The Slought Foundation is a small and dynamic organization with great ambitions. Founded in 2002 to present art projects and lectures from a storefront in University City, it has since spearheaded truly international initiatives, such as the Perpetual Peace Project, which included workshops with children in Pakistan and China. With Center support, Slought built a semi-permanent recording booth inspired by a John Cage lecture, and piloted a community education project for local teens in collaboration with architect Teddy Cruz and the People's Emergency Center of Philadelphia.
With John Cage: How to Get Started, the Slought Foundation conceived, designed, and built a long-term interactive sound room, inspired by and closely modeled on a 1989 lecture/performance by the American avant-garde composer. In the original lecture, Cage extemporized one-by-one on 10 ideas, delivering each new idea against an audio playback of the previous ideas. As the lecture/performance progressed, the sonic landscape gained density. This project consists of a recording booth in which specially invited visitors and the public alike can deliver their own lecture-performances to the same effect, with the results archived on the project's website. The project is meant to further the life of Cage's original piece—creating opportunities for new interpretations of its meanings and influence—while also building greater appreciate for the breadth of his work and legacy. John Cage: How to Get Started was curated by Aaron Levy, in close collaboration with the John Cage Trust, and accompanied by a DVD with Cage's original lecture.