Martin Iddon, Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts, Lancaster University - LICA Seminar Series 2009

Date:3 June 2009
Time:4.30 pm

LICA Seminar Series 2009.

Speaker: Martin Iddon, Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts, Lancaster University.

Venue: Lancaster University, Jack Hylton Room.

Title: Translating Cage: David Tudor and the Aesthetics of Indeterminacy.

Translating Cage: David Tudor and the Aesthetics of Indeterminacy

Of post-war composers, arguably it has only really been John Cage whose ideas have exerted a serious influence across almost all art forms. Most particularly, the ideas of indeterminacy which Cage developed, of renouncing authorial control systems over the work of art, have found resonance in the visual and plastic arts, theatre, literature, and dance, as well as in music. Yet what Cage actually understood by indeterminacy remains resolutely unclear; his own writings on the subject obscure as much as they reveal. Thus, through an examination of the practices of Cage's closest musical collaborator, the pianist David Tudor, I seek to demonstrate what sorts of activities were, on a practical level, involved in the realisation of Cage's indeterminate music. Alongside this, through the metaphor of Quine's indeterminacy of translation, I suggest that the locus of indeterminacy is not found in the activities of either composer or performer (or, for that matter, listener), but is, instead, always located between these positions.

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Who can attend:Anyone

Further Information

Associated staff:Martin Iddon
Organising departments and research centres:Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts
  • Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA)
  • The LICA Building, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YW, UK