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.”
-John Cage

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.

This evening I am going to the Lost Lectures with the seriously awesome Michelle O’Brien. Will report back!

LOST IN BERLIN

The Lost Lectures is a unique series of ‘Enchanting Talks from Secret Locations’.  We take lectures out of traditional corporate and academic environments and into incredible secret spaces that surprise, delight and bring the imagination to life. We invite a magically eclectic host of speakers: 6 per evening, from the worlds of science, art, design, business, blogging, entertainment and more.  Their talks range from the sublime to the ridiculous, which is just how we like it!

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BERLIN: April 4th 2013

Josef Průša: is considered something of a revolutionary: an open-source ‘genius’ and a pioneer in the world of  3D printing.  He’s one of the lead developers of theRepRap project: an open-source hardware project that is fundamentally changing the rules of manufacture, creating wealth without money (who needs money when you can make anything?), logistics (who needs deliveries when you have the blueprint?) and forging a new future seemingly without limits.  Josef is coming from Prague to share his 3D vision of the future and demonstrate his brilliant replicating machine.

Katharina Frosch is an economist and co-founder of Stadtgarten, a community-based gardening initiative that encourages would-be gardeners to use this public space to grow and harvest their own vegetables and share in the spoils: over 1000 servings of fresh, organic fruit and veg last year!  She is also the co-creator of Mundraub, an internet platform that enables users to share the location of fruit trees lying on common or non-farmed land so they can be tended and harvested.  Both projects have been awarded prizes by the German Council of Sustainable Development.  Katharina will talk about the importance of collaboration and community (both real and digital) in channelling the agricultural potential of our planet.

Prof. Björn Brembs:  is Professor of Neurogenetics at Regensburg University: he’s a prolific blogger and world authority on how the brain accomplishes adaptive behavioural choice, in other words how the brain is organised for reward, punishment and decision-making. In 15 minutes, he’ll describe a new understanding of neurons and circuits ending centuries of philosophical debate around the idea of ‘free will’ and use neuroscience to wrestle this term from its philosophical ancestry, the goal being to arrive at a scientific and factual understanding of the fascinating and uniquely human concept of free will.

Anke Domscheit-Berg is an entrepreneur and a campaigner for both open government and better opportunities for women in leadership roles.  She’s on the board of Government 2.0 and previously worked as Director of Government Relations & Innovation at Microsoft.  She’s the founder of FemPower, an organisation that advises female executives on how to break the glass ceiling andOpengov, a body that advises governments and policy makers to develop and implement open government strategies, making them more transparent and participative.  In her talk, Anke will reveal a new way of politics, one where government and civil society can collaborate, share data and work together towards common goals, creating a fairer, more open society.

Peaches is an electro artist known for her ravenously raunchy, gender-twisting mix of explosive electro-clash, with tracks like Fuck the Pain Away and Mommy Complex.  Music is just one element in her expansive oeuvre: throughout her career, she’s furthered her experimental sound and stage creations, allowing us to experience the evolution of the Peaches persona.  From electronic music machines to pink bathing suits, giant necklaces to hairy costumes, Peaches has pushed the boundaries of self-expression to their breaking point.  In this no-holds-barred performance (part talk, part interactive show), Peaches will demonstrate that it’s in losing fear that we will gain freedom of expression and experience real creativity.

We are planning to announce one final iconic speaker on the night itself (Lost X), we are still awaiting clarity on this, thus their identity must remain shrouded in mystery.

As always there’ll be a bar open till late, free-running demo from one of Germany’s foremost parkour crew, ParkourONE intro’d by Ben Scheffler as well as a musical mash-up of an interval, a chance to meet all the speakers and then, the afterparty!!

Until then, Lostlings… keep this to a whisper.