/////// every day is a beautiful day /////// John Cage
If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four.
If still boring, then eight.
Then sixteen. Then thirty-two.
Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all.
Music is Everywhere, we just have to look for it.
Like acrostics, mesotics are written in the conventional way horizontally, but at the same time they follow a vertical rule, down the middle not down the edge as in an acrostic, a string spells a word or name, not necessarily connected with what is being written, though it may be. This vertical rule is lettristic and in my practice the letters are capitalized. Between two capitals in a perfect or 100% mesostic neither letter may appear in lower case. .... In the writing of the wing words, the horizontal text, the letters of the vertical string help me out of sentimentality. I have something to do, a puzzle to solve. This way of responding makes me feel in this respect one with the Japanese people, who formerly, I once learned, turned their letter writing into the writing of poems. In taking the next step in my work, the exploration of nonintention, I don't solve the puzzle that the mesostic string presents. Instead I write or find a source text which is then used as an oracle. I ask it what word shall I use for this letter and what one for the next, etc. This frees me from memory, taste, likes, and dislikes, By means of Mesolist, a program by Jim Rosenberg, all words that satisfy the mesostic rule are listed. IC [a program that generates the I Ching numbers, available for downloading on the Net] then chooses which words in the lists are to be used and gives me all the central words, the position of each in the source material identified by page, line, and column. I then add all the wing words from the source text following of course the rule Mesolist does within the limit of forty-five characters to the right and the same to the left. Then I take out the words I don't want. With respect to the source material, I am in a global situation. Words come first from here and then from there. The situation is not linear. It is as though I am in a forest hunting for ideas.
We are living in a period in which many people have changed their mind about what the use of music is or could be for them. Something that doesn't speak or talk like a human being, that doesn't know its definition in the dictionary or its theory in the schools, that expresses itself simply by the fact of its vibrations. People paying attention to vibratory activity, not in reaction to a fixed ideal performance, but each time attentively to how it happens to be this time, not necessarily two times the same. A music that transports the listener to the moment where he is.
~ from "An Autobiographical Statement"
— How do you feel about the intrusion of technology with art or the intrusion of art with technology?
I think it is one of the things that characterizes the present period and that it will probably continue, and the technology will get more and more sophisticated. I think it will ultimately get to the point where we don't notice that it exists, although it will be, then, even more essential, and generally essential, to everyone's life. But I think instead of imposing itself on our attention that it will become more and more invisible. We notice — Fuller, Buckminster Fuller has noticed that we do more with less — copper, for instance, and we can notice the difference between, oh, engines of, say, 50 years ago and engines of the present time. And there appears to be an increasing ability not only to do more with less, but to do the same thing with something simpler. And I think it would be marvelous if, say, in some utopia that I hope we're going to that we would have all the advantages of technology with seemingly no presence of it.
— In other words, art should eventually become magic?
Yes, if, for instance, I could telephone without bothering with the telephone.
This post was originally inspired by squashed's third installment of Three Lists For The Lover (After Love) at motel de moka. And on that note...
Love is memory. In the immediate present we don't love; life is too much with us. We lust, wilt, snort, swallow, gobble, hustle, nuzzle, etc. Later, memory flashes images swathed in nostalgia and yearning. We call that Love. Ha! Better to call it Madness.
Amazing what discoveries one often makes whilst following a tangent!
I was looking for an image of John Cage and came across a fascinating virtual collage of Cage-related information and media, created by Ralph Lichtensteiger, whose diary contains a wealth of enlightening entries. But that's only part of the main site (and here's his latest project).