"In 1966 ten New York artists and thirty engineers and scientists from Bell Telephone Laboratories collaborated on a series of innovative dance, music and theatre performances, 9 Evenings: Theatre & Engineering, held in October at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York City. The artists were John Cage, Lucinda Childs, Öyvind Fahlström, Alex Hay, Deborah Hay, Steve Paxton, Yvonne Rainer, Robert Rauschenberg, David Tudor and Robert Whitman. Archival material has been assembled into ten films, each of which reconstructs the artist's original work and uses interviews with the artists, engineers and performers to illuminate the artistic, technical and historical aspects of the work.
Variations VII performed at 9 Evenings, was the next to last in John Cage's series of indeterminate works that he had begun in 1958, which made increasing use of electronic equipment and systems. The DVD documents the only complete performance of Variations VII and also presents a stereo audio recording of the full 85 minutes of the performance."-E.A.T. and ARTPIX, from the back cover
"For "Variations VII" John Cage wanted to "use sounds available at the time of the performance." 10 telephone lines were installed in the Armory by New York Telephone Company. He had lines open in various places in New York City including Luchow's, the Aviary, the 14th Street Con Edison electric power station, the ASPCA lost dog kennel, The New York Times press room, and Merce Cunningham's studio. Magnetic pickups on the telephone receivers fed these sound sources into the sound manipulation system. Cage also had 6 contact microphones on the performing platform itself and 12 contact microphones on household appliances such as a blender, a juicer, a toaster, a fan, etc. He also had 20 radio bands, 2 television bands, and 2 Geiger counters. Oscillators and a pulse generator completed the sound sources. Thirty photocells and lights were, mounted at ankle level around the performance area, which activated the different sound sources as the performers moved around. Cage invited the audience to move around freely and many stood near the performance area."-medienkunstnetz
All-region NTSC/PAL DVD. 41 minutes + 85 minute audio track.
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