Intimacy and Limits; Reflections on Stockhausen's Dog

by Wade Matthews

“I paint very large pictures,” wrote Mark Rothko in 1951. “I realize that historically the function of painting large pictures is painting something very grandiose and pompous. The reason I paint them, however—I think it applies to other painters I know—is precisely because I want to be very intimate and human. To paint a small painting is to place yourself outside your experience, to look upon an experience as a stereopticon view with a reducing lens. However when you paint the larger pictures, you are in it. It isn’t something you command.”(1)

In this brief text, Rothko reveals much more than just the reason his pictures are so large. He offers us a clear vision of his artistic values—“I want to be very intimate and human”—and of where he wants to situate himself in the process of making his work: “you are in it. It isn’t something you command.” The large dimensions of the painting thus serve to envelope, first the artist, then the spectator. Once enveloped, he cannot contemplate the work from a distance, cannot disconnect from the work. It is a matter, then, of deobjectifying the work in order to allow the artist or spectator to become completely immersed in it. This immersion is what produces, or permits, the sensations of intimacy and humanity and as such it constitutes a very striking way of understanding creative process.

A painting is an object to the degree that a spectator is able to perceive or assign its limits. By distinguishing it from its surroundings, he is able to recognize it as that object. When its size or proximity are so great that they do not allow the spectator or painter to capture the work as a whole, when its limits are outside his field of perception, it stops being an object and becomes quite simply and complexly, an experience. At that moment, the disconnection between the work and its creator or contemplator can no longer be a function of the physical limits of the painting. If he cannot see those limits, the spectator/painter cannot relegate the work to the status of object and, if he wants to disconnect from it—that is, to no longer experience it—he must create the limits himself. He may simply close his eyes, breaking the experiential link with the work by defining his own corporeal boundary (his eyelids). In that sense, he will be objectifying himself, instead of the artwork.

Nevertheless, I sincerely doubt that Rothko’s aim was to promote the objectification of human beings. Quite the contrary, in his text he seems to be saying that the key to his creative approach lies specifically in the deobjectification of the artwork in order to make it indistinguishable, inseparable from its process of elaboration. And that this process, marked by the coexistence of creativity and craft, flow and channeling, is carried out from within the work, and is thus essentially experiential. Art, then, as experience. Of course this is hardly a new idea, but in this context it leads us to question the degree to which an art object’s limits serve to define it not only as an object, but also as art.
In less openly object-oriented art forms, such as theater, performance or music, the limits have to be defined in some other way if, that is, one wants to define them at all…

It is said that Nam June Paik once stormed into John Cage’s house, shouting incomprehensibly in Korean, waving his arms about, and generally showing signs of great agitation and alarm. Immediately thereafter, he turned around and ran out of the apartment, slamming the door behind him. Cage and his friends were astonished and quite concerned. While they were discussing what they could do about it, the phone rang. It was Paik. “The concert is over.” he said, and hung up.

As with music, theater has no physical limits. If it is carried out on a traditional stage, it is the stage’s limits that define its spatial boundaries and the work’s duration that defines its temporal dimension. Within this conventional theater space many have experimented with the deliberate crossing of these boundaries, placing actors within the audience, throwing things off the stage, etc. But Paik’s action works in reverse; it does without the theatrical setting and its conventions in order to question who decides what is or isn’t an artistic experience.

When, in Art and Disorder, Morse Peckham defines art as “any perceptual field which an individual uses as an occasion for performing the role of art perceiver,”(2) he takes the decision as to what is or isn’t art out of the hands of the artist and places them firmly in those of its perceiver. With one fell stroke he also solves the age-old question as to whether landscape—in fact, any sort of beauty not created by man—can be considered art or not. For Peckham, if it is contemplated as art, then it is art.

For Cage and his friends, Paik’s action was pure experience, but they had no reason to think of it as art. With his posterior phone call, Paik achieved two things: he defined his previous actions as art (“the concert”) and he marked their ending point. Paik defined them as art, but for Peckham, and perhaps for Cage and his friends as well, the decision as to whether, post facto, they wish to understand this experience as art, depends solely on them. This action by Paik is peculiar because it questions the possibility of understanding art as such when it erupts in the midst of a context which is not previously considered one of art experience. Normally, the opposite occurs, that is: an experience not considered art erupts in the midst of an artistic process, as we will see below.

Stockhausen’s dog
In our culture, the more impalpable the limits of an art work, the greater the tendency to try and create an insulating space around it in order to assure its integrity as an art work. Thus, in concert halls there is not usually any concern about a musical work’s capacity to form a part of the audience’s experience of everyday life, instead, the space itself is designed to make sure that this everyday world not be allowed to enter into the music. The efforts by those in cha rge of the concert and/or the concert hall to impose a sonic sterilization to keep the musical work from becoming infected by other stimuli can reach astonishing degrees of compulsion. Karlheinz Stockhausen furnishes us an ideal example:

"I found myself obliged to take care of every single detail of the staging of Sirius in Florence, starting with the choice of an adequate performance space… …I even found myself in the obligation of walking among the rows of spectators to ask that, for once, they refrain from smoking. I also had to personally see to it that the doors were closed so that people didn’t bother us by slamming them at the beginning of the concert."(3)

Clearly, Stockhausen was making an enormous effort to control the setting in which his music was to sound. As such, he himself chose the performance space and he did everything possible to neutralize that space, prohibiting smells (tobacco) and all sounds (slamming doors, etc.) unrelated to what he personally considered part of his music.
In this desire to control the surroundings, to isolate the music by placing it in a neutral “frame” which serves to delimit it, we find a definition of art diametrically opposed to that of Peckham. For Stockhausen and most other composers, his music, his art, is a product of his unique and exclusive creative will, which must be clearly and unmistakably transmitted when one of his works is performed before an audience. This makes it imperative to suppress any sonic manifestation that does not originate in the composer’s creative will, and would therefore interfere with a clear perception of that will.

There is no need, here, to consider whether or not we share this quite generalized manner of understanding art. Suffice it to say that, in practice, it is impossible to achieve. The iron will to control displayed by a composer like Stockhausen, the mass of conventions that determine when one may cough, applaud, open candies with loud wrappers, turn the pages of the program notes, whisper to friends, sneeze or snore in a concert hall; the double doors and all the acoustic insulation that keep out external noise—none of this can protect the music that is cared for therein, like a baby in an incubator, or an orchid in a greenhouse. None of this, I say, can protect it from chance. The bent of Stockhausen and many others “to take care of every single detail” only manages to create an atmosphere so meticulously, so compulsively controlled that it places all events beyond their control in stark relief. This music, isolated from the everyday sonic world has no antibodies; it is designed with no immune system. Here is how Stockhausen puts it:

"Imagine the first eight minutes of the Florence premier of Sirius disrupted by the barking of an enormous dog. A dog in the concert! Imagine the premier upset to such a degree that it kept me from concentrating and thus destroyed the magical feeling of the work’s opening moments. And that’s not all. Suddenly, in the middle of the concert, a loud noise and an unexpected blackout. "(4)

For Stockhausen, the dog’s barking was an enormous distraction, sufficient to destroy “the magical feeling of the work’s opening moments.” Its barking represents the irruption of chance, of life itself, in a music which is structurally and philosophically incapable of reacting to it.Cage understands things differently:
"Talking for a moment about contemporary milk: at room temperature it is changing, goes sour, etc., and then a new bottle, etc., unless, by separating it from its changing by powdering it or refrigeration (which is a way of slowing down its liveliness) (that is to say museums and academies are ways of preserving) we temporarily separate things from life (from changing) but at any moment destruction may come suddenly appear and then what appears is fresher. …when we separate music from life what we get is art (a compendium of masterpieces). "(5)

In 4’33”, one of John Cage’s most famous works, a pianist comes on stage and sits at the piano for four minutes, thirty-three seconds without playing a single note, then leaves the stage. The first performances of this work provoked incomprehension, to say the least, among the audience, but Lao Tzu explained it perfectly some five centuries before Christ: “Mold the clay to make a vessel. Use the nothing it contains for whatever you need.”(6) Cage’s composition is the vessel and the sounds of the concert hall—all those which do not correspond to the composer’s creative will—are his way of using the nothing, the empty space, it contains. His own creative will is expressed solely in the formal design, taking advantage of concert-hall conventions to delimit the temporal dimensions of the work. If, that night in the Florence church of Santa Crocce, the premier had been of Cage’s piece rather than of Stockhausen’s, the enormous dog would have been the protagonist, the work’s raison d’être. His own barking would have been what created “the magical feeling of the work’s opening moments.”

Thus, we can define two poles: the work without perceptible limits, which Rothko proposes as a pure and intimate experience, and the limits without any perceptible work, which Cage offers as a frame for the howling of chance.

And yet, the more we reflect upon the differences between the works of Stockhausen and Cage, the more similar they seem to us. But what could such diametrically opposed concepts of art really share? One rejects any intromission on the part of chance while the other uses it as content, yet both are equally inflexible, unable to react in the face of chance. Neither of these pieces contains any interaction with chance, but merely postures regarding it. Let us imagine for example that during a performance of 4’33” a series of sounds occurs which last longer than the approximately four-and-a-half minute extension of the work. There is nothing in this work suggesting that the pianist could prolong his presence on stage in order that the framework he provides might fully encompass those sounds.(7) And if the performer ends the piece in the middle of these sounds; what is he saying? “Until now, these chance sounds have been music, but now I am leaving the stage and they will thus no longer be so.” Or perhaps he is saying: “the sounds will still be music, but they will no longer be part of my work.”(8) How right Hume was when he said: “every general affirmation is false, including this one.”

This inflexibility, this incapacity to interact with the sonic environment, is the result of the time lag between the creation of a musical work and its performance in concert. But from the composer’s point of view, that is inevitable. When a piece of music is created by compositional methods its process of creation is essentially closed by the time it is recreated in the concert hall. A certain type of interaction with the environment is simply not possible. The persons who recreate the work—its performers—are not usually its creators and their interpretive license doesn’t usually extend far enough for them to adjust a work to circumstances considerably different than what the composer might have imagined from the comfort of his studio weeks, years or even centuries before the concert.

“ Site-specific” art
What seems to be missing is a concept of a musical work as “site-specific,” that is, made specifically for the place where it is to be performed. The land artist, Robert Smithson, explained this concept in 1968 in an interview with Willoughby Sharp:

RS: …I decided that instead of making a piece of art and putting it on a piece of land, I would bring the land back to the piece, so to speak.
WS: But you’re just making the piece out of earth, right?
RS: Yeah; I’m making the piece out of earth, but the place itself is being brought into it.
WS: The material is specific to the place that it’s from, rather than importing the material to the place… There is a specific relation between what’s there and what’s done there.
RS: That’s right. In other words, I don’t make a piece here and have it end up on somebody’s lawn.(9)

Smithson is reacting to his surroundings, the specific “site” in which he is to create his work. His reaction manifests itself, first, in his choice of materials. He doesn’t choose soil because of its material nature, but rather because of its coherence with the place in which he intends to install his artwork. His art is made of matter, and that matter is from, and is itself, the work’s setting. As an art object, its limits are not really clear. It isn’t that the work could be confused with the place; it is the place, or at least part of the place. But music is made of sound, which is much more volatile than soil. In the same interview, Smithson says he thinks of the world in terms of “the last 200 million years.”(10) Undoubtedly the earth and stones Smithson used in his works had been in that place that long. Sounds, however, tend not to last that long, and sonic surroundings change with a rapidity that explains why a sculpture can last twenty centuries, while a song barely lasts three minutes.

The Dead Zone
This matter becomes especially relevant when we inquire as to the relation between the limits of a piece of music and, for example, those of a painting. In the case of music, we have seen how the sonic neutrality of a concert hall is used to impose, or at least to heighten perception of the limits of a piece of music. We are supposed to think that this helps the audience to relate to the music as if it were an object, establishing a distance that permits them to clearly perceive what is and is not part of the music. Indeed, the conventions of European classical music present this dead zone around the piece of music as a sine qua non if the public is to concentrate and fully experience the work.
According to these conventions, it is not at all a good thing for the work to be “site-specific” in Smithson’s sense of the term. Instead it should be as differentiated as possible from its surroundings. The dead zone provides a neutral, and thus contrasting, environment that heightens the otherness of the musical object. As Patrick Ténoudji points out: “l’étude des silences dans la musique de notre civilisation met en évidence un long travail de mise à distance visuelle-objective de l’objet musical.” Thus, any sound other than that produced by the musicians is considered a distraction that makes a full experience of the music difficult or even impossible. For example: the barking of a huge Florentine dog.(11)

But what keeps us from understanding it the other way around? If the audience needs to concentrate in order to understand the music, in order to be fully involved in its sonic discourse; if this concentration is so difficult, and the listeners’ link to the work is so weak that a whisper, an unexpected sneeze, the “bip-bip” of a digital watch, are enough to break it; perhaps that is specifically because of the dead zone. The excessive control and contrast of the concert-hall environment overly emphasize the boundaries of the musical work. The brutal illumination of its smallest contours so clearly objectify the piece of music that it grows more distant from the listener. “To look upon an experience […] with a reducing lens,” says Rothko, underlining the distance from both object and process which one experiences when one is overly aware of the artwork’s edges.

Free, to a degree, of the conventions of classical music, pop(12) deals with the problem in another way. First of all, it utilizes a musical language whose relative simplicity allows it to be grasped without need for excessive concentration. Second, it often depends on its verbal content, for which the music is a vehicle. The music’s simplicity favors an easy understanding of the words, while the words themselves lessen the weight of the music’s repetitiveness. In concert, a pop group eliminates any sonic distraction simply by ensuring that the sound coming from the stage is louder than it. This, too, is a neutralization of the surroundings, but it is carried out with volume rather than with silence. This is a solution based essentially on aggression, which is also reflected in how the musicians are arranged on stage. Unlike a classical music group, which generally sets up in an open semi-circle—inviting the audience to complete the circle—pop or rock groups tend to form a wedge. The singer (that is, the words) stand at the front or point, and the wedge widens behind him or her to include guitars and bass, with the drums and optional woodwinds pushing from behind. This wedge serves, symbolically, to open a breech in the audience. It is violent, aggressive, and surprisingly effective.(13) When it fails, when the singer notices that the audience doesn’t feel involved, he or she can resort to an infallible method: inviting them to clap along with the rhythm. This breaks the separation between musician, music and audience through collective participation. With a formula that is clear but in constant evolution in order to fulfill its social function, pop music can also be the form chosen by some excellent musicians who deserve our respect as the popular bards of our time.

For many other musical creators, however, volume, simplicity and violence do not constitute a solution. It isn’t that they totally reject them—each has its place in any musical discourse—but they are not willing to accept them as sine qua non for the establishment of an experiential link between their music and the audience. A musical artist whose language is more complex, who employs a broader spectrum of expressive parameters, who proposes a less violent relationship with his public, needs other solutions. There may be many, but to the degree that they can act as structural solutions—I refer here to the structure of the musical process, not that of the musical object—few seem to have been found. One of the most developed is that of improvisation.

Born of oral traditions and values, improvisation has a precarious existence in the western world of art musics. Ours is an essentially literary culture; it understands and cultivates writing as a fundamental method of transmitting knowledge and wisdom, as a medium for thought and creative expression, and as a tool for objectifying our culture&# 8217;s memory. In our world, ability as reader and writer is more than a mere skill; it constitutes a means of measuring intellect, of belonging or acceding to certain levels of society. “Academic education” is the name of one of our tribe’s most influential initiation societies.

No one questions the value of writing, but we must accept that it transmits certain kinds of information better than others. Moreover, the structure of a means of transmission—in this case, writing—is imposed on what is transmitted, changing it forever. From a social viewpoint, we could go even further to affirm that value is part of that structure, so that what is transmitted is valued not only on the basis of its content, but also according to the status enjoyed by the means of transmission. It is even possible that the system of transmission becomes indistinguishable from what is transmitted, as Marshall McLuhan pointed out several decades ago.(14) Thus, outstanding musicians such as Paco de Lucía can say they “don’t know music” when they mean only that they do not understand musical notation.

In the case of music, the changes produced by its notation are gigantic. Long before it was ever written down, it had a very clearly established identity, procedures, canons and values. As Patrick Ténoudji observes: “Our classical music comes from an oral tradition slowly reduced to notation. Music spoke before it was ever notated. It was changing, free and irregular like speech, following the rhythm and organization of spoken discourse. For a long time it was ruled by malleable principals and meter which no one questioned: these were not notated, they were tacit.”(15) The passage from oral to notated changed how everything was understood in music, not only its rhythmic system but also, as Ténoudji points out in the same article, the type of gesture and even the idea of what it means to “play” an instrument.

Western improvisers, nowadays as specialized as a composer or performer of “contemporary classical music,” also have values, canons and principals inseparable from their way of making music. But, as an unwritten music in a society that gives pride of place to writing as a sign of “culture,” improvised music’s values are often as poorly understood as is the structure of its discourse. Free or European Improvised Music (to distinguish it from other more-or-less improvisatory and more-or-less idiomatic forms such as Jazz, Flamenco or Blues) is clearly an “art” music. It is complex, extremely nuanced and equally demanding of musician and audience. As art, it seems to deal very directly with the ideas of intimacy and limits presented by Rothko at the beginning of this article. It is immune to the type of consternation expressed by Stockhausen, and also to the conflicts between form and content, chance and creative will, that weaken 4’33” and other pieces by Cage.

An improviser is simultaneously creator and performer of his music because both processes take part simultaneously and because the performance is part and parcel of the creation and inseparable from it. In creating his music, an improviser expresses himself spontaneously, but not ex nihilo. Like any creator, he has his own language, a sense of proportion and clear criteria for structuring his discourse. In fact, his spontaneity is born of the capacity to handle his medium with mastery and, as in all art, apparent ease hides years of practice, discipline and reflection. As Ad Reinhardt put it with admirable perspicuity: “the most complete control for the purest spontaneity.” (16)

For a composer, the time spent in creating a work is independent of the duration of the finished piece. He can spend a month working on two measures and then go on to write ten pages in a day. Like a painter, he can approach his piece to add a stroke, then draw back to contemplate the totality. He can work on any part of it, independent of the final order. He can leave it for a few days and think about it, then come back to erase, reorder, correct, etc. He has, so to speak, the freedom of dealing with his work as an object, and also as a process, and of switching back and forth.

All this is impossible for an improviser. Much more important, though, is that fact that, for him, it is also irrelevant. Like Rothko, the improviser favors process rather than product. In fact, the process is what he shares with the audience. The finished object is but a memory, if that. As Eric Dolphy put it: “Music, after it’s over: it’s gone in the air. You can never catch it again.”(17) An improviser creates his work in situ, so that the audience can follow its process of creation, step by step. The informed audience, one which understands the nature of this music, is directly involved as, to a large degree, they themselves constitute an important part of the “site” of this highly site-specific work. It is important, however, that the audience understand the phenomenon in order to be able to participate in it. If they try to understand improvised music with criteria belonging to European classical or contemporary classical music they will understand very little. They will look for structural conventions that are simply not there, and in the process, they will miss the subtlety of its protean flow. In seeking the dam that delimits the reservoir, they will overlook the delicate dance of the reeds in the flowing stream.

When improvisation is collective, the “site” becomes more complex. With four improvisers on stage the music become the fruit of four creative wills, each functioning in a “site” that includes the sonic discourse of the other three. The result is complex, an authentic counterpoint, but ideal for the sort of immersion that Rothko seems to imply as the experience of a very, very large picture: “…you are in it. It isn’t something you command.” Understanding doesn’t mean drawing back until you can contemplate the improvisation as an object. Instead, it’s a matter of diving into it as deeply as possible, living it fully. The multiplicity of messages generated by the simultaneous presence of several musical creators does not have to be any sort of barrier to this type of understanding since, as Umberto Eco pointed out, it’s “a matter of favoring not so much the reception of a concrete meaning as of a general scheme of meaning, a constellation of possible meanings, all equally imprecise and equally valid…”(18) Given a similar profusion of meanings in Joyce, he adds that “the limitation of an ‘object’ is replaced by the broader delimitation of a ‘field’ of interpretive possibilities.”(19)

The meaning of silence also changes. It’s no longer a neutral zone surrounding a musical object, but something fully and actively incorporated into the musical process. Silence is not an absence of interference with the expression of a musical artist’s creative will, but rather one of his options. Moreover, it is an option which the improviser handles with the same degree of responsibility as his sounds. Both are a part of his musical discourse, of course, but of equal or greater import is the fact that both form a part of the “site” in which the other improvisers are creating. Silence, along with many other things, forms a part of the improviser’s awareness of planes. As Anthony Braxton put it:There is no section of the music where any member of the group is not depended on by either another musician or the music itself… the “responsibility ratio” of extended creative music demands the complete involvement of every participating musician: that is, the musicians of the quartet are expected both to “play the silences” as well as the “sounds.” there is no point in the music where any member of the group can “dis-connect” his or her vibrational link with the composite ensemble.(20)

But the “site” is not limited to the other musicians, nor to the music they create, it also includes aspects that do not reflect the creative will of any of the musicians, yet directly influences them all. Thus, for example, an especially resonant space may lead the improviser to play in a pointillist manner, letting the resonance “join the dots”; or he may play very softly so that the sound is not muddy. In the same manner, the presence of ambient sounds will be received with decisions about what the most audible registers of each instrument may be, what the possibilities are of incorporating those sounds into the music, etc. So, what might be a serious impediment for any musician unable to react to it, will be taken up by the improviser as a raison d’être for music specifically made for and in that setting.

Thus, improvisers have a radically different attitude towards their surroundings than most composers or performers of classical or contemporary classical music. To the degree that this attitude is manifest in their music, it must also affect the manner in which listeners receive it. While in traditional classical music—that which inhabits concert halls—the listener tries to suspend his awareness of the noises and stimuli that inevitably surround a musical object without having anything to do with its content; in free improvised music the listener can be fully conscious of them as they are related to, sometimes even present in, the musical discourse itself. This awareness will help the listener to understand the music instead of distracting him from it. As with any work of site-specific art, understanding will increase in direct proportion to one’s understanding of the site to which it is specific.

In that sense, improvised music even serves to heighten the listener’s awareness of his surroundings rather than demanding an effort to suppress it. It is this awareness of the site in terms of the artwork, and of the artwork in terms of the site, which finally succeed in erasing the sensation of limit. If 4’33” halfway managed it with a content definitively derived from the site but a form totally external to it, improvised music fully succeeds in both content and form, accepting the site and the musicians’ creative will in an integrated way. The limits continue to exist, just as Rothko’s paintings are “very big” rather than infinite, but their integration into their surroundings (and vice versa) blur these boundaries so successfully that they often become irrelevant. All that remains is the process, the way of being “very intimate and human.” “It is as if there are external equivalents for truths which I already in some mysterious way know. In order to catch these equivalents I have to stay ‘turned on’ all the time, to keep my receptivity to what is around me totally open. Preconception is fatal to this process. Vulnerability is implicit in it; pain, inevitable…” (21)

Wade Matthews
Madrid, 24 January 1999
Revised: Beirut, 18 April 2005



(1)Rothko, Mark. “I Paint Very Large Pictures”, in Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: a sourcebook of artists’ writings. Kristine Stiles and Peter Selz, editors, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1996. p. 26
(2)Morse Peckham, “Art and Disorder”, in Esthetics Contemporary, Buffalo, Prometheus Books, 1978. p. 97
(3)Mya Tannenbaum, Stockhausen, entrevista sobre el genio musical, Madrid, Ediciones Turner, 1988, pp. 16-17.
(4)Ibid. p. 17.
(5)John Cage, “Ese momento está cambiando siempre” in Revista de Occidente, n? 151, december 1993, p. 10
(6)Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Book One, XI, 27.
(7)In fact, in the original score, Cage specifies that the work can have any duration and can be performed on any instrument or group of instruments but nowhere is the decision about its duration linked to considerations of possible content. Cage also specifies quite clearly the moments in which the pages of the score are to be turned.
(8)Some may say that, like Duchamp’s Readymades, the content of works like 4’33” is not to be contemplated as art but rather, as Cage seems to be indicating in the text quoted above, as life. Still, we cannot avoid the question: If Cage emphasizes the essentially changing nature of life, or the essentially vital nature of change, then why would he specify a piece in which the performer does almost exactly the same thing at every performance? Wouldn’t that be, in his own words, “separating things from life (from change)?”
(9)Suzanne Boettger, “Degrees of Disorder” in Art in America, December 1998, pp. 77 & 78.
(10)Ibid. p. 76.
(11)Patrick Ténoudji, “Les gestes du silence” in Social Anthropology 6, 3, 1988. p. 343.
(12)With no intention of offending anyone who still believes the variety of labels under which the enormous apparatus of commercial music packages, distinguishes and sells the work of innumerable musicians, I here use the term “pop” to cover a broad range of music which is popularly consumed.
(13)An extreme example of this phenomonon is the New York “No Wave” singer, James Chance who, in the early nineteen eighties, used to jump down off the stage in the middle of a song and start a fist fight with members of the audience. This is a very direct way of dissolving the barrier between the music and the public.
(14)Especially in The Medium Is the Message: An Inventory of Effects (1967).
(15)Patrick Ténoudji, op. cit. p. 344.
(16)Ad Reinhardt, “25 lines of Words on Art: Statement,” in Theories and Documents… ed. cit., p. 91.
(17)These are the words Eric Dolply recited at the end of the last record he was to record before dying at the age of 36 in 1964. “Last Date” Limelight LS-86013 A/B
(18)Umberto Eco, “El problema de la obra de arte abierta” in La Definición del Arte, Madrid, Ediciones Martínez Roca, 1970, p. 158.
(19)Ibid. p. 160.
(20)Anthony Braxton, quoated in: Graham Lock, Forces in Motion, London, Quartet Books, 1988. p. 147.
(21)Anne Truitt, “Daybook: The Journal of an Artist (1974-79)”, in Thories and Documents… ed. cit., p. 99.