New School faculty Sarah Montague and Simonetta Moro and their students in the Skybridge Curatorial Project present an exhibition celebrating Cornelius Cardew’s work and the events below. The Skybridge Art & Sound Space hosts multi-media exhibitions and curriculum-based projects in the arts, showcasing student projects that make the space a vibrant and exciting laboratory for visual, aural, and critical thinking.
Cornelius Cardew (1936-1981) was a seminal figure of the British avant-garde of the 1960s and 1970s. A student of Karl-Heinz Stockhausen and a follower of John Cage, he formed the Scratch Orchestra with Michael Parsons and Howard Skempton in 1969 in London. Based on their experiments, Cardew published the book Scratch Music, now a classic resource for experimental musicians. In the late 1970s, Cardew became increasingly involved in a Marxist-Leninist discourse, eventually rejecting his own compositional work as elitist. Cardew died in an unresolved hit-and-run accident at the age of forty-five, estranged from most of his colleagues and challenged for his political convictions.
The Scratch Orchestra was a collaborative group of musically trained and untrained participants engaged in radical modes of improvisatory and cross-disciplinary art-making. In an effort to liberate performers from the constraints of traditional music notation as well, Cardew developed elaborate forms of graphic notation – all part of an explicit agenda of political consciousness and social action. These larger “ways of organizing,” including interpretations of two sections from Cardew’s The Great Learning (1968-71), are presented during The New School events in a structured environment that invites creative engagement and collaboration.
Vera List Center Fellow Robert Sember, a member of the sound-art collective Ultra-red and the School of Echoes, leads the accompanying colloquium and workshops in collaboration with faculty members from Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts and The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music.
Inspired by The Cardew Object at the ICA London (November 2009), these events are organized by the Vera List Center for Art and Politics as part of its 2009-2010 program theme “Speculating on Change.”
See more HERE.