John Cage / Reference

Jonh Cage / From Zero

Mode celebrates its 20th Anniversary in 2004 with the release of a major film on John Cage by renowned Dutch director Frank Scheffer in collaboration with Cage’s long-time associate Andrew Culver. The group of films, entitled From Zero, are:

19 QUESTIONS: Cage answers 19 questions on a variety of subjects, using chance operations to determine the duration of his colorful and often witty answers. A unique opportunity to view the Cagean process of chance in real-time.

FOURTEEN: The acclaimed Ives Ensemble perform Cage’s piece of the same name. Filmed with multiple cameras using chance operations to determine the position, angle, focus and aperture settings of each shot-as well as to determine the editing process-make this a uniquely remarkable performance film. The extraordinary lighting was created by Andrew Culver, who did similar chance derived lighting plans for Cage’s Europeras.

PAYING ATTENTION: Agreeing on a predetermined duration, Scheffer worked with the video portion and Culver the audio from an interview with Cage. They treated their parts independently; the video and audio were then reunited during the editing in the same spirit as John Cage/Merce Cunningham music and dance collaborations – where the two aspects are presented together for the first time in the performance.

OVERPOPULATION AND ART WITH RYOANJI: The audio combines Cage’s spoken performance of his text Overpopulation and Art simultaneously with his Ryoanji for four voices and percussion. The video was shot at two locations where Cage lived: 6th Avenue in Manhattan and at Stony Point, New York. Scheffer used the graphic score of Ryoanji to track the camera’s movements for much of this work.



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