Disciplined action

Disciplined action

Cage often attempts to get the listener to pay attention to the sound of simple domestic actions being carried out

Fixing a drink, tending a plant, retuning the radio, writing something down.

Sometimes, his performance pieces will also involve the merging of quotidien uncomposed sounds, coming from various points both inside and beyond the performance space: the traffic on the road outside, somebody talking through a window.

His famous work 0’00” is subtitled ‘SOLO TO BE PERFORMED IN ANY WAY BY ANYONE’. It demands that: “in a situation provided with amplification, perform a disciplined action”.

The first performances were by Cage himself simply typing out his daily correspondence on a typewriter and occasionally sipping a drink of water. By contrast, many years later, Yoko Ono performed the piece by slashing a canvas, releasing a welt of red ink as if the canvas was bleeding.

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