Variations VII

Variations VII was part of the so-called 9 Evenings: Theatre & Engineering, a pioneering series that took place in October 1966 at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York City. The evenings were organized by Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.), an organization founded by Billy Klüver, Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Whitman and Fred Waldhauer that focused mainly on collaborative projects by artists, scientists and technicians. John Cage describes the intention of his contribution as follows: Catching sounds from air as though with nets / no score, no parts / making audible what is otherwise silent therefore no interposition of intention / just facilitating reception. In order to achieve this random momentariness, Cage used a number of different sound sources, placing contact microphones on household objects such as a fan, a food blender, also a Geiger counter, radio and television stations and 10 telephone lines, connecting to places around New York City, including the aviary at the Bronx Zoo, an electric power station, the New York Times press room and Merce Cunningham’s dance studio. Photoelectric cells placed on the platform activated the sound sources when performers moved about the space.



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