A Tribute to John Cage
Nam June Paik
A Tribute to John Cage is Paik's homage to avant-garde composer John Cage. A major figure in contemporary art and music, Cage was one of the primary influences on Paik's work, as well as his friend and frequent collaborator. In this multifaceted portrait, Paik creates a pastiche of Cage's performances and anecdotes, interviews with friends and colleagues, and examples of Paik's participatory music and television works that parallel Cage's strategies and concerns. The methodology and philosophies that inform Cage's radical musical aesthetic — chance, randomness, the democratization of sounds — are evident as he performs such seminal pieces as 4'33" (of complete silence) in Harvard Square, or throws the I Ching to determine performance sites. Among the collage of elements included in this work are segments from Paik's Zen for TV; Paik and Charlotte Moorman in early performances, including the TV Bra; and anecdotes from composer Alvin Lucier.