User Instructions References

John Cage

Aria, 1958


Cage wanted the piece to be singable by any male or female vocalist, and he wanted them to freely choose 10 different singing styles that could be rapidly alternated. Each style is represented by a different color and the shape of the squiggles indicates the general melodic contour. He was interested in constructing a complex intermingling of disparate styles and genres, but wanted to leave the particular pitches, durations and timbres to the performer’s discretion.

Fontana Mix, 1958


The score consists of 10 sheets of paper and 12 transparencies. The sheets of paper contain drawings of 6 differentiated (as to thickness and texture) curved lines. 10 of these transparencies have randomly distributed points (the number of points on the transparencies being 7, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 22, 26, 29, and 30). Another transparency has a grid, measuring 2 x 10 inches, and the last one contains a straight line (10 3/4 inch). By superimposing these transparencies, the player creates a structure from which a performance score can be made

Variations, 1958-1967


Variations IV was originally used as music for the choreographed piece by Merce Cunningham, “Field Dances,” with stage and costume design in the original version by Robert Rauschenberg (from 1967 the designer was Remy Charlip). Variations IV is the second work in a group of three of which Atlas Eclipticalis is the first (representing ‘nirvana’, according to Hidekazu Yoshida’s interpretations of Japanese Haiku poetry) and 0″00 is the third (representing ‘individual action’). It represents ‘samsara’, the turmoil of everyday life. As in the earlier Variations pieces, the materials here are transparencies (1 sheet with 9 points and 3 small circles) and a short written instruction. All points and circles are cut up for the creation of a program; 7 points and 2 circles are needed, which are all (except for one circle, which is placed anywhere on the map) to be dropped on a map of the performance space, creating places where actions might be performed. Lines are drawn from the placed circle to the points. The second circle is only used if one of the lines intersects it (or is tangent to it). The result is a graphic representation of where sounds may occur. Cage indicates that sounds may be produced inside and outside the performance space. There are no indications of durations, dynamics, etc.


Fluxus was an international, interdisciplinary community of artists, composers, designers and poets during the 1960s and 1970s who engaged in experimental art performances which emphasized the artistic process over the finished product. Artists included Joseph Beuys, George Brecht, Robert Filliou, Al Hansen, Dick Higgins, Bengt af Klintberg, Alison Knowles, Addi Køpcke, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, Ben Patterson, Daniel Spoerri, Wolf Vostell, and many others.

The Fluxus Performance Workbook, Edited by Ken Friedman, Owen Smith, Laura Sawchyn

Paper Piece, Benjamin Patterson, 1960

Flux Year Box 2, George Maciunas, 1967


Flux Medicine, Shigeko Kubota, 1966

Piano Activities, Philip Corner, 1962

The score—which asks for any number of performers to, among other things, “play”, “pluck or tap”, “scratch or rub”, “drop objects” on, “act on strings with”, “strike soundboard, pins, lid or drag various kinds of objects across them” and “act in any way on underside of piano”[44]—resulted in the total destruction of a piano when performed by Maciunas, Higgins and others at Wiesbaden.

One for Violin Solo, Nam June Paik, 1962

Happening for Sightseeing Bus Trip in Tokyo, Ay-O, 1966

Yoko Ono, Hide-and-Seek Piece, 1964


Yoko Ono, Cut Piece, 1965


Stanley Brouwn, This Way Brouwn, 1964

Between 1960 and 1964 he produced the seminal series This Way Brouwn, mapping the city of Amsterdam by asking passers-by to sketch for him on paper the way from A to B, then appropriating their drawing by adding his stamp “This Way Brouwn”. Upon arriving at the destination, Brouwn prompted pedestrians for further maps and directions to alternate locations. This process continued until he had fully traversed and accumulated drawn maps of the entire city.


Stanley Brouwn, Poste-Restante Letter, 1970


In the exhibition “Prospect 1969”, Brouwn instructed visitors to “walk during a few moments very consciously in a certain direction”.

Christine Sun Kim, Subjective Loudness, 2013



In her performance Subjective Loudness, which took place at the Ueno Park Outdoor Stage during the Sound Live Tokyo festival in 2013, Kim asked an audience of 200 people to recite a series of word scores into microphones that sounded through 200 individual speakers. Each score deconstructs a word representing an object that produces a sound with a volume of 85 decibels. As Kim explained in a letter to the audience: “. . . instead of resisting or subverting Ueno’s sound etiquette [a sound limitation rule stipulating nothing louder than 85 dB], together we will attempt to convert the list [of 85 dB noises] into a score; as part of my practice, I will depend on audience participation as my platform, instead of using the actual stage.”

Miranda July and Harrell Flethcher, Learning To Love You More, 2002-2009


Adrian Piper, My Calling (Card), 1986


David Horvitz, 241543903

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Martha Rosler, Semiotics of the Kitchen, 1975

Kelly Dobson, Blendie, 2006

Zach Blas, Queer Technologies, 2008



Queer Technologies is an organization that produces products and situations for queer technological agency, interventions, and social formation. By re-imaging a technology designed for queer use, Queer Technologies critiques the heteronormative, capitalist, militarized underpinnings of technological architectures, design, and functionality. Products include, transCoder, a queer programming anti-language; and Gay Bombs, a technical manual manifesto that outlines a “how to” of queer networked activism; all are produced as product, artwork, and political tool and materialized through an industrial manufacturing process so that they may be disseminated widely.

Geumhyung Jeong, Fitness Guide, 2013

Evidence Locker, Jill Magid, 2004

Art Thoughtz, Hennessey Youngman (Jayson Musson), 2012

Anthology, Clifford Owens, 2011

“Anthology features performances scores—written or graphical instructions for actions—that Owens solicited from a multigenerational group of African-American artists. The masterful William Pope.L’s score speaks to the heart of Owens’s project and black performance as existential above all, a recognition of race as itself an elaborate, continuous feat of embodiment: “Be African American. Be very African American.”