4'33" by John Cage is a three-part musical frame demarcating ambient sound. The original performance was given by David Tudor at Woodstock, N.Y., August 29, 1958. Tudor began each movement by closing the keyboard lid, and ended each movement by opening it.
I have reorchestrated this composition for the eyes. The prints in this portfolio are a visual presentation of ambient, albeit focused, images, occuring in a very specific location and produced for a specific event. Ken Friedman invited me to contribute to an exhibition entitled "The Fluxus Museum" at Galerie Inge Baecker. Friedman suggested I make a visual realization of a Cage piece and that the image be the Römerturm, a structure dating back to Roman times that [was] part of Ms. Baecker's gallery in Cologne.
I have translated 4'33" into a spatial measurement of 4 half-feet and 33cm (or 24" plus 12.992", equaling 36.992" total). 4'33" = 4.55 minutes. Thus, the first movement of 33 seconds in duration is .55 minutes; the second movement of 2'40" is 1.33'. Movement #1 is 12% of the total time; the second movement of 2'40" is 2.66'; and the third movement of 1'20" is 1.33'. Movement #1 is 12% of the total time, movement #2 is 59%, and movement #3 is 29%. 12% of 36.992 inches = 4.439904" ≃ 4.44" ≃ 4" + 1.1cm. 59% of 36.992" ≃ 21.82528 ≃ 21.83"≃ 21" + 2.1cm. 29% of 10.72768 ≃ 10.73 ≃ 10" + 1.9cm.
The First movement takes place at the entrance of the Galerie Inge Baecker. At the door to the left of the Römerturm, you look up at the tower. The second movement occurs as you enter the tower. The eyes move about, focusing and refocusing. As you step forward and back, the images fade in and out of each other. The third movement finds you outside, across the Zeughausstrasse, looking at the Römerturn from the front. The angle of perspective from this short distance is a direct and simple as Cage's original score.