Experimental musician, composer, and artist John Cage turns 100 today, and centennial celebrations have been planned all around the world. His avant-garde musical compositions, like the ground-breaking work of silence “4’33”” and collaborations with modern choreographer Merce Cunningham, rocked the art world and have left a lasting impact. The 2012 Centennial includes performances, lecture, screenings, and exhibitions paying homage to the artist with new music and educational forums from Los Angeles to Australia. Here are five Cage events this month in NYC you won’t want to miss.
Electronic Arts Intermix has collaborated with High Line Art and Friends of the High Line to screen Cage’s film and sound compositions “One11” and “103” (1992), officially launching the outdoor film programming for “High Line Channel 14.” Both from Cage’s “Number Pieces,” written during the last six years of his life, they capture the luminance of 168 lights recorded in black and white in a Munich television studio along with an original orchestral sound composition divided into 17 parts.
This exhibition of 60 works from Cage’s time as artist-in-residence at the Mountain Lake Workshop in Virginia during the 1980s and ‘90s includes graphic musical scores, recordings, photographs, and videos of the artist performing and painting. The mathematical and radical complexities of his musical compositions can also be found in his visual works, demonstrating the breadth of the artist’s vision and creativity.
For the simultaneous launch of “Judson Now,” celebrations of Cage’s 100th birthday, and his contributions to the Judson Dance Theater, former Merce Cunningham Dance Company members Rashaun Mitchell, Silas Riener, and So Percussion will be at Danspace to perform and participate in a ceremonial gathering of Judson artists.
The New School (one of the composer’s alma maters) will host a series of performances this Friday for his centennial featuring New York-based opera composer Robert Ashley, artist and composer David Behrman, experimental music and sound installation artist Alvin Lucer, and Australian-American composer Chris Mann.
Non-profit arts organization Norte Maar teams up with teach-performance oriented group Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) for several installment of its lecture and performance series, hosted by the Dumbo Arts Center. The free public events will include a live voice, electronics, and visual performance merging Cage’s “Roratorio” and the writing of science-fiction legend Philip K. Dick by the performance art band Paradise Club, a participatory dance show by multi-disciplinary artist collaborative CO-LAB that explores Cage’s work with Cunningham, and a lecture by author Kay Larson and composer Raphael Mostel on Cage’s influence on the art world and Zen Buddhism.