EAI and High Line Art celebrate the John Cage Centennial with a special outdoor presentation of Cage's One11 and 103 on the High Line. One of the most celebrated and iconoclastic figures of the American musical avant-garde, Cage was instrumental in reshaping postwar Western music. Cage's radical innovations in compositions and theory—the application of chance and "found" sound as an integral compositional device, the creation of musical structures based on rhythm rather than tonality—were influential in altering traditional concepts of musical interpretation.
One11 and 103 is one of John Cage's Number Pieces—the series of works that occupied him during the last six years of his life (1987-1992). A double work, One11 and 103 is made up of the film One11, the eleventh work for solo performer in the series, and the sound composition 103.
One11 is a composition "for solo camera man." Cage writes: " One11 is a film without subject. There is light but no persons, no things, no ideas about repetition and variation. It is meaningless activity which is nonetheless communicative, like light itself, escaping our attention as communication because it has no content to restrict its transforming and informing power." Using the I-Ching, Cage generated chance procedures to determine the placement, angle, and intensity of 168 lights in a Munich television studio, as well as a score defining camera movements with the studio. In One11, which is shot entirely in black and white, the camera pans across the blank wall of the studio, illuminated by soft cloud-like patches of light drifting across the screen.
Of the sound composition 103, Cage writes: "103 is an orchestral work. It is divided into seventeen parts. The lengths of the seventeen parts are the same for all the strings and the percussion. The woodwinds and the brass follow another plan...Following chance operations, the number of wind instruments changes for each of the seventeen parts."
In the combined piece—whose title becomes One11 and 103—abstractions of light travel across and into the sounds and space created by Cage. On the High Line, Cage's arrangement in light, darkness, and probability will illuminate the passageway above 14th Street and initiate a series of chance encounters with visitors to the park. The video version that will be shown on the High Line was supervised by Cage.
One11 and 103 is presented in coordination with the John Cage Trust.
John Cage was born in 1912 and died in 1992. During his lengthy career, he was active and highly productive as a composer, writer, philosopher, and visual artist. He was elected to the Institute of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1968, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1978. He received an honorary Doctorate of Performing Arts from the California Institutes of the Arts in 1986, and was also the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. He was a fellow of the Centers for Advanced Studies at Wesleyan University; composer-in-residence at the University of California, Davis; and the Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University. Cage was the musical director for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and the author of numerous books, including Silence (1973), Empty Words (1979), Writings Through Finnegans Wake (1979) and Themes and Variations (1982).
About High Line Art
Presented by Friends of the High Line, High Line Art commissions and produces public art projects that take place on and around the High Line. Founded in 2009, High Line Art has been showcasing a wide array of artworks including site-specific commissions, exhibitions, performances, video programs and a series of billboard interventions. High Line Art invites artists to think of creative ways to engage with the uniqueness of the architecture and design of the High Line and to foster a productive dialogue with the surrounding neighborhood and urban landscape.
High Line Art is presented by Friends of the High Line and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. High Line Art is made possible by Donald R. Mullen, Jr, with additional support from Vital Projects Fund, Inc. High Line Art is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
About the High Line and Friends of the High Line
The High Line is an elevated freight rail line transformed into a public park on Manhattan's West Side. It is owned by the City of New York, and maintained and operated by Friends of the High Line. Founded in 1999 by community residents, Friends of the High Line fought for the High Line's preservation and transformation at a time when the historic structure was under the threat of demolition. It is now the non-profit conservancy working with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to make sure the High Line is maintained as an extraordinary public space for all visitors to enjoy. In addition to overseeing maintenance, operations, and public programming for the park, Friends of the High Line works to raise the essential private funds to support more than 90 percent of the park's annual operating budget, and to advocate for the transformation of the High Line at the rail yards, the third and final section of the historic structure, which runs between West 30th and West 34th Streets.
For further information on High Line Art, please visit www.thehighline.org/art
Founded in 1971, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) is one of the world's leading nonprofit resources for video art. A pioneering advocate for media art and artists, EAI fosters the creation, exhibition, distribution, and preservation of video art and digital art. EAI's core program is the distribution and preservation of a major collection of over 3,500 new and historical media works by artists. EAI's activities include viewing access, educational services, extensive online resources, and public programs such as artists' talks, exhibitions and panels. The Online Catalogue is a comprehensive resource on the artists and works in the EAI collection, and also features extensive materials on exhibiting, collecting and preserving media art:
Visit Circa 1971: Early Video & Film from the EAI Archive, an exhibition of 20 moving-image works at Dia:Beacon, organized on the occasion of EAI's 40th Anniversary.
Electronic Arts Intermix
535 West 22nd Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10011
t (212) 337-0680
f (212) 337-0679
EAI on Facebook
EAI on Twitter