273 relics for john cage

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In August 2011, I asked Laura Kuhn, director of the John Cage Trust, to select a single item from the archives — something of significant value to John Cage during his life. She chose his mushroom-collecting basket. On August 22, at exactly 10:30 a.m., I took a single 12-megapixel photograph of the basket, which became the source material for 273 Relics for John Cage (A Likeness Is an Aid to Memory). Cage’s seminal work 4’33″ (1952) provides the core narrative structure.273 Relics for John Cage (A Likeness Is an Aid to Memory) [2011] is an installation of printed works and video that investigates chance, memory and the photographic image. It includes an edition of ten limited-edition books (digital print on paper, 294 pages, silver foil-stamping on linen, 5″ x 7″ each), a unique large- format photograph (archival pigment print on rag paper, surface-mounted to Plexiglas, 43″ x 51″), six limited-edition prints (silkscreen ink on paper, 20″ x 26″) and video.The book features 273 images, texts and other artifacts assembled and chosen by chance operations, including 160 photographs sampled from the single image of John Cage’s mushroom-collecting basket. The volume also includes 52 poems, generated and assembled by chance operations from Aristotle’s “On Memory and Recollection” (350 B.C), John Cage’s “Lecture on Nothing” (1961), M.E. Hard’s “The Mushroom, Edible and Otherwise” (1908), and fragments of conversation recorded at the John Cage Trust on August 22, 2011.Each relic is numbered and refers to a single second of silence in 4’33″. At once a translational work, an experimental portrait and a performative tribute, 273 Relics for John Cage explores the impossibility of the image — dismantling the photograph to render it irrelevant, as it disappears. The viewer is left with faint traces of source material and the freedom to investigate phantom images, imagined narratives and other associations.http://soulellis.com/projects/johncage/

TRANSCRIPT

273 RELICS FOR JOHN CAGE

273 RELICS FOR JOHN CAGE (A LIKENESS IS AN AID TO MEMORY)PAUL SOULELLIS2011

TEXTSONE 8 a way that the subject is stimulated from himself and from the TWO 23(Virgo) tell about the poisonous I 26shaped and with margin incurved for 30well 31Ive gotten that a lot 33Greek words 35produced impresses a sort of likeness of the precept just as 43that one must consider the affection which 47this is driving it and so 51or on the wood THREE 55standing closely 58though the stimulus or seal were applied to running 61 70but when one recovers some previous knowledge or 75234crispa (galera) 88custom now takes the place of nature fast-forward to this 90owing to chance 101vermilion edged gills 105the 107tuberculose 113and that piperatus 114experience that which customarily precedes the one which we

FOUR 121obvious that one must consider the 134I liked these thirds least 150yeah or a mental picture use of the fact that the 153so this is the collection basket when we recollect 162chapter xiv rain in July 166the favorite host of this species is an apple tree small 167is 172for at any moment the telephone may ring or an 178wherever you want 183yeah 188about the size 201of contemplation or a 207 208the colors 211um 213this case although we make no use 217where you want (hygrophorus) 219I must say I still feel this 232pressed um I dont FIVE 234three inches long SIX 244generally speaking 246this is driving it 248contemplation in itself and as a mental picture of 250experienced something of the sort before 252(consider) it in itself 256time so I just had 257but 262 269stem equal 270hymenula punctiformis

IMAGESONE 3, 4, 5, 7 TWO 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 21, 24, 27, 28, 32, 36, 37, 38, 39, 41, 42, 44, 46, 52, 53, 54 THREE 56, 57, 59, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 71, 73, 74, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 82, 84, 85, 86, 87, 89, 92, 93, 95, 96, 98, 99, 100, 102, 104, 106, 109, 111, 112, 115, 118, 119, 120 FOUR 121, 122, 123, 125, 126, 127, 130, 131, 132, 133, 136, 137, 138, 140, 141, 142, 143, 146, 147, 148, 149, 151, 152, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159, 160, 161, 163, 164, 165, 168, 171, 173, 176, 177, 179, 181, 182, 184, 185, 186, 187, 189, 190, 191, 192, 194, 195, 197, 199, 202, 203, 205, 206, 209, 210, 212, 214, 215, 218, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 226, 228, 229, 230, 231, 233 FIVE SIX 235, 236, 237, 239, 240, 241, 243, 247, 249, 251, 254, 255, 258, 259, 260, 265, 267, 268, 271, 272

A SERIES OF ACTIONSPHOTOGRAPH

On August 22, 2011, I drove to The John Cage Trust at Bard College. I had a morning appointment with Laura Kuhn, founding trustee and ongoing executive director. To prepare for the meeting, I asked Laura to think of a single item from the archive. Something that John Cage knew of in his life. I asked her not to reveal her selection to me until we met in person. When I arrived, she retrieved the thing; she had chosen John Cages mushroom collecting basket. I took a single photograph.PIXELS

273 Relics for John Cage begins with the moment I captured the 12-megapixel image of the basket. Each picture element (pixel) in the digital photograph references its source (in this case, significant archival material). If one ascribes meaning to the photograph, then each of its 12 million pixels carries with it some fraction of that significance. Every pixel inherits the memory of its origin. Every pixel, a relic. At the scale of the close zoom, the relics reveal pure color. These immersive color fields link to lost memory, but also point (paint) to future landscapes. They open and vibrate with possibility. Latent, unconscious, phantom imagery, embedded in the relics. Every pixel, a photograph. Using chance operations, I generated 160 pixel extractions from the photograph of the mushroom basket.

TEXTS

I chose four texts to accompany the photographic relics. Word extractions were selected and combined using chance operations. The texts: Aristotles On Memory and Recollection (350 B.C.); John Cages Lecture on Nothing (published in Silence: Lectures and Writings, 1961); M.E. Hards The Mushroom, Edible and Otherwise (1908); and fragments of my conversation with Laura Kuhn and her assistant, recorded on August 22, 2011 at The John Cage Trust. 52 text-based relics were generated.BOOK

Each second of time in John Cages 4'33" (1952) becomes a page in the book. This is the structure I inherited. Each page, a reliquary. 273 operations. 273 openings. 273 opportunities. Using chance operations, I generated a score to design the book. The score determined chapter breaks, contents for each page (text, image or blank relic) and layout. Each relic is numbered.PERFORMANCE

Every reading of 273 Relics for John Cage is a performance. Using chance operations, select a set of pages. Determine a fixed duration for the reading of each page, not less than one minute and no more than 4 minutes, 33 seconds. Whether text, image or blank, each page in the set is performed, in any order. Speak the text, speak nothing or display images, or perform any combination of these actions, depending on the content of the particular page. The performance may be private or public.

ONE

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a way that the subject is stimulated from himself and from the stimuli which he contains within him does it matter which and its too bad for a half an hour basting with butter and water and serve with the gravy which comes from them that a high sound is different from a low sound even when both are called by the same letter the stem is short thick solid in young specimens hollow in older specimens

TWO

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(Virgo) tell about the poisonous I here may vex more and more we and from OK

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shaped and with margin incurved for the stimulus produced impresses a sort of likeness of the precept just as when men seal with signet rings really really forked and with some short ones intermixed frequently tinged with red at the edge roll of the volva and the upper edge of this presenting the appearance of having been served at the top like the rolled edge of a garment or buskin now mental image related as a likeness to that of which it is an image it wont have a in memory one may say that none of the known animals can recollect except man and learning afresh lies that in the former one will be able in some way to move on by his own effort to the term next after the starting-point this second part is about structure our task is now to discuss memory and remembering of the juice

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well the first thing that comes to mind uhh maybe Ill photograph the photograph you look a little bit like you dont know that I look at you (becoming) paler toward the base color obscure in age this is a copy

31

Ive gotten that a lot alright

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Greek words meaning youth and fringed and short hairy stem will distinguish it from all other tree fungi (pleasure) alright was that Id (striate) tuberculate on the margin which is at first incurved OK good I found only a few specimens in Haynes Hollow on to d yeah yeah yeah irritating feeling for it and were trying to be really quiet about this included in this order

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produced impresses a sort of likeness of the precept just as when men seal with signet rings well other animals he chooses memory belongs to that part of the soul to which imagination belongs Laura equally if they are not there) but one thinks of them by a proportionate mental impulse we went back and forth upon or close to Im Paul Soulellis he asked me how I would perform it

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that one must consider the affection which is produced by sensation in the soul and in that part of the body which contains the soulthe affection the lasting state of which we call memory as a kind of picture

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this is driving it and so who have good memories are not the same as those who recollect quickly we were nowhere corticium oakesii sometimes lacunose frequently attenuated upward at first stuffed no I didnt know what it is now I know in this way is what one remembers the present affection or the original from which it rose maybe Ill photograph the photograph um

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or on the wood but its probably got mold on it perceived or suffered all along he passes on to d yeah collected on Johnsons Island Sandusky Ohio and photographed by Dr. Kellerman

herculea is so called from its large size whats the story behind this being the home have called it form (magnitude) still puts a finite magnitude before his eyes though he does not think of it as such wounds and bruises are apt to assume brownishred hues

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THREE

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standing closely side by side but we have rabbits and raccoons and all sorts of things out there chapter iv experience the next oh oh that I am getting nowhere to be no truth no good in anything big in society reflexed white villous below

so I just thought figure 470 learns or receives a sense impression one does not recover any memory (for none has gone before) nor does one acquire it for the first time let it remain in the basket over night and you will plainly see that the gills are turning green

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though the stimulus or seal were applied to running water his love of nature came out of Black Mountain yes and the impulse follows a straight course between recollecting and learning afresh lies that in the former one will be able in some way to move