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In the language of music, a piece can be played from larghissimo (very slowly) to prestissimo (very fast), but there is no specific tempo marking for the instructions John Cage gave to his recital “Organ2/ASLSP (As Slow as Possible)”. Indeed, the performance of the piece began in 2001 at the St. Burchardi church in Halberstadt, Germany and is scheduled to continue until 2640, making it the slowest concert in the world.
This weekend, the medieval church marked the organ recital’s 14th chord change, an important milestone in its planned 639-year run. A chord change introduces new sounds to a composition; in this case, two new organ pipes were added to the American conceptual artist and composer’s piece, modifying the sound for the first time since 2013.
According to the New York Times, a small, masked audience of Cage fans gathered in the church this Saturday, September 5, the late composer’s birthday and the anniversary of the day the concert began in 2001.
Cage originally wrote “Organ²/ASLSP” in 1985 for the piano and adapted the eight-page score for the organ in 1987. After his death in 1992, a group of philosophers and musicians decided on the piece’s duration of 639 years, a reference to the time between the turn of the millennium in 2000 and the construction of Germany’s first modern keyboard organ in 1361.
Despite gathering restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, the ceremony was well attended, including by spectators from outside Germany. Dr. Rainer Neugebauer, who runs the John Cage Organ Foundation, told the Times that the performance has brought 140,000 people to Halberstadt since it began, helping to put the small German town on the map.
“It’s not a project for the masses,” Neugebauer acknowledged. “But it’s a crystallization point for contemporary art. It brings interesting people to Halberstadt.”
The chord change ceremony was live-streamed and can be viewed here.
The University of Virginia researchers wrote that the data “provides compelling evidence that these symbols are associated with hate.”
We are waiting for spectacle and when the quotidian, yet incongruous actions occur I wonder whether there is any real payoff coming.
Hear from Holly Jean Buck, Carolina Caycedo and David de Rozas, Simon Denny, Elizabeth Hoover, Renee Kemp-Rotan, Joseph Kunkel, and more at this free public event.
Tanega’s approach to mark-making comes across as stream of consciousness, as if she’s engaged in a conversation with herself.
Starting Monday, readers can borrow one of 50 rare and out-of-print titles, mailed to them completely free of charge, from Saint Heron Library.
EFA Open Studios offers a portal into the creative habitats of over 65 artists working in Manhattan’s longest-running studio program, including Dannielle Tegeder, Wafaa Bilal, Cui Fei, and Anina Major.
This is Yuskavage’s great gift, turning upside down our settled ways of thinking and seeing and, with ease, transforming the vulgar and ridiculous into the sublime.
51 international publishers and galleries showcase their latest editions in prints and artists’ books at this free public fair, which is fully online this year.
While hardly about the pandemic, or any of the other crises so afflicting us, all are invoked in this exhibition, which is also often tender and profoundly soulful.
These glowing, dynamic artworks reproduce something of Bosch’s chaotic energy, but on an immersive, multi-sensory scale.
This week, addressing a transphobic comedy special on Netflix, the story behind KKK hoods, cultural identity fraud, an anti-Semitic take on modern art, and more.