On View

‘There Will Never Be Silence: Scoring John Cage’s 4’33″’ at the Museum of Modern Art

'Classico 5' (1968) by Robert Ryman. (©2013 the artist/The Museum of Modern Art)

Is John Cage’s 4’33” the most radical artwork of the 20th century? When it premiered at a concert hall in Woodstock, N.Y., in August 1952, the 39-year-old composer had already proven himself an indefatigable avant-gardist, but this was adventurous even for him. Written for “any instrument or combination of instruments,” it famously asks for four minutes and 33 seconds of silence. But as this delectable show’s title, borrowed from a letter by Cage, suggests, he wasn’t really after silence, but rather all of the other sounds that, by chance, would accompany it. (He reported that, at that first performance, with David Tudor sitting at a piano, there was wind, raindrops and “all kinds of interesting sounds as [audience members] talked or walked out” before it ended.) Read More

public art

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. Read More