Monday, January 25, 2010
GOOD Magazine, in their Slow issue, highlight a composition by avant-garde artist and composer John Cage, most well known for his four minute and thirty-three second piece comprised of no notes.
Another piece, Organ²/ASLSP, has an instruction that it should be played as slowly as possible. Some Cage devotees in Halberstadt, Germany have taken that direction to heart and have begun a very slow performance of it, begun in 2000, to be completed in 2639.
This is an interesting example of Indirect Collaboration, where interpretation is paramount to other types of contributions, maybe even including even the original input. Of course the notes being played are important, but those are mostly performed, or at least sustained, by mechanical means.
This calls into question the role of the gatekeeper. This instance could be considered to have two gatekeepers, or maybe none. Cage wrote the composition, but then stepped away. The Germans stepped in, free to meddle, but only in one direction. Is this creative? Collaborative? Certainly it's indirect.