All Things Cage: Laura Kuhn on John Cage's "Variations VII" (Audio)

Oct 16, 2021
Hosted by Laura Kuhn, Executive Director of the John Cage Trust.

Tonight’s program takes a look at Cage’s series of “variations” works, with emphasis on his Variations VII an elaborate technologically driven performance piece that was conceived for and included in “9 Evenings: Theatre & Engineering,” a performance series presented by Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York City October 13-23, 1966. E.A.T. is a nonprofit organization co-founded in 1966 in New York by artists Robert Rauschenberg and Robert Whitman and engineers Fred Waldhauer to encourage and facilitate collaborations between artists and engineers. Julie Martin, long-time wife to and now widow of Billy Klüver, who died in 2004, contributed much to tonight’s program, as she continues to carry the E.A.T. torch. She is the current director of E.A.T. as well as co-executive producer, with the Swedish journalist and independent movie and documentary director Barbro Schultz Lundestam, of a series of films begun in 1995 that document the artists’ performances presented at “9 Evenings,” including John Cage’s, which was published by ArtPix in 2008. We listen to a lengthy excerpt from this DVD, which in its entirety documents the only complete performance of Variations VII and also presents a stereo audio recording of the full 85 minutes of the 1966 performance.