A Tribute to John Cage

1973, re-edited 1976, 29:02 min, color, sound

A Tribute to John Cage is Paik's homage to avant-garde composer John Cage. A major figure in contemporary art and music, Cage was one of the primary influences on Paik's work, as well as his friend and frequent collaborator. In this multifaceted portrait, Paik creates a pastiche of Cage's performances and anecdotes, interviews with friends and colleagues, and examples of Paik's participatory music and television works that parallel Cage's strategies and concerns. The methodology and philosophies that inform Cage's radical musical aesthetic — chance, randomness, the democratization of sounds — are evident as he performs such seminal pieces as 4'33" (of complete silence) in Harvard Square, or throws the I Ching to determine performance sites. Among the collage of elements included in this work are segments from Paik's Zen for TV; Paik and Charlotte Moorman in early performances, including the TV Bra; and anecdotes from composer Alvin Lucier.

Host: Russell Connor. Guest: Alvin Lucier. Performers: John Cage, Marianne Amacher, Richard Teitelbaum, Pulsa, Charlotte Moorman, David Behrman, David Tudor. Excerpts of work by Cathy Berberian, Jud Yalkut, Francis Lee, David Rosenboom, Jackie Cassen, Stan VanDerBeek, Alfons Schilling. Produced by the New Television Workshop and the TV Lab at WNET/Thirteen.


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See also