John Cage 4’33” crowdsourced

A reconstruction of John Cage’s infamous 4’33” (silence) using 68 amateur and professional performances sourced from YouTube.

In this reconstruction I was interested specifically in the idea of folk art. Although the term “folk” when applied to art and music has been reduced to a genre in recent times, it was originally used to talk about songs and artforms that belonged to the people (to the volk). For instance, before the music industry territorialized folk as a “genre” of music (to help with categorizing music into sellable units) folk music referred to songs which “ordinary” or “everyday” people would sit around and sing together (at parties, at celebrations, etc.). What interests me is that particular avant-garde works which up until a few years ago would never have been seen by the general population have suddenly become “folk” works – they are being remade and revisioned by large numbers of people, many of them who do not claim to be “artists.” In a sense these works deterritorialize the category of “high-art” and reclaim these works for the people (as “folk” art).

Somehow I found this strikingly compelling, and ended up watching the entire thing right to the end.

One Response to John Cage 4’33” crowdsourced
  1. david

    hey… im busy doing the same thing…let me know if you want to see it! cool beans! lekker video! RSA