Happy Birthday John Cage, 2013

In 2013 The Mobile Museum of Art and The Rumor Union partnered with nine other area cultural institutions (cited below) to present a collaborative 101st birthday celebration of American avant-garde composer/artist/provocateur John Cage. The interactive party took the form of multiple exhibitions, talks, performances, and events throughout the city and Eastern Shore on September 5, 6, and 7, 2013.

Cage had a profound impact on the development of modern music, dance, visual art and philosophy. We celebrated the centennial+one that is John Cage's work, life, philosophy, and residing impact on contemporary art and music with us through a throng of multi-media events, workshops, performances and programs designed to kindle the flame of experimentation in our community.


MMofA - The Rumor Union - Mobile Arts Council - Centre for the Living Arts - Mobile Botanical Gardens - Mobile Japanese Gardens - Mobile Symphony Orchestra - University of South Alabama art and music departments - Spring Hill College art and music departments - Portal Studios - Crescent Theater - Alabama School of Mathematics & Science Chess Team - Frans van Rossum - As well as countless individuals devoted to making our city a better place to live

Who is John Cage?

Composer John Cage challenged our very idea of music, renegotiated the role of the artist in the community, and unraveled all expectation of what determines art. His long-standing commitment to chance operations as a means to removing personal ego, led to an inclusive and highly collaborative relationship with not only other artists, but the community as a whole. As a result, he broadened the field, tore down barriers between art, music and life, and expanded our idea of what it is to listen.

Day One

September 5, 2013 

9 AM ROLYWHOLYOVER 2013 Mobile Museum of Art (MMofA): First installation of chance-derived composition of works from the Museum’s Permanent Collection 

9 – 11 AM Mushrom-dishes for BreakfastMMofA: Mushroom-dishes for Breakfast; An informal talk with musicologist Frans van Rossum.

12 - 2 PM Mycology & Fungi SculptureBotanical Gardens, Mycology & Fungi Sculpture: a collaborative project of the Botanical Gardens and USA Sculpture Dept. 

3 PM ROLYWHOLYOVER 2013MMofA: Second Installation

4 PM “What’s happenin’? A Happening!”Spring Hill College: Calling all creative, mischief-seeking adventurers to experience a playful, artisticJohn Cage-inspired environment. 

6 - 7 PM ROLYWHOLYOVER A CIRCUS for museum by John Cage (1992)MMofA: Illustrated presentation about John Cage’s original composition for museum by contemporary arts curator, Julie Lazar,who collaborated with Cage on creating Rolywholyover A Circus for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. 

7:30 PM The USA Percussion Ensemble Presents: The Music of John CageUSA Laidlaw Performing Arts Center USA Percussion Ensemble, directed by Dr. Luis Rivera, with the USA Prowlers DanceTeam, will be presenting a narrated concert of the music of John Cage. 

Day Two

Friday September 6, 2013
9 AM ROLYWHOLYOVER 2013MMofA: Third Installation

10 - 11 AM Buddhist Blessing at the Japanese Gardens

11 Am - 12 PM Calligraphy and Cage at the Japanese Gardens: Calligraphy demonstration by Mary Rodning and discussion of Buddhism, Calligraphy and Cage. 

2 - 3:30 PM “Revenge of the Dead Indians”Crescent Theater: Cage Film “Revenge of the Dead Indians” screening by John Cage, Introduction by Musicologist Frans vanRossum 

3 PM ROLYWHOLYOVER 2013MMofA: Fourth Installation

6 - 8 PM “public works”Eastern Shore Art Center: Visual Artist Colleen Comer creates on-site, interactive work through chance operationsand crowd participation. 

6 - 7 PM “Celular Orchestra” Mobile Symphony Orchestra Rehearsal Space :Performance of “Cellular Orchestra” by musicians and audience followed by discussion; A collaborative presentation of MobileArt Council, Rumor Union and Hosted by the Mobile Symphony Orchestra 

7 PM The Sound Carpenters:Portal Studios: Former Allstate Jazz members perform a John Cage tribute

Day Three

Saturday September 7, 2013

10 AM ROLYWHOLYOVER 2013MMofA: Fifth Installation 

11 AM - 1 PM En Passant, Cathedral Square: ASMS Flash Mob. All Chess Players Welcome 

11 AM - 1 PM Cage Mysostic Poetry, Cathedral Square: Cage Mysostic poetry readings by Alabama Poet Laureate Sue Walker and other Mobile poets 

1 PM - 2 PM Future Play :Active (A John Cage Birthday Party Workshop)CLA, Space 301: Tom Leeser and guest artists (via Skype) We’ll gather at the intersections of learning, play and art. 

2 - 3:30 PM “From Zero”Crescent Theater: Cage film “From Zero” with Introduction by musicologist Frans van Rossum 

3 pm ROLYWHOLYOVER 2013MMofA: Sixth Installation 

7 PM Reverberance, Rumor Union (The Hive): Local original works and performances focusing on the Legacy of John Cage.
Artists include Lillian McKinney, Jimmy Lee, Adam Taylor and Colleen Comer.

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