Erased Cage

Sound installation
Dimensions variable

Each artist in a group exhibition is asked to record their own version of John Cage’s 4’33”, his “silent piece”. Although called 4’33”, Cage suggested that “the work may be performed by any instrumentalist(s) and the movements may last any lengths of time.” These recorded interpretations of Cage’s score, which instructs the player to remain silent for a period of time, and asks that the listener encounter the composition as a span of time in their given environment, are then collected from the artists and each is loaded into a digital audio editing environment. Each recording is then erased, or more accurately, deleted. The resulting empty span of time is then exported as an mp3: a piece of total digital silence that is exactly the length of the original artist’s 4’33’’ recording, and which replaces it.

These pieces of silence, or pieces of duration, are then assembled into an iPod playlist where they are played back on shuffle-repeat in the exhibition space.

First presented in "You Are Free" at Tape Modern, Berlin, 2010, and Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna, 2011

Audio excerpt: Erased Jan Christensen Recording of 4'33''
"Erased Cage"
view of an erased audio track
John Cage
Score for 4'33"
Robert Rauschenberg
"Erased De Kooning"
Built with Indexhibit