John Cage's "Rolywholyover" in Philadelphia, 1995

Thanks to Karen Schiff for this informal description.

There are actually a bunch of shows around town that engage Cage in various ways. The blockbuster, though, is at the PMA; it's a 3-room "circus" of a show. (It is actually called "Rolywholyover A Circus"but then you may know that already.) Room one is a random arrangement (by computer program) of objects from museums within a 30-mile radius. Each museum was asked to submit a list of 10 objects they'd be willing to lend. A computer selected one item from each list & there they are, in their serenditpitous glory. Room two is a random arrangement of works by Cage. (When I say "random arrangement," I mean that pieces are hung way up high on the wall, or way down low, sometimes real close to each other & sometimes very far away.)

The third room is the one that's been getting the most press: there's a computer program for that room that the museum runs daily, & every day they change the arrangement of the pieces on display. I've been there twice, & the space definitely felt different the 2nd time. Cage had envisioned an exhibit that you wouldn't recognize if you went back to it. This one doesn't quite get there, but it's a cool thing all the same. And you can read correspondence to/from Cage (& Ginsberg, Merce Cunningham, Ad Reinhardt, etc.) Fascinating if just for the insight into their characters & the whole zeitgeist.


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Last modified: Wednesday, 18-Jul-2007 16:24:46 EDT