Spring 2012

The John Cage Nexus: Music, Image, Text

Listed in: Art and the History of Art, as ARHA-372  |  Music, as MUSI-304


Jeffrey Saletnik (Section 01)


(Offered as ARHA 372 and MUSI 304)  This seminar explores the practice and influence of John Cage. Although primarily regarded as a composer of music, Cage was also a writer, publishing essays and poetry, and a printmaker of both etchings and monotypes. He moved among creative media, yet understanding Cage’s practice in this regard has been a difficult—even an anxious—endeavor. Published debates on hearing, reading, and seeing that fuel this media anxiety will underscore discussions throughout the semester as we consider Cage alongside creative influences such as Erik Satie, Marcel Duchamp, and James Joyce, and collaborators such as Robert Rauschenberg, Merce Cunningham, and David Tudor. Furthermore, we will delve into the practice of contemporary artists whose work exhibits an indebtedness to Cage. This course may include a field trip to The John Cage Trust at Bard College. One class meeting per week. (NB: this course may be counted towards the music major, but it does not fulfill the seminar requirement for the major.)

Requisite: one course in art history, studio art, creative writing, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students.  Not open to first-year students. Spring semester. Visiting Professor Saletnik.

If Overenrolled: preference given ARHA and MUSI majors, and juniors and seniors


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012