John Cage: How to Get Started

13 - 30 Nov 2010
00:00:00 - 00:00:00
Slought Foundation


Slought Foundation is pleased to present How to Get Started, a permanent installation created in partnership with the John Cage Trust. This unique interactive installation features a rarely heard performance by John Cage, and will evolve over time through the participation it invites from its public. A reception, free and open to the public, will take place on Saturday, November 13, 2010 from 6:30-8:30pm.

John Cage's first and only performance of How to Get Started in 1989 was conceived of almost as an afterthought--a performance substituting for another that had been previously planned. In the performance, delivered at a sound design conference in Nicasio, California, Cage talks about the difficulty of initiating the creative process, and about improvisation, a subject about which he had long been deeply ambivalent. He proposes a collaborative framework in which sound engineers capture and subsequently layer his extemporized monologue, which consisted of ten brief commentaries on topics then of interest. This amounted to an experiment having to do with thinking in public before a live audience.

Twenty years after the initial performance, the John Cage Trust and Slought Foundation have created an interactive installation enabling the public to participate in its further life at Slought Foundation by adding their voice to the mix. The John Cage Trust turned to Slought Foundation for this collaboration in part because its range of projects has often referenced Cage and those he worked with or influenced during his long career. It is our joint intent that this installation will allow Slought Foundation to become a node of activity for artists, scholars, and others interested in Cage's life and work and ideas.

The project's website will become an evolving digital repository and archive for the recordings generated at Slought Foundation by invited artists and others.

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