A John Cage concert is rarely a sedentary experience. Performers are very often expected to move from instrument to instrument, to dance, to perform.
Sometimes the audience is expected to do the same.
In 1952 at Black Mountain College, Cage scored an untitled event or ‘Happening’ that combined dance, film and slides, paintings, the playing of LP records, poetry readings, a lecture and piano playing.
It was deemed to be the first performance art of its kinds relying almost entirely on spontaneous multidisciplinary improvisation in and amongst the audience – and it gave birth to a whole host of Happenings and related performance artworks throughout the 1960s and 1970s.
“What I would like to arrive at, though I may never, what I think would be ideal, would be a situation in which no-one told anyone what to do and it all turned out perfectly well anyway,” observed Cage.