Brief-description: Based on John Cage's Reunion, performed in '68 when a game of chess played on a sound-distributing chessboard created music.
Event url: burchfieldpenney.org.
About: John Cage was the world's most notoriously twentieth century experimental composer. Marcel Duchamp one of the most controversial artists ever who challenged the very notion of ‘what is art?’ On March 5, 1968, a legendary performance took place in which a game of chess determined the form and acoustical ambience of a musical event at the Ryerson Theatre in Toronto, Canada. Principal chess players were Cage; Duchamp and his wife, Alexina (Teeny). A chessboard was designed by composer/media artist Lowell Cross; in which every move on the chessboard signaled a change in sound distributed to eight speakers and created by composers David Behrman, Gordon Mumma, David Tudor and Lowell Cross.
Reunion: John Cage, Marcel Duchamp, Electronic Music and Chess began that evening at 8:30 pm and concluded at approximately 1:00 AM the next morning. The match was over pretty quickly. Duchamp took less than an hour to beat Cage. The Burchfield Penney Art Center at SUNY Buffalo State in collaboration with the Institute for Electronic Arts (IEA) and National Casting Centre at NYSCC, Alfred University will co-present a homage to this spontaneous musical event. Reunion: Chess will open Friday, March 10 in The Center’s Project Space and be on view through Sunday, June 25, 2017.
Gallery visitors will be encouraged to play on one of four unique chess sets designed and made by sculptors Karen Donnellan and Coral Penelope Lambert. The exhibition will include archival video
footage of Cage and Duchamp altered: colorized, wobblized, inverted, distorted et al by Buffalo-based multimedia and electronic artist Bill Sack whose contributions will also include technical design and musical composition.
In the esprit of Cage and Duchamp, the chess pieces were devel