Experimentations provides a detailed historical and theoretical analysis of the first three decades of experimental composer John Cage's aesthetic production (ca. 1940-1972). Paying particular attention to Cage's inter- and cross-disciplinary engagements with the visual arts and architecture during this period, the book sheds new light on some of Cage's most controversial and influential innovations, such as the use of noise, chance techniques, indeterminacy, electronic technologies, and computerization, as well as upon lesser known but important ideas and strategies such as transparency, multiplicity, virtuality, and actualization. Ultimately, it traces the development of Cage's avant-garde aesthetic and political project as it transformed from the emulation of historical avant-garde precedents such as futurism and the Bauhaus, to the development of important precedents for the post-World War II movements of happenings and Fluxus, to its ultimate abandonment in the aftermath of problems encountered in the vast, multimedia composition HPSCHD (1967-69).
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About the Author
Branden W. Joseph is Frank Gallipoli Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at Columbia University. He is the author of four books, including Beyond the Dream Syndicate: Tony Conrad and the Arts after Cage (2008) and Random Order: Robert Rauschenberg and the Neo-Avant-Garde (2003), which appeared in French translation in 2012.
Table of Contents
II. A Therapeutic Value for City Dwellers
III. Hitchhiker in an Omnidirectional Transport
IV. The Architecture of Silence
VI. Ghost or Monster?