II: From the Late 1960s, The Cambridge Companion to John Cage, edited by David Nicholls (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 135.


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

Ka z Os h i ro
b. 1967 in Okinawa, Japan. Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA Everyday objectstrash dumpsters, guitar amps, washing machinesare the source of Kaz Oshiros imagery. Through an artistic tour de force that interweaves painting and sculpture, the artist creates deceivingly close representations of such objects.Stretching canvas over stretcher bars and assembling them together in a 3-d representation of these objects, Oshiro then paints a very convincing trompe loeil of the objects he recreates, such as a Fender guitar amp covered by an impressively painted tweed or the water stain on a counter top. Oshiro is never shy about exposing the backs of his objects, thus revealing the stretched canvases that he assembles together, and allowing his viewer to have a glimpse of his construction method. Referencing Duchamps readymades, Warhols screen-printed soup cans, and artists of the Pictures Generation who sampled commercial imagery,Oshiro appropriates objects from everyday life. Unlike such predecessors Oshiro re-presents by re-constructing undecidedly close imitations of the real items he copies. However, Oshiros representations of guitar amps, for example, only function as images, and remain stubbornly silent. John Cages interest in and elevation of ambient sounds and noise was what first attracted Oshiro to the elder artists work. Oshiro represents ambient visual noise, highlighting elements that tend to fall within our peripheral vision and consciousness. Just as Cage often harnessed the unpredictable cacophony within our daily existence, as exemplified by his commandeering of a live radio broadcast in Imaginary Landscape No. 4 (1951), Oshiro incorporates the visual counterpart into his art making practice. While Cages appropriation of ambient and found sounds incorporates a high level of indeterminacy however, Oshiros process is completely deliberate. Through Oshiros methods of construction and his choice of subject, the artist quietly but deftly elucidates the gaps in our perception towards the banal elements we encounter within our daily lives. Reid Strelow
Orange Speaker Cabinets and Gray Scale Boxes (18 parts), 2009 Acrylic and Bondo on stretched canvas 12 orange cabinets: 29 x 30 x 14 3/4 (73.7 x 76.2 x 37.5cm) each; 6 gray scale boxes: 29 x 30 x 14 3/4 (73.7 x 76.2 x 37.5cm) each Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Frank Elbaz


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

Ed ga r d o Ru R u d n i tz k y
b. 1956 Buenos Aires, Argentina. Lives and works in Berlin, Germany Edgardo Rudnitzky is a sound artist, composer, and percussionist, whose practice incorporates sound and visual art in theatrical settings, dance, and films. Rudnitzkys works explore the nature of sound in its physical presence. To him, the visual presentation of his art is as important as its aural component. The artist explores the limits and potential of musical instruments, reinventing the functionality of a boat, record player, or clock using carefully constructed systems. The artist often incorporates the setting, whether a public space or a restrictive area, bringing new life to uncommon sites. Octopus is a sound object in which Rudnitzky refashioned a turntable to incorporate four arms, each protruding from separate corners of the device. The artist created a composition for a string quartet, recorded each instrument separately, and made a vinyl disc with each track containing one short musical phrase from one instrument. In its presentation, the arms are motorized, automatically moving to their proper location (track) on the vinyl, and playing each phrase in sync with the other instruments (arms). The tracks are distributed on the record so as to create a choreography of movement when each arm slowly shifts positions. The combined motions of this hybrid creature is one of surprising gestural fluidity and musical splendor. Rudnitzky reconfigured a simple device that amplifies sonic vibrations into a functioning musical octopus. In another of his works from 2008, Little Music, Rudnitzky and the artist and collaborator Jorge Macchi (whose work is also represented in this exhibition and catalogue) created an interactive musical piece in the Bayou Saint John for Prospect.1 New Orleans. The back of five paddleboats were rigged with a percussive African instrument called the kalimba, similar in theory to a music box. Teeth were affixed to the paddles, and with each rotation they struck the metal keys on the kalimba, allowing the peddlers to create music. The combination of sounds from the five boats, although random, harmonized beautifully because of the pentatonic scale. Here is another instance in which Rudnitzky, like his predecessor John Cage and his prepared pianos, has reconfigured an object to function quite differently from its original roleand to produce quite a different soundA Hidden Noise (as Duchamp would have it). Misa Jeffereis
Octopus, 2008 Turntable with four arms, each one with its own speaker, vinyl records 37 7/8 x 24 7/8 x 24 7/8 (96.2 x 63.2 x 63.2cm) Coleccin Patricia Phelps de Cisneros


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

Fr e d Sa n d bac k
b. 1943 Bronxville, NY. d. 2003 New York, NY Fred Sandbacks breakthrough came in 1967 when, while still in graduate school, he outlined a twentyfoot-long 2 x 4 with string and wire, removing the board so that only the outline remained. This was the beginning of a long-held artistic process and exploration into the representation of presence versus absence. Sandback gave form to this quasi-impossible conundrum through acrylic yarn. The artists relation to the environment is crucial. Consequently, the space around each piece defines the piece itself; the presence of a viewer meandering through the artists work activates the installation and allows it to come to life. Sandback created pieces that fit within specific architectural spaces resulting in a close interdependence between the work, the architecture, and the spectator. Fittingly, the artist referred to his environments as pedestrian spaces. Sandbacks oeuvre induces a true phenomenological experience of space and volume, playing with the viewers perception, and creating works that appear to redefine the Renaissance concept of what is in and what is out. With Sandback, bizarrely, you are both in and out. Straight lines appear to be the effect of a pure geometrical flat construction, but are actually the projection of a room-size volume. Sandback presented the absence of the mass by evoking this so-called mass with thin skeins of yarn. The demarcation of absence versus presence recalls Cages concept that there can never be true silenceSandback creates volume from very little, rejecting the notion that space can ever be truly empty. Julie Dentzer
Untitled (Sculptural Study, Two-part Vertical Construction), c. 1986/2008 Black acrylic yarn Spatial relationship established by the artist, overall dimensions vary with each installation Estate of Fred Sandback; Courtesy of David Zwirner, New York


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Fr a n k Sch effe r
b. 1956 Venlo, The Netherlands. Lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands Frank Scheffer is a Dutch documentarian who focuses primarily on music, including subjects such as the 1995 Mahler Festival in Amsterdam and the musician Frank Zappa. Scheffer has collaborated with and documented John Cage in Chessfilmnoise (1988) and Time is Music (1988). From Zero: Four Films on John Cage is a series of four films involving John Cage, produced in collaboration with composer and musician Andrew Culver, who worked for Cage for eleven years, most notably on One11, from 1992. The series begins with Nineteen Questions with John Cage, a chance determined interview in which Cage addresses nineteen different topics whose subject and answer-time are dictated by chance operations. The topics vary wildly, but all broadly touch upon Cages vision of the world: e.g., three seconds on Zen Buddhism (the structure of the mind), or, nine seconds on indeterminacy (how to go out of ones mind). The result is odd, whimsical, and always unexpected. The film casts Cage under a charming, mischievous, and, at times, deeply ponderous light. The second film, Fourteen, similarly based on chance operations, is a cinematic take on a composition for fourteen parts by John Cage. The musicians are each given a sheet of music and a stopwatch, and rather than reading a series of notes on a staff while adhering to a specific time signature, each musician is instructed to play a specific note for a non-specific period of time during the piece. For example, the musician must begin playing a B flat between 030 and 100 and end the note between 050 and 120. The duration of the note is up to the musician but, because of Cages guidelines, cannot be longer than fifty seconds. The lighting system in the film is similarly operatedthe lighting designer created a chance-operated system by which the lights turn on and off.1 In typical productions, lighting is synched with the music, but in this case any synchronization is purely coincidental. Working independently, Andrew Culver composed the score and Frank Scheffer edited the visuals to make the third film, Paying Attention, imitating the creative process between Cage and his long-time collaborator, choreographer Merce Cunningham. The film is composed of clips from an interview Scheffer conducted with Cage in 1982the images and sound are distorted to the point of abstraction and incomprehension. For Scheffer, the images on the screen are not about what they represent but rather what they are, and they are simply digital squares on a TV screen.2 The fourth and last film of the series, Overpopulation and Art & Ryan-ji is a collaboration between Cage and Scheffer. Using a recording of John Cages mesostic poem, Overpopulation and Art, as well as his musical composition Ryan-ji, Scheffer creates a hypnotic film overlaying these elements with a series of blank screens, scenes from a forest, and snippets of Sixth Avenue in New York City. The blank screens are black, white, and three shades of grey in between. The source of Cages composition is the Zen rock garden, Ryan-ji, in Kyoto (illustrated in Joachim Pissarros introductory essay): the solo parts represent the gardens stones and the irregular rhythm the sand.3 All four films in From Zero: Four Films on John Cage involve chance operations, as is true of all of Scheffers films relating to Cage. Cage suggested Scheffer begin using chance operations in 1988, giving him a computer program made by his assistant, Andrew Culver. The program simulated the I Ching coin-tossing method with which Cage was intimately familiar. From then on, Scheffer has used that software for his own work. Claire Bergeal
From Zero: Four Films on John Cage, 1995 DVD Duration: 84 minutes Collection of the artist

Notes 1  This system was explained in Making Fourteen, one of the extras on the DVD version of From Zero: Four Films on John Cage, by Frank Scheffer and Andrew Culver, distributed by Allegri Films, released February, 2004. 2 Email correspondence with Frank Scheffer, December 28, 2011. 3 Ibid.


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Us sh h i o Sh Shi ino oh hara

b. 1932 Tokyo, Japan. Lives and works in New York, NY Draw a line on the pure white virgin paper. Dont stop, dont think. Next, with a spirited howl of Yeah, yeah, Oh! draw circles, draw straight lines and dont think! Ushio Shinohara1 In 1952, Ushio Shinohara attended the Tokyo University of the Arts to study painting. He disliked the strict curriculum, however, and ultimately decided not to graduate. Instead, he helped found the prolific Neo-Dada Movement in Tokyo, which was instrumental in transforming traditional art practices by creating work that did not conform to traditional aesthetics. Shinoharas work questioned perceptions of beauty and ugliness and the implied social hierarchy of their meaning, most notably in his series Boxing Paintings and Oiran. This notion of breaking down preconceived notions of what constituted good or bad was integral to John Cages sound compositions, particularly in his introduction of chance elements into his work. This had the same effect for Shinohara whose work was termed bad sculpture2 in relation to, and in response to, the celebration of the picturesque in traditional Japanese art. Made of found materials, these bad sculptures aimed to question what constituted art and non artthe most renowned of which is his motorbike sculpture, made entirely of cardboard and found objects. Shinohara quickly became a leading figure in the Japanese avant-garde movement and participated in eight consecutive YomiuriIndependent Exhibitions until 1963, the year he began creating Imitation or Appropriation paintings. These paintings recreated American Pop-Art works, and in so doing, Shinohara negated his authorship. The best-known Imitation painting is Coca Cola Plan, first created by Shinohara in 1964 and replicated by the artist over many years to follow. As a copy of Robert Rauschenbergs 1958 Combine of the same name, Shinohara created a replica that had subtle yet fundamental differences from Raushenbergs piece. While encapsulating the speed and rhythm embodied by Americanculture, Coca Cola Plan also embodies its Japanese origin through the particularity of its materials. Made of Coca-Cola bottles produced and found in Japan, Shinohara recreated the look of the original materials using found objects inherent to his environment. In a performative act, Shinohara confronted Rauschenberg during an artist presentation with an imitation of Coca Cola Plan, an act that brought him international recognition. In 1969, Shinohara travelled to New York City with a grant from the John D. Rockefeller 3rd Fund and decided to stay. His work has since been exhibited internationally, and his Boxing Painting performances have been staged in museums and galleries all over the world. These performances consist of the artist dipping his boxing gloves in ink or paint and punching the canvas before him to create chance marks. The painterly action of Boxing Paintings stands for a universal challenge against traditional conventions of art making. Along with a pervasive energy, Shinohara and Cage shared a mutual admiration for each others culturesCage for Asian philosophies and Zen Buddhism, and Shinohara for American pop culture. They also shared a motivation to break down the boundaries of conventional creative practice by negating self-expression in their work in place of collaboration and cross-cultural dialogue. Claire Breukel
Coca-Cola Plan, 2011 Mixed media 28 1/8 x 25 13/16 x 2 9/16 (71.5 x 65.5 x 6.5cm) Courtesy of the artist and Ethan Cohen Fine Arts

Notes 1 2 Nicholas Lusher; Ushio Shinohara (1932), Shuzo Takiguchi, Its Come to This: The Hell with It!, Art column in Yomiuri Skimbum.


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Li n da St i l l m a n
b. 1948 New York, NY. Lives and works in New York and Hillsdale, NY I paint a section of the sky every day and display them by the month or the year. Here is a years worth1 This is how Linda Stillman describes her Daily Paintings. A large grid of small rectangles in varying shades of blue and gray, the Daily Paintings resemble a heavily pixilated image from afar. Up close, however, the nuances of each panel become more apparent, providing glimpses of clouds here and there. As Stillmans statement implies, this series is an ongoing project in which the artist undertakes the daily task of painting a small section of the sky and adding each panel to her growing collection. The result is a conceptually and visually compelling summary of an amount of time determined by the artist. Though Stillman does not set any strict time limit for her work, she paints the view from a predetermined windowpane in her studio (real or imagined) to achieve a specific angle every day, no matter where she is, in order to assure continuity within the series. The specific time, date, and location are recorded on the back of each panel. Her practice reminds us of another project exhibited here, Reiner Leists Window Project.
Daily Paintings, detail: 2007, 2007 Acrylic and gouache on paper mounted on panels 365 panels: 77 x 47 x 3/8 (195.6 x 119.4 x 1cm) overall Collection of the artist

The conceptual basis of Stillmans oeuvre, ranging from these Daily Paintings to photographs of found gloves to a project recording the progression of a vegetable garden over the course of a few months, finds its origins in the paradoxical work of John Cage. Most important here, is Stillmans also paradoxical reliance on chance and her inherent daily discipline in maintaining rigorous parameters in her work. She has specifically highlighted Cages impact on her work, citing her own interest in the everyday stuff and found objects of daily life[and] the relation of order and chaos, purpose and chance.2 Stillman, however, does not use any strict form of chance operationssuch as Cages use of the I-Chingdaily weather conditions or the survival of vegetation, however, are naturally outside of the control of the artist. Stillman is more attracted to Cages interest in indeterminacy than his foray into chance per se. (Chance can be calculated according to probability theory; indeterminacy cannot). Stillman relies on indeterminacy, as she relies on nature. The counterpart is that Stillman rigorously follows the demands of her self-imposed observance of the daily sky conditions, whatever that might be. Duration, another important concept in Cages compositions, also plays an important role, as Stillman must choose a set period of time to execute her works in order to control the number of panels in each piece. In this instance, an entire year is used, but she has also displayed individual months. Stillmans use of her surroundings also finds a parallel in Cages concept of silence in music. For Cage, no true silence ever exists. Silent passages in his music, such as the entire composition of the infamous 433, were filled with everyday, ambient noise. The sky takes on a similar purpose within Stillmans Daily Paintings. Like ambient noise, the color of the sky is an unavoidable element of our daily lives, yet one that few people pay much attention to. By focusing an entire series of works on the sky, viewers are forced to focus their attention on it and think of their surroundings, just as Cage hoped to do with music through his heavy use of silence. In Stillmans own words, this silence allows her, and Cage, to prove that we should marvel at the natural world and our material culture and not take it for granted.3 Jennifer Wolf

Notes 1 2 Daily Paintings, Linda Stillman, Accessed on October 22 , 2011. Linda Stillman, email correspondence with author, January 1, 2012.


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

Da n i e l W u rtz e l
b. 1962 Washington, D.C. Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY Twin crimson fabrics dance, captured inside currents of air produced by a chorus of twelve household fans encircling them. Daniel Wurtzels Pas de Deux elicits uncanny elegance in animating the inanimate. The textiles surge, swell, arabesque, leap, and dive weightlessly and voluminously. They behave as though they had been choreographed. Wurtzel describes his work as an attempt to transform ordinary matter into something extraordinary, to bridge the conceptual realm to the material world.1 Indeed, witnessing the duet collapses any question of suspension of disbelief, transfixing the viewer.
Pas de Deux, 2011 Fabric, air Dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist

The allusions to dance, the suspension of the artists subjectivity, as well as employment of indeterminacy and chance, all trace Wurtzels artistic genealogy back to John Cage. Cages relationship to dance is well known through his partnership with Merce Cunningham. Cunninghams dance company became an ideal vessel for the execution of Cages compositions. In the early 1930s, Cage made a contract with himself, saying, I determined to consider a piece of music only half done when I completed a manuscript. It was my responsibility to finish it by getting it played. Further, he recognizes that modern dancers were grateful for any sounds or noises that could be produced for their recitals.2 This symbiotic relationship would define Cages production, particularly after meeting Cunningham and the half-century of collaborative performances that follow. Wurtzels Pas de Deux conjures up the spirit of Cage and Cunningham not merely through a superficial allusion to performing arts, but also alludes to their ethos of progressive movement and experience. Personality is a flimsy thing on which to build an art, said Cage. Indeed, Pas de Deux denies the artists will that seems here to fly out. After Wurtzel sets the stage and flips the switch, theres no need for further intervention. However, as with Cage, simplicity belies complexity. This switching touch delivers an endless, and mesmerizing dance of loops from this tape that seems to be animated by some kind of invisible force. Consider Imaginary Landscape No. 4, wherein Cage conducted twenty-four players playing twelve analogue radio sets at Columbia Universitys McMillin theater in May 1951. The performers simply turned the radios on, and from then on, adjusted the volume, skipped along the band through static crackle hiss and the errant phrase or melody. Imaginary Landscape No. 4 divorces the articulation of the performance from the will of the performer, conductor, and composer. Wurtzels Pas de Deux and Cages Imaginary Landscape No. 4 both turn over the artists will to the hazards of chance. Chance is overt in the indeterminacy of both works, yet something more than chance feels palpably alive in each piece. The works both capture the felicitous moment, the adroit touch of luck and joy framed within the artists wish. The armature of Cages practice lives in the sublime achievement of Wurtzels Pas de Deux. Wurtzel conjures dance, dissolution of subjectivity, and the felicitous theater of chance within the gossamer gymnastic poetry of twin pieces of textile caught inside air currents. It is undeniably beautiful. Zachery Hale

Notes 1 2 John Cage. Silence: Lectures and Writings (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1961), 86.


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

Un d e r t he Inf luenc e of Cage

by J u l i o G r i nb l at t


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

John Cages writings have an explicitly political dimension. At times, this stance has been perceived as being in opposition with a presumed de-politicization of his music. Instead, I see his music as even more politically effective than his writings. While his writings demand a sophisticated reader, his compositions and related artworks point to deep and primary issues in his audience, related to their possibility to participate, and how this participation can trigger unexpected possibilities of action. I contributed to this exhibition by gathering artists who, by echoing Cages legacy, may elicit a similar effect from the audience. In a moment in which mass media demands isolationfor people to relate to representations of life rather than life itselfCage calls for integration, to incorporate the world, and be responsive to it, and to have an active position towards life. There is a resonance between the spirit of the show and the incipient state of global awareness as a result of 2011s Arab Spring. The horizontal structure of the indignados all over the world, the lack of definite agenda, and the urge to act is in tune with Cages radical politics, which are not presented via content but in form: the absence of a conductor, the idea that there is no right way of doing things but rather a multiplicity (yet, paradoxically, wrong ways of doing things also exist), and the lack of a hierarchical structure among performers and instruments.1 The relevance of a show of artists who worked or work under the influence of John Cagebesides the fact that it is the centennial of his birth and the twentieth anniversary of his passingis in providing a perceptual plateau, where traces of his concepts can be experienced. The artists in the show represent a very limited sampling of the wide universe of artists infected by Cage and a very modest catalogue of the enormous influence that Cage had on contemporary culture. Some of his concepts spread directly, others indirectly (yet consciously), still others almost anonymously. Cages effect on culture is evinced by the wide array of artists of different origins working in all disciplines who are influenced by him. As paradoxical as this may seem, his effect is more powerful than his legacy.A Mass media functions through the delivery of clear and explicit messages. It will tell people what they have to do, think, eat, wear, dream, and imagine; it will define for them the meaning of happiness. After years of indoctrination, we have come to accept those mandates almost without questioning them. Art is not powerful enough to react to these operations by using the same strategies; the difference in outreach is insurmountable. Declarative or explicit artwork will be digested by the Empire through the Ether, as described by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri.2 Literality allows discussion and comprehension that allows further control. Resistance to classification is a difficult goal. Even John Cage, so full of paradoxes and contradictions, couldnt fully escape this assimilation.B Myriad books, films, and showsincluding this oneon John Cage are proof of the possibility to classify his legacy. But what remains irreducible is his effect on culture. Cage brought to

A The importance of Cage is such that his effect on culture is stronger than his legacy. As some examples of artists who have been influenced by him, aside from his oft-cited friends Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, I would list composer Terry Riley, due to his use of chance through improvisation, his connection between the East and the West, his use of tape loops, both in the studio and during live performances; the filmmaker Manon de Boer, who explored the relationship between chance and memory and life and art; painter Kaz Oshiro in his mixing of syntaxes and blurring the boundaries between media (painting and sculpture, pop with minimalism, the everyday with contemporary art), and his use of humor; Tacita Dean for her investigations on the boundaries between life and fiction, the use of chance and circumstance in her multimedia work; performance artist and musician Laurie Anderson who uses extended instruments of her invention, her relation with literature and poetry, her interest in time itself. And of course all Fluxus artists tried to co-opt Cage just as Dada attempted to co-opt Duchamp. It is evident from this short list that Cage crossed and melted not only the boundaries between art and life, but also between media, genres, and categories. It is interesting to see the wide range of disciplines Cage affected. In the words of some other artists: Composer Alvin Lucier: (John Cage has) that kind of force of saying to you: you got to try things, it doesnt matter if it doesnt work, it is more important to explore that. And so I did. And that was a breakthrough. The breakthrough of my life. Cartoonist Matt Groening: and what John Cage taught me was that there is a different way to approach life. Musician John Zorn: when I think about Cage he was really the first influence, someone who opened all the doors for me and said, look: you can do anything. Writer Heiner Mller: and this edge was very very important. And edges destroy borders, hmm?! But it could go wrong. Everything can go wrong. And I like that. The category of chance in Cage is very liberating.7 A customer review on Variations IV: This type of music is an amazing trip through an audio landscape. After several plays of this disc, youll find yourself making the most fascinating, improbable mental connections between different sound sources. A fun disc. It may even inspire you to create something similar. 8 B John Cages work is full of contradictions and paradoxes, excellent fuel for the dynamism of any program. I understand that the lack of contradictions is dogma. His work runs in the tensions between freedom and discipline, the objectivity of the composer and the subjectivity of the performer after his postulation of indeterminacy, between score and conductor. His practice seems to be able to be executed by anyone, but especially by a genius like David Tudor. One of the multiple paradoxes derived from Cages thought is the relationship with the ego. While Zen

NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today


advocates for the suppression of the ego, in Cage there is a strong affirmation of it, starting with giving entity to the performers, a kind of momentary authorship, either by separating the performers in order to act, in his own words, as brave and not as sheep, or by giving each performer the possibility to determine her position as centraladopting Cunninghams idea of the lack of fixed points in space (taken in turn from Einsteins theories).9 There is also another paradox here: the suppression of the idea of authorshipof extinguishing the artists personality, memories, and desiresturned Cage into one of the most influential authors of the century. If the creative process is always a poor emulation of the non plus ultra Gods creation of humanity from mud, the Silent Mycologist had no less of a divine desire of trying to control chance. The elimination of authorship is a performative contradiction, proven mathematically by Heisenbergs Uncertainty Principle: the need to provide a point of view in order to make an assertion makes subjectivity unavoidable, even in Science. Needless to say this text is, as well, a flagrant contradiction with the spirit of the show, in discussing ideas that beg to be transmitted in an experiential way. C A good example of an artist opposite to Cage is Chantal Akerman. Akermans work pivots around three main axes: structural filmmaking, the reconstruction of life under Communism, and Feminism. In other words, a clearly determined program and clearly opposed to the non-programmatic one of Cage, if we can call the elimination of authorship a non-program. Quoting Akerman scholar Ivone Margulies quoting Akerman: What I did in Jeanne Dielman are actions in real time: the fixed camera is not, for me, that different from Warhol. According to Margulies, in the early films of the Belgian filmmaker the issue of performance is a byproduct of a fixed, oblivious, and unmotivated camera modeled on Warhol and on structural filmmaking. The author mentions a division between two tendencies in 60s and 70s art, on one side: Fluxus groups and John Cages performances, Allan Kaprows happenings, and New American dance (Yvonne Rainer, Simone Forti, Lucinda Childs, Merce Cunningham) all advance the recognition that simultaneitya co-presence of events internal and external to the textcan effect a nondirected field of spectator response, frustrating the acknowledgment of authorship and intention In the second, minimalist tendency, simplified shapes, single events, and series of repeated images or forms seem both to block interpretation and to mock the immediacy of apprehension proposed in modernist art. The spectators extended gaze over holistic forms displaces the burden of decentering entirely onto his or her perceptual and physical relation to the art object.10

practice some tools he learned from Marcel Duchamp: applying chance to create a musical composition; the concept of silence in relation to the Large Glass; the use of readymades such as radios, recordings, or unconventional instruments. Through his works, all those elements became common use. These radical elements, together with shifting the responsibility of authorship away from the composer and on to the performer and even the audience, infiltrated culture in an anonymous way. The use of these elements by artistseven those who seem completely at odds with Cages way of working and aesthetictestify to the way the Cage effect permeated culture.C In this sense, John Cage represents a pivotal moment in the history of twentiethcentury art. His works intensified and further developed the new era opened by the rupture created by Duchamps Fountain (1917) that changed the definition of art. Cage, syncretizing Duchamps revolutionary ideas with Zen philosophy, changed the definition of music with his piece 433 (1952), four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence in three movements.3 Echoing the transparent background of Duchamps Large Glass (started in 1912, the year of Cages birth, and declared unfinished in 1923), silence allows the world to be the background; the presence of the public in the piece fulfills the creative act.4 A score needs to be executed by players. For Cage, the players constitute a new sphere of influence; the composer cannot only try to influence the audience, but also the performer. This point is of extreme importance as it transfers momentary authorship to the performers. This transference applies to the spectator as well. Silence is, for Cage, the moment in which the exterior world is allowed to get into the work: during any performance of 433, each spectator will automatically become a performer, either by action (noise) or omission (silence). The interpenetration is complete when, in 433, the performer turns into spectator as well, a spectator of both the audience and the world. 433 urges a state of awareness and responsibility, to understand the world as a whole, blurring the distinction between art and life the music and the silence (or the surrounding noise in the auditorium), the performer and the viewer, all are part of the same scenario. Another musical operation Cage implemented was to abandon harmony in order to open music to chanceto extinguish the artists personality, his memory, and his desiresin other words, refusing authorship. Cages intentions were to break down the barriers between art and life, postulating a state of enhanced awareness, opening mind and art to chaos. Although between 1949 and 1951 Cage attended the lectures of Master Daisetz Suzuki on Zen philosophy at Columbia University in New York,D he later declared: What I do, I do not wish blamed on Zen, though without my engagement on ZenI doubt whether I would have done what I have done I mention this in order to free Zen of any responsibility for my actions.5 The use of chance operations works against the generation of a critical act. In Cages own words, a piece not consciously organized is therefore not subject


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

to analysis.6 Cages criticaland politicalact in choosing to employ a system of chance operations is anti-authoritarian. In Cages work, politics is found in the form. The form is the message. A form that allows an indeterminate number of correct interpretations considerably complicates facile classification. John Cage is one of those artists who affected society by infecting countless artists who in turn developed their practices through the operations introduced directly by him, either via direct exposure to Cages oeuvre, or by using the procedures initiated and authorized by Cage without knowing their origin. Even those stances that were antithetical to his own have adopted and adapted his operations to suit their own practice. Through his ubiquitous yet imperceptible presence, John Cage effects the most paradoxical of his operations: this anonymous infiltration is his greatest influence on culture.

In the catalog of the 2007 Tate Modern show Sleep: Warhol/Cage/Satie we find: Warhol was inspired to complete the film with a new repetitive editing structure after attending the writer and composer John Cages (191292) historic 1963 performance at the Pocket Theatre in New York of the French composer Erik Saties (1866 1925) epic repetitive work for piano, Vexations, 1893.11 What interests me here is how Cage permeated the practices of artists on the opposite side of the street, elements that have a huge importance in the structuring of a film. In 1977 Akermans News from Home, those ultra long shots in the subway subway with an immobile camera are indeterminate, and in their indeterminacy resides their power, even if their later montage turns them to a determined category. The idea of boredom, which Cage took from Saties Vexations and from Zen, is also key to the film. I am not suggesting that Cage invented boredom and long indeterminate shots, but I do think that he authorized those elements/tools/operations in Western art. D Documentary Music: The interpenetration between between art and life started much earlier then his exposure to Master Suzukis teachings. In his 1942 composition Credo in Us, written for a dance choreographed by Merce Cunningham, Cage utilized a partly prepared piano, percussion, and his first use of radio or phonograph, suggesting classical music, in the case of war or national emergencies. It was written during WWII, seven months after Pearl Harbor, while all other musicians were creating patriotic compositions, and Cage wanted to avoid those compositions and news programs. The inclusion of radio or phonograph represented an insult to the composers and performers of the time, by treating live and recorded sound as being on equal footing. The combination of professional and amateur performers was also considered insulting at the time. Live radio was in keeping with the inclusive model already explored by Eastern artists and Zen aestheticsthe use of radios in his pieces defines a completely new relationship between art and life: it is the invention of Documentary Music. Music, as is true of most art works, is always anchored in a specific weave of space and time. The random possibilities brought by radio turn any execution of his pieces into a unique and unrepeatable experience, and this uniqueness is due to the specificity provided by the time and place in which each piece is executed, a musical equivalent of the studium defined by Roland Barthes for photographs.12 During a specific performance of Credo in Us back in 2008, I learned both the weather report and that the fact that the police had just captured a bunch of white supremacists who were trying to kill then Presidential Candidate Barack Obama. In a recording of our performance at Hunter of Imaginary Landscape IV (1951), a piece for twelve radios, I learned about the music in vogue at the time.13

Notes 1  Richard Kostelanetz, The Anarchist Art of John Cage, 1993 http:/ / 2 Michael Hardt; Antonio Negri, Empire (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000), 325350.

3  433 is Cages most important work, in his own words. Because you dont need it in order to hear it. Stephen Montague: John Cage at Seventy: An interview, American Music (New York, NY: UbuWeb Papers) 1985. 4  MR: Do you think your idea of silence has anything to do with Duchamps? JC: Looking at the Large Glass, the thing that I like so much is that I can focus my attention whenever I wish. It helps me to blur the distinction between art and life and produces a kind of silence in the work itself. There is nothing in it that requires me to look in our place or another or, in fact, requires me to look at all. I can look through it to the world beyond. Well, this is, of course, the reverse in tant Donns. Moira Roth, Difference/Indifference: Musings on Postmodernism, Marcel Duchamp and John Cage (Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Overseas Publishers Association, 1998), 80. 5 6 John Cage, Silence: Lectures and Writings (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1961), 5. John Cage, Composition as ProcessII. Indeterminacy Silence, 35.

7  Henning Lohner, from the film The Revenge of the Dead IndiansIn Memoriam John Cage, Mode, New York, 2008. 8 9 http:/ / from Elliot Caplans documentary, Cage/Cunnigham film, 1991.

10  Ivone Margulies, Toward a Corporeal Cinema: Theatricality in the 70s [1] http:/ / 11 http:/ /

12 Roland Barthes, Camera LucidaReflections on Photography (New York: Hill and Wang), 1981. 13  Video by Nick Enright of the performance by students of Professor Joachim Pissarro and conducted by Professor Geoffrey Burleson at Hunter College on December 5, 2008 http:/ /

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By b i b i ca l d e r a ro


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

At a recent Quaker meeting, where approximately two hundred people sat in silence early in the morning, it occurred to me that silence can be dealt with in two very different ways: As a humming of collective breaths where thought is allowed to grow and flow intersubjectively. As an imposed foreclosure, where thought is suppressed, where it becomes stale due to lack of flow. Silence may be a gatekeeper, a repressive tool that blocks the flow that occurs in communication and silence may be an organic instrument that opens into the flow. In the latter, silence gives access to thought processes that are otherwise overlooked for their minuteness. It induces a flow of thought leading to the unpredictable: the seed of an idea. This exploration of new territory is similar to what happens in nature, where the potential to encounter an unknown is greater than in urban areas. The open air, the opener. The pioneer. Thought flow is unobstructed, taking the given as is, without expectations. The mind takes the form of the garden, with the intention to listen and grow. Silence is the field of possibilities, a method of multiplicity, a way of inducing, enduring, multiplying the unique. Methods of multiplicity: simplicity and complexity in the single instrument backed up by the voices that echo the unmelodic resonances of its identities, its various identities: a piano that plays like an orchestra; twelve radios synchronically played, one for each month of the year; four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence incubating the audience as parabola, a mechanism as methodic as flexo-spastic its impact. A singularity that approaches infinity at the constant speed of light in vacuum. Simplicity = multiple as single. Complexity = empathy of the single with the singles. Life would be a very individualistic and quite impractical practice were it not for laughter and love. These forces function as ballasts to create and balance collective authorship in society and in art, allowing for the combination of multiplicity with singularity. For laughter to exist there needs to be an Other with whom to commune and reflect, and a common willingness not to take anything, particularly oneself, too seriously; there needs to be a common understanding of the absurd in life. For love to exist, there needs to be trust and a will to care beyond oneself. The concept of love as a force of trust and enabling, laughter as that which allows the ego to melt as it shakes the self (as with music), and silence as a tool that points to what has not yet been taken into consideration, are all constants in John Cages work and philosophy. These three elements directly relate to the effacement of the ego, a key ingredient in the Cagean undertaking of life as a

NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today


matter to be handled with the utmost degree of responsibility, an endeavor that requires the condition of freedom to be as close to one hundred percent as humanly bearable. The pivotal element in all of Cages work is the question of the utter responsibility inherent in freedomfreedom taken as the only possible way to approach life as we know it: freedom to have the courage to make ones life into something other than an act of survival. The many layers of the span of his work embody not only the individual search for joyful answers to this question but also the larger mise-en-scne of the forces implicated in the game called life, envisioned by an anarchist whose interests included mushrooms, indeterminacy, and intentionality. Indeterminacy is a cognitive precondition for a state of alertness, as it establishes an open set of possibilities. Alertness does not happen if one believes that all there is to take into account is contained within the category of the already known, as alertness is precisely the state of allowing the unknown, the unexpected, into an event. Alertness has to do with ones own idea of time and space. Time is not a causal arrow; synchronicity and indeterminacy are the elements that rule the chaotic continuum of time. Space as a human perception is not an absolute dimension, instead boundaries are constantly fluctuating and exchanging energy. Human beings are capable of grasping this, if they remain alert to its minute cues. In such cases, the cultural structure History is relegated to the background, and the process called Mind comes to the foreground. This process, this oscillating state of larte-alert, is one of differentiation, identification, reflection. Through it we learn to accept and reject those instances referred to as the world out there from the membrane called self. It is a process of identity-forming, where the boundaries between subject-subject and subject-object are constantly being negotiated. One can understand history through a particular teleologysay, indeterminacyyet operate on a daily basis with an ethics that resonates with a knowledge of equilibrium between oneself and the other, a civic order that responds to individuality: because there is no outside pattern, each and every one of us has the obligation to act responsibly to one another at all times. There is the imperative to act responsibly within parameters that teach us to improve the relationship with the Other: a person, an animal, a plant, a mineral, the many artificial inventions that cling to our lives like theyre indispensable. In keeping a balance, an equation, an identity of sides, this formula has been faltering for centuries now. So far, we have always been handed down a debt. Communicating vessels of multiples and singles behave much as in any other participation of givens. Peaceful interactions foster other peaceful interactions, whereas forceful interactions instigate ever more aggressive behaviors. The exchange of the single with the singles occurs no matter what; what differs is the frequency and the character, the notations that each instance abides. These have developed by imitation over the thousands of years humans have inhabited earth. They continually shape the inherited values that guide us in a peaceful journey or a troubled one.


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

Love is an exchange among the single with the singles that as intentionality encourages the pacific. A compassionate understanding of the Other is what differentiates it from other types of exchanges. Love is the laborious meshing of singularities so that they can migrate from simple to complex and back to simple, but now changed, the field included. A combinatory force of the simple and the complex, love is the background and the foreground; it is field and perception. Bound in a continually mutating state of embrace, one reality reacts and affects the others indefinitely, indeterminately. Its differential value is empathy. Love is what remains when the day has gone, your wallet is thinner, your power down. Love is what makes the mark when you go through your day as reflected onto the mirror that is all that reflects you. Wild-mushroom hunting is not the cure to all maladies. Yet it might yield, in those who practice it even as a brief experiment, a respect for and understanding of the direct relationships that each of our own acts bestow upon ourselves and our environments (and which, in turn, affect in ripplelike patterns other invisible landscapes). In an interview with Frank Scheffer, Cage distinguishes his understanding of indeterminacy as a teleology that is different from his need to counter it with a practice that reflects one of human beings differentiating acts: that of choice; of responsibly selecting from available options so that human life might endure as a highly developed form. And so he took up wild-mushroom hunting. Early on, when this show was merely a distant possibility, the idea arose to highlight the need for a space where attention and direct experience are nurtured: a space equivalent to Cages use of silence, where silence is the framework that allows a moment in which the unknown may happen in the form of other sounds, other colors, other cognitive connections. In other words, a space that nurtures alertness. In order to incite a change of pace and direct experience, and some degree of freedom and responsibility, we programmed outings to forage for wild mushrooms, followed by their communal cooking and eating, as the core activity of this exhibition. The open-air activity of hunting for mushrooms, ending in the shared cooking and eating of the days harvest, nurtures the idea of communing, of growing beyond the self, of enhancing an ethics of camaraderie among people who have just met. In spite of seasonal constraints, this activity still manages to reinforce connections amongst participants where some effacement of egos may happen, some responsible connections may endure (mostly as we decide which mushrooms are edible), and some degree of laughter and love are exchanged. The forest bears the role of silent frame that allows for noise (mushrooms, laughter, love) to rise. Even though silence does not exist in pure form in this world, the idea that the base of sounds in a natural setting can be understood as silence reveals the framework in which noise is perceived: that which disrupts the base. This is all music for Cage, both the base and the disruptions. Wild mushroom hunting is the activity by which one becomes attuned to disruptions by becoming alert to where they grow. Once one includes them in the field of perception, they pop up nonstop, just as with

NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today


sound: one usually blocks out ambient sounds until one starts paying attention to them, and then they immediately come to the foreground. Within this landscape, silence allows us to hear what comes, allows us to be alert, while love enables us to take into consideration what is not oneself, to rid us of the weight of the ego. Collaging selves, arranging chaos and order in movement, conducting an orchestra of people, setting a distancea tempoto individual energies, together yet alone. Dismantling the cultural apparatus that distances the object and the subject in the survival of a culture of self-reflecting, yet never touching, subjectivities. Abandoning the self to the collective as a volatile mass of willing powers, and to laughter. Dissolving agency in action by multiplying subjectivities. Shattering the mirrors in which the arrogant self is trapped. This exchange, this search for an ecumenical economy, is proof that Cage did believe in harmony. Harmony for him was the balancealways an equilibrium is needed, an identity of sortsof all energies involved in a given situation. Then he would cook his own bread, water his plants, and laugh with his friends. In the construction of freedom, that which cannot be experienced unless it is put in dire contrast with its oppositeconstraintis translated as lovethat which cannot be felt unless put in touch with the other. The invisible and the inaudible used with the most transparent of all media: life. The impermanent and the permeable as the fluctuating~flickering matter of its force. If a master is one who creates volume where apparently there is a single planejust as in nature mushrooms pop up from the earthin the methods used to shatter our cultural inheritance, the artists in this show encourage us to enter the realm of the will, to vacate life of the meaningless void of no intention. Zen, zero, infinity, anarchy, will, egolessness, the void, can only be kneaded together with one part laughter and another part lovesuch arch freedom. Unheard silence, given to noisesuch life. May (adverb of determinacy) we (pronoun, first person plural) be (verb that denotes the ontological way
of being alive, present tense) in (preposition of place inner space-) peace (noun that signifies a harmonious wellbeing in life in general, within and without).

So hoped for John.


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

John Cage, working on Sonatas & Interludes (1947)


Checklist of the exhibition

William Anastasi b. 1933 Philadelphia, PA. Lives and works in New York, NY Sink, 1963 Rusted steel, water 20 x 20 x 1/2 (50.8 x 50.8 x 1.3cm) Collection of Michael Straus Soledad Arias b. Buenos Aires, Argentina. Lives and works in New York, NY phonetic neon [aha], 2011 White neon 40 x 1/4 (101.6 x 0.6cm) Collection of the artist Cleste Boursier-Mougenot b. 1961 Nice, France. Lives and works in Ste, France Indexes (v. 1), 2012 Pleyel piano P190 with PianoDisc system, computer and software 74 1/2 x 59 1/2 x 40 1/2 (189.2 x 151.1 x 102.9cm) Installation view, index, virus, solidvideo, detail, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY (3/19-4/25/09) Courtesy of the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
Indexes (v. 1) is presented in collaboration with Les Pianos Pleyel. The manufacturers of exclusive pianos in Paris since 1807, Les Pianos Pleyel are proud to have participated with Cleste Boursier-Mougenot as they continue to support musical and artistic creation.

Jos Damasceno b. 1968 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Lives and works in Rio de Janeiro 2 estudos sobre 1 dimenso perdida (2 Studies on 1 Lost Dimension), 1996 Iron and elastic cord Installation dimensions approximately 7 6 9/16 x 15 9 3/4 x 35 3/16 (230 x 482 x 1080cm) Coleccin Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Hanne Darboven b. 1941 Munich, Germany. d. 2009 in Hamburg, Germany II-b, 1970-73 Ink and typewriting on twenty-eight pieces of paper 28 panels: each 11 1/2 x 33 (29.3 x 83.8cm) The Museum of Modern Art. Gift of Ileana Sonnabend Matthew Deleget b. 1972 Hammond, IN. Lives and works in New York, NY Monochrome (Sleeper Cells), 2007 Latex paint on mirrored paper, and silver pushpins 40 x 8 4 (101.6 x 254cm) overall, each panel 40 x 32 (101.6 x 81.3cm) Courtesy of Alejandra Von Hartz Gallery, Miami, FL Liz Deschenes b. 1966 Boston, MA. Lives and works in New York, NY Tilt/Swing (360 field of vision, version 2), 2010 Six unique silver toned black and white photograms Dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist and Miguel Abreu Gallery Felipe Dulzaides b. 1965 Havana, Cuba. Lives and works in Havana Selected Video Works, 1999-2011 Single channel video reel (looping video): Following an Orange, 1999, 1 14; Dialog with a Foghorn, 1999, 1 40; Time in My Hand, 2000, 2 13; Blowing Things Away, 2001, 2 45; Unwind, 2003, 00 45; Welcome to the Other Side, 2007, 4 32; In Between, 2011, 1 17 Courtesy of the artist Len Ferrari b. 1920 Buenos Aires, Argentina. Lives and works in Buenos Aires Colgante Escultura Sonora (Hanging Sound Instrument), 1979/2010 Steel 118 1/8 x 15 3/4 (300 x 40 cm) Courtesy of Augusto and Len Ferrari Art & Acquis Foundation and Haunch of Venison Gallery

Robert Filliou b. 1926 Sauve, France; d. 1987 in Les Eyzies, France Telepathic Music No. 5, 1976-1978 33 music stands, 32 playing cards, 34 small note cards dimensions variable The Museum of Modern Art. The Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection Gift Yukio Fujimoto b. 1950 Nagoya, Japan. Lives and works in Osaka, Japan Ears with Chair, 1990 Installation Dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist Nicols Guagnini b. 1966 Buenos Aires, Argentina. Lives and works in New York Gareth James b. 1970 London, England. Lives and works in British Columbia, Canada Break Even, 2006 Intervention on Artforum 10 1/2 x 10 1/2 (26.7 x 26.7cm) Private Collection Lynne Harlow b. 1968 Attleboro, MA. Lives and works in Providence, RI and New York, NY BEAT, 2007 Acrylic paint, drum kit, live performance with musicians Painted square 8 5 x 8 5 (245.1 x 245.1cm) Courtesy of the artist and MINUS SPACE, Brooklyn, NY Douglas Huebler b. 1924 Ann Arbor, MI. d. 1997 Truro, MA Variable Piece #70, 1971 Black-and-white photographs and typewriting on paper 17 5/16 x 40 1/8 x 1 3/16 (43.9 x 101.9 x 3cm) The Museum of Modern Art. Partial gift of the Daled Collection and partial purchase through the generosity of Maja Oeri and Hans Bodenmann, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Marlene Hess and James D. Zirin, Agnes Gund, Marie-Jose and Henry R. Kravis, and Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley

John Cage b. 1912 Los Angeles, CA. d. 1992 New York, NY Untitled (640 numbers between 1 and 16), 1969 Ballpoint pen, pencil, and colored pencil on printed paper 11 x 8 1/2 (27.9 x 21.6cm) The Museum of Modern Art. The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection Gift (purchase, and gift, in part, of The Eileen and Michael Cohen Collection) Waltercio Caldas b. 1946 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Lives and works in Rio de Janeiro O transparente (da serie Veneza) (The Transparent [from the Veneza Series]), 1997 Stainless steel and acrylic over glass 79 1/8 x 59 7/8 x 59 7/8 (201 x 152 x 152cm) Coleccin Patricia Phelps de Cisneros


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

David Lamelas b. 1946 Buenos Aires, Argentina. Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA Limit of a Projection I, 1967 Theater spotlight in darkened room 63 (160cm) to 74 3/4 (189.87cm) diameter Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. T. B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 2009 Reiner Leist b. 1964 West Germany. Lives and works in New York, NY Window Project, 1995-ongoing (work on loan spans 1995-2005) Installation: film, glass, plexiglass, wood and fluorescent lights Dimensions variable Installation view, Museum for Photography Berlin, 2007 Courtesy Julie Saul Gallery and the artist Jorge Macchi b. 1963 Buenos Aires, Argentina. Lives and works in Buenos Aires Buenos Aires Tour, 2003 in collaboration with Mara Negroni (texts) and Edgardo Rudnitzky (sound) Mixed media: box, booklets, postcards, map, CD-Rom, and stamps Dimensions variable Private Collection Christian Marclay b. 1955 San Rafael, CA. Lives and works in London, England and New York, NY Indian Point Road, 2004 Single channel video Duration: 30 minutes Dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York Rivane Neuenschwander b. 1967 Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Lives and works in Belo Horizonte O trabalho dos dias/Days Work, 1998 Gathered dust onto squares of adhesive vinyl Dimensions variable Courtesy of Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York; Fortes Vilaa Gallery, So Paulo; and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London

Kaz Oshiro b. 1967 Okinawa, Japan. Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA Orange Speaker Cabinets and Gray Scale Boxes (18 parts), 2009 Acrylic and Bondo on stretched canvas 12 orange cabinets: 29 x 30 x 14 3/4 (73.7 x 76.2 x 37.5cm) each; 6 gray scale boxes: 29 x 30 x 14 3/4 (73.7 x 76.2 x 37.5cm) each Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Frank Elbaz Edgardo Rudnitzky b. 1956 Buenos Aires, Argentina. Lives and works in Berlin, Germany Octopus, 2008 Turntable with four arms, each one with its own speaker, vinyl records 37 7/8 x 24 7/8 x 24 7/8 (96.2 x 63.2 x 63.2cm) Coleccin Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Fred Sandback b. 1943 Bronxville, NY. d. 2003 New York, NY Untitled (Sculptural Study, Two-part Vertical Construction), c. 1986/2008 Black acrylic yarn Spatial relationship established by the artist, overall dimensions vary with each installation Estate of Fred Sandback; Courtesy of David Zwirner, New York Frank Scheffer b. 1956 Venlo, The Netherlands. Lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands From Zero: Four Films on John Cage, 1995 DVD Duration: 84 minutes Collection of the artist Ushio Shinohara b. 1932 Tokyo, Japan. Lives and works in New York, NY Coca-Cola Plan, 2011 Mixed media 28 1/8 x 25 13/16 x 2 9/16 (71.5 x 65.5 x 6.5cm) Courtesy of the artist and Ethan Cohen Fine Arts Coca-Cola Plan, 2011 Mixed media 28 1/8 x 25 13/16 x 2 9/16 (71.5 x 65.5 x 6.5cm) Courtesy of the artist and Ethan Cohen Fine Arts Coca-Cola Plan, 2011 Mixed media 28 1/8 x 25 13/16 x 2 9/16 (71.5 x 65.5 x 6.5cm) Courtesy of the artist and Ethan Cohen Fine Arts

Ushio Shinohara (continued) Coca-Cola Plan, 2011 Mixed media 28 1/8 x 25 13/16 x 2 9/16 (71.5 x 65.5 x 6.5cm) Ethan Cohen Collection Coca-Cola Plan, 2011 Mixed media 28 1/8 x 25 13/16 x 2 9/16 (71.5 x 65.5 x 6.5cm) Private Collection Coca-Cola Plan, 2011 Mixed media 28 1/8 x 25 13/16 x 2 9/16 (71.5 x 65.5 x 6.5cm) Private Collection Coca-Cola Plan, 2011 Mixed media 28 1/8 x 25 13/16 x 2 9/16 (71.5 x 65.5 x 6.5cm) Private Collection Coca-Cola Plan, 2011 Mixed media 28 1/8 x 25 13/16 x 2 9/16 (71.5 x 65.5 x 6.5cm) Private Collection Coca-Cola Plan, 2011 Mixed media 28 1/8 x 25 13/16 x 2 9/16 (71.5 x 65.5 x 6.5cm) Private Collection Coca-Cola Plan, 2011 Mixed media 28 1/8 x 25 13/16 x 2 9/16 (71.5 x 65.5 x 6.5cm) Private Collection Linda Stillman b. 1948 New York, NY. Lives and works in New York and Hillsdale, NY Daily Paintings, detail: 2007, 2007 Acrylic and gouache on paper mounted on panels 365 panels: 77 x 47 x 3/8 (195.6 x 119.4 x 1cm) overall Collection of the artist Daniel Wurtzel b. 1962 Washington, D.C. Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY Pas de Deux, 2011 Fabric, air Dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist

NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today


Notations: The Cage Effect Today has been an ambitious undertaking three years in the making and we are tremendously grateful for the generous contributions from the many individuals who helped make this exhibition possible. This project was incubated in Professor Joachim Pissarros 2008 graduate seminar and we are grateful to the student participants, and for the ongoing collaboration of Professor Geoffrey Burleson, Director of Piano Studies, Hunter College Music Department, who co-taught the class. Bill Abdale, Nayantara Bhattacharya, David Duncan, Cara Manes, and Steven Rose, were especially crucial voices during the early stages of exhibition planning. The present exhibition stems directly from another Cage seminar (fall 2011) in which the hypothesis of The Cage Effect on contemporary artgloballywas being tested systematically. We thank Renata Contins and Alex Niemetz, who assisted on all aspects of this subsequent course, from which this publication was formed and applaud all the students for their contributions to the catalogue: Claire Bergeal, Claire Breukel, Matthew Cianfrani, Tryn Collins, Julie Dentzer, Sydney Gilbert, Zachary Hale, Misa Jeffereis, Raphael Moser, Reid Strelow, Annie Wischmeyer, and Jennifer Wolf. The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Professor of Latin American Art, Harper Montgomerys critical contribution has helped us explore a new avenue of research on John Cages presence on the Latin American continent. Indeed, the hypothetical premise of the 2011 seminar was met with surprisingly wide results: the exhibition and accompanying catalogue feature the work of 28 internationally based artists, reflecting the broad scope of Cages influence across generations, regions, disciplines, and all media. Our deep felt appreciation extends to the participating artists and the many lenders who generously loaned works to the exhibition: Miguel Abreu Gallery, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, the Coleccin Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, Paula Cooper Gallery, Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, Galerie Frank Elbaz, Stephen Friedman Gallery, Alejandra Von Hartz Gallery, Haunch of Venison Gallery, MINUS SPACE, the Departments of Drawings and Prints and Illustrated Books at The Museum of Modern Art, The Fred Sandback Estate and the David Zwirner Gallery, New York, Julie Saul Gallery, Michael Straus, Galeria Fortes Vilaa, and The Walker Art Center. The following individuals were also instrumental in the procurement of loans and we are deeply grateful to each of them: Anthony Allen, Gabriel Perez Barreiro, Kathy Curry, Spring Dautel, Peter Eleey, Henrique Fara, Hiroko Ikegami, Greg Lulay, and Gretchen Wagner. We also would like to thank Laura Kuhn, Executive Director, John Cage Trust, for her solicitous help to secure important permission rights and for her support of the project at large. No project on Cage can happen without Margarete Roeder whose knowledge and passion for her two friends, John and Merce, are invaluable. Special thanks must be extended to Lin Arison, Founder of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, whose generous support has been extended not only to this exhibition but towards the gallery programming at large. Her Executive Director, Paul Lehr also receives our hearty thanksas do the YoungArts Fellows Sali Amabebe and Nicole Mourino, who have contributed to the elaboration of this complex show. This projects principal new contribution to scholarship on John Cage is to have begun to establish how wide his presence (or effect) has been, and continues to be on the Latin American continent. We are profoundly grateful to Patricia Phelps de Cisneros for her generosity in supporting aspects of the project that further this dialoguebut also, for her own personal vision, commitment, and encouragement of all intellectual projects that deepen and enrich our understanding of the complexities of the arts in Latin America.


NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today

There are many people within the Hunter College community whose support made this project possible. First, our heartfelt thanks go to Jennifer J. Raab, President of Hunter College, for her ongoing patronage of the Hunter College Art Galleries and its programmingand for her unwavering support to this project. Our provost, Vita Rabinowitz, and our Dean of Arts and Sciences, Erec Koch, have always availed their precious time and attention to help with this project. Thanks are also due to Reuben Blundell, Director of the Hunter Symphony; Andrew Lund, Assistant Professor Film & Media Studies, and Ivone Margulies, Associate Professor, Film & Media Studies for their insights and collaboration relating to the events accompanying the exhibition. We thank Dan Streible, Associate Professor, Tisch Cinema Studies Program, New York University, who collaborated with us to organize an artist talk with Frank Scheffer. In the Hunter College Art Department, our gratitude must first be directed to all members of the Gallery Committee for their crucial endorsement and support of the exhibition proposal. Harper Montgomery, the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Professor in Latin American Art, has been an essential and welcome collaborator throughout the planning process and we are indebted to her for her keen suggestions for additional loans within this exhibition. We are also most appreciative of Thomas Weaver, Chair of the Art Department, and Jeffrey Mongrain, Interim Chair of the Art Department, who lent their generous support to this project. As well, we would like to also thank Katy Siegel, Professor of Art History and Chief Curator of the Hunter College Art Galleries, for her invaluable advice and suggestions throughout the planning process, and her commitment to rigorous scholarship. At the Hunter College Art Gallery, we are most appreciative of the dedication and careful work of Karli Wurzelbacher, Assistant Curator. Special thanks are also due to Jessica Gumora, Curatorial Assistant to the Director, for her solicitous help, especially relating to fundraising initiatives. Additional thanks go to Phi Nguyen and his staff for their preparation and installation of this complex project. Illana Hester, Coordinator of the YoungArts Program at Hunter College deserves our thanks for her assistance with the website and public programs. The dynamic design of this catalogue is credited to the talents of Tim Laun and Natalie Wedeking and we thank them for their steadfast collaboration. Many thanks must also be extended to Claire Barliant for her meticulous editing skills. Bibi Calderaro would like to express special thanks to Nova Benway and Jeanne Marie Wasilik for their generous support during the writing of her essay. Julio Grinblatt salutes Nicols Guagnini and Iair Rosenkranz for their keen insights regarding the project at large. Thanks also to Nina Grinblatt, for her patience and cheerful disposition throughout the planning process. Natalia Chorny and Edward Mapplethorpe deserve special thanks for their support. The fruition of this project would simply not have been possible without the generous financial supporters of the exhibition and catalogue. These include generous contributions from YoungArts, the core program of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA), Coleccin Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, the Foundation To-Life, and the Hunter College Exhibition Fund. Additional support for public programming was provided by the Hunter College Arts Across the Curriculum Pilot Initiative, created through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. We wish here to take this opportunity to thank Agnes Gund for her ongoing patronage of the Hunter College Art Galleriesand to their publications. We salute her for her valiant support of the arts and in particular her commitment to champion the inimitable legacy of John Cage. Joachim Pissarro, Bibi Calderaro, Julio Grinblatt, and Michelle Yun

NOTATIONS: The Cage Effect Today


1912 1992