Category Archives: Scores

Daniel Buren, Seven Ballets in Manhattan” (1975)

Image Credit

Seven Ballets in Manhattan. Performed by Sue Bailey, Joanne Caring, Peter Frank, Susan Heinemann, Mark Levine. Choreography by Daniel Buren. May 27 – June 2, 1975.

Daniel Buren (1938-)

The artist Daniel Buren explored the idea of ​​movement through performance, it is no longer a question of static works but of an orchestrated choreography. It is in the form of an ambulatory ballet in the streets of New York, that he manages to put his emblematic motifs into action.

Indeed, for 5 days, 5 actors marched in different areas of the city, each of them carrying a poster covered with white and colored bands. In the manner of protesters, the performers walked according to the precise directives of the artist. They had to follow the imposed route and only respond to passers-by by the name of the color present on their respective poster. What could be described not as a peaceful demonstration, but rather as an artistic demonstration, comes to be placed as a questioning of the public. In fact, spectators no longer travel to museums or galleries, but the work comes directly to them.

This performance was not perceived in the same way on the different courses. Indeed, in each district evolved distinct socio-professional categories, the population of Soho was very curious and sensitive to the work, while the residents of Wall Street interpreted it as a threat in the image of a real demonstration.

Thus the performance, which is not a very common mode of presentation with Daniel Buren, creates a real tension with the public. It contrasts with the static aspect of its striped pattern, but manages through the use of posters to dialogue with the spectators and the city.” (credit)

Carolee Schneeman, Labyrinth (1960)

“I had composed my first live outdoor event, Labyrinth, 1960, after a tornado blew through our fragile cottage in Illinois, bringing down trees and raising mud, dirt, and rocks from the streambed. Friends were invited to follow instructions written on cards to crawl, climb, and interact with the landscape. The passage was initiated by my cat walking through a smashed kitchen window, in acceptance of this altered space. As a landscape painter, I recognized this gesture as breaking the traditional frame, which would soon lead me to develop movement principles within the Judson Dance Theater.” [credit]

Claudia Zeiske, Walking Lunches (2010-2020)

images from walking lunches

Claudia Zeiske, Walking Lunches (2010-2020)

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“Claudia Zeiske is a keen walker and founding director of Deveron Projects.

Walking Lunches are a series of moving meetings between Claudia Zeiske and artists, arts professionals and other participants.

Claudia provides a written agenda prior to the walking lunch, as well as sandwiches and tea during the walk. The lunch partner brings a camera and takes three pictures (portrait, landscape, still-life) on the walk. Afterwards Claudia writes minutes and archives them, along with the images taken by the partner.

Interested in a walking lunch? Contact Claudia

Recommended: good shoes, waterproofs, hat and gloves

Walking Lunches are an adaptation of ‘working lunches’, combining the purpose of a business meeting with fitness and environment appreciation. The idea is that instead of lunch-time meetings people are encouraged to undertake movable get-togethers, where they walk for the duration of a normal meeting (i.e. between 1-2 hours). Targeted for busy people who want to keep fit but can’t ‘afford’ the time.

‘The intention is to set up a network of walking lunchers which has a snowball effect over a 6 month period. These moving meetings will be orchestrated by myself; each week I will encourage at least one other person to walk. The walking partner in turn will commit to undertake at least 2 further walking lunches. If successful this project should create an exponential rise in the number of people walking over the 6 months of the project. If everybody I walk with (minimum 26 people), walks with at least two other people, this will already be 26+2×26 = 78 people. One can imagine how much this number will go up if every one of those walkers encourages 2 more walkers, and they in turn do the same…..’ Claudia Zeiske”

Takehisa Kosugi, Theatre Music (1964)

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Takehisa Kosugi (1938-2018)

“Keep walking intently.” That straightforward instruction formed the entire score for Takehisa Kosugi’s Theatre Music.Theatre Music was one of a series of the Japanese artist’s “Event” pieces, printed on a set of cards and published in 1964 by George Maciunas, founder of the Fluxus movement.” [credit]

“The most generically titled of his Fluxus scores, Theater Music, is deceptive in its indeterminacy and formulation. Patently without object, and strikingly unmusical, it simply instructs: “Keep walking intently.” It is worth pausing to consider this. The piece brings focus, even determination to a daily action. Calling on the impetus of the individual or the collective, there is the fundamental element of endurance, an intensity in commonality, compressed within the borders of its time; space is thickened by a threat of the interminable. The otherwise quotidian activity of walking is framed as out of the ordinary by the “theater” of its execution. And through its accessibility, like the simplest Fluxus works, including others by Kosugi, it has continued to take on meaning through unlikely executions.” [credit]

Takehisa Kosugi
Theatre Music
New York City, USA: Fluxus, 1963
card: 5.5 x 11 cm., foldout: various sizes
Edition size unknown

Most copies of Fluxus 1 contained both the score card for Theatre Music (“Keep Walking Intently”) and the realization of the work: footprints on paper. The card also appears in Kosugi’s boxed work Events, and is reproduced in the second Fluxus newspaper.

The George Maciunas designed graphic of seventy-three boots in a spiral pattern is among his more iconic images.

A recent book on walking in the arts takes its title from the Kosugi work: Keep Walking Intently: The Ambulatory Art of the Surrealists, the Situationist International, and Fluxus, by Lori Waxman (2017).

The Fluxus 1 realization of the composition is similar to Yoko Ono’s Painting to Be Stepped On.

“In Theatre Music the performer is concerned with a simple unity of time, space and bodily movement. The persistence (“Keep”, “Intently”) takes on a savagely physical character in Music for a Revolution: “Scoop out one of your eyes five years from and do the same with the other eye five years later”.”– Michael Nyman,  Experimental Music: Cage and Beyond

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Pamela Z, Site Reading (2011)

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“Composer/performer Pamela Z will lead participants on a walk that creates musical scores from the graphic features (micro and macro) of downtown Manhattan. Participants will form a roving experimental sound and performance ensemble that will interpret and play the neighborhood’s building facades, sidewalk hardware, public art and street markings to make a contrapuntal, chance-based chorus.

This walk holds 12 people and is part of Urban Design Week 2011, organized by The Institute for Urban Design.

Click here to see photos from “Site Reading.”


“Pamela Z is a composer/performer and media artist who makes solo works combining a wide range of vocal techniques with electronic processing, samples, gesture activated MIDI controllers, and video. She has toured extensively throughout the US, Europe, and Japan. Her work has been presented at venues and exhibitions including Bang on a Can (NY), the Japan Interlink Festival, Other Minds (SF), the Venice Biennale, and the Dakar Biennale. She’s created installation works and has composed scores for dance, film, and new music chamber ensembles. Her numerous awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Creative Capital Fund, the CalArts Alpert Award, The MAP Fund, the ASCAP Award, an Ars Electronica honorable mention, and the NEA/JUSFC Fellowship.Pamela’s website

George Maciunas, Flux-Labyrinth (1975-1976)

building plans

Read a full account of the Flux-Layrinth from initial plans in SoHo NYC, to the first execution in Berlin, and later a 2015 installation in NYC. [read more – includes images and plans]

“As Fluxus founder George Maciunas often referred to, Fluxus is gag-like, and Fluxus artists are jokers. Fluxus artists have been producing not good art per se, but inventive gags, among which this one hundred square meters Flux-Labyrinth (1975-1976) was a notable one. This was a collective efforts by Fluxus artists including George Maciunas, Larry Miller, Ay-O, Joe Jones, Bob Watts, Ben Vautier, George Brecht, Geoff Hendricks and many others. This project not only marked the particular organizational and collaborative genius of George Maciunas, but also perfectly illustrated his interpretation of Fluxus through a well-designed life-sized gag.

According to George Maciunas, the whole structure of gag is linear and monomorphic, just like Fluxus’ conceptual inventions. There are sight gags, sound gags, object gags, all kinds of gags. But no joke can be presented in multi-forms, nor can several jokes be made simultaneously, because people just cannot get it at once. Likewise, the Flux-Labyrinth is a cleverly designed and rigidly defined gag series, which unfolded linearly in the obstacle-laden one-way passage among extensive maze of puzzling.

In Maciunas’ letter to René Block, explaining the final plan of labyrinth with great detail, he wrote, “First door at entry is one with a small (about 10cm square) door with its own knob. One has to open it and find pass the hand through, looking for the knob of the big door on other side that will open door. This way only smart people will be able to enter. Anyone passing that door will be able to pass all obstacles. Idiot will be prevented from entering…”

The opening statement is clear, it is an intelligent game. As described by Larry Miller, “Part fun house and part game arcade, the labyrinth fits within Maciunas’ broader idea of Fluxus-Art-Amusement.” Fluxus, at least Mr. Fluxus, is a serious joker.” [credit]

Philip Corner, 4th Finale (1962)

a sheet of paper with handwriting on the right side

Philip Corner, “4th Finale” (1962)

Score: “Members of a marching band, each playing to their own tune, leave the stage and whatever building they are in, followed by the audience.”

Credit: Waxman, Lori. Keep Walking Intently: The Ambulatory Art of the Surrealists, the Situationist International, and Fluxus. Sternberg Press, 2017. Page 266.

“4th finale was performed by Lynghøj School Brass Band at Stændertorvet. Each performer was instructed to choose an action to perform, whether this was constant, intermittent or variable was up to the performer himself. The tune or sound could consist of a repetition, a cyclic progression or an evolving note, and could be freely invented or quoted from any source.

The performers were instructed to continue their chosen sound, while slowly beginning to leave the area. As the orchestra left Stændertorvet, spectators followed in procession down the street towards the Viking Ship Museum.” [credit]

 

Eric Andersen, The MassDress (1985)

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“Costume by Eric Andersen
Performed by The Group Berzerk

During the art fair Art in 1980 in New York, Gallery Interart from Washington arranged a sensational Fluxus Buffet from October 10 through 18, 1980. The following artists participated: Eric Andersen, George Brecht, Joe Jones, La Monte Young, Yasunao Tone, Nam June Paik, Takako Saito, Mieko Shiomi, Daniel Spoerri, Emmett Williams, AY-O, Geoff Hendricks, Dick Higgins, Alison Knowles, Yoshimasa Wada and Bob Watts. For the occasion Eric Andersen produced a Dinner Dress for 30 people. The costume is part of a series of possible shared costumes for which function overrules convention. Among these costumes are a TV Costume for 1 to 10 people, a Soccer Costume for 11 people, an Industry Costume for 5 to 10,000 people, a Big City Costume for 5 to 10 million people, an Erotic Costume for 3 to 99 people, a Witness/Victim Costume for more than 2 people and a Debate Costume for fewer than 179 people.

In 1984 in Copenhagen, the group Berzerk performed The Idle Walk of the Year for Eric Andersen – a procession stretching from The Ethnographic Collection at The National Museum through The National Bank to the courtyard of Amalienborg Castle. During the Festival of Fantastics, Berzerk performed with the 30 people costume carrying out an extensive choreography. Initially, the performers put on every second part of the costume, conducting a procession across Stændertorvet. Then audience members were invited to enter the remaining fifteen costume parts. The ensuing procession climbed ladders on fire department vehicles and stretched through city streets, alleys, busses and shops. The whole performance lasted more than two hours.

Eric Andersen’s description of The MassDress

Eric Andersen, Idle Walk (1984)

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Copenhagen, Denmark: “At The Idle walk of the Year, the 29 th August 1984 he invited the Anarchistic drama group Berserk, and instructed them to carry a variety of objects from the museum to Amalienborg Square while walking as slowly as possible without standing still. As a result all traffic in central Copenhagen came to a stand still for six hours. Eric describes:
“The police was completely in on it. You could see a motorcycle police officer wearing a Year of the Idle badge on his chest pocket while driving his bike as slowly as he could through the city. Nothing at all happened that required their attention throughout those hours, so of course they were happy.”
Eric himself polished the Palace Square using Petroleum, like the Ethnological Museum had done to their wooden floors since the nineteenth century. A tradition Eric found so fascinating that hebrought it to the Palace Square.”