I’m fascinated to receive an invitation from Artsy about helping to share the work of John Cage. Of course, I’d be delighted! It turns out I learned something – I had no idea that Mr Cage, in addition to being one of the most inspirational and experimental musician/composers also made works on paper and in other forms.
“Everything in the world has its own spirit, and this spirit becomes audible by setting it into vibration” said Cage. This concept was a particular inspiration for my 20 year work Singing Bridges, making music with the vibrations of bridge cables. It’s curious to see the plexigram pieces dedicated to Marcel Duchamp, who famously said “The only works of art America has given the world are her plumbing and her bridges.”
There does seem to be a curious synergy between M. Cage, M. Duchamp and the music of bridges.
I’m already a fan of Artsy for their excellent contemporary take on collecting video art and selling art work on instagram, although I have yet to reach these exalted heights in terms of becoming collectable, it’s good to see someone make a living from their work – being a posthumous success as an artist is seriously overrated.
Here’s to vibrations, spirit and new ideas!
“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.”
Here is the Artsy listing, I’ll be curious to see more of these intriguing works.
“We strive to make all of the world’s art accessible to anyone online. John Cage was not only a revolutionary composer but also an innovative artist, and Artsy aspires to be a leading resource for learning about Cage’s art. Our John Cage page provides visitors with Cage’s bio, over 20 of his artworks, as well as up-to-date Cage exhibition listings. The page even includes related artist & category tags, plus suggested contemporary artists, allowing viewers to continue exploring art beyond our Cage page.”
ABOUT JOHN CAGE
One of the most influential composers of the 20th century and a leading figure in the post-war avant-garde, John Cage was a music theorist, writer, and artist, as well as a composer. His most famous piece,4’33” (1952), consisted of musicians doing nothing but listening to the sounds in a room for the duration of 4 minutes and 33 seconds. For Cartridge Music (1960), he amplified small household objects in a live performance. Influenced by Indian philosophy, Zen Buddhism, and Duchamp’s readymades, Cage championed chance procedures in music, incorporating found sounds, noise, and alternative instruments into his compositions. Two important early collaborators were the painter Robert Rauschenberg and the dancer Merce Cunningham, who was also his romantic partner for most of their lives. Cage published his first book, Silence, in 1961 and, in the 1970s, began to transform literary works, including those of Joyce and Thoreau, into music.