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A permanent installation that features a rarely heard performance by John Cage, and will evolve over time through participation from the public

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How to Get Started - Live at the University of Michigan and MOCAD

The Institute for the Humanities and MOCAD joins Slought and the John Cage Trust in reviving John Cage's "How To Get Started" (1989) for the first time in the Midwest

Fields of Knowledge
  • Artistic legacies
  • Performance

Organizing Institutions

Slought, John Cage Trust

Contributing Institutions

University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities, MOCAD

Organizers

Laura Kuhn (former IH Visiting Fellow), Aaron Levy, and Arthur Sabatini, with Amanda Krugliak

Contributors

Ken Saylor, Peter Price, Arthur J. Sabatini, Project Projects, and Seth Chrisman

Opens to public

10/28/2016

Address

Institute for the Humanities
University of Michigan
202 S. Thayer Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD)
4454 Woodward Ave
Detroit, MI 48201

On the web

http://howtogetstarted.org

Economy

100% Formal - 0% Informal

Join us in Michigan from October 24-October 30, 2016 for a new realization of John Cage's work "How To Get Started," which is a collaborative experiment that explores improvisation and the interconnectness of ideas.

The program opens with an exhibition at the Institute for the Humanities Gallery at the University of Michigan from Oct. 24 – Oct. 28, 2016. Two performances will take place in the Institute for the Humanities Atrium on Friday, October 28, 2016 at 7pm, and at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) on Sunday, October 30, 2016 at 1pm. Both performances will include introductory remarks by curators Laura Kuhn and Aaron Levy and collaborating sound engineer Peter Price, and conversation with the performers.

In 2010, the John Cage Trust joined with Slought in Philadelphia to create a permanent installation of this little-known work by John Cage, which was first performed by him at Skywalker Ranch in Nicasio, California, on Aug. 31, 1989. In the piece, Cage took the stage with ten note cards, shuffled the deck and spoke 'off the cuff' for no more than three minutes on each idea. His monologue was recorded in collaboration with engineers and looped back as the next card was addressed, creating a complex acoustic layering of his ideas. This amounted to an experiment having to do with thinking out loud, in public, before a live audience. In the programs in Michigan at the Institute for the Humanities and at MOCAD, six performers -- Martha Jones, Amanda Uhle, Greg Baise, James Cornish, Michael Stone-Richards, and Alison Wong -- will draw upon Cage's realization as a script in effect and add new layers to the mix: their extemporizations on ten topics of interest, in their voices.

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Performers at the University of Michigan

Martha Jones is a Professor of History and Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan and directs the Michigan Law Program in Race, Law & History.

Amanda Uhle is the Executive Director of 826michigan, a nonprofit writing center in Ann Arbor and now Detroit dedicated to supporting local young people with their creative and expository writing skills.

Greg Baise has been an integral part of the Detroit music scene for twenty years. He has curated contemporary and experimental music at the Crawfoot Ballroom, MOCAD, WGN radio, and Detroit Performs.

Performers at MOCAD

James Cornish is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and third-generation native of Detroit. He is the composer of three operas, including one at the Detroit Institute of Arts (2011) using the Sumerian epic of Gudea.

Michael Stone-Richards teaches Critical Theory at the College for Creative Studies and is Chair of the Committee on Critical Studies. He is a co-founder and editor, with Addie Langford, of the journal Detroit Research.

Alison Wong is the Director of Wasserman Projects Artspace, the founder and director of arts collaborative Butter projects, and an artist and educator. She is a lecturer at the College for Creative Studies.

Schedule

Exhibition
Institute for the Humanities Gallery
Oct. 24 – Oct. 28, 2016, 9am–5pm

Performance
Institute for the Humanities Atrium
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Friday, Oct. 28, 2016, 7pm

Performance
Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, 1pm

Acknowledgements

Visit the website for How to Get Started, which is an evolving digital archive of the recordings generated by invited artists and others.

Curated in situ by Laura Kuhn (former IH Visiting Fellow), Aaron Levy, and Arthur Sabatini. Exhibit design in collaboration with Amanda Krugliak.

Project design by Ken Saylor and Project Projects. Sound design by Peter Price and Seth Chrisman.

This project is supported by the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities. The Detroit performance is presented in partnership with MOCAD.


Related publications
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Artist John Cage performs How to Get Started (1989), in which he explores the usefulness of improvisation and engages in an experiment with thinking in public, before a live audience.

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