public art

High Line Art Marks Cage Centennial With Film and Sound Presentation

cage one11 9 High Line Art Marks Cage Centennial With Film and Sound Presentation

John Cage, ‘One^11 and 103,’ 1992. (Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix)

Though it’s somehow hard to believe, John Cage, who died in 1992 at the age of 79, would have turned 100 this year, on Sept. 5. High Line Art is marking the upcoming centennial by joining with Electronic Arts Intermix and Friends of the High Line to present Cage’s film and sound piece One11 and 103 (1992), from Aug. 2 through Sept. 13, on loop, as part of its new High Line Channel 14 series, which will present “films, videos, and sound installations” in the span of the High Line that stretches across West 14th Street.

High Line Art has an informative explanation of the piece:

One11 and 103 is made up of the film One11, the eleventh work in the Number Pieces series, and the sound composition 103. In this combined piece, abstractions of light travel across and into space created by Cage. Shot entirely in black and white, a camera pans across the blank wall of a Munich television studio, illuminated by soft cloud-like patches of light which drift across the view of the camera. To describe One11 Cage wrote, “One11 is a film without subject. There is light but no persons, no things, no ideas about repetition and variation. It is meaningless activity which is nonetheless communicative, like light itself, escaping our attention as communication because it has no content to restrict its transforming and informing power.”

The sound component, 103, is a 17-part orchestral piece composed using aleatoric methods.

Sounds like it will be a good one.

Update, July 19: Corrected Cage’s birthdate.

Follow Andrew Russeth on Twitter or via RSS. arusseth@observer.com