Helmi Vent Helmi Vent

Lectures and Seminars

SS 1994

John Cage – Selected Criteria of Music Composition

In the 20th century, the concept of composition underwent an intense process of evolution and transition, which at times gained such momentum that it seemed about to spin out of control. A primary driver of this process was John Cage, who substantially expanded the meaning of the terms composition and composition material and redefined them against the background of previously uncommon philosophical concepts.

The theoretical part of this course will examine the implications of Cage's new, broad definition of composition material insofar as they relate to artistic and pedagogical studies at a university of the arts. In a second part of the course, devoted to artistic practice, selected parameters of composition will form the basis for a performance project in a workshop format.

On 13 October 1994, the project will become part of the celebrations for the opening of the academic year 1994–1995 at the Orff Institute of the Mozarteum. Composition ideas: John Cage. Project curator: Helmi Vent.

Project Page: Opening

Basic Reading

CAGE, John: Lecture. In: DU – Das Kulturmagazin. Issue 5, pp. 18-23, Zurich 1991
CAGE, John: Silence. Lectures and Writings by John Cage. New Hampshire (1931) 1961
CHARLES, Daniel: John Cage. In: BARCK, Karlheinz et al. (eds.): Aisthesis. Wahrnehmung heute oder Perspektiven einer anderen Ästhetik. Leipzig 1990, pp. 336-353
KOSTELANETZ, Richard: John Cage im Gespräch zu Musik und geistigen Fragen unserer Zeit. Cologne 1989

WS 1993–94

Total Art: Environment – Happening – Performance

Since the 1960s, we have seen, in the North American happenings movement as well as in the provocative European precursors of the Dada movement, Italian futurism, and the actions of the surrealists, a change in direction towards a tradition of performance practice that combines art and practical life.

The seminar focusses, on the one hand, on the aesthetic structures and political and social functions of Total Art in their interdisciplinary juxtaposition and combination of (not only) artistic forms of expression and, on the other hand, on the special attempts of representatives of the Total Art movement to deal with reality. Whether these attempts can provide impulses for artistically oriented teaching and learning today will be discussed towards the end of the seminar.

The seminar will begin with a visit to the Dada exhibition currently being presented at Kunsthalle München (see separate notice).

Basic Reading

BECKER, Jürgen and VOSTELL, Wolf (eds.): Happenings. Reinbek bei Hamburg 1965
HENRI, Adrian: Total Art. Environments, Happenings and Performance. London 1974
JAPPE, Elisabeth: Performance Ritual Prozess. Handbuch der Aktionskunst in Europa. Munich, New York 1993
SCHILLING, Jürgen: Aktionskunst. Lucerne 1978

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