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INTERMEDIAL RELATIONSHIPS AMONG

COMPONENT ARTS IN COMBINED ART WORKS

BY

CHRISTOPHER ANDREW PREISSING

B.Mus., Ball State University, 1984


M.Mus., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1989

DISSERTATION

Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements


for the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts in Music
in the Graduate College of the
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008

Urbana, Illinois

Doctoral Committee:

Professor Scott Wyatt, Chair


Professor William Brooks, Emeritus, Director of Research
Professor Tom Ward
Professor Robert Graves
UMI Number: 3347500

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ABSTRACT

This comprehensive study of media and multimedia works includes chapters on


the information structure, location in time and space, media hierarchy (control and inten-
sity) and media fusion. Beginning with Renaissance entertainments, pageants and specta-
cles, this study examines relationships in Richard Wagner's gesamtkunstwerk, Ferruccio
Busoni's "Essence and Oneness of Music," Alexander Scriabin's synesthetic synthesis of
arts and senses, Antonin Artaud's Theater and Its Double, Richard Scheduler's "Envi-
ronmental Theater," Wassily Kandinsky's "Stage Composition," Bertolt Brecht's "Short
Organum for the Theatre," Adolphe Appia's "Word-Tone Drama," and Sergei Eisen-
stein'a The Film Sense and Film Form as well as artistic movements of the twentieth cen-
tury including the Bauhaus, Futurism, Dadism, Surrealism, Merz Theatre, Happenings,
Performance Art, and Radio Art. Each chapter introduces terminology and features ex-
amples that include John Cage and Lejaren Hiller's HPSCHD, Erik Satie, Jean Cocteau,
Pablo Picasso and Leonide Massine's Parade, Salavatore Martirano's L. 's G A., Mike
Figgis' Time Code, Christopher Preissing's Enigmatic Game, Allan Kaprow's Eat, Rich-
ard Scheduler's production of The Tooth of Crime, Leonardo Da Vinci's description of
The Deluge, Henry Brant's Antiphony I, Karlheinz Stockhausen's Gruppen, Herbert
Brun's Floating Hierarchies, Aaron Copland and Martha Graham's Appalachian Spring,
Alexander Scriabin's Prometheus, Arnold Schoenberg's Die gliickliche Hand, Wassily
Kandinsky's Der gelbe Klang, and Charles Ives' "Ann Street."

ii
To Mary, Ambrose and Zoe
the loves of my life
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The writing of a dissertation has been likened to pushing a peanut up a hill with
one's nose and this particular project has been no exception. Begun in 1992 as two indi-
vidual articles, my research and writing has been sporadic, interrupted by life's standard
detours. It's been a long and arduous journey. Through all the fits and starts, William
Brooks' support and enthusiasm never wavered. Professor Brooks listened and encour-
aged the project, offered guidance and feedback during its development, and in the course
of many discussions helped to clarify and shape my thoughts. As a composer, researcher,
writer, and editor, his insight was invaluable and without it this project would have re-
mained unfinished.
In addition to Professor Brooks, I am indebted to my other committee members
and colleagues who stayed with me: Dean Robert Graves for welcoming a music student
and sharing knowledge of the theatre with one who has a love for but no background in
theatre, and Professor Tom Ward for his insights in the dissertation defense. I owe special
thanks to Professor Scott Wyatt for agreeing to serve as committee chair after the retire-
ment of Professor Brooks, for his detailed review and comments on this work, and for his
tireless work designing, developing, and maintaining the Experimental Music Studios and
supporting my many "independent studies" that allowed me access to explore the studios.
Other colleagues at the University of Illinois inspired and encouraged my work,
several of whom have since passed away. Alexander Ringer encouraged me, a shy, nerv-
ous, first-year, grad composition student when I came to his door for advice. Rather than
offer an opinion on registering for a course, he intoned, "Seek knowledge wherever you
may find it." Sal Martirano, at once Nietsche's "lion, camel and child," and whose play-
ful attitude towards life and art made it all worthwhile, taught me how to have serious fun
and gave me good food and drink, not to mention a research assistantship. Herbert Brun,
whose seminars scared the daylights out of me, was a fatherly figure in private lessons,
giving me strength and imparting composition techniques that I continue to use today.
Ricardo Uribe, in whose electrical engineering project lab I participated, provided an at-
mosphere of questioning and collaboration. Lucinda Lawrence, through her composer-
choreographer workshop, afforded an opportunity for my first collaboration with dancers.

IV
I will always have fond memories of my graduate student days and cherish the friend-
ships with family and colleagues of these inspirational educators.
Numerous others have assisted in various and sundry ways with this project. They
include Dorothy Martirano and Ronald Nameth for their help with specific questions on
Sal Martirano's L. 's G. A.; Susan Parenti for reviewing materials on Herbert Brtin's
Floating Hierarchies and for her hospitality on my many trips to Urbana; David Eisen-
man (Eisenman here!) for invaluable assistance with John Cage's HPSCHD, for provid-
ing a place to stay, and for a most timely phone call; Sever Tipei for providing a quiet
place to stay during the first summer of writing; David Patterson for research assistance
on John Cage; Marlys Scarbrough, circulation manager of the University of Illinois Mu-
sic Library; Nancy Nuzzo, research librarian, and John Bewley, archivist of the Lejaren
Hiller Archive at the University of Buffalo Music Library who provided research assis-
tance with both L. 's G. A. and HPSCHD; and my friend Jon Hey for computer assistance
to rescue a corrupt chapter file when I came screaming for help.
Many others offered faithful support and encouragement including Jim Lyke,
Russell Bowman, my dear departed friend Stewart Troyer, and my mother, my mother-
in-law and the rest of my family.
Between the beginning and the end of this dissertation, somewhere in the middle
of reams of paper and the years of returning to the word processor, I am certain I owe ac-
knowledgment and thanks to others whose names I neglect to mention here. For that, I
apologize. Without doubt there remain errors, omissions, and over-simplifications in a
project of this scope, for which I take full responsibility, but in the end I hope that the re-
sult is meaningful and provides insights to those who wish to study these relationships.
Though a number of years have passed from conception to completion, and there has
been additional research in this area, I believe the original thesis to be valid and original.

v
TABLE OF CONTENTS

LIST OF FIGURES vii


PROLOGUE 1
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 7
1.1 Overview, Methodology, and Limitations 7
1.2 Relationships and Scope 9
1.3 Domains: Composition, Form/Content Object, Observation 13
1.4 Analysis Modes 16
1.5 Summary 19
CHAPTER 2: INFORMATION STRUCTURE 22
2.1 Overview and Context 22
2.2 Definitions and Related Terminology 25
2.3 Types of Information Structures 28
2.4 Information Structure Issues 34
2.5 Information Structure Examples 43
2.6 Summary 71
CHAPTER 3: LOCATION (TIME AND SPACE) 77
3.1 Overview and Historical Considerations .77
3.2 Definitions: Time 92
3.3 Definitions: Space 100
3.4 Location Issues 117
3.5 Location Examples 123
3.6 Summary 144
CHAPTER 4: HIERARCHY: CONTROL AND INTENSITY 150
4.1 Overview and Background 150
4.2 Hierarchy Definitions and Usage 163
4.3 Determining Hierarchical Relationships 191
4.4 Hierarchy Relationship Charts 198
4.5 Hierarchy Examples 203
4.6 Summary 214
CHAPTER 5: FUSION 220
5.1 Overview 220
5.2 Fusion Definitions and Usage 223
5.3 Factors that Contribute to Fusion 230
5.4 Fusion Terms and Techniques 255
5.5 Fusion Relationship Charts 264
5.6 Fusion Examples 266
5.7 Summary 285
EPILOGUE 293
BIBLIOGRAPHY 300
AUTHOR'S BIOGRAPHY 312

VI
LIST OF FIGURES

CHAPTER 2
2.1 Sample page from shooting script of Time Code 66
2.2 The relationship among components inEnigmatic Game ..68
2.3 Assembly score for Enigmatic Game .....69
CHAPTER 3
3.1 Umberto Boccioni, Caricature of a Futurist Evening 1911 80
3.2 Simultaneous events .94
3.3 Overlapping events 95
3.4 Two overlaps of equal time but unequal intensity 95
3.5 Sequential events, without and with intervening time .....96
3.6 Sequence of events with the same rate, duty cycle, and
phase relationship 96
3.7 Sequence of events with the same duty cycle, out of phase 97
3.8 Sequence with the same duty cycle but decelerating rate of onset 97
3.9 Alternating event sequence with patterned duration ....99
3.10 Direction from the spectator and prominence 103
3.11 Distance from the spectator and "rings of prominence" 103
3.12 Polar graph plotting event distance, direction and size 104
3.13 Comparison of three arrangements of three events 106
3.14 Two examples of phasing and movement of two events 108
3.15 Relational movement among two art forms and fixed spectator ...109
3.16 Two examples of relative movement 110
3.17 Diagram of plan for Allan Kaprow's Eat 115
3.18 Manager's theme (measures 78-81) 131
3.19 Chinese Magician's theme (measures 45-49) 132
3.20 Brant, Antiphony 1,29 141
3.21 Stockhausen, Gruppen, group 119 143
CHAPTER 4
4.1 Adophe Appia, "The Word-Tone Drama" 152
4.2 Life cycle of a composition 164
4.3 Representations of an art form and hierarchy relationships ..171
4.4 Basic hierarchy structure 1 171
4.5 Basic hierarchy structure 2 172
4.6 Basic hierarchy structure 3 172
4.7 Indirect and direct relationship to the idea 190
4.8 Various simple hierarchies showing both intensity and
control relationships 199
4.9 Various control relationships 200
4.10 Different intensity and similar intensity relationships 200
4.11 Complex hierarchy chain 201
4.12 Patterned hierarchy with the same structure 201
4.13 Patterned hierarchy with repeating structure pattern 202
4.14 Floating hierarchy models ...203

vii
4.15 Complex floating hierarchy models 203
4.16 Hierarchy model for HPSCHD 204
4.17 Possible hierarchy model for Floating Hierarchies 206
4.18 Hierarchy model for Parade 208
4.19 Hierarchy at the entrance of the New York Manager 209
4.20 Hierarchy model for Enigmatic Game 210
4.21 Location of the twelve settings in Enigmatic Game 210
4.22 Hierarchy model for Appalachian Spring ..212
4.23 Arrangement of individual frames in Time Code .213
4.24 Visual and audio hierarchy models in Time Code 214
CHAPTER 5
5.1 Relationship of time and space to degree of fusion 244
5.2 Fusion relationships between two art forms ....265
5.3 Fusion relationships among three art forms .....265
5.4 Scriabin's sound-color relationships 267
5.5 Scriabin's Musico-Chromo-Logo Schema 268
5.6 Comparison of the cello and luce parts in Prometheus 269
5.7 Autograph score, Prometheus, measures 27-32 271
5.8 "Ann Street," measures 1-10 279
EPILOGUE
6.1 The constructive - reductive cycle ......296
6.2 Relationships in a combined art work .....297

viii
PROLOGUE

You won't hear a thing; you '11 hear everything.

Bits and Pieces


On 18 May 1917, despite the disruptions of World War I, and despite the rise of
the modern industrial city with its attendant changes in political, social and economic sys-
tems, Parisian audiences were wholly unprepared for what they were about to witness.
They came to the Theatre du Chatelet to see a new production by the Ballets Russes, and
they were asked to integrate contributions by some of the most famous artists of the day:
Satie, Massine, Cocteau, Picasso. This show, this Parade, wasn't art; it was a sideshow, a
come-on, having no story, no catharsis, just a multitude of independent bits and pieces,
juxtaposed, vying for attention, but not really fitting together. The ensuing uproar
though there were a few cheersconsisted mostly of booing and hissing, critical "slaugh-
ter," and eight days of jail time for Satie (the result of a libel suit in response to one of
Parade's critics).
The problem with which that audience wrestled was again encountered some fifty
years later, when spectators filled Assembly Hall on a warm May evening in Champaign,
Illinois, to "hear" a new piece of "music" by John Cage. With no beginning, no middle,
no end, no foreground or background, just seemingly endless loops of disparate materials
and media through which the audience was free to wander, HPSCHD forced members of
its audience to make difficult decisions, to determine for themselves what was important
and what it meant.
In a radical departure from traditional top-down approaches to art and art making,
these groundbreaking works re-opened the realm of possible relationships among the arts
and signaled a return to a previous performance paradigm common in Renaissance festi-
vals and spectacles. In parallel with social and political changes, in which individuals as-
serted their freedom against the tyranny of oppressive governments, individual arts and
artists, freed from the bonds of traditional forms and relationships, sought to become
equal partners, equal collaborators in staged works, each contributing with their own
voices in their own ways. Rather than embedding a single meaning in the dramatic pres-

1
entation of a story, multiple meanings could arise from the juxtaposition of a variety of
materials and media, evoking movement and rest, progress and retreat, doing and not do-
ing, being and not being.
With this "democratization" of the arts, the roles of contributing artists are no
longer limited to merely supporting a single idea; and with audiences no longer passive
receivers of a single idea or interpretation, spectators and artists alike face numerous
challenges and questions: What do we do when we confront diverse artistic representa-
tions in diverse media that do not obviously serve a single overriding idea? How do we
decide what is important? What is prominent? What role does time and space play in un-
derstanding these relationships? How do the various pieces and arts fit together if they are
not supporting and telling a "story"? And where is the meaning, the information, if it is
not in the story?
It is questions like these, and experiences like those had by Parisians and Illi-
noisans alike, that underpin and animate this thesis. In what follows we shall explore
these questions and the relationships among various art forms in combined works. Pa-
rade and HPSCHD point the way to two main categories of relationships: the first con-
cerns prominence and control among the various arts, a set of relationships identified
with the term Hierarchy (Chapter 4); and the second focuses on the independence of the
various art forms, a notion identified as Fusion (Chapter 5). However, before these two
categories can be discussed it is necessary to introduce additional terms and to create a
context within which these relationships can be understood. Hence we must begin with
investigations of the Information Structure (Chapter 2) and Location (Chapter 3)the
first, to describe the range of information types employed in works such as Parade and
HPSCHD; and the second., to scrutinize how that information is conveyed in time and
space to an audience. In each chapter, including the Introduction (Chapter 1), concepts
and terms will be introduced, with reference both to their common usage, to how others
have used them, and to how I will use them (if different from other uses). Though our
interest lies primarily in new forms, the terms and discussion are meant to be equally
valid for works in which the arts exhibit traditional relationships, and such works will be
cited where appropriate.

2
This study attempts to set out an overview of the varieties of possible relation-
ships among art forms; it is not intended to provide a comprehensive review of all art
works that combine multiple arts. In order to consider the widest variety of relationships
among art forms it will be necessary to omit many examples of similar types (e.g., seven-
teenth- and eighteenth-century opera and ballet, and traditional proscenium theatre). Be-
cause of limitations on scope and depth and the desire to create a manageable investiga-
tion, the journey we are about to undertake will be at a high level, intended to create a big
picture of these relationships and the surrounding landscape. Along the way, as we de-
velop a language and methodology, various works will be pointed out as particularly sali-
ent examples of specific relationships.

A "Multiplicity of Centers"
I believe this study to be important, one that to this time has not been thoroughly
undertaken. Too often composers and collaborators of combined works have only had
themselves and their desires as a guide. They mistake the workings of ego and desire for
the workings of the art work. Or they try to fit new works, new models, into existing
forms and relationships. Much has been written by and about Wagner and his ge-
samtkunstwerk, and much has been written about methods and experiments in individual
arts, such as those conducted by Kandinsky in visual arts, Eisenstein in film, and Schech-
ner in theatre. But little has been written about the relationships in works that do not fol-
low the "rules"; yet works which seek to "break rules" or create new paradigms also
manifest relationships.2 An understanding of how these relationships work, how they
have been used, and how they can be used, is imperative to the creation of works em-
bodying both traditional relationships and new ones.
As individual creators of artistic objects specialize in relationships within their re-
spective media, creators of works that combine various arts must be specialists in the re-
lationships among the objects within this larger domain. No one would doubt that a suc-
cessful artistor, for that matter, any artisanmust be entirely familiar with the tools of
his chosen field; indeed, such training is often required in order to practice specific
trades. Why should this not be the case in works consisting of more than one art? Suc-

3
cessful work requires experts who understand these relationships and their effects on the
audience.
So too is the spectator faced with far greater responsibility than previously. Rather
than knowing what to expect, what the relationships are, where the information lies, the
spectator must make decisions and create relationships in order to understand how the
information is being communicated before tackling the information itself. In this new
sense and with these new tools the spectator has an equally important role in the process;
rather than a passive observer, the spectator becomes a (re)creator.
Though this road is overgrown with brush and thickets, as well as beset by poten-
tial hazards and pitfalls, it is necessary to travel it. But it must not lead us into byways
even if its generality begets critics who point out the voluminous omissions and the myr-
iad details that have been overlooked. The goal here is not a detailed analysis of one or
another work, nor is it to create an architecture into which all works may be neatly cate-
gorized. The nature of this study and its limited scope require the omission of all that is
not necessary to the task at hand. Relationships are not static, and in any great composi-
tionmusical or otherwisethey must and do change over time. For this reason catego-
rization of works is not terribly useful; and I have resisted the urge to do so, preferring
instead to distinguish relationship types and to create archetypes and language useful to
discussing and comparing entire works, parts of works, and even moments within works.
At the outset several groups of terms must be defined in order to proceed. The
first group consists of terms that refer to an individual art or art form which may or may
not be combined with other arts in larger works: sound and its manifestation in music,
color and its manifestation in visual arts and lighting, movement and its manifestation in
dance and theatre, etc. These termsused interchangeablyinclude "art," "art form,"
"composition," "media," "component media," "component arts," and "component art
form." A second group of termsalso used interchangeablyrefers to a combination of
two or more individual art forms or media; this includes "combined arts," "multiple arts,"
"combined form," "combined work," and "combined art work." (Other terms, such as
multimedia, intermedia, multi-arts, etc., are burdened with confusing and overlapping
meanings, and will be avoided.) By using multiple terms to represent a single basic idea,
the text becomes somewhat more conversational; it is my hope that the reader will for-

4
give the "blurriness" in terminology in exchange for a more accessible, relaxed approach
to language.
The next two groups of terms refer to a combined works' creators and
(re)creators. The terms "composer," "creator," and "artist" will be used interchangeably
to refer to an individual or individuals responsible for some output in one or more art
forms, while "audience," "spectator," and "observer" will refer to an individual or group
of individuals who witness the combined art work. In this second case, while all are re-
ceivers of the combined work, audience usually refers to a collection of individual specta-
tors, while observer emphasizes the role of the receiver. Finally, the last group of terms is
most obviously evident in the title of this thesis, which contains the word "intermedial."
In this study intermedial, or "between media," refers to those relationships or activities
that occur among the various arts which combine to make up the larger work. Although
the ideas and relationships introduced here are most useful to examine interactions among
arts in the combined work, in many cases they have an equally valid application within
individual media. However, rather than introduce another term, such as "intramedia,"
which might have confused matters even more, I have instead chosen to point out in-
stances where these relationships are useful in both cases.
Art, by its nature, is a changing, organic human activity, which, like life itself, in-
volves and relies on relationships among individuals and groups of individuals to convey
meaning. And like life, the history of art and art making has been a history of authoritari-
anism, of fixed relationships, with artists and media being directed by a single authority
who controls or shapes all compositional and/or production elements. While recognizing
the influence and import of the many successful works that fit within these traditional
boundaries, this volume attempts to examine a broader set of relationships, a "democ-
ratic" ideal, if you willof which traditional forms and genres are but a subset. At the
same time, it attempts to formalize the process of combining arts and introduces a lan-
guage useful for both spectators and creators to understand the combined work and to
communicate with each other.
Ours is not an easy task we have set before us, but has it been said that democracy
is easy? Artists have always served at the pleasure of authority and within the confines of
accepted rules and conventions. Cocteau's Parade flung open the shutters that the nine-

5
teenth century had locked, and Cage's HPSCHD smashed the very walls to bits. No
longer responsible to a higher authority, artists are now free to create as they wish. How-
ever, freedom begets responsibility, and only if that responsibility is accepted can free-
dom continue.

1
John Cage on the Musicircus, 1969.
2
This is not to say that nothing has been written on this subject, or to point to in-
adequacies in the work of other authors but rather, it acknowledges a difference in the
goals and limitations. Where some have chosen to classify works, others approach the
subject from one or another particular art form, be it music, theatre, dance, performance
art, etc. within the context of a larger history of their art, and are therefore limited by a
particular bias and/or other pragmatic considerations. Performance approaches the subject
well, but it too is limited by either bias towards specific cultural phenomenon on the one
hand and work which is tied to a specific performer or group of performers. It is my
judgment that a new approach to the subject is warranted, one that does not depend on
classification of works, nor limited by historical, artistic, or cultural bias.

6
CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Let each thing that happens happen from its own center, whether it is music
or dance. Don't go in the direction of one thing 'using' another. Then they
will all go together beautifully (as birds, airplanes, trucks, radios, etc. do).l

1.1 Overview, Methodology and Limitations


Creative artistscomposers, authors, directors, visual artists, choreographers, and
filmmakerscontrol the tools and materials from which an artwork is constructed; in
turn, these tools and materials rely on specific relationships and usages to shape the
work's composition and to large extent convey meaning to the audience. Accepted rela-
tionships and expectationsamong tools, materials and, in larger composite works,
among individual mediaidentify genres or categories of artistic endeavor into which
individual works are classified. By combining materials and media in different propor-
tions and with different relationships and by using tools in new ways, artists have created
works that do not fit existing genres, such as opera or ballet. In some cases, these new
relationships and their subsequent repetition result in their acceptance and in the creation
of a new genres or forms, such as film, photography and electronic and computer music.2
All genres, whether consisting of a single or multiple arts, are defined by a consis-
tent set of roles, relationships and expectations which operate within individual works
and among individual works and the audience. For example, no one would doubt that the
four string instruments in a nineteenth-century string quartet operate within established
roles and relationships defined by the genre of the string quartet.3 In genres consisting of
multiple arts, a similar observation may be made: component media are arranged into
specific structures in which individual arts have more or less fixed roles and relationships
to each other. Further, these roles and relationships extend from the component arts back
to the contributing artists, through the combined work, and finally to the audience, which
in turn must reconstruct these relationships before meaning is observed.4
The focus of this study then is to identify and examine a limited number of rela-
tionship categories using various works to illuminate particular points and relationships,

7
and to create a language and methodology for comparing and discussing works consisting
of two or more individual arts. Although these relationships exist on many levels and
throughout the process, our focus will be on those in the compositional processboth
among art forms themselves and among art forms and artistsand those in the completed
compositionboth among component art forms and among art forms and the spectator.
Because this study is not concerned with classification of pieces themselves, whether in-
dividual works exhibit characteristics of multiple relationship categories at different
points within the work is unimportant. This is not a study in sorting; these are, after all,
external relationships, which, as we will eventually see, serve to point out and amplify
internal relationships.
In general, focus will be on works that are conceived as "combined" or "collabo-
rative" from the outset and, more importantly, on those that do not make use of estab-
lished structural relationships such as those that define the genres of opera, ballet, modern
dance, theatre, film, etc. Combined or collaborative works in which these accepted struc-
tures are used have relatively fixed relationships; and though they represent a majority of
works in the artistic canon, they represent a relatively small number of total relationships,
so that focusing on them will not add a great deal to our discussion. This does not mean
that these works or relationships will be omitted from our discussion (indeed, they are
inherently a subset of this discussion) or that this new language and methodology will not
apply to these forms; but because of the wide range of potential relationships, the focus
will be on those works that cannot easily be understood as a member of one of these gen-
res. Therefore, although this discussion is not limited to a specific period of time in the
history of music and the aits, it is not intended to provide an historical overview or an
exhaustive listing of works or even relationships among art forms in combined works.
This investigation reflects a methodology in which a number of relationships are
postulated and described a priori. Rather than examining and cataloging thousands of
combined works, these relationships are explored, logical conclusions are drawn, and the
discussion is supported by reference to a number of paradigmatic works. Freed from the
drudgery of classification, we can focus on the development of a set of tools and a lan-
guage for comparison of works and parts of works. These resulting tools may then be
used to examine any work constructed from a number of disparate art forms. While this

8
approach certainly has limitations, it has the strengths generally associated with rational,
scientific approaches, in which a hypothesis is stated and experiments are conducted to
support the hypothesis. Furthermore, certain relationships will be discussed and examined
from the standpoint of what happens over aperiodoftime (diachronic analysis), while
others will entail scrutiny of what is happening at a given moment in time (synchronic
analysis). My overall strategy, then, may be summarized as follows: exploration of a set
of relationships and logical conclusions based on naturalness of fit or bias, supported by
diachronic and synchronic examples from characteristic works.
To this time studies of combined works have fallen into one of three types: vol-
umes that attempt to classify multimedia works into a few relatively simple categories,
such as David Cope's New Directions in Music; historical or introductory works that
dedicate a single chapter to the subject, such as Elliot Schwartz' Music Since 1945 and
Eric Salzman's Twentieth-Century Music; or books which approach the subject from a
single area of expertise, such as Douglas Kahn and Gregory Whitehead's Wireless Imagi-
nation: Sound, Radio, and the Avant-Garde or Roselee Goldberg's Performance Art:
From Futurism to the Present. While each of these makes contributions in its own way to
the subject, Cope's work suffers from a focus on the absolutes of classification, while
other volumes are limited by lack of depth or an inherent bias that comes from expertise
in a single field. At this writing, Salzman's recently published (November 2008) The New
Music Theater looks promising.

1.2 Relationships and Scope


As we begin our examination of combined art works several relationships and
structures will come to the foreground. First, and most critical, is the Information Struc-
ture (Chapter 2), which describes the way in which content or information is organized in
order to be delivered to an audience. As we shall see later, the information structure may
be manifested in single, multiple, or any combination of art forms; and its strength and
design may have either a restrictive or liberating effect on the relationships among art
forms. The next important structure is Location (Chapter 3), which defines of the place-
ment of component art forms in time and space. It includes both absolute and relative art
form location in time and space, absolute and relative locations among art forms and the

9
spectator, and movement of art forms and of spectators. Location affects prominence and
both guides the audience's attention and delivers the information structure.
Media Hierarchy and Fusion relationships comprise the largest sections in this
study (Chapters 4 and 5 respectively). Because these relationships are determined, in part,
by both the information structure and location characteristics, they are introduced after
the sections on information structure and location. While hierarchy and fusion will be
discussed at length in these sections, at this point it is sufficient to say that hierarchy re-
fers to the dominance (through control and/or prominence) of individual art forms in a
group of art forms, while fusion refers to the individuality or independence (or lack
thereof) among component art forms.
As might be expected, a number of other pertinent issues are entangled in this
topic, as well as certain factors which might seem to be important but which ultimately
are not. These issues, many of which are explored by other authors in other books or
studies, include such matters as the number of collaborators, site specificity, technology
issues, intention and perception.

Number of Collaborators
The number of collaborators contributing to a combined work is important, and in
many cases it is the relationships that the artists have with one another that provide the
impetus for the work. How artists interact with each other in the compositional process
can and does affect the combined work in many obvious and subtle ways: collaborators
may have relatively equal contributions; or one artist may dominate the process, dimin-
ishing the contributions of the other artists, or even compose in several art forms. For our
purposes, however, it is largely irrelevant whether there are one or many collaborators.
Providing that an artist has sufficient skill in the different component media and the abil-
ity to separate the individual structures appropriately for the compositional purposes, it is
possible for one artist to do the work of several artists. Moreover, the number of artists
and the relationships between them range so widely that correlations between these fac-
tors and the character of the work are highly suspect. In any case, it makes no difference
to the spectator whether a particular structure or set of relationships has been determined
by a single artist or many collaborators.

10
Site Specificity
In the case of site-specific works, such as happenings or environmental composi-
tions, a specific site, environment or location is specified or required for the realization of
the work. The site is built into the compositional process and helps to determine the rela-
tionships among art forms, performers, or audience and performers. Whether a physical
site actually determines specific relationships or whether it is merely the idea of a physi-
cal site or suggested location that determines these relationships is not the issue. In either
case a specific site is a set of constraints on the composition of the combined work that
functions much like any other set of constraints, such as key, formal structure, duration,
medium, etc. In this sense, site specificity requires nothing distinctive in analysis; and
furthermore, since one can conceive a set of compositional constraints without actually
having them present, that a constraint is conceived in relation to a site is essentially ir-
relevant. In a conversation on site-specificity William Brooks stated:

When one talks about the specific properties of a site, one is talking about
a series of fairly abstract conditions that apply to the work in question:
visibility, proximity, spatial distribution, etc. And these abstract qualities
can be described and invoked independent of a specific site, so there is a
sense in which there is no such thing as a site-specific work except insofar
as a particular site is irreplicable somewhere else. It would be difficult to
create an on-the-ground equivalent of a work that is designedfor a space
shuttle because you can't get weightlessness, for example. But you can
compose for a weightless environment never having been in one.5

It turns out, then, that when trying to understand the relationships among media,
the issue of site-specificitythat is, whether a work may be performed in a different lo-
cation at a different timeis unimportant. In either circumstance, media may be fused or
not fused, hierarchical or non-hierarchical, share a space and time or not. Site-specificity
does not regulate fundamental esthetic or conceptual issues but functions rather as a trig-
ger or convenient means of shaping the composition.6

11
Technology Issues
Technology will not play a primary role in this discussion. While intermedial rela-
tionships in certain works (e.g., those by Ron Pellegrino or the Once Group) cannot be
described without a discussion and understanding of the technology used to create them,
in many if not all of these cases a particular technology exists essentially to carry out or
implement a scheme or set of instructions composed by the artist or artists. In such cases
technology is merely a tool, a means to an end, as a piano is an instrument or tool for car-
rying out a set of instructions. More useful than a specific tool used to create the relation-
ship are the information structure and the relationships among the component arts them-
selves. Use of a technology does not absolve the artist of responsibility for that which is
expressed to his or her audience. It is, therefore more important to understand why a par-
ticular technology must be employed by the artist in order to realize an idea than to dis-
cuss the detailed workings of a particular program or technology and why it responds in
this way or that. All such technical issues are superfluous to our current discussion and
will not be directly addressed.

Intention and Perception


Ultimately all form/content objects come about through intention; an artist will-
ingly creates by intentionally placing specific objects in time and space or causing them
to be placed in time and space. Composers consciously create relationships and distinc-
tions within a single art form or among media in a combined work. However, this thesis
does not examine whether specific meaning is intended or not and whether it lies within
the work or is the responsibility of the creators or (re)creators,. Although there must be
intentions, and indeed, the spectator assumes and draws conclusions from intentions, the
goal of this thesis is merely to determine measurable relationships, not to determine com-
posers' reasons for placing them.7
Like intention, perception involves subjectivity and bias. Every observer brings
something to the performance: their education, likes and dislikes, socio-economic status,
experiences, etc. (For instance, a spectator who has a background or training in one of the
individual arts will likely have a predisposition or bias towards that art form and its rela-
tionships over the others.) Instead of perception, more general terms, such as reception or

12
observation, will be employed. From a purely practical standpoint it is outside the scope
of this study to tackle the broad range of issues that the term perception encompasses; the
discussion will be limited to audience reception or observation and only draw on percep-
tion issues as necessary to illuminate specific points. For example, when speaking of me-
dia fusion, it is fairly obvious that two media may not appear to be fused when examined
out of context over a short period of time. However, as the spectator observes the com-
bined work over a longer period of time, the mind will naturally attempt to draw connec-
tions between separate art forms and will likely fuse the media into a single entity. This
phenomenon has more to do with issues related to proximity in time and space and the
accumulation of information by the spectator than the actual relatedness of the content of
the media in question; we will consider it in more detail in Chapter 3: Location.

1.3 Domains: Composition, Form/Content Object, Observation


Several stages in the development of the combined work from its creative incep-
tion to its (re)creative reception by the spectator may be identified and examined sepa-
rately. These include the idea or information, the compositional process or methodology,
the combined work itself, the performance or presentation, and the spectator's observa-
tion of the work. Although each of these domains is important and, to a degree, can be
separated from the others, not all of them will be useful in this particular study. In Silence
John Cage writes about the differences between the several aspects of a work:

[Composition, performance, and audition or observation are really dif-


ferent things. They have next to nothing to do with one another.

While these domains are indeed distinct, they generally follow in turn, one after the other.
For the composer they work in one directionfrom the idea through each of the domains
in turn to observation; for the spectator the process works in the other directionfrom
observation back to the idea. If successful, and assuming that the artists' purpose is not
deception, information is conveyed to the audience through a structure and relationships;
the audience observes relationships and structure and (re)creates the original idea.

13
Because a combined work may be based on any idea or information we will do
well to avoid trying to fix, or even describe, the possibilities in this domain. The informa-
tion structure, encompassing how that idea or information is organized, is covered sepa-
rately in Chapter 2. Additionally, for this study it is assumed that presentation of the
combined work (whether requiring human performers or not) is transparent. That is, it is
a correct performance, presented technically, mechanically as written without bias under
ideal conditions proscribed by its creators. Because performance or presentation factors
are impossible to predict with certainty, because artists usually create their works with the
assumption that they will be presented as intended, and because the audience always as-
sumes intention whether there is a clear distinction between performer and creator or a
conflation of the two, there is no reason to isolate the performance domain of the work.
Of the five domains in the life-cycle of a combined work we are left with three
critical domains: the creative process or composition, the combined work or form/content
object, and spectator reception or observation. The distinctions between these three do-
mains will be a recurring theme of this study and will be covered in detail in Chapter 4.
For now it is sufficient to offer the following brief introduction.

Composition
While each contributing artist has specific knowledge and experience pertinent for
composing in a single medium, in a combined work there is inevitably some larger meth-
odology or structure (explicit or implicit) that determines how the collaborators interact
with each other and how the resulting component arts fit into the combined work. During
composition of the combined work new roles and relationships can arise among collabo-
rating artists and among artists and media. Some of the issues that follow during compo-
sition include: which collaborator or art form "directs" the process, whether there is feed-
back or a reporting structure among the art forms and artists, the compositional order and
independence of each of the art forms from each other (that is, whether composition pro-
ceeds in turn from one art form to another with composition in each art relying on that
which comes before), and whether each of the art forms and artists works independently
from the others. These questions and issues influence composition and are present not
only when a work results from several collaborators but in combined works composed by

14
a single artist. They determine, in part, the content and the relationships among media in
the final combined work.9
Ultimately, for combined works that do not rely on the structure and relationships
of an existing genre, creators have a dual task: to compose content for each component
art and to compose the relationships among the component arts, contributing artists, and
the audience. In the completed work the component arts relate to each other and to the
audience in ways prescribed by the collaborating artists. Audiences observe relationships;
and, if the creators have done their jobs well, the audience's image of these relationships
will resemble those intended by the creators.10

Form/Content Object
While it is difficult to observe or confirm compositional intentionsindeed, this
very idea is out of the scope of the present studyit is possible to examine the completed
work and the relationships among the component media from which it is constructed. The
combined work, or form/content object, is the result of a composition process. It usually
takes a final, fixed form containing the creators' ideas and intentions; but it can just as
easily be a non-fixed set of instructions or tools that require either performers and/or
audience for completionsuch is the case with many of John Cage's Variations. The
form/content object may consist of a set of instructions, a written play or text, a drawing
or other visual representation, or, in the case of music, a score. The form/content object
describes or represents the structure of the work, the roles of each of the component me-
dia and their relationships to each other within the combined work, and the per-
former/object-spectator relationships. How the component arts lead or support each other,
their relative dynamic level or intensity, their independence from each other, their place-
ment in time or space relative to each other and to the spectator, and the relationship of
the component arts to the story or idea are all issues composers must address and which
will be apparent to the spectator in varying degrees in the combined work.

Observation
Finally, while the artists create and control the compositional methodology, con-
tent, and relationships among component art forms, one cannot ignore the role of the

15
spectator, who observes all of the assembled elements and who is the ultimate arbiter of
the relationships among them. Audiences and those trained professionals whose job it is
to analyze and review these works are faced with challenges that do not exist when ob-
serving or analyzing single-media works or combined works whose relationships are
known. As the composer of such new works must create both content and genre, so too
must the observer (re)create these relationships and receive the content. These relation-
ships, embedded in the form/content object by the creators, are received and evaluated by
the spectator. If transmitted successfully, observation of the relationships will coincide
with that of the creators and additional information may then be gathered. In addition to
relationships among component media, the spectator may also observe the residue of the
compositional methodologies or strategies used to create the work.

1.4 Analysis Modes


Diachronic - Synchronic
In order to identify intermedial relationships interactions among component me-
dia must be examined within certain limits of time and/or location. The results of time-
based analysis are intrinsically related to the period of time over which the relationships
are examined; analysis over a longer period of time might produce a very different analy-
sis than one based on a much shorter period or a single moment in time. Some compari-
sons may only be made over either a shorter or longer period of time. In order to make
meaningful determinations of relationships among component art forms in time we will
need to introduce two analytical techniques: diachronic and synchronic. While not abso-
lute, the distinction between these two types of time-based analysis techniques is useful
for our discussion and will be applied throughout this study.
Diachronic analysis is concerned with what happens over a period of time. Liter-
ally, diachronic refers to events or "phenomena as they occur or develop through time."11
Specifically, diachronic analysis is most often "concerned with or pertaining to the his-
torical development of a language, culture, etc." as it develops over time. In this study
diachronic analysis is relevant to describing relationships among component arts over a
period of time up to and including the duration of the combined work. Diachronic analy-
sis is a horizontal approach that extends over a period of time; as such, it tends to be con-

16
cerned with the accumulation of information or data over the period of time under con-
sideration. For our purposes, this might be a section, a movement, an act of a staged
work, or the entire work. Obviously, defining the period of time under discussion is cru-
cial when making a diachronic analysis; shifting to a longer or shorter period of time rela-
tive to the total duration of the work may affect the understanding.
Synchronic analysis is concerned with what is happening at a particular moment
or point in time. A dictionary definition describes it as being "concerned with or pertain-
ing to the state of a language, culture, etc., at one particular time, past or present, without
regard to historical development,"13 or simply as "describing a subject as it exists at one
point in time."14 As it pertains to the combined work synchronic analysis describes rela-
tionships or makes comparisons among component media over a short period or at a sin-
gle moment in timegenerally considering an aggregate of events without regard to the
larger context. The results of this vertical approach can be significantly different from
those of a diachronic analysis. Stopping time or limiting time to a very brief period em-
phasizes the measurement of specific relationships such as proximity or parametric val-
ues; relationships that entail cause-and-effect or that track change depend on the passage
of time and cannot be considered in a synchronic analysis.
As an application of these modes one might, for example, use diachronic analysis
to examine relationships over the duration of the work, or a section of the work, in order
to observe changing relationships or cause and effect. On the hand synchronic analysis is
useful to examine an aggregate of events, determining placement in time and space as
well as relative prominence.

Local - Global
As an analogue to time-based analysis in which a work is divided into smaller
units, sections, or moments, each with a specific duration, it is possible examine interme-
dial relationships by dividing a performance space into smaller units or considering a
subset of the total number of component art forms. Analysis based on relationships
among a subset of media or a subset of the entire space may be called local analysis. On
the other hand, global analysis considers most or all media or a large part or the entire

17
performance space. Global analysis takes the entire performance space into considera-
tion; local analysis considers a subset of the performance space.
Because local and global analysis both depend on the relationship of the spectator
to the individual art forms and to the entire performance space it is not possible to define
the boundaries of local space with reference to global space. For example, a spectator
who views the work from a great distance will have a different notion of local and global
than a spectator positioned close to the work; and among individual spectators equally
close to the work, lateral positioning and distance from one or another art form will affect
the notion of local. It is, however, important to understand that these considerations do
exist for the individual spectator and that they are useful for our discussion.
In the case of spatial limitations, the choice of using local or global analysis will
vary from spectator to spectator. Clearly in a work such as John Cage's Musicircus or any
of Allan Kaprow's environmental works, local analysis will yield different distinctions
than global analysis. On the other hand, works taking place on a proscenium stage offer
little distinction between local and global analysis. Ultimately, the spectator makes
choices when viewing all works. Although temporal limits are shared by all spectators,
space is relative for each spectator; hence each spectator experiences local and global
limits differently depending on proximity to individual arts and to the combined work.

Time-Space Analysis
Two implications of time-space analysis require further consideration. The first,
which has already been mentioned, is the size of the sample being considered and the re-
lationship of the sample duration or space to the duration or space of the entire work or
section of the work. Inferences drawn from a time or space sample of a given degree will
differ in the contexts of longer or shorter works; for instance, a two-minute sample taken
from a 10-minute work may be assumed to yield more information than a similar two-
minute sample in a 60-minute work. Thus, in considering shorter durations or moments in
time, it is useful to speak of the granularity of the sample.
Second, it is obvious that two concurrent media will, over time, tend to appear to
be or become more fused. As previously stated, this is less due to the relatedness of the
media content than to the audience's perception and the desire in the human mind to find

18
connections or associations among events taking place at the same time or in relatively
close proximity. Hierarchy may appear to be more stable for similar reasons. Examples of
this in visual and auditory arts include the pointillistic techniques of the impressionistic
period of painting and the granular techniques developed by Xenakis. In both cases, syn-
chronic analysis techniques will be insufficient to describe the total effect of the work
over larger samples of time and space.
However, it may be argued that the size of the grain has little effect on whether
media appear to be separated in time or place. Indeed, in two instances time- and space-
based analysis is of limited use. In the first, time or space relationships among component
arts change during the work or the analysis sample. For example, art forms may move
from one location in space to another, or the time relationships may change from simul-
taneous to alternating. In the second instance, the relationship between the spectator and
the work or component arts changes. Examples are environmental pieces in which audi-
ence members are encouraged to or required to move in a space (e.g., Allan Kaprow's
Eat, Richard Scheduler's production of Sam Shepard's Tooth of Crime, and Grotowski's
"Poor Theatre" productions). In such pieces the relationships between time and space will
differ for each of the spectators. Time- and space-based analysis techniques cannot and
do not yield consistent data in these cases, and, therefore, no consistent conclusions can
be drawn.

1.5 Summary
In summary this study aims to examine the various intermedial relationships in
combined works, particularly hierarchy and fusion relationships among individual art
forms. Hierarchy and fusion relationships are supported and constrained by the informa-
tion structure and by time-and-space location characteristics among component media,
component media and the spectator, and the combined work and the spectator. Because
information structure and location characteristics are critical to the understanding of de-
termination of hierarchy and fusion they will be introduced before proceeding to an in
depth discussion of hierarchy and fusion.
Subsequent chapters will generally follow a consistent format. They will begin by
providing a certain amount of background information, followed by the introduction and

19
definition of appropriate terminology. Specific issues related to each set of terms will be
discussed and, when necessary, specific analytic tools will be introduced. In addition to
examples mentioned throughout the text, in-depth discussions of several works will con-
clude each chapter. Of these, Parade and HPSCHD will be discussed in each chapter,
providing links between the topics. Additional works will be introduced as necessary to
highlight techniques or terms pertinent to each chapter.

1
John Cage, unpublished letter to Kay Jorgensen, February 17,1979. Letter lo-
cated in John Cage Archive, Northwestern University Library, Evanston, Illinois.
2
Other categories of works that resist classification include Renaissance specta-
cles, Dada performances of the early twentieth century, Happenings of the 1960s and
1970s, and technology-based experiments that have taken place throughout history and
continue today.
3
Even the most musically uninitiated audiences are well aware of these relation-
ships and expectations as evidenced by the commercial success of classical music parody
acts by Peter Schickele and Victor Borge.
4
That these roles and relationships are implicit and expected within established
genres does not lessen the impact of individual works or classes of works. On the con-
trary, they demonstrate the strength of certain structures and relationships in conveying
certain types of meaning in very specific ways. Spectators attending an opera, ballet,
play, or film understand these relationships and enter the theatre or recital hall with cer-
tain expectations. These expectations are built on previous personal audience experi-
ences, education, and cultural conditioning. Whether these expectations are met or not is
largely determined by how closely the collaborating artists adhere to the normative roles
and relationships and whether they are successfully encoded in the combined work.
5
William Brooks, recorded conversation with the author, November 18,2002.
6
On the other hand, as will be noted in the following pages, it is impossible to
discuss some of these intermedial relationshipsparticularly with regards to location, but
also with regard to hierarchy and fusionwithout taking the performance space and the
development of the performance space into consideration.
7
The reader wishing to familiarize himself with intention in art may look at the
writings of Roland Barthes, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Monroe Beardsley to name but a
few. For our purposes we will assume that a work is being "mechanically" performed,
i.e., transmitted to the spectator, as intended. For works composed within an accepted
genre, certain intentions as to content, style, formal relationships, etc. are imposed by the
restrictions of that genre. Conversely, creators who work outside of accepted genres have
additional responsibility to create a structure and relationships in addition to the content.
8
John Cage, Silence: Lectures and Writings (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan Univer-
sity Press, 1961), 47. A good example of this separation is to note that the creative meth-
odology may or may not be apparent in the final combined work or that composition may
or may not derive from the idea or information.

20
9
Examples of several compositional methodologies are given at the end of Chap-
ter 4 and include those of Parade, Appalachian Spring, and Enigmatic Game.
10
Our assumptions are that the creators of a combined work intend to convey in-
formationaural, visual, textual, etc.to an audience and that they have the technical
proficiency to do so in a manner that effectively communicates this information. In any
case, what the audience will be able to observe in a measurable way is not the meaning or
the intention, but that the creators embedded certain relationships in the work. From these
relationships, the spectator may then begin to (re)create the work and its meaning.
11
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, New College Edi-
tion, ed. William Morris (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1980), 363.
12
New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, ed. Lesley Brown (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1993), 659.
13
Ibid., 3188.
14
The Pocket Oxford American Dictionary of Current English (New York: Ox-
ford University Press, 2002), 823.

21
CHAPTER 2
INFORMATION STRUCTURE

2.1 Overview and Context


One of the main functions of the Renaissance spectacles of Bernini and Da Vinci
was to support the political systems of the day. The content and structure of these specta-
cles, which often marked significant public historical and political events such as victo-
ries and treaties, as well as more private ones, such as the monarch's coronation and ac-
cession, birthday and marriage, reflected the ideals and absolutist rule of the monarch.
Individual events and elements within these productions were located and related to each
other to reinforce the current power relationships and political structures in the royal
court. Often, the grander and more lavish the production, the more powerful the monarch.

By means of myth and allegory, sign and symbol, gesture and movement,
festival found a means to exalt the glory of the wearer of the Crown. In
such a way the truths of sacred monarchy could be propagated to the
court and a tamed nobility take its place in the round of ritual.

In Renaissance festivals and spectacles information was organized around com-


memorations and reflected the political structures and relationships in the court of the
monarch. In contrast, the information structure in nineteenth-century opera, particularly
opera by Wagner, is based on narrative; component media fit into a tightly controlled hi-
erarchy in which the text or libretto plays the dominant role. Then again, in cabarets and
performances of the Futurist and Dada movements the information structure is less for-
malized, less hierarchical; there is a more equal distribution of information among com-
ponent media.
What information or ideas are the creators of a combined work trying to convey
and how is that information organized and delivered to the observer? The answers to
these questions and their subsequent implementation in the combined work determine the
relationships among component art forms and make up the information structure of the
work. However, before we define and apply the term "information structure" to the com-

22
bined work, it is useful to examine an existing definition and its application with respect
to traditional narrative theatre.
Michael Kirby, in his essay, "Happenings: An Introduction," introduces two terms
to distinguish the organization of traditional theatre from Happenings. "Traditional thea-
tre makes use of an information structure," he says.

There we need information in order to understand the situation, to know


who the people are, to know what is happening, or what might happen; we
need information to "follow' the play, to comprehend it at all. Much of this
information is visual, conveyed by the set, the lights, the expressions and
movements of the actors, and much of it is contained in spoken words.2

He goes on to say that the information structure is essentially cumulative and that
it "functions reflexively, explaining and clarifying material that has already been pre-
sented."3 Individual elements in traditional theatre not only generate meaning themselves,
"but each conveys meaning to and receives it from the other elements."4 Traditionally,
narrative theatre, having a narrative information structure, reveals the story or plot little
by little, educating and guiding the spectator on a preordained path to understanding.
Composers of this type of theatre organize information and create a single structure that
they intend all spectators to observe and interpret in the same way. This type of informa-
tion structure has its basis in a logical sequence in time, and it is this sequence that helps
guide the spectator through the structure. Kirby refers to "a matrix of time, place, and
character"5 that actors in this type of theatre create and function within in order to tell the
story.
In contrast to information structure, compartmented structure is used to describe
the non-cumulative organization of Happenings. These structures are

based on the arrangement and contiguity of theatrical units that are com-
pletely self-contained and hermetic. No information is passed from one
discrete theatrical unitor "compartment"to another. The compart-
ments may be arranged sequentially [...] or simultaneously.

23
Although compartmented structures do not rely on plot or narrative, they do have
relationships and, for Kirby, rely on a "unity of style and a cohesiveness" for their "char-
acter and overall quality."7 Compartmented structure is generally not goal-oriented in the
same way as Kirby's information structure, and the spectator is not led in the same way
to a preordained conclusion. Another difference between the two may be seen as one of
intention. In traditional narrative theatre, the information structure is intentionally en-
coded directly into the finished work to evoke an intended response in the audience. In
compartmented structure the creators may have a "private idea structure used in creation
[that] is not transformed into a public information structure."8 The ordered passage of
time and the time/place/character matrix inherent in the information structure is not pre-
sent in compartmented structure and is irrelevant to it. The absence of these references
may be disorienting to the audience and encourages individual interpretation by each
spectator.
Kirby's definitions of information structure and compartmented structure offer a
good starting point for our discussion, but they are too narrow and separate for our pur-
poses. Kirby also seems to avoid several key issues in order to create two very distinct
definitions. First, Kirby approaches compartmented structure purely from the creators'
points of view. He seems to think that if the creators do not intend a connection among
individual compartments the spectator will not observe a connection among individual
compartments. Others think differently; Eisenstein, for example, wrote extensively in The
Film Sense about the human desire to connect two seemingly unrelated images.

This tendency to bring together into a unity two or more independent ob-
jects or qualities is very strong.9

Spectators automatically accumulate information and process it reflexively, making con-


nections among individual compartments and comparisons with previous experiences in
an attempt to create an information structure. Because human beings have an inherent
drive to understand and to create meaning from their surroundings, any time an art form
or combined work is presented to an audience, informationwhether intended or not
will become structured in the process of being conveyed to the spectator.

24
Kirby also chooses to exclude non-literary art forms, such as music and abstract
painting and sculpture, from having either an information or compartmented structure,
putting them instead into a third, undefined category"alogical" structures.

Of course the structure of all music and of abstract or nonobjective paint-


ing and sculpture is alogical. It depends upon sensory rather than intellec-
tual relationships.10

This assertion was probably made without thoughtful consideration of music or other
non-literary arts, which in fact, probably demonstrate more intellectual relationships than
literary or representational arts.
In the present discussion, it is assumed that all art forms and combined works
have the ability to carry and convey information to the spectator; that is, all have an in-
formation structure. That information structure may be cumulative or non-cumulative,
narrative or non-narrative, logical, illogical or "alogical."11 As we shall see, all elements
in a combined work, whether it be one with a traditional narrative structure or a Happen-
ing, not only generate meaning themselves, but each "conveys meaning to and receives it
from the other elements."12

2.2 Definitions and Related Terminology


The creation of a combined work generally begins with an idea or information
that the creators want to investigate and to convey to an audience. That idea or informa-
tion may be literary in nature, or it may be abstract. Literary ideas include stories or emo-
tions that relate a human experience. Through the interaction of characters in Kirby's
"time/space matrix" the audience learns more about the human experience. Literary ideas
originate in human experience, are expressed by the artists through an art form, and result
in a representational object or event.
While they may have some basis in human experience, abstract ideas generally
originate directly within an art form or in the interaction among art forms, and they result
in a non-representational object or event. Examples of abstract ideas include "absolute"
musical motives, abstract painting, much dance movement, and so forth. An observer of

25
an abstract idea or information structure may not know anything more about the human
experience after viewing the work than she did before.
While these two types of ideas and information are not exclusive and may not in
all cases be discernable to the observer, a distinction is usually made between them, ei-
ther consciously or unconsciously, by the artists and is reflected in the artists' process and
methodology. Our purpose here is to draw a distinction between the information itself
and the way in which it is organized or structured for delivery to an observer.13 Either
type of idea or informationliterary or abstractmay be expressed through an informa-
tion structure that is either narrative or non-narrative. It is obvious that historically there
has been a predisposition for combining literary ideas/information with narrative infor-
mation structures. However, this does not have to be the case, and it is theoretically pos-
sible for a literary idea to be expressed through a non-narrative structure or an abstract
idea to be expressed through a narrative structure.
Now that information structure has been explored in relation to traditional, narra-
tive theatre, we can start to define information structure as it might apply to all art forms
and combined art works. To begin with, it must be agreed that the information structure is
not the information or the ideas upon which the work is based; nor is it merely the means
or media by which information or content is conveyed. In theory, the information struc-
ture can be separated bom from the content and, to a certain extent, from the means or
media by which content is conveyed. Furthermore, information structure can be separated
from the composers' intentions and, in some cases, be determined by the observer.
Any art form, or combination of art forms, irrespective of its construction, has the
capacity toor, indeed, doesconvey information. Whether the information is musical,
verbal, movement, visual or some combination, by the act of being presented to an audi-
ence it is or becomes organized and structured. Even an indeterminate, chance-
determined, or unpredictable event presented to an audience conveys information and has
a structure: no structure, no information is the structure; no structure, no information is
what is being conveyed.
Simply stated, the information structure is the way in which the idea or informa-
tion upon which a combined work is basedbe it a text, an emotion, a musical or move-
ment idea, or a relationshipis organized in time and space. The information structure

26
describes the relationships among the work's content and media, their distribution in time
and space as they are presented to an audience, and whether the art forms are organized
logically, illogically, or alogically. Further, information structures fall into two distinct
types which may or may not be conveyed to the spectator: cumulative and non-
cumulative. Lastly, even if the composers create an intentional information structure and
embed it explicitly in the work, it is ultimately the spectator who, upon observing the
work, either recreates (as intended) or creates the information structure anew.
In addition to distinguishing between cumulative and non-cumulative structures
one must recognize that there may be more than one information structure present in a
combined work. Simple information structures consist of a single organization structure.
Complex information structures have multiple organizational structures. Works consist-
ing of multiple art forms may have one or multiple information structures; and works
consisting of a single art form may have one or more information structures. Simple and
complex structures are also independent of the amount and diversity of information and
of whether the structures are cumulative, non-cumulative or a combination of cumulative
and non-cumulative.
A further distinction can be made: between the information conveyed in the in-
formation structure and the container in which it is presented. The container consists of
the art form and the absolute and relative time-and-place characteristics in which it is pre-
sented. Containers may exhibit relationships to or among each other, while the contents
of the container may be related or unrelated. For instance, the containers may be logically
related, having dependent or direct relationships or oblique or indirect relationships,
while the contents of the containers are independent (orthogonal), exhibiting no relation-
ships at all. When the information content is organized into a narrative structure, the rela-
tionship between containers or method of delivery is generally overshadowed by the nar-
rative structure. When the information content is less conventionally organized or is or-
ganized alogically, the relationship between the information carriers becomes more sig-
nificant and may either reinforce or contradict the information itself.
Taken together, the information or content combined with the delivery parame-
terstime, place, media, and intensitymake up what may be considered an information
unit. In Kirby's compartmented structure this is equivalent to a compartment. A com-

27
bined work may be constructed from several information units or compartments or only a
single one.
Finally, it is important to emphasize that while the creators of a combined work
may compose and embed one or more information structures in the work, the spectator
may observe one or more different information structures or no information structure at
all. Discrepancies cannot be avoided but should be noted; and in some cases, they are to
be cherished.

2.3 Types of Information Structures


To summarize the discussion thus far: any time a single art form or combination
of art forms are presented to an audience, information is conveyed, and the spectator will
attempt to organize that information in order to understand it. Information structures
both intended and observedcan be divided into two basic types: cumulative and non-
cumulative.
Information structures may also be classified based on the type of logic employed:
logical or causal, illogical, and alogical. These two information structure classifications
are not mutually exclusive, and can be combined to more fully characterize a particular
information structure, i.e., cumulative-logical or non-cumulative-alogical. Finally, com-
bined works may have single (simple) or multiple (complex) structures. These structures
and examples of each will be examined below.

2.3.1 Cumulative Information Structures


Cumulative structures are vector-based; a "vector," in mathematics, refers to "a
quantity having direction as well as magnitude."14 In a combined art work, direction im-
plies a goal and magnitude refers to distance traveled. Together, direction and magnitude
describe the path toward the goal. In a combined work, a vector-based structure describes
both a discrete goal and a causally determined path traversed to arrive at that goal, a path
manifested either through a particular art form or a combination of art forms. Cumulative
structures are generally predictive, intentional, and repeatable; they provide (or are meant
to provide) a single experience for the entire audience. The goal of cumulative structures
is determined by the creators a priori, and it is fixed and embedded in the form/content

28
object. The intended path or journey for the observer is also predetermined and fixed by
the creators. There may be one path or more than one, but each is intended to lead to the
predetermined goal. When there is only one path, the order in which information is re-
ceived is generally important to the spectator's understanding. A cumulative information
structure may be thought of as a unicursal maze through which an observer travels to
reach her goal. Simply stated, cumulative information structures assume that the orderly
accumulation of information will enable the spectator to accurately receive the idea or
information intended by the creators.
Cumulative structures may be either logical or illogical, and they may be narrative
or non-narrative. Information unitsor compartmentsmay be related or unrelated on a
local level; but on a larger, diachronic level or at some point in the work, the information
units becomethrough a diachronic or reflexive analysisrelated. Narrative or literary
forms may be logical or illogical and include traditional theatre and opera, ballet, film,
story telling, and representational painting, sculpture and photography. Non-narrative
forms generally have a logical structure and include music, modern dance, non-
representational art, etc. Salvatore Martirano's L. 's G. A. is a good example of a non-
narrative form with a literary sourceLincoln's Gettysburg Addressand a logical in-
formation structure; it will be discussed in greater detail at the end of this section.15

2.3.2 Non-Cumulative Information Structures


Non-cumulative structures are non-predictive, non-intentional, non-directed, and
non-repeatable, and they generally provide an individual experience for each spectator of
the work. Non-cumulative structures do not depend on an accumulation of information in
the receiver in order to be successful. They may rely on the receiver to construct an indi-
vidual information structure or they may be fixed; but in all cases, the work may be en-
tered and left at any point. And even with determinant works, it is conceivable that the
individual components may be rearranged, the current fixed work being but one potential
iteration of that combination of elements. Non-cumulative structures are not vector-based
over the duration of the work. They may, however, consist of several smaller or local
vectorsas, for example, in certain Happenings, which may contain several causally un-
related activities, each having its own local vector.

29
The creators of a non-cumulative structure do not determine a single fixed, a pri-
ori goal (though they may create a structure that allows for many goals); and they may
avoid determining a fixed a priori path. The goals and paths are determined by the
choices of each individual spectator. In contrast to cumulative structures which rely on
ordered and directed paths in which more and more information is conveyed, urging the
audience towards a single goal or conclusion, non-cumulative structures tend to impart
information in a non-ordered, non-hierarchical or loosely organized manner and to allow
multiple goals or conclusions to be drawn in order to impart meaning. A non-cumulative
structure may be compared to a multi-cursal maze in which the traveler chooses an indi-
vidual path in order to reach an individual goal. Simply stated, non-cumulative structures
do not depend on the accumulation of information in order for the spectator to accurately
receive the idea or information intended by the creators; and in contrast to cumulative
structures, the order in which information is received is less important and may be irrele-
vant to understanding the experience.
In non-cumulative structures time and space relationships may be logical, illogi-
cal, or alogical. There may be a coherent plan for dealing with time or space, yet the in-
formation units themselves may have no relationship to each other. Often, non-
cumulative structures are non-narrative and either illogical or alogical on both local or
synchronic and global or diachronic levels. Non-cumulative, non-vector based forms may
be based on chance procedures or indeterminate notation; these might include, for exam-
ple, Happenings, environmental works, and certain music, dance, and theatrical presenta-
tions. In most cases these works rely on synchronistic rather than causal relationships for
meaning. Examples of works with non-cumulative structures include Dada and Futurist
performances and cabarets; John Cage's Musicircus, HPSCHD, and the "untitled event"
at Black Mountain College; the circus; certain Renaissance spectacles; Happenings and
other compartmented structures; and environmental works and installations.

Compartmented Structures
Michael Kirby, it will be recalled, defined compartmented structure as being
"based on the arrangement and contiguity of theatrical units that are completely self-

30
contained and hermetic." "Happenings," a type of non-cumulative, compartmented
structure, are described by Kirby as

a purposefully composed form of theatre in which diverse alogical ele-


ments, including nonmatrixed performing, are organized in a compart-
mented structure.17

More generally, however, a combined work may consist of compartments or not.


In a strict sense compartments consist of a single art form or two or more fused art forms.
An extreme instance occurs when all component forms are fused; the entire work then
consists of a single compartment. Usually, however, a compartment consists of a single
action, activity or event occurring over a relatively short period of time and indivisible
into smaller units. Kirby refers to a single compartment as an "event." However, I wish
to reserve this term for a much smaller structural unit that I will define below.
The existence of a compartment in a combined work implies that there are other
compartments or that there are other art forms that stand outside of the compartment
(possibly as single art fontn compartments). Compartments are self-contained units that
as a unitconvey information. Compartments may be separated by time, space or both
time and space. A combined art work may included both compartmented art forms and
non-compartmented art forms.
Within a given compartmentor standing outside itare events and activities.
Events are distinguished from activities by temporal characteristics: an event takes place
at a specific time, an activity takes place over a span of time. An event is momentary; an
activity is ongoing. An event, to be recognized as such, usually coincides with a marked
change in an art form (start of activity, cessation of activity, a change in a specific pa-
rameter, etc.). Multiple events accumulating over time will, at some point, be considered
not as individual events but an activity. Synchronic analysis is useful for the examination
of specific events (i.e., changes) occurring within or among art forms, and diachronic
analysis is generally appropriate for activities. A combined work may contain combined
eventsevents that occur among multiple art forms either simultaneously or sufficiently

31
proximate to be understood to be related. This possibility will become important later,
when hierarchy and fusion relationships are considered.
For our discussion then, a compartment refers to an event, group of events, or ac-
tivity comprised of one or more art forms that is unified in time and/or place. Compart-
ments are self-contained and convey information as a unit. It is assumed that the creators
intend that the events within the compartment are to be perceived as a whole, that there is
some connection between events, some information passed between events or art forms.
When there is no relationship between events or media, and particularly when events are
separated by time or space, one could consider these events to be isolated and the struc-
ture as non-compartmental.
Happenings are generally organized around a specific idea or theme; this theme
imparts the unity to the work that a more traditional cumulative information structure
might otherwise provide. Darko Suvin, in "Reflections on Happenings," states that Hap-
penings are "organized around the action of human performers in a homogeneous and
thematically unified way." So it is not necessary that Happenings and compartmented
structures convey only abstract ideas originating in the play or interaction of art forms.
Happenings and compartmented structures may also convey literary texts or ideas, but by
means of a non-cumulative structure.
Previously we noted that cumulative structures have a vector describing both a
goal and a way to get to that goal. In compartmented structures each compartment may
have its own local vector with an individual goal and path independent from that of the
other compartments. And while the contents of individual compartments may or may not
be related to each other, the compartments themselves may have a well-defined relation-
ship or structure. For example, a structure might consist of alternating events in each of
three media. All events might have identical durations, and the order of events might re-
peat in a completely predictable manner. The contents of the events, however, may be
entirely unrelated.

2.3.3 Simple and Complex Information Structures


Simple information structures consist of only one structure or one dominant struc-
ture. They may contain multiple sub-information structures, but only if these occur se-

32
quentially and if all depend on each other or function within the context of a larger in-
formation structure. The strength of a single dominant structure effectively overrides
lesser structures, confining them to supporting roles. A work with a simple information
structure may consist of a single media or of several art forms. The single or dominant
information structure may be cumulative or non-cumulative, and it may be logical, illogi-
cal or alogical. The dominant structure is the one that is the most controlling and most
apparent to the audience; if a narrative information structure is present it is commonly the
dominant structure. Not infrequently a single artist creates a combined work consisting of
a single or dominant information structure; when multiple collaborators create a work
with a single information structure, there is probably still a high degree of control by a
single collaborator. Some examples include nineteenth-century opera (particularly those
by Wagner), classical ballet, narrative theatre, etc.
Multiple collaborators may, on the other hand, each have more control or input in
the creative process, rather than merely executing or supporting the ideas of others. Each
participating artist may have an equal voice, creating a distinct information structure ap-
propriate to and realized in the artist's medium. Such a combinationmultiple independ-
ent, and relatively equal, information structures occurring either simultaneously or se-
quentiallyresults in a complex information structure. A complex information structure
may also come about when a single creator composes independently for each of the mul-
tiple component art forms in the combined work; however, it is unusual to find an artist
who is equally capable in several art forms and even more unusual for a single artist to
compose independent structures for each of these art forms.
It is also possible to combine several information structures that are independent
from each other in media as well as information. Mike Figgis' Time Code is an example;
in it four subplots of equal weight are combined and presented simultaneously by the di-
viding the viewing area of the film into four equal quadrants. Furthermore, each of the
component structures in a complex information structure may be cumulative, non-
cumulative or a combination of the two. Narrative is possible within a complex informa-
tion structure, but it is more likely that the component structures will be logical, illogical
or alogical. A combined work with a complex information structure sometimes results
from a creative methodology in which all collaborators work simultaneously in their re-

33
spective arts and only come together later in the production. In a complex information
structure one can speak of a polyphony or counterpoint of information structures. Finally,
component structures in a complex information structure likely have a direct relationship
to the information or idea on which the work is based. Works with complex information
structures include the Ballets Russes' Parade, Sal Martirano's L. 's G. A., Mike Figgis'
film Time Code, and my OWL Enigmatic Game. Each of these works will be discussed in
more detail at the end of this section.

2.4 Information Structure Issues


To summarize, information structures come in a variety of types, both single and
multiple, including narrative, compartmented, and combination structures; structures
based on causal relationships and structures based on acausal, alogical, or random rela-
tionships; structures with single strong vectors and structures with multiple, weaker vec-
tors. In this section several additional attributes of certain information structures will be
discussed, including the dominance of the information structure, intention and non-
intention, and various indeterminate structures.

2.4.1 Dominance of the Information Structure


In addition to the relationships defined by information structure, several other
categories of relationships will be considered in the course of this study. It is important to
understand that the information structure can and does exert a great deal of control over
the work as a whole and, specifically, on the relationships among component art forms.
As the strength of the information structure increases it exerts yet more control and can
come to dominate the individual arts. As the information structure becomes more appar-
ent to the spectator, and, as the spectator becomes more controlled by this structure, other
relationships become less significant, or, at least less obvious to the observer. An obvious
example is a plot-based structure in which characters interact with each other through a
time and place matrix. There, the "cliches of exposition, development, climax, and con-
clusion, of love and ambition, the conflicts of personality, the revelatory monolog of
character" of a strong plot or story dominate and control the spectator's experience.

34
Analogous structures exist in traditional "abstract" forms such as the exposition, devel-
opment and recapitulation of sonata form in music composition.
One reason a narrative structure may dominate or obscure other relationships is
that audience members become personally involved with the characters or empathize
with them. When the spectator develops an emotional or empathetic relationship with the
characters it becomes more difficult to observe the work or parts of the work objectively.
Twentieth century German poet, playwright, and theatre director Bertolt Brecht eschewed
the emotional relationship between audience and performers, and described the technique
of avoiding empathy as the alienation effect. Seeking to motivate the audience to action,
the alienation effect imposes a distance between audience and performer which "allows
us to recognize its subject, but at the same time makes it seem unfamiliar."21
While the use of strong familiar structures can render other relationships less sig-
nificant in a combined ant work, weaker or less clear structures allow other relationships
to take on greater significance or become easier for the spectator to observe. It may also
be argued that extremely strong or predictable as well as extremely familiar information
structures (narratives from mythology, for example) may free the creators from the need
to convey the story accurately or in a conventional way. The known structure actually
allows the creators and audience to focus attention on other relationships and may lead to
less obvious or traditional relationships among component forms. One need only look at
the various productions and adaptations of well-known Shakespeare plays as an example,
of which Peter Greenaway's film Prospero 's Books is but one example.
In general, then, as the strength of the information structure increases, particularly
in the case of narrative structure, other intermedial relationships become les significant.
However, if the information structure is entirely familiar to an audience it may allow the
audience and creators to focus on other relationships in the work. And as the strength of
the information structure decreases, the importance of the other relationships increases.

2.4.2 Intention and Non-Intention


In a sense, the difference between cumulative and non-cumulative structures can
be treated as a matter of compositional intent and the degree of control exercised by the
creators in the compositional process. The creators may exhibit a high degree of control

35
over the materials, the process, and the presentation to the spectator. The result is usually
an intentional, fixed, singular experience for the entire audience, although under some
conditions it may also result in multiple, different, fixed experiences for individuals or
groups of spectators. However, if the creators assume less control over the process or in-
tend to create a structure in which their intentions are removed from the experience, the
result is a structure in which individual spectators have different, non-fixed experiences.
In the first case, spectator experience is based on causal relationships, either logi-
cal or illogical; in the second, experience is based on acausal, alogical or synchronistic
relationships. In the first case individual events and experience are determined and con-
trolled by the creators; in the second, the observer determines the meaning of individual
events and thereby controls her own experience. In the first case meaning comes from
viewing and understanding the work in a predetermined, ordered way prescribed by the
creators, so that meaning is assumed to lie within the work; in the second case meaning is
not predetermined and prescribed by the creators but rather resides within the observer.
Carl Jung provides a detailed description of the difference between causality and syn-
chronicity in the forward to Wilhelm and Baynes translation of the / Ching.

The causal point of view tells us a dramatic story about how D came into
existence: it took its origin from C, which existed before D, and C in its
turn had a father, B, etc. The synchronistic view on the other hand tries to
produce an equally meaningful picture of coincidence. How does it hap-
pen that A', B', C, D', etc., appear all in the same moment and in the same
place? It happens in the first place because the physical events A' andB'
are of the same quality as the psychic events C and D', andfurther be-
cause all are the exponents of one and the same momentary situation. The
situation is assumed to represent a legible or understandable picture.22

Synchronistic events are not merely random or chance occurrences. Random or


chance events have no meaning. The role of the observer is inseparable from synchronic-
ity, for it is the observer who assigns meaning rather than meaning being contained or
embedded within the event.

36
[SJynchronicity takes the coincidence of events in space and time as
meaning something more than mere chance, namely, a peculiar interde-
pendence of objective events among themselves as well as with the subjec-
five (psychic) states of the observer or observers.

In the remainder of this section we will examine several intentional and non-
intentional techniques and structures, including indeterminacy and chance, randomness,
and improvisation and performer choice.

Indeterminacy and Chance: Determinate and Indeterminate Notation


Indeterminacy and chance are two processes closely linked to the concept of in-
tention and non-intention in art. Although chance and indeterminacy in musical composi-
tional procedures precede the systematic work of John Cage (Mozart's Musikalishes
Wiirfelspiel or Musical Dice-Game is an early example), certainly the untitled event at
Black Mountain College in 1952 and Music of Changes (1951) can be considered turning
points in the use of indeterminacy and chance operations as starting points for music
composition.24 While the two terms are related and refer, in general, to events or proc-
esses in which the influence of creators' intentions and ego are reduced if not removed,
they are not synonymous.
Chance refers to that which happens "without design or discoverable cause. An
event that is without apparent cause or unexpected."25 In the works of John Cage, and
those of many of his followers, chance refers to specific methodologiesmechanical or
proceduralfor the generation of materials usually within a range of pre-existing possi-
bilities. Chance operations may be used in the composition of the work or they may be
used in the performance of the work; and although most often used to determine local
details, chance operations may also be used to determine larger matters of structure. In
the determination of local detailseither by the composer or the performerthe results
of chance operations usually determine specific events or parameters.
Jackson Mac Low describes this as a "systematic" method in which "objective
methods of random orders such as in using dice, cards, random-digit tables, or the /
Ching"11 are employed. Karl Popper describes this type of chance as "absolute

37
chance" an "absolutely unpredictable event which is controlled by neither causal laws
nor by the coincidence of causal laws, but by probabilistic laws alone."28 In the works of
Cage unpredictable events generally fall within a range of expectations based on specific
predetermined possibilities. In other words, Cage composes a set of materials such as
pitch, octave displacements, instrumentation, and maps the outcome of chance proce-
dures to members of this set. In Musicage Joan Retallack describes Cage's use of "chance
operations" to produce meaning.

[CJhance occurrences can be construed as meaningful events (alternative


"voices ") within a designated range of sources, materials, and instrumen-
tal processes.

Indeterminacy, in contrast to chance, refers to that which is "not marked or speci-


fied," "not fixed in extent, amount, character, etc." or "not determined by motives; acting
freely." "Indeterminate" and its opposite, "determinate," are more often used to de-
scribe overall or structural relationships and usually refer to the notation or score, to the
overall resulting content of the work, or to the performance of the work. Indeterminacy
may result from an indeterminate (not fixed) score or from a determinate (fixed) score the
realization or performance of which, owing to factors intentionally unspecifiedor un-
specifiablein the score is indeterminate. An indeterminate score may be determined by
chance operations, but it can just as well result from a different compositional method.
Often, and particularly in the music of Cage, the indeterminate score is carefully con-
structed and consists of very specific instructions, which are intended to result in a work
that is unpredictable and hence indeterminate in performance. In other words, an inde-
terminate structure is usually composed, but it is composed in such a way as to insure an
indeterminate result. For William Fetterman, Cage's notation systems provide

a bounded, limited range of possible events or actions which are then to


be determined by the individual performer or performers. The notations
are indeterminate of a specific, repeatable content, but the resultant per-
formance is finally a determinate act.31

38
Michael Kirby describes indeterminacy in "The New Theatre" in similar terms.

Indeterminacy means that limits within which the performers are free to
make choices are provided by the creator of the piece: a range of alterna-
tives is made available from which the performer may select.

There are, then, two types of indeterminate notation. The first consists of a fixed
set of specific instructions or a fixed score not open to performer interpretation but
which, owing to factors intentionally beyond the control of the performers, results in an
unpredictable performance. The second consists of a set of instructions which are inten-
tionally open to performer interpretation or for an unspecified number and type of per-
formers, resulting in a differentalthough potentially fixedperformance by that set of
performers. The question in the second case is whether the indeterminacy occurs during
the realization or preparation of the performance or in the performance itself. Do the per-
formers determine how to interpret the score, and then rehearse that interpretation as a
fixed, determinate score? Or are decisions being made in performance? Examples of the
first type include Cage's Imaginary Landscape No. 4 and Williams Mix; examples of the
latter include Cage's Variations and Christian Wolffs Music for One, Two, or Three
People.
One critical difference between chance and indeterminacy appears to be whether
the procedure results in a fixed score and repeatable performances. Chance operations are
usually performed as part of the process of creating the final score, which is itself fixed
and performed as any other score; the intention is to create similar, ideal performances.
The goal of indeterminate notation or an indeterminate score, in contrast, is to avoid cre-
ating a conventional one-to-one correspondence between notation and performance. In
this situation the intention is to create successive, dissimilar performances which may
differ widely from each other. Cage describes the difference in the following excerpt
from a conversation with Alan Gillmore:

Chance operations can be used to make something that is fixed. That is


how I made the Music of Changes. / used the I Ching in order to write

39
down something that enforced a performer to go through a particular se-
ries of actions. Then later, when I began my series o/Variations, / was in-
tent on making a kind of composition that was indeterminate of its own
performance, a composition that didn 't itself prescribe what would be
done. In other words, I was intent on making something that didn't tell
people what to do.33

In Cage's terminology, "chance" refers to the use of some sort of random proce-
dure in the act of composition. Music of Changes is a perfect example of this, with the /
Ching being used to select, order and coordinate elements taken from charts that list all
possible (precomposed) materials. "'Indeterminacy,' on the other hand, refers to the abil-
ity of a piece to be performed in substantially different waysthat is, the work exists in
such a form that the performer has access to an indefinitely large number of ways to play
it."34 The possibility of creating a score that may be interpreted in a number of equally
valid ways reflects Cage's interest in non-hierarchical structures and anarchy and rein-
forces his belief in the interconnectedness of all things. In Silence Cage states:

Each and every thing in all of time and space is related to each and every
other thing in all of time and space.35

To summarize, scores resulting from chance compositional procedures are usually


determinate or fixed and are intended to be interpreted like any other score. When per-
formers are instructed to use chance procedures in the interpretation of a score that score
is indeterminate or not fixed. Scores that result in indeterminate performances may con-
sist of fixed or determinate notation or sets of instructions which when realized result in
an indeterminate performance. Indeterminate performances may also be the result of an
indeterminate score or set of instructions.
It will be noticed that in both caseschance and indeterminacythe role of the
creators is to define a collection of materials, either by setting limits on a range of possi-
bilities or by specifying a finite set from which the work is constructed: in the case of
chance operations by means of mapping operations which results in a determinate or

40
fixed score; in the case of indeterminacy, by means of a set of instructions which results
in a range of differing performances. Chance operations generally take place during the
creative process by the composers of the work, while indeterminacy takes place during
the performance or in preparations for the performance of the work. The limits and pro-
cedures are known and, usually, determined by the creators, but the specific outcome is
unknown. The role of the creators is to facilitate implementation of a scenario that allows
unintended events to occur. Without the creators' shaping and input, what would result
would be random events. In Silence, Cage describes the role of the composer of this new
kind of music as follows:

Those involved with the composition of experimental music find ways and
means to remove themselves from the activities of the sounds they make.
Some employ chance operations, derivedfrom sources as ancient as the
Chinese Book of Changes, or as modern as the tables of random numbers
used also by physicists in research. Or, analogous to the Rorschach tests
of psychology, the interpretation of imperfections in the paper upon which
one is writing may provide a musicfreefrom one's memory and imagina-
tion. Geometrical means employing spatial superimpositions at variance
with the ultimate performance in time may be used. The total field of pos-
sibilities may be roughly divided and the actual sounds within these divi-
sions may be indicated as to number but left to the performer or to the
splicer to choose. In this latter case, the composer resembles the maker of
a camera who allows someone else to take the picture.

In the context of an information structure, either chance or indeterminacy may be


used to determine local details within a larger context of an enclosing determinate struc-
ture. Chance may operate on a local level to determine individual events or a particular
parameter within a single art form. Chance may also operate in a larger or global context
determining events and relationships among a combination of art forms. Because individ-
ual parameters within a single art form or individual media within a combined work may
be independently affected by chance or indeterminacy, the resulting forms may be con-

41
sidered to be multi-layer structures, within which each component may have an inde-
pendent information structure. Some of the collaborations between John Cage and Merce
Cunningham, such as Four Walls (in which the work's total duration is the only common
parameter between the music and the dance), are wonderful examples of a systematic ap-
proach to indeterminate information structures.

Randomness
Randomness refers to "a haphazard or aimless course; that which is haphazard or
without definite aim or purpose."37 A random event, then, is one without intention and
which has, itself, no intrinsic meaning. In art, however, randomness is often a misnomer,
since were a creator to intend or attempt to create randomness, that act itself would have
an intention and would hence not be random. However, in a more narrow sense the term
is useful: a random distribution usually implies an equal distribution of any of the possi-
ble events that could occur in a given situation over a given period of time. Random dis-
tribution of a large number of events is controlled by stochastic laws which govern "the
law of large numbers,... the laws of rare events, the different aleatory procedures, etc."38
According to Xenakis, chance is rare. "[I]t can be constructed a little, but never impro-
vised or intellectually imitated."39 A truly random or unpredictable event cannot be con-
sidered composition because a truly random event has no human intention or intervention
and therefore has no meaning.

The Performer as Composer: Improvisation, Choice and Graphic Notation


According to the dictionary, to improvise is to "compose or utter or do on the spur
of the moment."40 Although improvisation in the arts involves a certain amount of spon-
taneous creativity, in reality it is often more complicated. First, improvisation often takes
place in the context of a given style having its own rules and conventions and, com-
monly, a harmonic or other composed structure. These rules and structures obviously
limit the range of what is acceptable in the improvisation. Second, performers bring to an
improvisation their own habits and learned responses, based on their background, train-
ing, and mannerisms. Finally, performers of improvisational theatre or jazz respond to
each other. Performers' utterances are intentional and many times are intended to elicit a

42
particular response from another performerbased on certain stylistic rules or on expec-
tations based on familiarity. What appears to be a spontaneous "improvisation" may, in
reality, be somewhat predictable.
Performer choice is a specific application of indeterminacy. Usually it entails little
more than the ability to choose between two or more equally valid compositional struc-
tures, instructions, or ways to interpret a single set of instructions. Choices may be made
in performance but are often made prior to performance and presented as pre-determined
in the performance itself. In these situations the spectator observes a structure constructed
by the performer from details or alternatives specified by the composer.
As a final example of creations in which performers contribute to the composition
of the performed work, consider scores which consist in part or entirely of graphic nota-
tion. In these scores the notation itself is complete and fixed; but because the performers
interpret the score and realize it in performance, the work may be considered indetermi-
nate. Not uncommonly, the score is interpreted and rehearsed by a group of performers
with the intention of creating a performance that will become fixed. In this sense the re-
sult may be considered a determinate performance of an indeterminate score. Scores con-
taining graphic notation include Herbert Briin's Floating Hierarchies and Mutatis Mu-
tandis, Dick Higgins' Graphis, Earle Brown's Folio, James Tenney's Postal Pieces and
Kenneth Gaburo's Antiphony IX.
In all three of these cases the composers give up some control to the performers
and share the compositional responsibility and intentions with them. Certain stylistic as-
sumptions are made by the performers and the consequences of these observed by the
spectator. And the final result, observed by the spectator, is not indeterminate, but rather
quite determinate.

2.5 Information Structure Examples


In each of the following examples the information structure is identified by num-
ber of information structures (simple or complex), type (cumulative or non-cumulative),
and logic (logical, illogical or alogical). (Subsets of logical are narrative and non-
narrative.) In addition, the structure and construction of the work, as well as the informa-
tion itself, may be either literary or abstract.

43
2.5.1 John Cage and Lejaren Hiller, HPSCHD
Complex; Non-Cumulative; Indeterminate; Logical (non-narrative)
At once the culmination of the indeterminacy of the Variations and early multi-
media events such as the untitled event at Black Mountain College and the immediately
preceding Musicircus and early experiments with chance operations including Williams
Mix and Music of Changes, HPSCHD integrates both indeterminacy and chance opera-
tions into a work whose sheer size in quantity of forces and diversity of content is unlike
anything that preceded it. Composed for an abundance of resources including seven harp-
sichords, 52 computer-generated tape parts, 40 films, 8,400 slides, lighting and an inter-
active audience, each of the components is composed or constructed from materials
through the use of chance operations and has an independent information structure. The
instructions for the final realization of the fixed parts, of which each individual compo-
nent is constructed, and the combination and superposition of multiple components intro-
duces elements of indeterminacy into the performance.
An early description of the work and its premiere in 1969 at the University of Illi-
nois Assembly Hall, attributes "randomness" to the experience:

All aspects of the event were meticulously and systematically randomized


so that it was left to the spectators to fill in the space between sound and
image with their random noises and movements.
Inasmuch as its parts were each assembled according to the laws
of chance, HPSCHD can be thought of as a collage of superimposed lay-
ers of randomness.*1

However, HPSCHD is far from a random event or collection of random events. Its
score is both highly structured and intentional; and, consisting of over 500 pages of
manuscript, it is, compositionally, a highly controlled and detailed work which is in-
tended to be realized in an indeterminate manner. Although chance procedures were ap-
plied systematically to each individual componentharpsichord solos, the computer real-
ized tape parts, slides, film, and even the postersthe results of the operations are a fixed

44
score which may be realized in any number of ways. To begin with, the following de-
scription appears on the title page of each of the solo parts:

Twenty-minute solos for 1-7 amplified harpsichords and tapes for 1-51
[rightly 52] amplified monaural machines to be used in whole or in part in
any combination with or without interruptions, etc. to make an indetermi-
nate concert of any agreed-upon length having 2-58 [rightly 59] separate
channels with loudspeakers around the audience.*2

The materials from which the fixed solo collages are constructed consist of Mo-
zart's Musical Dice-Game, other works by Mozart, and additional materials selected from
musical history starting with Mozart and ending with works by Hiller and Cage. All of
the materials were subjected to chance procedures based on the / Ching and Mozart's
Musical Dice-Game. In performance, though, the harpsichord soloists are allowed to play
their parts in whole or in sections, changing the order and inserting silence as desired.
The seventh soloist is permitted "to play any Mozart of her choice in either of two man-
ners: as though she were eit home without an audience, practicing and playing for her own
pleasure; or as though she were in public, performing, or any combination of those."43
Finally, each of the soloists is given the following instruction: "In addition to playing his
own solo, each harpsichordist is free to play any of the others."44
The tape parts received a much more detailed treatment with the / Ching. Cage
had wanted a piece that would take "advantage of the computer facility, to multiply the
details of the tones and durations of a piece of music."45 Each of the 52 computer parts
represents one division of the octave into a gamut of 5 to 56 tones; each tone is further
subdivided into 129 parts. Individually, all aspects of the materials from which the tape
parts are constructed were subjected to chance operations.

Everything from pitch choices, inflection values, and time in milliseconds


was weighted against goals in a scale, possible ornaments to be used, and
dynamic levels.*6

45
In performance, four copies of the 52 tape parts are independently distributed to thirteen
stations, "with the instructions that they were all to be played about twice during the eve-
ning."47
In general, then, HPSCHD is constructed from the application of chance proce-
dures to various sources, resulting in a large pool of fixed materials to which various in-
dependent indeterminate performance instruction are applied. It is, therefore, both deter-
minate and indeterminate, in that many indeterminate realizations of its determinate score
are possible. William Brooks, one of the seven harpsichordists performing in the pre-
miere of HPSCHD, describes the dual nature of the performance as follows:

[AJlthough the components o/HPSCHD were distributed unpredictably in


performance, the structure (the time-lengths and proportions) of each, and
the relationships between them, were considered and precise.**

Cage describes the dichotomy between determinacy and indeterminacy and that between
performance and composition found in HPSCHD in Conversing with Cage.

The performance /b/HPSCHDy will introduce elements of indeterminacy,


whereas the computer, in order to function, requires complete determina-
49
tion

HPSCHD has a complex structure in that it consists of a combination of several


component art forms each of which has an independent information structure. The work
is about the superposition and interpenetration of independent structures; it is not about
the logical flow of individual events and their alignment or reinforcement.

In both concept and location, HPSCHD was analogous to a cosmic dia-


gram. Cage had taken a small section of the universe and shown its ran-
dom relation to the rest. Each layer of the event was supercharged with
abundance: an abundance of sounds, people, visuals, events; and each
layer had been meticulously disorganized to set it apart from the others,

46
while at the same time retaining a strict family connectionall of this dis-
tributed over a sloping grid of radiating aisles and concentric prome-
nades.50

HPSCHD is non-cumulative because there is no overall traditionally composed


structure; HPSCHD has no beginning, no ending, only middle. It is, in fact, intended that
the performance start before the audience enters the space and continue after the last
spectator leaves. Although information is "accumulated" by the spectator it is not done
with the intention of imparting a traditional musical goal or theatrical denouement. Cage
is not asking the spectator to come to a specific conclusion but merely to experience the
event in the moment.
HPSCHD does not convey specific predetermined information to the spectator,
inform a specific goal or allow a singular experience. It forces individual experience and
individual decisions. It does not consider a time/space matrix or the development of char-
acters. It forces the spectator to become a character. There is no plot except for that which
each spectator creates for herself. Nothing happens; the spectator may not know more at
the end of the performance than she did at the beginning of the performance. We can,
therefore, consider HPSCHD to be non-cumulative, at least in the traditional sense.
Richard Kostelanetz describes this aspect of HPSCHD as having the "structural
devices conducive to the creation of noncentered, nonhierarchic, nonfocused time and
space, full of activities that have neither a definite beginning nor a definite end. Indeed,
the only feasible way to begin HPSCHD is to turn it on, as one might a switch, and the
only way to conclude it, in this age of electricity, is simply to pull the plug."51 Husarik
describes the beginning of the event as follows:

At 7:30 on the warm, humid evening in May, JackMcKenzie gave the or-
der to commence, and a trickle ofmicrotonal electronics began to ema-
nate from the fifty-two speakers. The seven soloists began their perform-
ances, and continuously changing displays took shape on the enormous
screens above. The final layer of the collage was added as the people en-
tered the Assembly Hall, and the performance began.51

47
Finally, the logic of the solos and tape parts has been previously demonstrated as
being based on Mozart's Musical Dice Game and the / Ching. This logic, applied inde-
pendently to each of the 52 computer parts and 7 harpsichord parts, is consistent with
Cage's desire to create non-hierarchical structures that reflect the abundance of society
and the ability of each person to experience life and HPSCHD in his or her own way.
Thus, the information structure of HPSCHD may be fully described as complex, non-
cumulative, indeterminate, and logical.

2.5.2 Ballets Russes, Parade


Complex; Non-Cumulative; Determinate; Logical-Illogical (Narrative-Non-
Narrative)
At Country Fairs it is usual for a dancer or acrobat to give a performance
in front of the booth in order to attract people to the turnstiles. The same
idea, brought up-to-date and treated with accentuated realism, underlies
the Ballet "Parade."
The scene represents a Sunday Fair in Paris. There is a traveling
Theatre, and three Music Hall turns are employed as Parade. These are
the Chinese conjuror, an American girl, and a pair of Acrobats.
Three Managers are occupied in advertising the show. They tell
each other that the crowd in front is confusing the outside performance
with the show which is about to take place within, and they try, in the
crudest fashion, to induce the public to come and see the entertainment
within, but the crowd remains unconvinced. After the last performance the
Managers make another effort, but the Theatre remains empty. The Chi-
naman, the Acrobats, and the American girl, seeing that the Managers
have failed, make a last appeal on their own account. But it is too late.53

Parade is usually described as a single scenario divided into the seven sections in
Satie's score: "Choral"; "Prelude du rideau rouge"; "Prestidigitateur chinois"; "Petite fille
americaine"; "Acrobates"; "Final"; and "Suite au Prelude du rideau rouge." However, it
is probably better understood as two interlocking scenarios: the impresarios and the "per-

48
formers," who alternate entreaties and samples in order to lure the audience in to see the
full performance; and the performance itself, which takes place behind Picasso's curtain
and which the audience is only left to imagine. Although the latter performance does not
actually exist, the scenario and thus Parade cannot exist without it.
The overall structure of the work is, therefore, both narrativethe overall sce-
nario of the circus sideshowand non-narrativethe order and content of the three per-
formers' presentations. The content and the order of the three performers are not relevant
to the overall scenario. This is reinforced by the note to Cocteau's scenario as spelled out
in the original 1917 score: "N.B. The management reserves the right to switch the order
of numbers in the parade."54 Performances ofParade are fixedeach is the same as all
othersbut Parade cannot simply be identified as either complex or simple, cumulative
or non-cumulative, logical or illogical, narrative or non-narrative. Parade straddles these
dualities and can only be understood structurally as one or the other within the context of
diachronic/synchronic or global/local analysis pairs. At any time and/or place the work
may be experienced as either one or the other half of these dual structures. Examination
of a different time/space sample presents different, equally valid results.
The contributions of each of the principal collaboratorsJean Cocteau (scenario,
libretto and noise score), Leonide Massine (choreography), Pablo Picasso (costumes and
sets), and Erik Satie (orchestra score)remain separate, never quite coming together;
unification is achieved through the time/place matrix constructed from the dual sideshow-
main event scenario. In addition to the overall dual structure, each of the collaborators
contributes to one or both sides of the following dualities: visual/sound elements, in-
side/outside, foreground/background, abstraction/realism, high/low art, illusion and real-
ity.55 All embrace these dualities in varying degrees within the contexts of their individ-
ual contributions or in combination with another of the collaborators.
Ignoring Cocteau's original scenario and examining the art forms and how they
contribute structurally to the work, it can be seen how the art forms participate in the
various dual structures. First, the component media can be divided into two categories:
visual and audio. Two collaborators and art forms contribute visual components: Picasso
(costumes and sets) and Massine (choreography), and two collaborators and art forms
contribute audio: Satie (orchestral score) and Cocteau (noise score). Further examination

49
of each of the art forms reveals that for each there is a realistic and an abstract compo-
nent, an inside and outside component, and a foreground and background component.
Visual and audio components fit into these dualities in a parallel manner. Visu-
ally, performers conventionally occupy the foregroundconstituting the main event
with the set and costumes occupying the background in a supporting role. In Parade the
relationship is inverted. The Managers and the set, representing the exterior show, occupy
the foreground, while the performersnow relegated to the backgroundrepresent the
interior show. Picasso's work is large, loud, brash, a cubist/surrealist fantasy; Massine's,
in contrast, is subdued and intimate. The curtain itself turns the usual foreground/back-
ground, inside/outside perspective on its head. Steven Whiting describes the multiple cur-
tains of Parade's premiere and their effect in Satie the Bohemian.

The Theatre curtain, once raised, revealed another: Picasso's 'Rideau


rouge', a painting upon a curtain of a curtain parted to reveal what cur-
tains usually hide, namely, the performers at ease backstage. This curtain,
in turn, was raised to reveal what usually takes place in front of a curtain,
namely, the ballyhoo or parade, and Picasso's set depicts a circus booth
with its curtain drawn.5

Both Picasso and Massine incorporate reality in their work. The bits from which
the costume and set are constructed originate in reality but are "done in a cubist style
while the curtain portrays the world of the circus in fantasy-realist terms."57 The size of
the Managers' costumes and the set, in relationship to Massine's performers, belong less
to reality than to some super-realistic or surrealist world. Massine's performersthe
Chinese Magician, the American Girl and the two Acrobatsperform steps and actions
taken from reality and contemporary culture: the Chinese Magician is based on a specific
model"Chung Ling Soo, who performed annually at the Alhambra music-hall between
1910 and 1914"58 and the American Girl imitates Charlie Chaplin, "plays cowboys-and-
Indians, cranks up her Model T, and goes down with the Titanic."59
While all of the collaborators were influenced by Picasso's idea that bits of reality
could be incorporated into Parade, Massine's choreography, with its steps taken from

50
actions and activities of real characters, seems to have, in particular, benefited from his
advice.60 Visually, though, the differences between Picasso's and Massine's contributions
could not be more different. Picasso's costumes and sets overwhelm and dominate in
both scope and style. Massine's choreography, in contrast, is more human, fragile and
introspective.

Picasso's influence on the other collaborators was considerable: he was


able to get across to them certain effective devices of his own which they
could adapt in their media. Massine, for example, could profit from a re-
mark of Picasso's that Cocteau jotted down in his Rome notebook: "Picasso
says: 'Don't be afraid to glue apiece of newspaper to the canvasi.e., to
use a movement whose meaning cannot be misunderstood, and which, re-
maining untransposed, gives full value to the other movements. '"61

Set and costumes normally function in a supporting role, creating the illusion of
time and place in which the characters interact. Parade's three characters, typical proto-
types in Parisian entertainments of the time, lose their "reality" in Picasso's surrealist set.
Overwhelming the performers, the "illusion" created by the set and costumes takes on a
reality of its own, effectively transforming the performers into "puppets."

When Picasso showed us his sketches, we realized how interesting it


would be to introduce, in contrast to the three chromos, unhuman or su-
perhuman characters who wouldfinally assume a false reality on the
stage and reduce the real dancers to the stature of puppets.62

In the circus, the parade is an advertisement for the main event; it is not itself the
show but its advertisement. It occurs outside, in an exterior, while the performance itself,
taking place inside the tent, is the interior show. The difference in size and style between
the costumes and set and the performers supports this reality. In Parade it is right that the
sets and managers are the main event, while the performers are the sideshow, a back-
ground for Picasso's visual arsenal. Significantly, the two "visual" collaborators' work

51
doesn't interact. Each collaborator is responsible for different information: Picasso for the
advertisement; Massine for the tease. They share a time and a spacebut that is all.
With the appearance of the two Managers and the costumed "horse" the two
worlds meet and collide. For the Managers, Massine was forced to adapt the choreogra-
phy to fit the costuming. In this "collaboration" the movement is less important than the
come-on. Indeed, Cocteau lamented "the Managers' step-dance, among others, rehearsed
without Picasso's 'carcasses' lost all its lyric force as soon as the 'carcasses' were put on
the dancers."63 The horse, similar in physical stature to the performers, is less jarring but
functions in the same way as the Managers. It is, however, noteworthy that the horse's
entrance occurs in silence.
Aurally, Satie's orchestral score should be the main event; and indeed, it is in a
sense the only event. It accompanies the performers, which are conventionally the main
visual event, and it accompanies the managers and even the curtain. Satie's score consists
of both "interior" and "exterior" styles, the former being used to "frame" the latter in a
manner similar to Picasso's curtain. The "Chorale" and the "Prelude du rideau rouge"
make up the opening frame and the "Suite au Prelude du rideau rouge" is the closing
frame. Again, Whiting describes this effect quite eloquently.

Satie 's musical analogue to this inversion of perspectives was to devise a


fugal exposition to 'accompany' the 'Rideau rouge': an 'interiorized' mu-
sical style to accord with the glimpse of the stage interior. As Picasso's
curtain rises, the musical style becomes more extroverted and popular;
there are marches, waltzes, and a ragtime song. When Picassso 's curtain
closes, the fugues resumes, as if momentarily interrupted by the music-hall
numbers. In both cases, the interior paradoxically frames the exterior.,64

But what to make of the score's "noises," which at times assert themselves to the
point of pushing the orchestral score into the background? The aural components, similar
to the visual components, are of a dual nature and were composed by both Satie and Coc-
teau. While the score for Parade is familiar, it is less well known that Cocteau's original
scenario and sketches for Parade variously included descriptions for particular noises,

52
texts spoken through megaphones, and even musical tunes and phrases to correspond to
each of the three performers. All of these, with the exception of those "noises" which
found their way into Satie's score, were eliminated.

What remained were the various noises that Cocteau insisted on includ-
ing, as what he called the work's 'bouquet' (meaning both characteristic
aroma and impressive display of fireworks). It was Cocteau, not Satie,
who specified the typewriter, revolver shots, steamer sirens, Morse code
signals, electric generators, aeroplane sounds, and so forth.

Cocteau may have been responding to Picasso's influence with the incorporation
of these bits of acoustical reality; in A Call to Order he explains, "I employed [these]
with the same object as the 'eye-deceivers' itrompe-Voeil)newspapers, cornices, imita-
tion wood-work, which the painters use."66 Cocteau certainly intended that these "noises"
at times dominate or at least have a significance equal to that of Satie's orchestral score.
This is demonstrated by Cocteau's notes on the copyist's score which "indicate that 'here
the orchestra accompanies the solo for typewriter, which, amplified, writes an enormous,
impossible business letter that I wrote specially so that the same thing would be typed at
each performance.'"67
On the other hand, Picasso's "eye-deceivers" may have been a convenient justifi-
cation for Cocteau to include more texts or libretto into Parade. By describing the three
characters and what the spectator might expect to see on the other side of the curtain,
these texts contribute to the come-on. Cocteau was aware of and reveled in the dual na-
ture of Parade. As an indication of his intentions, Cocteau's notes and sketches for the
three characters, given to Satie early in the collaboration, "emphasized, ... the prolonga-
tion of these characters on the other side of our showman's booth. The Chinaman could
there torture missionaries, the little girl go down with the 'Titanic,' and the acrobat win
the confidences of the angels."68 Although most of Cocteau's texts, tunes, and noises
were removed from the final score, the "texts are included both in the libretto that Coc-
teau prepared for presentation to Diaghilev in January 1917 and in the copyist's score69
annotated by Cocteau and by Massine for use in rehearsals."70

53
Much has been written about the noises that Cocteau had wanted to include, but it
is impossible to surmise what Parade would have been like had Cocteau's original inten-
tions been fulfilled. Cocteau seems to have grudgingly accepted the elimination of the
texts but insisted on the incorporation of specific noises into Satie's score. Had all of
these sounds and texts been included the difference between the two sound elements
might have been similar to that between the two visual elements. What should have been
backgroundthe noise elementsbecomes foreground, and what is normally fore-
groundSatie's score to accompany the main performancebecomes background.
However, even with this reduced contribution the desired effect is achieved. Cocteau
would later write about the dual nature of the audio elements in A Call to Order.

Gradually there came to birth a score in which Satie seems to have dis-
covered an unknown dimension, thanks to which one can listen simultane-
ously both to the 'Parade' and the show going on inside.11

Parade consists, therefore, of several information structures that co-exist in vary-


ing degrees. There is the main information structure of the fair and the managers and per-
formers attempting to entice the audience inside. There are the two parallel dual struc-
tures presented by the visual and audio components. Each of the collaborators contributes
a somewhat independent structure. And, finally there are the individual information struc-
tures regulating the content of the three performers' acts.
The main information structure of Parade is non-cumulative but may be consid-
ered cumulative in one sense. A specific time/space matrixthe reality of the circusis
lifted from the street and presented on the stage. But as in reality, the characters do not
change over the course of the work. They learn nothing, experience nothing. The scenario
begins or ends at any point. The order of the entry of the characters has no meaning; they
could just as easily be presented in a different order. The curtain rises or falls sooner or
later. It makes no difference. Although each of the charactersmanagers or "perform-
ers"plays his or her "role" in character, it can be argued that this particular scenario
could be repeated any number of ways without changing the outcome.

54
So too for the spectator nothing happens. The spectator knows no more at the end
of Parade than at the beginning. It is all flash, all show, all sound, all lights. There is no
development. There is only the implied goal of seeing the main show, a goal which can-
not be attained. The audience is left unfulfilled. It is, in a sense, a static picture or set of
pictures of a circus parade presented on a stage. Parade offers a narrative structure only
in the sense that there is a time-and-place matrix based in a very specific reality with
which the audiences of the day were familiar. It is non-narrative in the sense that nothing
happens: there is no real plot, no development, only a series of pictures. Without begin-
ning, ending or development, Parade is not a story, but a juxtaposition of dual structures
and the play and confluence of elements. It is about the show.
Parade, unlike HPSCHD, is a determinate work for multiple art forms. It is in-
tended to be performed in the same way each time. For each spectator, at least on the
level of observable events, Parade is intended to be a repeatable, shared experience.
While HPSCHD consists of various determinate parts that, when combined, result in an
indeterminate performance, Parade consists of a determinate score and a determinate per-
formance. Each observer of Parade should have the same or similar experience while
each observer of HPSCHD may have a different experience.
Parade's scenario is logical in its overall concept: it depicts a parade outside a
traveling circus in which the managers and performers attempt to lure the audience in to
see the main show. On the local level, though, the realization and details are illogical.
There is no particular reason why one event happens before another event, why the en-
trance of one performer occurs before another, why there couldn't be more performers, or
even fewer performers. Although the overall scenario is logical and, indeed, even the in-
version of the stage and the foreground-background relationships can be seen as logical,
Cocteau's original scenarios for each of the performers, abstracted from the current cul-
tural milieu, appear to be based on random impressions arranged in no apparently logical
order. The following excerpt is from Cocteau's scenario for the American girl:

The Titanic"Nearer My God to Thee"elevatorsthe sirens of Bou-


lognesubmarine cablesship-to-shore cablesBresttarvarnish
steamship apparatusThe New York Heralddynamosairplanesshort

55
circuitspalatial cinemasthe sheriffs daughterWalt Whitmanthe si-
lence of stampedescowboys with leather and goatskin chapsthe tele-
graphy operator from Los Angeles who marries the detective at the end
the 144 expressthe Siouxthe cordillera of the AndesNegroes picking
maizejailthe reverberationbeautiful Madame Astorthe declara-
tions of President Wilsontorpedo boatsminesthe tangoBidal Lab-
lachemercury globesprojectorsarc lampsgramophonestype-
writersthe Eiffel Towerthe Brooklyn Bridgehuge automobiles of
enamel and nickelPullman cars which cross the virgin forestbars
saloonsice-cream parlorsroadside tavernsNick CarterHelen
Boodgethe Hudson and its docksthe Carolinasmy room on the seven-
teenth floorpanhandlerspostersadvertisingCharlie Chaplin
Christopher Columbusmetal landscapesthe list of the victims of the Lu-
sitaniawomen wearing evening gowns in the morningthe isle of Mauri-
tiusPaul et Virginie.72

One can dispute whether the parallel relationships between the audio elements
and the visual elements was Cocteau's original intention, Picasso's idea, or merely the
result of a collaborative process among four equal artists. It is clear, however, that each of
the collaborators contributes to the overall foreground-background structure on which
Parade is built. In the introduction to the piano duet version of Parade, Auric states: "Sa-
tie's score is conceived to serve as a musical background for a foreground of percussion
and scenic noises. It thus very humbly submits to the reality that chokes the nightingale's
song under the rumbling of trams."73 Whatever Cocteau's intentions, Auric's statement is
both an overly simplistic and inaccurate description of the relationship of the two sound
components. More likely each of the collaborators sought a certain amount of creative
independence and guarded their individual contributions to the work. In Satie the Bohe-
mian, Steven Whiting writes, "[Parade] renders, in still another way, the fundamental
paradox of exterior versus interior spectacle so dear to the poet. The musical 'main
event,' like the theatrical one, unfolds in a background that few if any perceive."74 Con-

56
tributing to this ambiguity is the concluding bill, displayed as the red curtain fell at the
end of the performance.

The drama
which
didn't
take place
for those people
who stayed outside
was
by
Jean Cocteau Erik Satie Pablo Picasso75

Surely Cocteau's little "drama" succeeded at least in confusing conventions and


turning the audience's expectations on their heads.

2.5.3 Salvatore Martirano, L. 's G. A.


Simple; Cumulative; Fixed (Determinate); Logical (Non-Narrative)
Sal Martirano's L. 's G A. for gas-masked politico, helium bomb, two channel
tape and 16mm films received its initial performances at the University of Illinois in De-
cember 1967 and January 1968 and was also released on the Poly dor label in 1968. Led
by the text of President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, the combined media and several
information layers or structures support Martirano's ideas and commentary on the current
political and social climate in the late 1960s. The text, the electronic score, and the film
comprise the main information layers, while the visual staging with the nurse and the ef-
fect of the increasing dose of helium on the voice are secondary structures. More or less
independent in the correspondence of local details, these layers nonetheless combine to
form a simple information structure that follows Lincoln's Address, beginning with the
tape's low rumble and culminating with Holloway's high-pitched, helium-induced
screams.

57
Because the Gettysburg Address is both well known and brief, intelligibility of the
text is less important than in works with a less well-known text. It is this familiarity that
makes it relatively easy to enter and leave the text at any point and allows the audience
the freedom to make associations and to take risks that it might not normally take if atten-
tion had to be focused more directly on textual understanding. It also allows the com-
poser a wide range of creative freedom by freeing him from the task of preserving the
intelligibility of the text. At the 1968 American Society of University Composers Pro-
ceedings Martirano stated:

As far as comprehensibility of the text... I'm trying to escape and avoid


that problem by either choosing texts that you could assume everyone
knew or else a very simple format which then allows inflection to carry the
burden of meaning, rather than the content of a specific word. ... all you
need to do is catch a few words now and then to understand what the
meaning is. You hear "government" and you hear "people." And thus I
would hope that the person watching would create the framework ofspe-
cific and exact meaning according to how he sees things.

Berio, in his discussion of Sinfonia, concurs in the assessment of the understanding of the
text as essential to the work.

It is precisely because the varying degree of perceptibility of the text at


different moments is part of the musical structure, that the experience of
"not quite hearing", then, is to be conceived as essential to the nature of
the musical process.

And a review of Martirano's music in High Fidelity (September 1968), points specifically
to Martirano's exploitation of a known text in L. 's G. A.

58
Much ofMartirano 's music is for voices, and by the use of well-known
texts he is able to discount the priority of direct projection and immediate
intelligibility in favor of highly expressive distortion andfragmentation.

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address both holds the work together and allows the com-
poser to combine and juxtapose a wide range of seemingly unrelated materials and struc-
tures. The rapidly paced cutting of the film, the administration of helium through a gas
mask by a short-skirted nurse, the delivery of the text in different characters, the appar-
ently unrelated sections of which the audio is comprised, and the atomic bomb and organ
"postlude" demonstrate the wide-ranging, almost schizophrenic nature of the work. In
addition, the work has an unsubtle, almost playful character, despite the fact that it ad-
dresses very difficult social and political issues confronting American society. Martirano
himself noted the humor in L. 's G A. in a program note to a July 1974 performance at the
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

This piece is supposed to be funny, but there must be some important prin-
ciple missing because nobody ever laughs. It's a joking imitation and
caricature of the music of 4 composer friends here at the U. of I. in 1966
and 1967: Hiller, Cage, Johnston, Brtin, and I are starred in a soapy ren-
dition of the Gettysburg Address that was tailored to M.C. Holloway's tal-
ent for impressions.

However, despite the wide-ranging juxtapositions, Martirano seems to be creating


an overall structure which resembles a large crescendo. All components and structures
appear to support this notion: the performer is fed increasing amounts of helium (which
raises the pitch); the amount and density of performer-delivered text increases; and the
tape begins with a low-pitched quasi-static rumble for the first eight minutes, passing
through several shorter sections to a much denser texture. With the introduction of Hol-
loway's text, Dance Wreck, the long slow scream reaches a fever pitch with the "elephant
trumpet, ranting politico" and the atomic bomb explosion in the film.

59
Whether L. 's G A. 's information structure is cumulative or non-cumulative is
open to debate. Martirano himself is somewhat contradictory in his description of it.

I'm not forcing [the spectator] to catch on to a sequence of events in


which each one has to be understoodfor the next one to make sense. It's
almost kind of throwing it in all different places and gradually, I would
hope, the conception is built up in the audience}1

Certainly in the sense of plot or narrative the structure is non-cumulative. The order of
the inner sections is not critical to an understanding of the work; indeed, in musical
terms, the sequence seems to proceed in no particular order. Each section creates a sound
world of its own, passing or receiving little or no information to or from adjacent sec-
tions. Information is conveyed not only through the taped sounds, text and images but
through the characterizations: Southern Statesman, Nazi, Holy Roller, Politician and Gay
Person. In a sense, and without the film, these sections can be considered auditory and
visual "compartments." This is readily apparent upon a listening to the original LP re-
cording or the more recent CD release of L. 's G A.
However, the work does contain an artistically valid beginning and ending with
the opening low rumble functioning to draw the audience into the work and the atomic
bomb, ranting politico and organ postlude providing a fitting and satisfying conclusion.
In addition, the brevity and familiarity of the text allows it to be easily traced through the
work from beginning to end. To rephrase Martirano's words as a justification for a cumu-
lative structure, the overall conception of the work is built up in the audience gradually
through the observation of the different materials presented both individually and in
combination. For these reasons the work may be considered cumulative.
Although the text is the unifying component in L. 's G. A. and is the thread on
which everything else is hung, the audio tape and the filmstwo fixed components in
L. 's G. A.do not demonstrate a direct relationship to the text, at least at a local level.
However, an examination of Martirano's performance score demonstrates the close rela-
tionship between the performance aspects of L. 's G. A. and the text itself. Consisting of
eight typewritten pages of text and instructions, stick-figure representations of movement,

60
and annotations indicating the various characterizations, the autograph score describes a
piece "for Gas-Masked Politico, Helium Bomb, 3-16mm Movie Projectors and 2 Channel
Tape Recorder."82 The credits and collaborators are listed as follows:

Text: Abraham Lincoln andM.C. Holloway


Film: Ronald Nameth
Tape: Salvatore Martirano^

The order of the components may be significant and may indicate the relative im-
portance of the components, or it may reflect Sal's friendship with his collaborators (co-
conspirators). Nevertheless it is apparent from the score that the success of the perform-
ance relies on the performer's ability and, particularly, Holloway's ability to impersonate
different characters. It is also apparent thataside from the fixed audio tape and film
componentsthe performance instructions describe a direct setting and interpretation of
the text. In this sense, then, the performance is directly related to and dependent upon the
text, at least on a local or synchronic level. For the performer, then, the score is a fixed or
determinate set of instructions, the proper execution of which will produce a "correct"
performance of L. 's G A.
Martirano also created another "parallel" text titled L.'sG. A., which may have
begun life as a program note but which is an independent text that is not to be delivered
concurrently with the performance. Charles Whittenberg wrote in 1969 that this text is
"not a verbal analog or a description of the composition, but a literary companion to it,
complete in itself."84 Whittenberg further recommends that the poem be read "a day or
two before or immediately after one hears the music."85

L 'sG.A. Salvatore Martirano


Fourscore and seven. Seven? Seven Sections!
I. Forksore, a stomach real and imagined. Imagine a real storm-ache
the bottom ascends, swirling sauce, muddy brown it boils down
eudiometrically. Intergastric electricalization. Fango-therapy,
it's delizioso

61
II. Boom, Boom Boom, Boom!
Eat and be eaten by the calefactive cannonball of Kiln 574.5.
III. L 'sA.H. rises slowly, draws from his pocket a paper and when a
commotion subsides, in a sharp unmusical treble voice, reads the
brief and pithy remarks, (end of quotation)
IV. Speeded-up. A lion caged? A Cagey lion at the Mat in Mudville.
V. A case of canned knots andfurthermore would knocks.
L 'sB.J. saith: Thou shalt not; Thou shalt not; Thou shalt not;
plus 7.
VI. Ox-tongue mined are raids. Look out! Sirenes wail. Intermedium?
The General clubwoman said: War is, hell, raw electro-anathesia.
VII. Babies. Babies slobbering, dribbling saliva. A megaton of spit
orbits and slides. Two hundred andfifty men, a link and a chain
toward epiphany. Whose hearts, whose sweet voice, cry music, when
soft voices die, lingers in the Memor-eye?S6

Martirano's "parallel" text, coupled with the performance piece, creates a com-
pound work not unlike Scriabin's Poem of Ecstasy, which consists of both an orchestral
score and a poem. In Scriabin's case the poem initially preceded work on the symphony,
and, as with L.'sG.A., the two should not be considered as dependent on one another but
rather as parallel yet mutually exclusive. Boris de Schloezer describes the work on the
"Poem of Ecstasy" as follows:

[Scriabin] did not dare work on a musico-poetic unit. He feared losing the
independence of his poetry. When he began working on the music, he was
not concerned with matching the text precisely or strictly. The words did
not comment on the music and, likewise, the music was not an illustration
of the words.... [When we worked together comparing text and music,] I
remember the pleasure and surprise he felt when the music was fully free
yet followed the development of the text}1

62
The liner notes for the original LP of L. 's G A., released by Polydor in 1968 to
coincide with the initial performances, are by Edwin London. Written in 1967, they pre-
date the premiere of the complete version of L. 's G. A. in January 1968. The notes in-
clude descriptions of the performance and the performer, with freely associated graphics
images and texts, including Michael Holloway's Dance Wreck; in effect they are both a
political statement and another dose of Martirano's humor. The liner notes and Marti-
rano's additional text constitute an extension and reinforcement of the composer's ideas
into other media and forms. In this sense Cage's HPSCHD and L. 's G. A., as well as Coc-
teau's Parade, share a similar sensibility or at least marketing strategy and demonstrate
the care given to all aspects of the production as part of the creative process.
L. 's G. A. is an unrelenting and unforgiving work that piles information on top of
information, providing an abundance of suggestions but very few conclusions. Because
of the overwhelming nature of a live performance of L. 's G A., audiences often react vis-
cerally and as a group; but ultimately each spectator must wade through the masses of
sound, images, and text to form his or her own understanding.

2.5.4 Mike Figgis, Time Code


Complex to Simple; Indeterminate, Cumulative; Logical (Narrative)
Time Code, a film by Mike Figgis, consists of a narrative plot, four films and sev-
eral information structures. The four different films and corresponding information struc-
tures are presented simultaneously by dividing the total viewing area of the screen into
four equal-sized quadrants. (The combination of the four creates a fifth film, with its own
information structure, which will be discussed below.) At the outset these four informa-
tion structures are conveying four unrelated stories. At some point in the film it becomes
apparent that the four are related and by three-quarters of the way through they have
merged into a single scene shot from four different camera angles. In an interview with
Figgis, Rob Blackwelder describes the structure of Time Code as follows:

"Time Code's" labyrinth chronology is split into quadrants on the


screenlike a security camera monitorand the director uses volume
levels and other audio cues to draw the eye toward whichever frame he

63
chose to emphasize at any given point while in post-production, which
created a particular course to the narrative.u

Although an audience member is free to focus any one of the individual films in
this structure, and thus to create a personal information structure or narrative, Figgis' use
of audio levels guides most viewers' attention from one "pane" to another. The result is a
fifth information structurevisual and audiosuperimposed over the other four. In a
theatre with a large screen it is relatively easy to separate the four films and to follow
Figgis' "course" from one quadrant to another. In video format, with the associated
smaller viewing area of standard video monitors, the four films begin to lose their indi-
vidual quality, merging into a single unit. Thus, on the one hand, viewing Time Code in a
small format makes it more difficult to "follow" Figgis' narrative; on the other, it be-
comes easier for the individual viewer to construct a personal information structure.
Generally speaking, there are two timelines in a film: that representing the film's
content or story and that of the duration of the film. The filmmaker's challenge is to tell a
story that may take place over many years within the relatively short duration of a film.
Normally, a narrative structure takes place in several locations and consists of several
subplots. Different scenes follow one after the other in film time whether or not the
events occur simultaneously or in a particular sequence. Figgis solves the problem of
compressing a narrative having various locations and subplots into a linear presentation
by presenting the four scenes (and information structures) simultaneously, thus forcing
the audience to determine which is the main plot and which are the subplots. In addition,
Time Code's two timelinesstory and filmare identical. Each of the four films consists
of a single continuous shot, and, all films were shot simultaneously.
Figgis originally conceived Time Code as a performance piece in which the indi-
vidual shots would be presented on " four monitors in different parts of [a] gallery space
and have them slowly come together on trolleys."89 As the concept and available tech-
nologies evolved Figgis dreamed of being "able to interact with an audience by mixing
the picture's audio tracks live in the theater."90 In order to achieve these goals, Figgis
dispensed with the traditional written-out dialogue and detail-heavy shooting script. In-
stead he created a script consisting of "specific moments"91 where actions or emotions

64
would have to line up; rather than dialogue, suggestions for dialogue. Because the four
films would be shot simultaneously as single, continuous takes, there would be no scene-
by-scene rehearsals and much of the dialogue would have to be improvised.

The script never contained but kind of indications of what dialogue should
be. I would write some dialogue and say, for example you could say some-
thing like this.92

The "script" for Time Code (a single page of which is reproduced in Figure 2.1) is
written on music paper and is "scored" as a string quartet with each measure representing
a minute. Because of the improvisational nature of the dialogue, this type of script was
likely useful when reviewing the four films together after each shoot as well as lining up
cues or synchronic events.

The script was actually on music paper, using the four staves, like a string
quartet. Everybody had the same document, everybody (had to) hit every
cue to the second. I think what was the most sublime, joyful experience
collectivelywas everyone realizing that if everyone does follow the plan,
we would get there.

65
Figure 2.1: Sample page from shooting script of Time Code.

Figgis describes the relationships between the four films and the actors in Time
Code as having "an entirely musical structure"95 in an interview with Tara Veneruso he
even refers to the individual films as instruments: "They [each quadrant] are also relating
to the other instruments. It is all about harmony."96 However, although the structure and
relationships among the four films are not unlike those in a quartet, in effect the result is
more like four different groups of instruments arranged on four different moving stages
which gradually come together to form a single stage. Within Time Code there are rela-
tionships among the characters in the four films and there are relationships among the
four different films within the combined work itself. Both sets of relationships are indi-
cated in the "score"; but while the first set of relationships rely on the actors and their
performance, the latter set of relationships are more the responsibility of the director and
constitute a kind of post-production "performance."97

66
Because each of the four films was a continuous shot and because all four were
shot simultaneously it took fifteen takes before Figgis settled on the final version. During
the course of shooting the spontaneity of the initial takes was tempered and shaped by
being able to review the take almost immediately following the shoot. The first fourteen
takes were thus both "rehearsals" and alternate performances of Time Code. In post-
production, too, there are alternative versions; the rendering of the audio levels that Fig-
gis chose for release in theatres was only one of many possible structures. The mutability
of the post-production "performance" was confirmed when Figgis realized his goal of
performing the audio tracks and interacting with an audience in live performances in
2002 in the United States and Canada.
In its theatrical release, then, Time Code is a fixed, determinate object with a
fixed, determinate structure which is the result of a somewhat indeterminate process in
which the actors and director collaborate to create the materialsthe four filmsthat are
manipulated in post-production. In theatrical presentation and in video format, it offers
opportunities for multiple interpretations of an otherwise logical and narrative structure.
In the live "performances" given by Figgis the information structure of Time Code is in-
determinate within the limitations of the fixed video components and the finite limitations
of audio choices.
Time Code is cumulative and logical in its telling of an afternoon in the life of a
group of "misanthropic, self-absorbed Hollywood denizens." Each of the individual films
is traditional in its narrative form. The simultaneous presentation of the four films does
not change the narrative sense; the goal is the same, but the audience is given more
choices. Because auditory and visual information overlap, it is possible to gather informa-
tion from multiple panes simultaneously in both visual and auditory realms. For example,
although only one audio track is prominent at any time, one may view the visual compo-
nent of any of the four films. With the relatedness of the characters and stories in Time
Code, Figgis attempts to capture the interrelatedness of human lives within the medium
of film.

67
2.5.5 Christopher Preissing, Enigmatic Game
Complex; Determinate; Non-Cumulative; Illogical
Based on and settings of poetry by Christian Morgenstern, Enigmatic Game represents a
systematic exploration of collaborative relationships among a composer, choreographer
and visual artist, presented on a proscenium stage and two side stages. The three con-
tributors to Enigmatic Game each chose four poems by Morgenstern, a German poet and
contemporary of Nietszche. Choices were to be made independently by each collaborator;
this could and did result in the same poem or poems being chosen by different collabora-
tors. Of these four poems, each artist was asked to create two "solo" settings in his or her
particular art form and to collaborateone with each of the other collaboratorson the
settings for the other two. The artist who had chosen the poem would choose the collabo-
rator and direct or "control" the collaborative relationship, structuring the "collaboration"
any way desired. Each of the contributors would thus be involved in the creation of six
segments: two as "solos," one collaboration with each of the other contributors in the role
of "director" and one collaboration with each of the other contributors in the role of "di-
rected." Figure 2.2 illustrates the collaborative relationships among the contributing art-
ists. Arrows indicate direction of control.

Figure 2.2: The relationship among components in Enigmatic Game.

Each of the twelve poem settingssix "solos" and six collaborationswould be


created independently, with or without consideration of any of the other settings. No set-

68
ting was to be longer than about three minutes. The combination of these twelve settings
would result in a work with twelve different, independent information structures, each
intended by one or more collaborators, as well as one or more composite information
structures intended and not intended by the collaborators.
After all twelve settings were completed they were assembled into a structure for
a space that would allow up to three simultaneous poems to be presented. A proscenium
stage with two side stages was chosen both to surround the audience and to prevent all
but spectators far from the stages from seeing the entire production simultaneously. Each
individual spectator would see and hear something different based on his or her location
and proximity to one or more stages. Individual choices made during the presentation of
Enigmatic Game would of necessity eliminate or exclude the viewing of something else.
The goal was to allow for as many different interpretations of the work as possible and to
avoid imposing the collaborators' judgments on the audience.
In the assembly process, the collaborators brought one piece of paper for each
poem set. The paper representations, two inches wide for every one minute duration, in-
dicated the name of the poem, the artist, and whether the setting was a solo or a collabo-
ration. The collaborators then fit these representations on a matrix representing time as
well as stage location (Figure 2.3). The assembly process was designed to take into con-
sideration time, space, lighting, the soloist's requirements, and the balance between solos
and collaborations; it was also meant to result in an equitable distribution of each collabo-
rator's contributions on main and side stages. Of secondary consideration was the poem's
content or meaning.

Figure 2.3: Assembly score for Enigmatic Game.

69
Ultimately, each of the three collaborators was responsible for four information
structures out of a total of twelve independent information structures. In addition, an
overall information structure was devised in the assembly process that served to hold and
direct the audience from one structure to another. The soprano, who sings, whispers or
speaks text for five of the twelve settings assumes a dominant role by her mere presence
and sometimes functionsthough not intentionallyas a guide leading the audience
from one poem to another and from one location to another. In some cases, particularly
when poem settings are presented simultaneously or overlap, the soprano is totally dis-
connected from events taking place on another stage. Logistical considerations forced
some minor adjustments to be made in rehearsal to accommodate shared locations, light-
ing spill, etc.
Enigmatic Game contains several levels of determinate and non-determinate
structures within the creative process and the completed work. At the outset, the selection
of the poems produces a collection that is indeterminate with respect to its content. Each
of the individual poem settingsboth in process and in resultis determinate. The com-
bination of the poems into the final work is indeterminate with regard to the content of
the individual poems; that is, it would be entirely possible to create several different,
equally valid versions of the work by changing the order and placement of individual
poem settings. Ultimately, however, although Enigmatic Game, displays indeterminate
characteristics in its creative process, it is a fixed, determinate work in its presentation.
Diachronically, over the total duration of the work, Enigmatic Game is non-
cumulative and illogical with regard to content. In production a certain amount of logic is
required by the "narrative" imposed by physical constraints and lighting. On a local or
synchronic level, each of the poem settings is cumulative and logical; each relates and
reflects the creators' interpretation of the poems. Evidence of the self-contained nature of
the individual settings is particularly evident in the musical settings with soprano, several
of which have been presented successfully as a group of songs.
Because the goal of the collaboration was to distribute responsibility and deci-
sion-making equally among the collaborators, and because there was an intention to pro-
duce a work which allowed for a wide variety of spectator observations, the collaborators
sought to avoid the dominance of one medium over another. To support this goal, and to

70
lessen the dominance of the texts within the overall presentation, they decided not to pro-
vide translations of the poems to the audience. Indeed not even individual poem titles
were provideda practice which caused some consternation and anxiety in the audience.
Overall, Enigmatic Games is very systematic: a controlled attempt to create equality
within the creative process as well as a fixed or determinate yet non-narrative structure
for the audience.

2.6 Summary
In this chapter, we have examined the information structure of the combined art
work. The information structure describes how the work's content is organized and pre-
sented to the spectator through time and space, the division of the work into identifiable
units, and the component media and the information conveyed by each. It describes the
relationships of the component arts to each other and to the information structure itself. It
describes how the work's content is organized and deliveredwhether it is logical, il-
logical or alogical, whether it depends on cumulative or non-cumulative structures for the
spectator's correct reception, and whether there is one or more than one structure present.
To a lesser degree it describes the information itself as being literary or abstract.
We have also looked at the influence of the information structure on the work as a
whole and on the relationships among component arts and the role of intention and non-
intention in the information structure. In the following chapter, time and space will be
examined in detail. With the information structure, locationof both media and specta-
torplays a critical role in the determination of hierarchy and fusion among component
arts in the combined work.

1
Roy C. Strong, Splendor at Court: Renaissance Spectacle and the Theater of
Power (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1973), 21.
2
Michael Kirby, "Happenings: An Introduction," in Happenings and Other Acts,
ed. Mariellen R. Sanford (London: Routledge, 1995), 4.
3
Ibid., 4-5.
4
Ibid., 33.
5
Ibid., 5.
6
Ibid.
7
Ibid.

71
8
Ibid., 10.
9
Sergei Eisenstein, The Film Sense, ed. and trans. Jay Leyda (San Diego: Har-
court Brace Jovanovich, 1947), 5.
10
Kirby, "Happenings," 33.
11
Kirby defines logical, illogical and alogical structures as follows: "The informa-
tion structure of traditional theatre is not alogical but either logical or illogical. Informa-
tion is built and interrelated in both the logical well-made play and the "illogical" dream,
surreal, or absurd play. Illogic depends upon an awareness of what is logical. Alogical
structure stands completely outside of these relationships." Kirby, "Happenings," 33.
12
Ibid.
13
A third class of information exists in which the idea is the information structure
or method of delivery. These cases include works whose content and delivery are based
solely on a single algorithm.
14
New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, ed. Lesley Brown (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1993), 3552.
15
It should be pointed out that there are several different presentations of the title
of Martirano's work in various catalogs, recordings, and even among Sal's score and
program notes. Some of these include L's. G. A. (1995 Centaur CD release), L's GA
(1968 Polydor LP release), and L's GA., L's.GA., L's. GA. and L.'s GA. (in addition to
the above are found in various catalog listings). The first page of Sal's type-written auto-
graph score has L's. G. A. yet the last page, an equipment list likely added later has
L's.GA. Adding to the puzzle are Martirano's program notes, the heading of which de-
picts Holloway in a gas mask next to L's G. A. The notes that follow are headed L'sGA.
and include the words "L'sA.H." and "L'sBJ.," clear references to fellow composers
Hiller and Johnson. Finally, in 1997 the Library of Congress established an Authority
Record for L.'s G. A. This is the format I have adopted for use throughout this work.
16
Kirby, "Happenings," 5.
17
Ibid., 11, emphasis Kirby.
18
"An Event is not compartmented. Formally, if not expressively, it is equivalent
to a single compartment of a Happening." Kirby, "Happenings," 11.
19
Darko Suvin, "Reflections on Happenings," Happenings and Other Acts, ed.
Mariellen R. Sanford (London: Routledge, 1995), 294-295.
20
Kirby, "Happenings," 4.
21
Bertolt Brecht, "A Short Organum for the Theatre," Playwrights on Playwrit-
ing: The Meaning and Making of Modern Drama from Ibsen to Ionesco, ed. Toby Cole
(New York: Hill and Wang, 1960), 88.
22
C. G. Jung, forward to The I Ching or Book of Changes, trans. Richard Wilhelm
and Cary F. Baynes (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1967), xxiv-xxv.
23
Ibid., xxiv.
24
Arguably the turning point for Cage comes in the Concerto for Prepared Piano
and Orchestra. However, Music of Changes is the first work to take chance as the start-
ing-point and remove all self-expression from the composition process.
25
Shorter Oxford, 370.
26
In music, for example, chance operations may be used to determine pitch, oc-
tave displacement, dynamics, duration, etc.

72
William Fetterinan, John Cage's Theatre Pieces: Notations and Performances
(Amsterdam, Netherlands: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1996), 20, paraphrasing Jac-
son Mac Low's comments in 'The Poetics of Chance & the Politics of Simultaneous
Spontaneity, or the Sacred Heart of Jesus" (revised and abridged), Talking Poetics from
Naropa Institute, vol. I (Boulder, CO: Shambhala Publications, 1978), 171-194.
28
Karl R. Popper, The Open Universe: An Argument for Indeterminism, (Totowa,
NJ: Rowland and Littlefield, 1982), 125, as quoted in Fetterman, 20.
29
John Cage in Conversation with Joan Retallack, Musicage: Cage Muses on
Words, Art, Music (Hanover, NH: University Press of New England / Wesleyan Univer-
sity Press, 1996), xxviii.
30
Shorter Oxford, 1347.
31
Fetterman, 21.
32
Kirby, 'The New Theatre," in Happenings and Other Acts, ed. Mariellen R.
Sanford (London: Routledge, 1995), 37.
33
Richard Kostelanetz, Conversing with Cage (New York: Limelight Editions,
1988), 74.
34
James Pritchett, The Music of John Cage (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1993), 108.
35
John Cage, Silence: Lectures and Writings (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan Uni-
versity Press, 1961), 47.
36
Ibid., 10-11.
37
Shorter Oxford, 2473.
38
Iannis Xenakis, Formalized Music: Thought and Mathematics in Music, rev. ed.
(Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon Press, 1992), 8.
39
Ibid., 39.
40
Shorter Oxford, 1328.
41
Stephen Husarik, "John Cage and LeJaren Hiller: HPSCHD, 1969," American
Music 1, no. 2 (1983): 1.
42
John Cage, title page of Solo 1 of HPSCHD score reproduced in Rene Berger
and Lloyd Eby, eds.,Art and Technology (New York: Paragon House Publishing, 1986),
156. There is much disagreement about whether there were 51 or 52 computer-generated
parts in HPSCHD. Though Cage himself indicates 51 on the cover of the harpsichord
parts, each of the computer parts represented one division of the octave from five through
56 tones. Simply subtracting 5 from 56 would have introduced the error. Husarik, in his
1983 article (see note 41 above), catches the error, indicating that 52 tape recorders and
52 speakers were gathered for the event and that "four sets of tapes for each of the fifty-
two channels were spread among thirteen stations." Husarik, 17. In the program note to
the 2003 CD release of HPSCHD (EMF Media EM138) Johanne Rivest quotes Cage's
introduction inserting "52" for "51 amplified monaural machines" and "59" for "58 chan-
nels with loud-speakers." She continues, "Each of the 52 computerized-tapes is based on
a specific scale, that is on a macro or micro-division of the octave in equal temperament,
from 5 to 56 divisions, which makes for 52 tapes." Johanne Rivest, "About HPSCHD,"
Program note to John Cage and Lejaren Hiller, HPSCHD (Albany, NY: EMF Media,
2003.

73
According to Joel Chadabe, who has staged several productions ofHPSCHD,
C.F. Peters has been sending out 53 tapes (mostly cassettes but a few reel-to-reels). This
was confirmed by William Blakeney who transferred the original Peters rental media to
CD. Final confirmation can be found in the Hiller Archives housed in the University of
Buffalo Libraries. In the collection of audio tape recordings are Tapes 94-111 marked
"HPSCHD, for 1 to 7 harpsichords and 1 to 51 tapes (1968), composed with John Cage."
The same error is repeated again! Each tape is listed as "Master Copy B" and "Note: 5-6-
7 (Reel I of 18), 8-9-10 (Reel II of 18),... 53-54-55 (Reel XVII of 18). The note for Tape
111, final tape, reads: "Gam. [for gamut] 56 only (Reel XVIII of 18)."
43
Kostelanetz, Conversing, 77.
44
Richard Kostelanetz, John Cage (ex)plain(ed) (New York: Schirmer Books,
1996), 101.
45
Kostelanetz, Conversing, 75.
46
Husarik, 10.
47
Ibid., 17.
48
William Brooks, "Music II: from the late 1960s," The Cambridge Companion
to John Cage, Cambridge Companions to Music (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 2002), 131, emphasis Brooks.
49
Kostelanetz, Conversing, 76.
50
Husarik, 19.
51
Kostelanetz, Explained 36.
52
Husarik, 15.
53
Jean Cocteau, as quoted in Francis Steegmuller, Cocteau: A Biography (Boston:
David R. Godine, 1986), 161.
54
Victor Rangel-Ribeiro, introduction to Parade: ballet realiste sur un theme de
Jean Cocteau (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2000), viii.
55
A comparative analysis cannot be done between the sideshow and the main
event because the main event does not exist; we can only imagine it. The high and low art
duality exists insofar as "low art"the circus sideshowis presented on a stage as "high
art."
56
Steven Moore Whiting, Satie the Bohemian: From Cabaret to Concert Hall,
Oxford Monographs on Music (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 473-474.
57
Glenn Watkins, Soundings: Music in the Twentieth Century (New York:
Schirmer Books, 1988), 264.
58
Whiting, 471.
59
Ibid., 472.
60
It was at this time that Futurist painters were incorporating bits of newspapers,
programs, etc. into their work both as imitation and as found object. Duchamp's Ready-
mades and the assemblages of Boccioni, Huasmann, Man Ray, Ernst, and Schwitters
although somewhat laterincorporated wood, fabric, glass, and other found objects and
materials into their work.
61
Steegmuller, 180.
62
Jean Cocteau, A Call to Order, Written between the years 1918 and 1926 and
including "Cock and Harlequin", "Professional secrets", and other critical essays (New
York: Henry Holt and Company, 1926), 51.

74
63
Ibid., 23.
64
Whiting, 474.
65
Ibid., 481.
66
Cocteau, Order, 54
67
Whiting, 481, n54.
^Cocteau, Order,51.
69
The copyist's score is deposited in the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York
City.
70
Whiting, 481.
71
Cocteau, Order, 51.
72
Jean Cocteau, as quoted in Frederick Brown, An Impersonation of Angels: A
Biography of Jean Cocteau (New York: The Viking Press, 1968), 128-129.
73
Whiting, 481-482.
74
Ibid., 475.
75
Brown, 144.
76
Salvatore Martirano, "Panel Discussion: Theater Music," American Society of
University Composers: Proceedings 3 (1968): 43, emphasis Martirano.
77
Luciano Berio, Two Interviews, trans, and ed. by David Osmond-Smith (New
York: Marion Boyars, 1985), 34, as quoted in Watkins, 607.
78
"Some Newer Figures in America," High Fidelity 18, no. 9 (1968): 57.
79
Salvatore Martirano, program note for L.'s G. A., Krannert Center for the
Performing Arts, Urbana, Illinois, July 23,1974, as quoted in Peter J. Roubel, "A
Complete and Annotated Catalog of the Works of Salvatore Martirano" (Doctoral
Project, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001), 8.
80
Salvatore Martirano, Abraham Lincoln, Michael Holloway, and Ronald Nameth
L's GA.:for gassed-masked politico, helium bomb, 3-16 mm movie projectors and 2
channel tape recorder, autograph score, 1967,7.
81
Martirano, "Theater Music," 43.
82
Martirano, L's GA. (autograph score), 1.
83
Ibid.
84
Charles Whittenberg, statement on L.'s G. A. (Music Director University of
Connecticut, November 17,1969) online
http://ems .music .uiuc .edu/~martiran/HTdocs/LsGA .html
85
Ibid.
86
Salvatore Martirano, liner notes on L's GAfor gassed-masked politico, helium
bomb, and two-channel tape : Ballad; Octet. (New York, Polydor, 1970). Spacing of the
title of the poem, album cover and liner notes, and the original score are reproduced un-
corrected when used as a quotation.
87
Boris de Schloezer, Scriabin: Artist and Mystic, trans. Nicolas Slonimsky (Ber-
keley: University of California Press, 1987) quoted in note to "Poem of Ecstasy" and
"Prometheus: Poem of Fire" (New York: Dover Publications, 1995), 3.
88
Mike Figgis, interview by Rob Blackwelder, SPLICEDwire: Film Reviews,
News & Interviews, April 18,2000, http://www.splicedonline.com/00features/figgis.html
89
Mike Figgis, interview by Tara Veneruso, Next Wave Films: A Company of the
Independent Film Channel, May 2000, http://www.nextwavefilms.com/timecode/

75
90
Rob Blackwelder, introduction to Mike Figgis interview, SPLlCEDwire.
91
Figgis, SPLlCEDwire.
92
Ibid.
93
Ibid.
94
Ibid.
95
Figgis, Next Wave.
96
Ibid.
97
Because of the improvisational character of the script, the actors had a great
deal of control over the dialogue during the shooting of the film. So while Figgis com-
posed the scenario, information structure, and timing of the various landmarks of the
film, it is left to the actors to supply the details.

76
CHAPTER 3
LOCATION (TIME AND SPACE)

3.1 Overview and Historical Considerations


Spatial location does not appear to be a significant compositional factor in secular
Western music prior to the twentieth century. Though music was consumed on different
occasions in different spacesi.e., a room or chamber of a patron's home or, for larger
forces, on the stage of a theatre or in an opera housethe normative model consisted of
sound originating from a single, fixed location and received by an audience in a single,
albeit larger, unchanging location. There are, of course, cases in which this is not true,
cases in which time and space are used compositionally, but the bulk of these involve
music for the church. Antiphonal polyphonic music was composed for two or more alter-
nating instrumental or vocal ensembles separated by a large space. Similarly, responsorial
singing in the liturgy consisted of the singing of a chant by one or more soloists alternat-
ing with a response by a choir. Mozart's Serenade for Four Orchestras and Berlioz' Req-
uiem, which features four offstage brass ensembles, exemplify the compositional use of
space in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In the early twentieth century Ives' Un-
answered Question separated strings, flutes and solo trumpet off- and on-stage and later
in the century distribution of sound in space became commonplace: Varese's Poeme
Electronique disseminated sound and light throughout the Philips Pavilion of the 1958
World's Fair, and over half of Henry Brant's compositions entail the spatial distribution
of instruments.
In the history of western theatre, the creative use of time and space was critical to
Renaissance spectacles. Mummers, medieval rounds, masques, mystery plays, pageant
wagons, and the "houses" of the Valenciennes stage are all theatrical forms in which
space is used structurally in the creation and/or production of performances. In Greek
drama action alternates between the actors on the stage and the chorus, which processes
in and occupies the space between the raised platform and the audience. The different
spaces and functions of the two groups create different relationships with the spectator.
While a detailed description of these historical uses of time and space is beyond the scope
of the current study, it is important to note that location was an important aspect of pro-

77
duction and, indeed, central to creative activity in the theatre prior to the development of
the single focus stage.
With the development of the booth stage in the early sixteenth century, followed
by the Elizabethan theatre and, finally, the proscenium stage, performance activity be-
came confined to a relatively small space. One consequence was that stage designers
could exert more control over the set, creating illusions of perspective. But such illusions
(and other stage "effects" or "machinery") were designed with reference to an ideal spec-
tator located at a single point in the auditorium; all other audience members would neces-
sarily view the spectacle from inferior locations. Traditionally the ideal spectator was the
monarch; the closer one sat to the king, the more important one was, and the more perfect
the theatrical illusion. Indeed, the theatre was a structure of power; intended in part to
shape a largely illiterate society, the "proscenium theater was originally designed to em-
phasize differences in class and wealth."1 This proscenium, single-point perspective thea-
tre was adapted for use in opera, dance and music performances and is still the dominant
theatre design in western society.
As the proscenium stage developed and musical forms became standardized,
composers began writing bodies of music for larger ensembles of similar instruments and
families of instruments. Onstage, musicians and particularly similar instruments were po-
sitioned close together in order to blend their sound and to create greater rhythmic accu-
racy in unison and section playing. Music and composition reflected a hierarchy of mate-
rials and structures with first and second themes, tonal centers, and standardized forms
such as sonata, rondo and three-part forms. In Silence John Cage eloquently describes the
historical relationship of sound and space.

In the case of the harmonious ensembles of European musical history, a


fusion of sound was of the essence, and therefore players in an ensemble
were brought as close together as possible, so that their actions, produc-
tive of an object in time, might be effective?

This paradigm for music and theatre existed virtually unchanged until the end of
the nineteenth century. If art can be said to be a reflection of the epoch in which it is cre-

78
ated then it is only natural to assume that changes associated with the industrialization of
society at the beginning of the twentieth century would contribute to significant and cor-
responding changes in the arts. The dizzying pace of life in large industrial cities, the rise
of democratic societies, the introduction of mass production for almost all consumable
goodsall left their marks on the arts.

Assembly line methods of production were no longer used exclusively for


the production of watches and bicycles; sewing machines, typewriters,
reaping and threshing machines, fire extinguishing apparatus, bread-
making machines, lifts and elevators, submarines, telephones, and ma-
chines for measuring velocity, or for examining the beating of the heart, or
for flying, or for photographing moving bodies were all subjected to the
same procedures.

The noise, speed, and multifarious activity in large cities naturally found expres-
sion in artistic communities throughout Europe, and these found models, in part, in earlier
theatrical forms. Many of the non-narrative, multi-focus entertainments from the Renais-
sance had never completely disappeared. The emphasis on categorization and specializa-
tion that had occurred in the nineteenth century and that had been symptomatic of a soci-
ety that valued hierarchy and control, yielded in the twentieth to a renewed interest in
synthesis and experimentation that ultimately led to the rejection of the previous cen-
tury's forms, structures, relationships, and methods of presentation. But the "new" forms
adopted in their stead, such as circus, variety show, cabaret, burlesque, and vaudeville,
were all forms of spectacle that had much in common with traveling minstrels, mummers
and other early theatrical forms. These genres, without plots and within which action
shifts from one place to another, always existed in the background, in the margins of so-
ciety. They have more in commonin terms of formal structurewith the courtly enter-
tainments of the Renaissance than they do with the highly stylized works presented on the
"traditional" proscenium stage.
In the early twentieth century influences from both modern industrialism and old
entertainments found direct expression in the Italian Futurists' use of simultaneity and

79
juxtaposition in their Futurist evenings. Their "dynamic concoction of manifesto reading,
poetry declamation, theatrical interludes and outright provocation of the audience"4 was
characteristic of a movement which espoused speed, dynamism, interpenetration, simul-
taneity and noise. Words-in-freedom, simultaneous poetry reading, the free-word paint-
ings of Balla and Severini, multiple typefaces in Marinetti's Zang, Tumb, Tuumall led
to an explosion of the traditional notions of literary and theatrical space: rather than fus-
ing, these disparate elements thrived on their independence and separation, whether on
the printed page or on the stage. As a contemporaneous caricature of a Futurist Eve-
ningthe first of which was held on January 12, 1910demonstrates (Figure 3.1 be-
low), simultaneity and juxtaposition of multiple art forms was the life-blood of Futurism,
its raison d'etre.

Figure 3.1: Umberto Boccioni, Caricature of a Futurist Evening 1911.5

The first Futurist evenings showcased a variety of acts including declamations of


manifesti and poetry, theatrical bits, and audience provocation. Gradually, with the addi-
tion of words-in-freedom, music and other sound elements, and with contributions from
painters and other artists, the evenings evolved into a format known as Variety Theatre.
In both cases the success of the evening was determined less by applause than by the
level of abuse received from the audience. With Marinetti's "Dynamic and Synoptic Dec-
lamation" the use of time and space began to be codified and a more constructive rela-

80
tionship with the audience was cultivated. "[T]he idea was to vary speed and rhythm, us-
ing the whole range of voice tone, bodily movement and all parts of the theatre too, so
that the spectator could no longer remain in a cool position of critical detachment."6 In
the first presentation of this declamation in March 1914, Marinetti

did not stay put in one place facing the audience but 'marched through the
hall with dynamic gestures,'... Three blackboards were placed at various
points in the room, and during the declamation he 'alternately walked and
ran' to them, drawing diagrams, theorems, equations and synoptic visuali-
zations of the Words-in-freedom he was reciting, so that the audience had
to keep swinging round to follow the rhythm of the words as their physical
space was invaded. ... Sound, too, was stage managed so that it came from
different directions.1

The Futurist Synthetic Theatre followed, with a manifesto, in 1915. This theatre,
with its emphasis on brevity, would be "[djynamic, simultaneous. ... [a]utonomous,
alogical, [and] unreal."8 The audience would be drawn into the action, action which re-
flected the reality of modern experience, which "bombards us with squalls of fragments
of interconnected events, mortise and tenoned together, confused, mixed up, chaotic."
The speed, simultaneity, juxtaposition, and chaotic interpenetration of like and unlike
elements implied a new use of performance spaces, in which two or more events or arts
could be presented simultaneously or closely following one another. For the audience it
required acquiring the ability to focus separately on two or more individual events in ad-
dition to the effect of the whole. This new type of presentation would require a rethinking
of the old time/space paradigm, the time-space matrix. This new theatre would be "free at
last from the obligation to tell all in that logical, ordered detail which is so unlike the way
events unfold and are perceived in life."10
Dadaism and Surrealism continued and extended the Futurists' use of simultaneity
and juxtaposition. In presentations at the Cabaret Voltaire and in their theatrical pieces,
Dada employed variety or cabaret styles, which entail rapid shifts of focus and direction.
In order to stage the rapid transitions the stage would have to be utilized in its entirety;

81
one act occurring on one side of the stage was immediately followed or overlapped by
another act on the other side of the stage. From such evenings the Dada and Surrealist
poets and artists created theatrical works that incorporated many of these techniques,
producing performance pieces such as Apollinaire's Les Mamelles de Tiresias, Cocteau's
Les Maries de la Tour Eiffel, Andre Breton and Philippe Soupault's, S'il vous plait, and
Tristan Tzara's Le Coeur a Gaz, and also films such as Cocteau's Le sang d'unpoete,
Luis Bufluel and Dali's Un chien andalou, and BunuePs L 'age dor.
In Vision in Motion Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, whose interest lay in print media, at-
tempted to explain the effect of these experiments in simultaneity.

In this literature everything was related to a main motive which was not
emphasized but only became evident through the loose relationships of sin-
gle statements. These statements were like juxtaposed threads not even dis-
closing a faint texture. Quickly, without one's having been able to register
its exact meaning, a mutation occurred: clearly, a fabric became compre-
hensible to the readerin a very suggestive unconscious way, through the
magic of the words, their affinities and modulations. This was the result of
a new lyric expression, like an x-ray revelation, making transparent that
which was previously opaque; a new structure and topography of the psy-
chological existence, the rendering of psychological space-time.11

These new productions required a rethinking of the traditional proscenium stage,


with its single focus and illusion of perspective. In the prologue to Les Mamelles, Apolli-
naire proposed "a theatre in the round with two stages, one at the center, the other sur-
rounding the spectators."12 This stage is not unlike that proposed by Pierre Albert-Birot in
1916 in the avant-garde journal SIC for "le theatre nunique."

[HJaving left the three unities behind, it would now focus on acrobatics,
sounds, projections, pantomimes, and cinematographic elements. It would
be a "grand simultaneity " encompassing all the methods and all the emo-
tions capable of communicating life in its vitality and intensity to the spec-

82
tator. In order to convey this intensity, multiple actions would take place
simultaneously onstage as well as in the auditorium. Being bound to no
unity of time or place, these scenes could take place "in Paris, in New
York, in Tokyo, in a house, beneath the sea, underground, in the air, in
prehistoric times, in the middle-ages, in 1916, in the year 2,000." The
scenes would therefore be set by light alone, using a wide palette of colors
to create the appropriate atmosphere. The theatre area itself would be a
vast circus-like expanse with the audience placed at the center, while on a
rotating platform on the periphery the actors would play their various
scenes.13

Many other theatres were proposed and designed that exploded the old idea of the
proscenium stage; these included Frederick Kiesler's "Endless Theatre" (1916-1924),
which would seat 100,000 people, Blanding Sloan's "Infinidome" (1938-1939) which
would have the capability of projecting light, film and sound around the audience, Walter
Gropius' "Total Theater" (1926), Farkas Molnar's "U-Theater" (1924), Xanti Schawin-
ski's "Space Theatre" (1926) and Andreas Weininger's "Spherical Theater" (1926).14 Of
particular interest is Moholy-Nagy's design for a "Theatre of Totality" (1925) that would
solve the problem of the separation of the stage and spectator, one that would "not only
excite them inwardly but [would] let them take hold and participateactually allow
them to fuse with the action on the stage at the peak of cathartic ecstasy."15 According to
Moholy-Nagy this theatre would consist of

SUSPENDED BRIDGES AND DM WBRIDGES running horizontally, diagonally,


and vertically within the space of the theater; with platform stages built
far into the auditorium; and so on. Apart from rotating sections, the stage
will have movable space constructions and DISKLIKE AREAS, in order to
bring certain action moments on the stage into prominence, as in film
"close-ups. " In place of today's periphery of orchestra loges, a runway
joined to the stage could be built to establishby means of a more or less
caliperlike embracea closer connection with the audience.16

83
Some decades later, in contrast to theatre designers and architects who set about
to create altogether new buildings, Richard Schechner experimented with different stag-
ings in existing spaces. He developed his ideas in a series of writings later compiled in
Environmental Theater. In Six Axioms for Environmental Theater, completed prior to En-
vironmental Theater, Schechner outlines the theoretical basis of environmental theatre.
Three of his axioms are particularly relevant to this discussion of space. Axiom 2: "ALL
THE SPACE IS USED FOR THE PERFORMANCE," describes the "systematic ex-
change of space between performers and spectators"17 in ritual theatre and how it may be
applied to the Western theatre. When the entire space is available for use by the perform-
ers the performance space may be determined by the action and the "audience itself be-
comes a major scenic element."18 That is, to have the entire space available for perform-
ance opens the space and allows different art forms to utilize the stage as well as any
other areas in the theatre including the audience areas. During part of the performance,
activity may take place simultaneously in multiple locations or action may move from
one location to another.
Axiom 3 reads: "THE THEATRICAL EVENT CAN TAKE PLACE EITHER IN
A TOTALLY TRANSFORMED SPACE OR IN A 'FOUND SPACE.'" The implication
is that the performance space grows out of the needs of the performance, which is, ide-
ally, guided by a central or internal idea. In other words, the performance space is
adapted to the needs of the art forms being utilized in the combined art work; rather than
forcing multiple art forms to share a proscenium stage, present them in different locations
around the spectators. Furthermore, a "found" environment may suggest alternative ways
to present combined art forms that would not normally occur in a conventional perform-
ance space.
Traditional theatrical and musical performances make use of single focus: the
audience can experience the entire event by looking in one direction. In Schechner's
"multi-focus" theatre, described in axiom 4 ("FOCUS IS FLEXIBLE AND VARI-
ABLE"),

more than one eventseveral of the same kind, or mixed-mediahappens


simultaneously, distributed throughout the space. Each independent event

84
competes with the other for the audience's attention. The space is orga-
nized so that no spectator can see everything. Spectators move or refocus
their attention or select.19

There may be a very high density of events, or they may be very sparse; the creators may
choose to direct the audience's attention or may allow spectators to focus their attention
at will. "The goal is neither anarchy nor rigidity, but extreme flexibility yielding harmo-
nious combinationsa kind of intellectual-sensory kaleidoscope."20
In Scheduler's Environmental Theater and in Happenings and Environments
spectators are often encouraged or forced to move in order to observe different parts of
the performance or to change their relationships to the performers. In The Performance
Group's production of Shephard's The Tooth of Crime, the spectator was encouraged to
move during the performance in order to see the action which takes place at various loca-
tions in and around the audience; in their production of Makbeth, spectators entered the
performance space through a maze. Movement allows spectators to change the distance
between themselves and the different elements of the performance. It allows the spectator
to determine individual relationships among the art forms and, to a lesser degree, the
amount of fusion among them. The spectator is able to (re)create an individual experience
of the work, "choos[ing] his own mode of involving himself within the performance, or
remaining detached from it."21
During the 60s and early 70s many artists and works experimented with the per-
former-spectator relationship. Formal manifestations include Cage's HPSCHD and Mu-
sicircus, Michael Kirby and Allan Kaprow's Happenings and Environments, Jerzy Gro-
towski's Poor Theatre and Scheduler's Environmental Theater, together with more ex-
perimental works by various music-based performance organizations such as the Once
Group, Electric Circus, The Us Company, Fluxus, Musica Elettronica Viva, and others.
Scheduler's Environmental Theater still makes use of a cumulative, plot-based
information structure; the spectator accumulates information, although it may originate in
multiple locations around the spectator in the performing space. But Happenings, with
their compartmented structures, are different. "In traditional theatre, the performer always
functions within (and creates) a matrix of time, place, and character."22 Happenings,

85
however, use a "non-matrixed" performer, so that time and space represent the actual
time and space rather than fictional versions. Kirby notes also that the time-place matrix
may exist outside of the character and be given "tangible representation by the sets and
lighting."23 In this case the performer is wholly separated from the time-space matrix,
thus allowing the separate analysis (or composition) of events and performers.
Though united by a theme, Happenings are often multi-focus structures in which
events or compartments occur sequentially or simultaneously. The compartments may be
separated by long periods of time or great distances, extending outside of a theatre or sin-
gle performance location and taking place over a period of time measured in days, not
just hours or minutes. The transfer of activity or information from one physical location
or compartment to another may require that the spectator move or redirect their attention
in order to observe the Happening properly. If compartments occur simultaneously in dif-
ferent locations, or if they overlap, the spectator must choose what to observe. Each spec-
tator has, potentially, a different experience of the Happening or event.
In Assemblages, Environments & Happenings, Allan Kaprow lists a series of rules
that may be used to define a Happening. Of these, two are of particular interest with re-
gards to time and space. The first"The performance of a Happening should take place
over several widely spaced, sometimes moving and changing, locales"24is based on the
notion that a spectator cannot avoid building relationships between human activities, no
matter how disconnected they may be. Years before, in The Film Sense, Sergei Eisenstein
had noted the ability of the human mind to make associations between any two juxta-
posed items.

We are accustomed to make, almost automatically, a definite and obvious


deductive generalization when any separate objects are placed before us
side by side.

Kaprow's other rule for happenings attempts to break the barrier between art and
life, to destroy the notion of a self-contained time-space that is separate from life: "Time,
which follows closely on space considerations, should be variable and discontinuous."26
This rule is certainly applicable to many of John Cage's theatrical works and to his col-

86
laborations with Merce Cunningham, in which a given time and place of performance are
specified but the content and forces are unspecified or, at least, variable. Some of these
works include How to Pass, Kick, Fall, and Run, Variations, and Theatre Piece. Happen-
ings and events that respond to one or both of these dictums include Kaprow's Self-
Service, Calling, and Eat; and City Scale by Ken Dewey, Anthony Martin, and Ramon
Sender.
Because information is intentionally not passed from one theatrical unit to another
and because compartments may be placed at various locations in time and space, it is the
responsibility of the spectators to (re)create information structures for themselves. This
obligation applies regardless of whether the compartments consist of a single or multiple
art forms. Ultimately, with regards to time and space, the creators of combined works
may combine compartments (or media) in any of the following ways: compartments are
in close proximity in both time and space, compartments are in distant proximity in time
and space, compartments are closely located in time but distantly located in space; com-
partments are distantly located in time but closely located in space.

Musical Developments in the Twentieth Century


In music, there were many experiments with regards to space and time in the early
part of the twentieth century. Charles Ives distributed instrumental groups spatially in
Central Park in the Dark and The Unanswered Question. Ives writes about musical space
in a lengthy footnote to the conductor's note to the Second Movement of his Fourth Sym-
phony. When listening to music with two different rhythms, emanating from two distinct
locations, Ives recognizes the role of the listener and the effect of spatial relationships in
distinguishing foreground and background.

fTJhe listener may choose which of these two rhythms he wishes to hold in
his mind as primal. ...As the eye, in looking at a view, may focus on the sky,
clouds, or distant outlines, yet sense the color andform of the foreground,
and then by observing the foreground, may sense the distant outlines and
color, so, in some similar way, the listener can choose to arrange in his
mind the relation of the rhythmic, harmonic and other material.

87
Since his early twenties Edgard Varese had had in interest in "bodies of intelligent
sounds moving freely in space"28a concept which was finally realized in the Poeme
Electronique, the famous collaboration with le Corbusier and Xenakis in the Philips pa-
vilion of the 1958 world's fair in Brussels. In the original installation moving colored
lights, images, film and sound were distributed by 180 control signals through 350 speak-
ers placed in the pavilion. Owing to technical limitations but also consistent with
Varese's wishes, no attempt was made to coordinate sound, images, and lighting. In a
conversation with Gunther Schuller Varese describes his approach to electronic music.

/ want to be in the material, part of the acoustical vibration, so to speak.


... I want to generate something directly by electronic means. In other
words, I think of musical space as open rather than bounded, which is why
I speak about projection in the sense that I want simply to project a sound,
a musical thought, to initiate it, and then to let it take its own course. I do
not want an a priori control of all its aspects.29

With well over half of his compositions involving the systematic use of space and
sound location, Henry Brant is a spatial music pioneer. In "The Uses of Antiphonal Dis-
tribution and Polyphony of Tempi in Composing" and "Space as an Essential Aspect of
Musical Composition" Brant expounds his theories and observations on spatial music.
Brant's spatialization techniques are based on experimentation and derive from a desire
to separate instrumental groups in order to highlight differences in timbre, meter, tonality,
rhythm, texture, or melodic content. Brant's scores juxtapose several distinct layers in
which "a purposeful lack of relationship between the intervals, phrasing, note-values,
tone-quality and sonorities of the various lines will necessarily produce a complex result
as soon as the lines are combined.' The superposition of layers creates complexity that
is made comprehensible to the audience by the separation of individual layers in space.
Brant argued that Stockhausen's use of spatialization resulted in confusion, because dif-
ferent materials and timbres are not separated in space. Brant, like Ives, believed spatial
location should reinforce and clarify "the harmonic, rhythmic, [and] thematic material"31
and ultimately spatial location should "make complexity intelligible."32

88
John Cage's large-scale mixed media works, including Musicircus, HPSCHD, and
several of the Variations, make compositional use of space in both a more and less formal
manner. As we saw in the previous section on information structure, these works are the
result of a formal compositional structure applied to several distinct layers which are then
presented in an indeterminate manner. In these works, performers, sound, visual elements
and (in HPSCHD and Musicircus) audience members are distributed throughout the per-
formance space. Further, the performer-spectator relationship is determined by individual
spectators, who are allowed to move freely within the space and to control the spatial re-
lationships between that which is being presented and themselves.
In all of these composers' music and writings, there coexist layers defined by in-
strument, timbre or media and which are clarified by spatial distribution. Brant's layers
are highly contrasting in texture and sonority and are often directly related to rhythmic or
motivic materials, while Cage's layers consist of what he terms a "co-existence of dis-
similars,"33 including not only traditional instruments but electronic music, environ-
mental sounds and other media. In these cases direction, distance, and movement are part
of the spatial aspects controlled by the composers. Such musical applications have much
in common with the simultaneous poetry readings of the Futurists and with assemblages,
as well as with certain Happenings and Environments of the 1970s.
Karlheinz Stockhausen's work, on the other hand, represents a different and much
more controlled approach to spatiality. In his lecture "Music in Space" Stockhausen ad-
vocates the independent serialization of all aspects of sound: pitch, duration, timbre,
loudness and location. Although he mentions several components of the localization of
sounddistance, direction and movementhe writes only about the one that is able to be
serialized in the same way as the other parameters: direction. By treating the 360 cir-
cumference around the spectator independent from the other aspects of sound, a "space
melody" or "scale of localities corresponding to the scales of pitch, duration, timbre and
tone-loudness"34 may be produced. For the projection of this spatial music Stockhausen
recommends a "spherical chamber, fitted all round with loudspeakers. In the middle of
this spherical chamber, a platform, transparent to both light and sound, would be hung for
the listeners. They could hear music, composed for such adapted halls, coming from
above, from below and from all directions."35

89
Summary
Time and place can be defined with respect to matrixed or non-matrixed struc-
tures. In matrixed time and place, performers, actors, musicians, and art forms, individu-
ally or in combination, construct a specific time-and -place location or environment in
which the performance takes place. Narrative information structures rely on a time-and-
place matrix in which all arts, in combination, support the plot through the creation of a
single, specific location. Time and place may change, move from one location to another,
or stop and start during the performance of the work; but the performers, actions, events
and component arts still exist within the matrixed structure. Even if a single performer or
event is placed outside of the matrix, it is likely that the matrix will be reinforced rather
than destroyed. However, if sufficient activity takes place outside the matrix, it will
eventually destroy it.
Comedians and film exploit the time/place matrix when they juxtapose a matrixed
character with an unrelated time/place matrix in a single information structure in order to
create a particular comedic or surrealistic work. Realism and logic may remain intact if,
instead of a single information structure, multiple information structures are employed.
Many examples of both types are found in commercial films, such as Back to the Future,
The Wizard of Oz, and Pleasantville. In the theatre, many of Samuel Beckett's works,
such as Waiting for Godot, are masterful plays on this sort of dislocation of time, place
and character. Even Brecht's "alienation effect" is an attempt to preserve two matrices
those of the play and of the spectatorsimultaneously in order to inspire the audience to
some extra-theatrical action or activity.
Non-matrixed time and place are more often found in the presentation of non-
narrative, illogical, or alogical information structures. Non-matrixed space and time are
not related to a specific place or location, historical time, or setting; they are merely what
they are at any given moment. While Kirby's notion of character (described in the previ-
ous section on the information structure) is valid in a narrative, matrixed structure, in a
broader sense and in non-matrixed time and place, character may be thought of as the
performer, musician or specific art form, which in itself conveys some specific informa-
tion.

90
In a matrixed structure time and place cannot be separated without having a disas-
trous effect on the matrix. In a non-matrixed, combined art work, time and place, while
more flexible, are still critical, both as indicators of hierarchy and fusion and as the
framework within which the information structure is delivered. One cannot present an art
work outside of a time/place matrix, even if that matrix is Saturday night at 8:00 in a
theater. At the very least, the time-and-place context shapes both the intentions of the
creators and the cultural "baggage" the spectators bring to the observation of the work.
Within the work, the time-and-place characteristics of discrete media create a context
within which events within the work are observed and against which other works will be
considered. Indeed, in works with a non-narrative, illogical or alogical information struc-
ture, it is the responsibility of the creators to construct a time/space matrix in which to
situate the work and through which to deliver the idea or information to the spectator. In
some cases, in fact, it may be the time/space matrix itself, and, consequently, the intensity
and fusion relationships among the art forms, that comprises the idea that the creators in-
tend to convey. In "Reflections on Happenings," Darko Suvin writes:

Space becomes, in principle at least, the sum of all objects (including peo-
ple) and the dimension of their displacement; time is not the space of
causal sequences but the measure of qualitative change (very slow or
7
more rarely, alasvery fast).

Although more latitude may be taken with non-matrixed time and place, certain
properties apply to both matrixed and non-matrixed time and place. Time is naturally se-
quential and no matter how events are structured, the spectator will observe and interpret
the events through the sequential passing of personal experience. Only in retrospect and
upon reflection can other associations be made and relationships observed. Similarly,
place is difficult to separate from time, because the description of place requires the
specification of time or of particular periods of time. Ultimately, all events, activities, or
utterances occur simultaneously in time and space. It is not otherwise possible. Time may
not be separated from space and space may not be separated from time.

91
In music, theatre, dance, film, happenings, and environments, artists are intrinsi-
cally concerned with the compositional control of both space and time. While time has
always been a compositional consideration, space as a compositional element is less often
considered. However, space is useful to clarify the idea or to convey an independent, ex-
tramusical or extra-artistic idea. But the basic issue remains: how do component art forms
relate to each other in time and in space within a combined art work? The following sec-
tion introduces some terminology useful in addressing this question, and it describes cer-
tain time-and-space relationships among component arts in combined works.38

3.2 Definitions: Time


Time in combined art works is understood in multiple ways. Absolute time is
measured relative to the start of the art work or event. There is relative time: the place-
ment of individual events within the art work relative to the beginning or end of the art
work or section of the work. There is also relative time, which is measured between the
start or end of one event and the start or end of another event, either between art forms,
between compartments, or within an art form. Time as a quantity is the duration of an
event, compartment, or art form within the art work, or the duration of the art work itself.
Time may be measured independently within an art form, compartment or event. Time
may form part of the matrix of a logical information structure, and it may be linked to the
spatial matrix of a narrative information structure. Time is used to measure change or
movement within an event, compartment or art form, or between events, compartments or
art forms. Time measures rate of change (fast or slow or somewhere between), and time
may be used to measure acceleration or deceleration in the rate of change. Time deter-
mines the ordinal position of eventsthat is, the sequenced place in time of each event
independent of duration, character, or other attributeand is useful, therefore, in analyz-
ing hierarchy and fusion.

As our ultimate goal is to examine hierarchy and fusion relationships among art
forms in a combined work, we will concentrate on the issues and relationships concerning
time that contribute to these domains. Topics will include: matrixed and non-matrixed
time, simultaneous and sequential time, relative and absolute time, ordinal position in

92
time, change or movement of events in time, and time as duration. Some of these issues
necessarily entail a consideration of space, and this will be addressed when necessary.

3.2.1 Matrixed Time and Non-Matrixed Time


We have already discussed matrixed and non-matrixed time in some detail. It is
possible to combine matrixed time and non-matrixed time or even multiple matrices in
the same presentation. In the case of film many examples of multiple time matrices can
be cited: Back to the Future, Pleasantville, Prospero 's Books, Memento, and even The
Wizard ofOz. In most cases when multiple time matrices exist, one structure tends to ex-
clude the other. The audience assumes that the excluded time matrix continues, but it is
rarely forced to choose between alternative matrices. An exception to this case is Mike
Figgis' film Time Code; this work will be examined in detail below, but for our purposes
it is sufficient to note that the total viewing area of the screen is comprised of four sepa-
rate, simultaneous camera shotsand time structuresand that the viewer must choose,
albeit with some guidance, between them.
Matrixed time usually corresponds to a specific historical time or time period, and
it is often linked with a narrative, or at least a logical, information structure. Matrixed
time may concern the past, present, or future; and for this reason, as will become clear
below, matrixed time lends itself more readily to fixed hierarchical structures and highly
fused art forms. Non-matrixed time, which corresponds to a non-specific time and often
to illogical or alogical information structures, is more often associated with non-fixed hi-
erarchies and non-fused media in a combined work.

3.2.2 Basic Characteristics of Time: Simultaneous, Overlapping, and Sequential


When two or more art forms are combined they may: 1) occur simultaneously,
that is, begin and end at the same time; 2) overlap (or phase), that is, begin and end at dif-
ferent times but have a degree of simultaneity; or 3) occur sequentially. In the first and
third cases the term juxtaposition may be used to apply to the vertical positioning and the
horizontal positioning of media respectively. When events or media convey information
sequentially there may be a little or a considerable amount of space between their presenta-
tions. In the following examples bold capital letters, ("A"), refer to different events.

93
At a synchronic level we can say that events either occur simultaneously or they
do not; or that there is simultaneous activity or not. Overlapping or sequential relation-
ships can be assessed only diachronically, and over a specified period of time. In some
cases the coincidence of events or activity may occur first simultaneously and later se-
quentially. This change may result from different rates of occurrence or a change in the
rates of occurrencein other words, an acceleration or deceleration in the onset of
events. The period of time in which an event occurs can be called the duty cycle for that
event; duty cycle is defined as "the cycle of operation of a device acting intermittently;
the time occupied by this especially as a fraction of available time." Duty cycle is a use-
ful concept when comparing activities in two different art forms or two different loca-
tions, particularly in describing periods of overlap.
Simultaneous time can refer either to events that occur at a particular moment in
time or to activities that occur over a period of time. Strictly speaking, only activities that
begin and end together, and therefore share the same duty cycle, should be described as
simultaneous. However, in practice events or activities that occur at nearly the same time
or that begin and end at nearly the same time may also be deemed simultaneous, espe-
cially in the context of other, more scattered events. Another factor is the proximity of
event occurrence, arising from a consideration of the duration of events relative to the
distance in time between them. (In this case space also plays a critical role for somewhat
obvious reasons that will be discussed in more detail in the following section.) Thus the
events in Figure 3.2 would all be considered to be simultaneous.

B B B B

Figure 3.2: Simultaneous events.

Activities or events may occur simultaneously for only part of their duty cycle.
Overlapping activities may begin at different times and end together, or they may begin
together and end at different times, or they may begin at different times and end at differ-
ent times. The differences in start and/or end times must be sufficiently large relative to

94
the overall event duration and the period of overlap in order for the two events to be con-
sidered to be an overlap rather than a simultaneity. Some of these possibilities are shown
below in Figure 3.3.
i 1 i 1 I I I |

B B B B

Figure 3.3: Overlapping events.

In addition, an activity may start or end gradually over time. In the case of sound
this implies a gradual change in dynamics; in a visual form this implies a change in light
level, gradual disclosure or concealment, or movement into or out of view. There is po-
tential for confusion in such changes, in that a gradual start or end may be blurred or
masked by a concurrent activity of a higher intensity. In addition, changes in the intensity
of an activity may be linked to changes in foreground-background relationships. In all
these cases, for a certain amount of time, the two activities are simultaneous. Simultane-
ous time is indicated with brackets in the two examples in Figure 3.4 below. In both cases
the actual overlap is identical. However in the first case, the spectator may not observe
the overlap due to a masking effect, whereas in the second case the overlap will be more
readily observable. In both cases, the observation is likely to be made retrospectively.

Figure 3.4: Two overlaps of equal time but unequal intensity.

Sequential relationships as shown in Figure 3.5 may apply to activities juxtaposed


with or without intervening times in which neither activity occurs. The duration of the
intervening time is critical, as it will contribute to the apparent fusion of the art forms.
Gradual change also affects the understanding of sequential relationships.

95
A B A B

B B

Figure 3.5: Sequential events, without and with intervening time.

In the first of the cases above, the close juxtaposition of events increases the like-
lihood that a relationship between them will be inferred. In the second case, because of
the greater distance between the events, it is possible that no relationships will be in-
ferred. These time relationships are important because, together with spatial relationships,
they contribute to the determination of hierarchy and fusion among component art forms.

3.2.3 Relative and Absolute Time: Phasing


Phasing refers to a change in the time relationship between two or more repeated
events, commonly events that occur periodically or with regularity. Thus, for instance,
two different events may begin by occurring simultaneously, with the time interval be-
tween recurrences then increasing for one, while the other is held steady. In this case,
each may eventually become a distinct event; or, reversing the process, distinct events
may become sequential and eventually simultaneous. In a more general sense phasing
may be taken to be the "action of gradually introducing, bringing in, or taking out some-
thing."40 Phasing may then be applied to any parameters or characteristics of any events
or art forms. If regular or somewhat regular events in two or more art forms occur in se-
ries and simultaneously, they are said to be "in phase"; if they do not occur simultane-
ously, they are said to be "out of phase." Figure 3.6 illustrates events with the same rate,
duty cycle and in phase.

B B B B B

Figure 3.6: Sequence of events with the same rate, duty cycle, and phase relationship.

And Figure 3.7 illustrates events with the same rate and duty cycle but out of phase.

96
B ][ B B B B

Figure 3.7: Sequence of events with the same duty cycle, out of phase.

In both phasing examples the events have identical and constant rates and duty
cycles. However, clearly, they might also have different duty cycles or different rates; or
either or both of these parameters might change. The result may be that the interval be-
tween the two events gradually increases to the point that they may no longer coincide or
overlap, or that they no longer appear to have any relationship to each other. In Figure 3.8
the events have the same duty cycle, but the rate of the A events remains constant while
the rate of the B events is decreasing.

A A A

B B B B

Figure 3.8: Sequence with the same duty cycle but decelerating rate of onset.

3.2.4 Ordinal Position: Relative and Absolute Time


Ordinal positionthat is, the place of an event in a sequence, independent of its
durationis a factor in establishing hierarchy and fusion among art forms. It is useful for
spectators when observing the combined work and for creators when mapping intentions
and the information structure to the component art forms. In combination with other time
and space parameters, ordinal position can reinforce an event or art form's dominance in
the context of a combined work. In some cases it may be that more important events oc-
cur before less important events; in other cases less important events may occur before
more important events.
Ordinal position may be described with respect to either absolute or relative
placement in time. Absolute, in this case, refers to the overall numbering of events in the
order of their occurrence: first, second, third, etc. Relative entails a comparison between
two or more events: one event occurs before or after another. In a diachronic analysis an

97
event may be situated relative to the period of time under examination; that is, for in-
stance, at the beginning (first), middle (intermediate) or end (last). The placement may
contribute to the relative importance of a particular art form. On a local or synchronic
level, one event or art form may precede another and, particularly, may precede another
in the sense that a causal relationship may be observed. Such a relationship may provide
evidence of a dominant or controlling hierarchy.

3.2.5 Density and Number of Events


After comparing the ordinal position of two or a relatively few events, a larger
number of events may be examined. What are the consequences if several events in one
art form occur before a single event in another art form? And, conversely, what are the
consequences if a single event in one art form precedes multiple events in another? The
total numbers of events and, by extension, event density, are additional critical factors
contributing to the determination of hierarchy and fusion. Events can be counted not
merely regardless of time but also in relationship to some other significant event. Density
refers to the number of media events occurring per unit time, therefore, a change of den-
sity is also a change in the rate of events.
Number of events, density, and rate of events for different art forms may be the
same, similar, or very different. Unless contradicted by other factors, a high number or
density of events will probably result in the observation of greater activity in that particu-
lar art form. Whether this translates to the observation of greater intensity or control de-
pends also on what else changes, how much it changes, and the significance of the event
and the contexts within which the changes occur. Density is most easily measured and
compared over relatively short periods of time. Over longer periods of time, such as
larger sections or an entire work, or in conjunction with ordinal position, the number of
events may be a more useful parameter.

3.2.6 Time as Duration


The duration of an event or activity is an important factor in determining intensity
and fusion. As with other parameters, duration is context-dependent; depending on con-
text, either a longer or shorter duration may assign more meaning to an event and com-

98
mand the attention of the spectator. In the context of many short events, a long event
stands out; in the context of longer events, a short event stands out. Events of the same or
similar duration occurring in different art forms may appear to be fusedif occurring
simultaneouslyor related if overlapping or occurring within a reasonable proximity,
while events of varying duration may appear to be unrelated or discrete. Patterned dura-
tions, as illustrated in Figure 3.9, may also contribute to a sense of hierarchy and fusion.

B B B B

Figure 3.9: Alternating event sequence with patterned duration.

3.2.7 Proximity and Spill


Proximity has been mentioned several times with regard to the separation and
overlap of individual events in time. Proximate events in time or space, relative to the
overall time or field in which the events occur, are more likely to be linked in hierarchical
and fusion relationships. If the distance (in time or space) is smallrelative to long sur-
rounding distances or within a long compositiona relationship will probably be ob-
served. However, the same small distance, in the context of other short distances or
within a very short composition, is likely to be observed differently. If the distance be-
tween events is changingeither increasing or decreasing over a period of timethere
will be a certain point at which the two events may either be taken as individual events or
merge into a single event.
Spill refers to the observation of simultaneity that occursusually unintended
as the distance in time between two or more events get smaller. At a certain point, again
depending on the context of other events and the overall duration of the work, two or
more events may be grouped into one event. Ultimately, several events that may not have
been intended to have specific hierarchy and fusion relationships may, depending on
proximity and spill, acquire such relationships.

3.2.8 Time Summary


Although perception theory is outside the scope of this study, it is worthwhile to
identify a few issues related to perception that may arise later when examining specific

99
works. The first and most important is deciding which temporal factors are most signifi-
cant in determining the perception and importance of individual media. Is it ordinal posi-
tion (is the first art form the most important?), event or activity duration (is a longer dura-
tion more important?), the number of events per unit time, the regularity or irregularity of
eventsor is it some combination of all these factors? In film sound often introduces or
precedes the appearance of a character or visual element; however, sound may not con-
vey the content but merely the tone of the information, introducing or preparing the audi-
ence for what is to follow. More broadly, then, whenever a sequential presentation of
sound and visual elements occurs, one event or art form may be introducing the other,
and if it is, it is likely that the second, or introduced art form or event, is more important.
Time, then, may be thought of not merely as the current time, the relative start
time of events in a work, or internal time relationshipsthat is, nonmatrixed timebut
may also be considered in the same sense as placematrixed. In this case, events may
occur in more than one matrixed time, shifting between matrices. Events may take place
in an implied past, present or future. In most cases, however, this results when some sort
of narrative information structure creates the idea around which the shifting time matrices
are distributed.

3.3 Definitions: Space


Space and place comprise the physical location of events or activities occurring
within art forms individually and in combination with other art forms. As previously
mentioned, space is a general, abstract term referring in most circumstances to an overall
performance location. Place refers either to a specific space with physical coordinates
(usually within non-matrixed time-space structures) or to a space with recognizable char-
acteristics within a time-space matrix. In a non-matrixed structure space may be consid-
ered to be the entire performance space, while place is a subset or specific location within
the performance space.
As with time, place may be measured relative to another place or to an absolute
point of origin (a "zero" place). Commonly the point of origin is assumed to be the indi-
vidual (or ideal) spectator; but it can certainly be set elsewhere. The main characteristics
of static spatial location are direction, distance and the amount of space occupied by an

100
event, activity or art form. As with ordinal time position, different spaces may be ranked
"ordinally" based on prominence, i.e., distance from the spectator. Place may be matrixed,
referring to a location (usually linked with time) outside the performance space; or place
may be non-matrixed, referring only to a specific location within the performance space.

3.3.1 Matrixed and Non-Matrixed Space


Matrixed space typically occurs as part of a time-space matrix associated with
narrative or logical iriformation structures. As part of a narrative information structure
matrixed space usually refers to a specific place; this may or may not be an actual place,
but it is one that can be imagined to exist, based on specific cultural, political, environ-
mental, sociological and historical factors with which the creators and audience are famil-
iar. Non-matrixed space is usually associated with illogical or alogical information struc-
tures, and it may not make specific reference to familiar cultural, political, environmental,
sociological or historical conditions. Non-matrixed space usually exists outside of time
and refers reflexively to itself.
As with time, multiple space matrices may exist simultaneously in a single work.
In live performance, simultaneous matrices may require a significant amount of space in
a proscenium theatre or the alternative use of a traditional space (using the back and/or
sides of an auditorium for example). In "black box" theatres and in particularly in per-
formance art works that require activities to take place outside of the theatre or in loca-
tions widely separated in space, multiple space matrices are easier to achieve. In tradi-
tional film and/or theatrical presentations with narrative information structures, action
regularly shifts between several locales (time-space matrices) during the course of the
work. These multiple time-space matrices all support the development of the single narra-
tive information structure. (Again, a good example, and one which will be examined in
more detail at the end of this chapter, is Mike Figgis' film Time Code.) It is obviously
impossible to describe the almost infinite number of fictional places that may occur in
matrixed space in a narrative information structure; hence most of the remainder of this
discussion will be devoted to non-matrixed space.
In non-matrixed works multiple space matrices may be independent from time
and independent from each other. Each space may have its own information structure and

101
time structure. Although a single illogical or alogical information structure may control
several space matrices, the strength of this structure, unlike the narrative structure, is usu-
ally not sufficient to override the effects of individual space matrices. In other words,
even with a single non-narrative information structure, multiple non-matrixed spaces may
allow for non-fixed, non-fused relationships among component art forms.

3.3.2 Basic Characteristics of Place: Direction, Distance, and Size


Individual events or activities in different art forms in combination, in a single
space, may: 1) occur in a shared place; 2) overlap spatially (or move from one place to
another); or 3) occur in separate places. In addition, component art forms may be distrib-
uted so that they cannot be experienced without physical movement by the spectator. As
with time, a spatial analysis can be based on synchronic or diachronic conditions, and can
be limited in scope (local) or unlimited (global).
The sharing or overlapping of art forms, or of events or activities emitted by those
art forms, contributes to the observation of fusion among disparate media and, less di-
rectly, to the observation of hierarchy. Art forms, events, or activities that take place in a
shared place are more likely to appear to be fused than if they are widely separated. In
addition, if a controlling hierarchy exists, it is more likely to be observed if the controller
and the controlled activities are in relatively close proximity to each other.
Factors that contribute to the determination of intensity or to the fusion of indi-
vidual media sharing a single place include the specific location or spatial position of an
event, activity or art form, situated in three dimensions around the spectator (in front of,
behind, to either side, above or below), and also the distance from the spectator. Tradi-
tionally, and particularly with the proscenium stage and single-point perspective, visual
events and activities that occur in front of the spectator are likely to be considered more
prominent than those that occur at the sides or behind the spectator. This is not necessar-
ily the same with auditory phenomena. It may be that the novel use of auditory space
either behind, above or to the sides of the spectatorwill get the spectator's attention and
be observed to have a higher degree of intensity or be more important than auditory phe-
nomena that occur in front of the spectator. (Surround sound in film and audio diffusion

102
encompass technologies and techniques developed specifically for this purpose.) Figure
3.10 illustrates the relationship between prominence and the spatial position of an event.

most prominent

least prominent

Figure 3.10: Direction from the spectator and prominence.

Absolute proximity to the spectator and relative distance between events, activi-
ties and art forms both contribute particularly to the observation of intensity. Events or
activities that occur closer to the spectator, in addition to merely appearing more promi-
nent, may even visually obscure other, more distant events from the spectator. Similarly,
high-volume auditory events may mask significantly softer auditory events. Figure 3.11
illustrates what may be termed "rings of prominence"; as each succeeding ring is a
greater distance from the spectator (or point of origin), each becomes less and less sig-
nificant to the spectator.

Figure 3.11: Distance from the spectator and "rings of prominence."

Relative distance between components may make it difficult to observe a control-


ling hierarchy. A great disparity among the distances between components in such a hier-
archy may obscure or partially obscure the controlled or controlling events and render the
hierarchy itself unobservable. As well, distance between art forms contributes to the ob-
servation of independence and fusion: greater distances lead to independence among art
forms, shorter distances, to fusion.

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Finally, hierarchy and fusion are also affected by the relative size of a particular
place, or by the amount of space that a particular event, activity, or art form occupies
relative to the total space. A spectator may observe a. direct relationship between the
amount of space used and control or dominance of the art form occupying that space. Art
forms or events occupying a small amount of space may appear to be fused or subsumed
into events proximate to them (or even surrounding them) and occupying a larger space.
On the other hand an event occupying a smaller space but close to the spectator may have
greater significance than an event or activity occupying a larger space at a greater dis-
tance. (An example is a whisper in the ear that occurs within the context of a larger event.
The whisper, with its personal, secretive connotations, has great significance in relation-
ship to the larger, public activity.)
Direction, distance and size may be measured individually and compared inde-
pendently among different events, activities, or art forms. However, in order to determine
fusion and hierarchy these three must be considered in combination. One useful method
is to plot the three characteristics on graph paper, using polar coordinates, with the spec-
tator placed at the center of the system. Direction, distance, and size are then relatively
easy to plot in relationship to the spectator. The following two-dimensional graph indi-
cates a plot of three different events or arts relative to the origin point (spectator) showing
distance, direction and event size. A three dimensional graph would enable a similar
representation in three-dimensional space.

Figure 3.12: Polar graph plotting event distance, direction and size.

104
3.3.3 Proximity and Spill
Spatial proximity can be used to describe the nearness of individual art forms to
each other and to the spectator. Similar to time proximity, spatial proximity measures the
physical distance between events situated in the context of a larger space and among
other component media and events. In general, hierarchy and fusion relationships become
easier to observe when component art forms are proximatethat is, closer together in
space. On the other hand, if two art forms or events are in very close proximity, it is
likely that the two will simply be fused. If the distances between events are changing
either increasing or decreasingthere will be a certain point at which the two events may
either be observed as individual events or become fused into a single event. With regard
to hierarchy, when two events are in close proximity it becomes somewhat easier to com-
pare their relative intensities and hence easier to determine control relationships.
The proximity of art forms or events to the spectator contributes to the observa-
tion of hierarchy and fusion: events that occur closer to the spectator will most likely ap-
pear to have a greater intensity and may even obscure;either visually or aurallyother
events taking place at the same time. It is easier to fuse two events that occur at some dis-
tance from the point of observation; two nearby eventsfor example, two events on ei-
ther side of the spectatortend to be perceived as separate even if the actual distance be-
tween the two events remains constant.
Spill refers to that phenomenon that occurs when two unrelated events or activi-
ties occurring in different places unintentionally impinge upon one another. Often it is a
single characteristic or parameter, or part of a characteristic or parameter of an art form,
that spills from one place to another. Spill of multiple characteristics would amount to
overlap or sharing a single place. Spill is usually something that the work's creators can
or should control during the compositional process, either eliminating it or incorporating
it compositionally into the work. Spill may include but is not limited to lighting, sight
lines, auditory overlap, and other factors beyond the creators' control. Generally, the
greater the physical distance between the spectator and the events or activities, the more
likely spill is to occur.
The polar graph introduced in the previous section is quite useful for comparing
the effect of spatial location for a single event or activity and for anticipating the potential

105
for spill in the combination of several media. For example, it becomes quite clear that the
effects of the events depicted in Figure 3.13 are very different in the three different ar-
rangements. By simply changing the location of one event, the relationship of it, as well
as the rest of the events, to the spectator changes.

Figure 3.13: Comparison of three arrangements of three events.

3.3.4 Density
For time, density referred to the number of events per unit time; similarly, for
space, density refers to the number of events occurring in a particular (unit) space. A high
density has a greater number of events in per physical unit of space; low density has
fewer. However, unlike time, which is measured by seconds, minutes, and hours, space
has no accepted standard of measurement with regard to performance. One could use cu-
bic feet or a specific quantity of cubic feet to represent a unit of space, where the unit of
space is an area that can be seen at a glace by the spectator without movement of the head
or body. However, spatial units are much more subjective than time, dependent on the
spectator and also on the location and context within which the work is presented. Den-
sity is nevertheless an important consideration: a large number of events in a small place
is likely to have a very different effect than the same quantity of events spread through a
large space.

3.3.5 Movement, Direction of Movement and Phasing


Movement may be divided into several categories: determinate and indeterminate,
physical and virtual, absolute and relative. In addition, movement may be quantified in
several ways: by distance (or degree), direction (relative to the spectator or to another art

106
form), and duration (the inverse of which is speed or rate of movement). "Determinate"
indicates that the movement was specified by the work's creators and codified into the
score or instructions. "Indeterminate" movement is initiated by the performers, by the
spectatorsindividually or as a groupor by performers and spectators together; in any
case it results from decisions made during the performance or presentation of the work.
Determinate and indeterminate structures were discussed in detail in the preceding sec-
tion on information structure.
"Physical" movement occurs when an event, activity, or art form physically
moves from one location to another; "virtual" movement occurs when an event, activity
or change within an art form causes the spectator's attention to shift from one location to
another or causes the spectator to think that one or more events have moved from one lo-
cation to another. Several factors may cause a shift in attention, but in all cases the event
or change must be significant enough to induce an interested spectator to adjust to the
event.
"Absolute" movement is measured in fixed units from an accepted "zero" point;
"relative" movement is measured from another event, activity, or art form. Indeed, meas-
urements may be made from at least three different reference points: an absolute "zero"
point from which all direction and distance is measured; the natural but subjective refer-
ence point of an individual spectator; and a point established by another, perhaps moving,
object or event.
Movement is measured with three parameters: degree, direction, and speed (rate).
The degree of movement measures the distance, either actual or relative, between the
start point and end point of the movement. Direction can be measured in either absolute
or relative terms, depending on the reference point; under many circumstances it is asso-
ciated with a change in prominence. Speed (rate) measures, as expected, the distance cov-
ered per unit of time; frorm it can be calculated duration, and vice-versa. Each of these
parameters helps to determine the prominence of a particular activity in the context of all
other activities taking place at the same time and/or in the same place.
In general, movement, like any change, is likely to attract the attention of the
spectator, if only momentarily. The degree of movement or change may be correlated
with the intensity or prominence that the changing art form receives, especially in the

107
context of other, unchanging or unmoving activities that are taking place at the same time
or in the same place. Unison movement, when two or more events, activities or art forms
move at the same time, particularly in the same degree, direction, and rate, tends to be
mutually supportive and hence to contribute to fusion and/or control between those
events or activities. This type of "in phase" movement is further described below.

Physical Movement and Phasing


The "phase" of two events in space may be defined relative to a shared, unmoving
location or to the direction, degree, or rate of a coincident movement. Consider, by way
of example, two events or activities that occur in the same space. Over time the activities
change independently in direction, degree and rate. Although at a certain point the two
activities may again share the same space, the activity occurring between the beginning
and ending point will not be in phase because of the differences in direction, degree,
and/or rate. On the other hand, if the two activities move in the same direction, by the
same degree and at the same rate, then even if the absolute location of the event pair
changes the relative location remains the same; the activity between the beginning and
ending point is "in phase."
The diagrams in Figure 3.14 illustrates two events or art forms which start in the
same location and separate into two different locations; and two events which start in dif-
ferent locations and end in one location. If time is constantthat is, the time relationship
does not also change during the change in placethe effects of the change may be less-
ened; if the time relationship also changes the effects (of separation or of fusion) may be
greater.

Figure 3.14: Two examples of phasing and movement of two events.

108
In addition to moving into and out of a shared space, events may change their spa-
tial relationship (distance and position) relative to each other (outside of a shared space)
as well as relative to the spectator. In order to understand how this type of movement af-
fects hierarchy and fusion one must also consider the direction, degree, and rate of
movement of each art form. Finally, we may consider the movement of the spectator rela-
tive to a (fixed) art form or activity versus the movement of an event or art form relative
to the (fixed) spectator. While the actual distances between spectator and event may be
the same in both cases, other factors, particularly the spectator's motivations, must be
considered when examining this relationship.
Figure 3.15 illustrates movement of art forms, events or activities in relationship
to the spectator and to each other. In the first case the spectator "S" is stationary while art
forms A and B move in opposite directions. At time = Tl art form A is farther from the
spectator but may be seen by the spectator without an unusual amount of movement; art
form B is closer to the spectator yet requires some movement to be seen. At time = T2 the
relationships are reversed: art form B is farther from the spectator yet within the line of
sight, while art form A is close to the spectator but requires some movement to be seen.

0. Tl T2

X
x
'
Figure 3.15: Relational movement among two art forms and fixed spectator.

Figure 3.16 illustrates a more complex example containing two art forms whose
initial position is the same and whose final position is different. In the first case the
movement of the two art forms A and B is both in the same direction and in phase.

109
Figure 3:16: Two examples of relative movement.

If we assume that both art forms arrive at location two at the same time, direction, degree
and rate of movement are the same for both art forms. In the second case the movement
of the two art forms is neither in the same direction nor in phase. It is obvious that the
direction and degree are not the same, and, if we assume that the arrival points occur at
the same time, the rate of change is not the same.

Virtual Movement: Change of Focus


While physical movement refers to the actual movement of an event, activity or
art form one location to another location in space, virtual movement refers to the apparent
movement of sound or light content from one location to another in space. The former is
accomplished by the movement of the device or instrument which emits or produces the
content or information; the latter, by the movement of the content or information from
one stationary device or instrument to another. Virtual movement of information is ac-
complished through the use of stationary instruments or art forms placed at various loca-
tions in a performance space which simultaneously or alternately supply information,
events, or activities at various times during the overall duration of the work. Through
careful timing and with appropriate content, movement around or in relationship to a
static spectator or other reference point is created. This phenomenon is easier to under-
stand when described by the phrase "change of focus."
Movement, whether actual or virtual, is usually accompanied by a corresponding
or concurrent change of focus in the spectator. Change of focus naturally accompanies
the physical movement of an event or activity from one place to another. Change of focus

110
may also be triggered by a significant change within a single art form or instrument lo-
cated at a specific point within the performance space: the start or stop of an activity; a
significant increase or decrease in a particular parameter of an event or activity such as
sound level or light level; or a significant change in a summative factor such as density.
In order for a change of focus to occur the change in the single location must sufficiently
prominent to override the other activities and changes which in total create the context
within which the change occurs. Visual change of focus is used in advertising, graphic
design and even in painting where the observer is visually "led" from one point to an-
other in the design or painting. An excellent example of virtual movement in which audio
is used to direct the spectator's attention is Mike Figgis' film Time Code, briefly dis-
cussed in section 3.2.1 above and to which we shall return for a more detailed analysis at
the end of the Chapter.

Direction, Degree and Rate of Movement


Direction, degree, and rate of movement are the three characteristics that define
physical or virtual movement. Ultimately, to the extent that spatial location determines
hierarchy and fusion, all movement results in a change of prominence: an activity moves
from a less prominent location to a more prominent location or vice-versa. However, the
change itself may either increase the intensity of the moving event or art form or lessen it.
For this reason, movement itself contributes to prominence and hierarchy, above and be-
yond the effect of the change of location: a greater degree of movement, for instance, will
likely be associated with greater prominence, while a lesser degree of movement may not
be noticed at all. Rate of movement also affects intensity: movement at a faster speed is
likely to appear more intense or at least claim the attention of the spectator more than
movement at a slower one. Direction and rate can also affect the observation of fusion, in
that similar directions and rates may increase the likelihood that fusion will result. The
alternatives offered by direction, degree and rate may be depicted as follows:

Direction (increase = arrow up; decrease = arrow down):

less to more prominent more to less prominent

111
Degree (amount = length of arrow):
A
large degree of movement L small degree of movement

Rate (rate = angle of arrow):

^"^ slow rate of change / fast rate of change

It must be emphasized that for all of these parameters, the context in which the
change or movement occurs is crucial to their significanceor, indeed, whether they are
noticed at all. For example, in the amount of activity taking place in either Cage's Musi-
circus or HPSCHD, even a movement of a large degree, direction or rate may be rela-
tively insignificant.

3.3.6 Audience Movement


We have discussed the movement of events, activities and art forms from one
place to another within a larger performance space and the spatial relationships among
them and the spectator. Now we turn to the movement of the spectator within or through
the performance space. There are two basic types of spectator movement: directed or
guided movement and undirected movement.
Directed or guided movement is composed or scripted as part of the composition.
It is hierarchical by nature and specifies a journey that will be repeated and traveled by all
spectators. This may be compared to a unicursal maze into which the traveleror specta-
tor in this caseenters. By following the turns the spectator finds her way to the middle
of the maze and then back out. The movement is hierarchical in that the composer or
creators reveal specific information at specific points in the journey; quite possibly the
work as a whole is based on a narrative or logical information structure.
A simple example of directed movement is the haunted house or a circus fun
house. However, a more significant example is The Tooth of Crime by Sam Shepard,
produced by Richard Schechner in which the audience follows or is led through the thea-
tre from scene to scene. For this production the "set" is a structure that "blocks vision and
has no single arenalike central playing space. Spectators move around the view gallery or

112
on the floor in order to follow the action of the play. William Brooks describes his
experience of Tooth as follows:

You were led about for all practical purposes like a tour guide from mo-
ment to moment, place to place, spot to spot. ... And that creates an inter-
esting sort of dialectic because on the one hand you as a listener, viewer,
perceiver of this thing are observing that there are differences in place
and differences in time; on the other hand your memory of the event is of-
ten constructed sort of subjectively and so it's all made into a continuity.A1

Another example, from purely visual media, is Leonardo's description of The


Deluge. Like modern advertising and graphic design, da Vinci sought to lead the ob-
server's eye through the painting in order to achieve a desired result. In The Film Sense
Eisenstein includes a lengthy passage from da Vinci's notes in which da Vinci visualizes
The Deluge. Eisenstein cites this as an example of a "shooting script" because "the audio-
visual picture of The Deluge is presented with an unusual clarity."43
In advertising and graphic design the use of typography, color, size and placement
of images, and the lines and angles formed by the combination of these elements guides
the viewer through an advertisement in a manner in which the advertiser's message be-
comes most clear. The elements may combine to create a fused, composite whole that
manifests a very specific hierarchy, which is itself part of the intended message. These
examples;The Tooth of Crime, Leonardo's The Deluge, and advertisingare all exam-
ples in which a directed change of focus plays an important role.
Undirected movement on the part of the spectator is movement which is not
scripted as part of the composition. It is, in effect, mere wandering, and it is not hierar-
chical by nature. It may constitute a journey, but this is a journey of inner discovery.
Rather than the creators revealing information to the spectator, it is the spectator who
seeks, finds or extracts information. In this case the analogue is of a multicursal maze
within which the spectator faces individual choices, with equally valid outcomes,
throughout the course of the work. Each spectator has a different journey, discovers dif-
ferent information and events, and comes out of the maze having had a different experi-

113
ence of the work. Such a work may be based on a narrative or logical structure, but is
more likely to be based on an illogical or alogical information structure. Examples in-
clude the environmental works by Kaprow, such as 18 Happenings in 6 Parts and Eat,
and Cage's HPSCHD and Musicircus.
Maze structures-both unicursal and multicursalhave been incorporated into
the theatrical and performance works of Richard Scheduler's Environmental Theater. In
their production of Makbeth "spectators had to enter a door on Wooster Street, go up-
stairs over the theater, pass through a complicated maze one at a time, and descend down
a narrow, steep stairway into the theater."44 And, in The Tooth of Crime "each spectator
chooses how he is to place himself in relation to the action. The environment allows eve-
ryone three clear choices and many gradations. A spectator can stand, sit, or walk on a
gallery eleven feet above the floor surrounding half the space, or he/she can sit, stand, or
walk round the floor and surround each scene as it occurs as if it were being played in the
street, or the spectator can sit or stand on the large house-like construction of platforms,
towers, and bridges that fills the center of the theater to a height of sixteen feet. There is
no way to stay in one place and see everything."45
An example of undirected audience movement is Allan Kaprow's Eat, an envi-
ronment built within a cave in which the spectators are free to move and interact. Specta-
tors may choose to sample food and drink either with or without interacting with one or
more "performers," and they may choose between left and right caverns. It is completely
up to the spectator to choose how much to participate or how to experience the work.

The visitors were free to wander about through the cave. Some ate and
drank; others did not. At the end of the hour the remaining people were
ushered out, the "performers " were replaced by fresh volunteers, and new
visitors were allowed to enter.*6

114
Figure 3.17: Diagram of plan for Allan Kaprow's Eat.

Renaissance entertainments and spectacles offer a precedent for allowing and en-
couraging the audience to move through a performance space to experience the work in-
dividually. In these spectacles a multitude of events occurred in a variety of space and
time configurations, with the experience dependent on the spectator's choices. In the
twentieth century certain works of John Cage, such as HPSCHD and Musicircus, are
seminal examples which harken back to these entertainments.
On the stage or in a performance space a spectator's attention is always shifting,
moving from one object to another, focusing on one thing after another. If all elements or

115
art forms occurring at given time are of equal intensity, taking into consideration the pri-
ority given to visual information, placement in time and place, and other factors, then
spectators may choose where to focus their attention. However, if the artist chooses,
through thoughtful consideration, to direct the spectator's attention first towards one
event or object, then another, this may be accomplished in a much more subtle and mean-
ingful way than merely placing events one after another in time. In this case, changes of
focus may be used to demonstrate relationships not merely between events and art forms
but between that which these events or art forms representi.e., their inner meaning.

3.3.7 Space Summary


Without venturing too far into perception and reception theory we can summarize
some of the factors that determine the perceived importanceand therefore, intensity
of individual art forms based on their placement in physical space. These include: direc-
tion and distance from the spectator (is the event directly in front of the spectator the
most important? is the closer event the most important?); relative size occupied by an
event or art form (is the most important art form that one that takes up the most physical
space?); and audience effort (is the most important art form or event the easiest one to
observe?). Additional considerations and characteristics include density per unit space,
and direction and rate of movement.
Space and specific places within a space areas opposed to timefixed and un-
changing. Art forms, events or activities move within or in relation to specific places
within a performance space. But why do they move? Is it the movement itself that is im-
portant, or does that movement lead the audience to important events or activities? And
where are these events? Do they take place in a single place or in multiple places within
the performance space? And finally, how is the space itself to be understood? Is it ma-
trixed or non-matrixed? And if matrixed, is more than one matrix employed? Multiple
space matrices may exist simultaneously and independently in a non-matrixed, non-
narrative structure; or they may exist sequentially or alternately, and intricately related to
each other, in a matrixed narrative structure.

116
3.4 Location Issues
Although time and space interact differently with specific events or art forms, it is
impossible to separate them from each other. Obviously time is always present, and usu-
ally conceived of dynamicallythe vessel for the changing and accumulating flow of
information during a combined work. Space, on the other hand, is generally thought of as
static, a framework through which events or objects move. However, even if one com-
poses for space as an independent parameter, location is always understood relative to
other art forms and to the spectator. In this sense space is not an independent domain in
itself but is intrinsic to and woven into every art form that exists or is projected into it. In
the next section we consider the interaction of time and space, their mutual interactions
with information structures, and their contributions to the determination of hierarchy and
fusion.

3.4.1 Interaction: Time into Space


Time and space are intrinsic to all individual art forms and to combined works.
Indeed, time and space cannot be separated from each other. Location in space and time
may convey meaning, or it may be based on physical necessity or logistics. It may also
derive from a larger formal structure or information structure, whether that be narrative,
logic-based or completely illogical. In any case it is important to emphasize that the rami-
fications of locationboth time and spaceextend beyond applications in a specific art
form; they impinge on other art forms by changing the environment, and ultimately they
can contribute to changes in hierarchic relationships and to fusion of the component art
forms.
The relationships between time and place are manifold: 1) art forms are presented
in the same time (simultaneously) and in the same place; 2) art forms are presented si-
multaneously in time but are separated spatially; 3) art forms are presented in the same
space but are separated in time; and 4) art forms are presented neither in the same time or
the same place. Furthermore, since none of these relationships necessarily remains con-
stant, there is also a fifth relationship (or set of relationships), in which a sequence of
these relationships occurs. The complexities are compounded when one considers over-

117
laps, as discussed in a previous section. To confine the present discussion to reasonable
limits, we will concentrate on relationships one through four.
These four distinct time-space relationships may be observed from moment to
moment (synchronically) in a combined art work and may be summarize by the following
simple equations, which apply to when two art forms are present. (With the introduction
of additional art forms the necessary equations and the possible relationships among them
rapidly multiply correspondingly.)

TA = TB Time and place are the same for art form A and art form B.
PA = PB (Art forms A and B occur simultaneously in the same place.)

T A = TB Time is the same for A and B; place is different for A and B.


PA 4 PB (Art forms A and B occur simultaneously in different places.)

TA 4- TB Time is different for A and B; place is the same for A and B.


PA = PB (Art forms A and B occur at different times in the same place.)

TA 4 TB Time and place are different for art form A and B.


PA 4 PB (Art forms A and B occur at different times in different places.)

These shorthand equations will be handy shortly when we examine how these relation-
ships contribute to the determination of hierarchy and fusion.

3.4.2 Location and the Information Structure


Before considering location in relation to hierarchy and fusion it is useful to re-
turn to the information structure. In relation to location, information delivery may be ei-
ther static or changing. When static, it may: 1) occur in one or many places (spatial dis-
tribution); 2) occur in one or many art forms (media distribution); 3) occur linearly or
non-linearly (time distribution). When changing, it may be: 1) passed from one place to
another; 2) passed from one art form to another; or, 3) presented linearly and non-
linearly. A narrative information structure may be presented linearly by all art forms si-

118
multaneously. In the case of multiple information structures or information complexes
additional possibilities for the distribution of information in time and place arise.
In Film Form Eisenstein writes about the distribution of the theme among the
component arts in Japanese Kabuki theatre, comparing it to the sport of soccer in which a
ball is passed from one player to another with a single ultimate goal or purpose.

The first association that occurs to one in experiencing Kabuki is soccer,


the most collective, ensemble sport. Voice, clappers, mimic movement, the
narrator's shouts, the folding screensall are so many backs, half-backs,
goal-keepers, forwards, passing to each other the dramatic ball and driv-
ing towards the goal of the dazed spectator.

This distribution results in equality among the components in Kabuki theatre, one in
which all aspects participate in the delivery of the information. All are important, each
carries the "ball," and none is merely an "accompaniment."

3.4.3 Location and Hierarchy


Location in time and space contributes to the determination of hierarchy in many
ways. Events synchronized in time or having a consistent time relationship are more
likely to have an observable control relationship than events not synchronized in time. As
long as the individual events are in close enough proximity to be observed without a large
degree of movement, it is unimportant whether the two events share a single place or
where exactly they are situated. However, events that do share a single place are more
likely to exhibit a control hierarchy when they also exhibit a time relationship.
In addition, location in time and space contributes to the ability of the spectator to
compare intensities among events or art forms. It is easier to compare events that occur in
relatively close proximity than ones that are separated by a large amount of time or space.
Hence proximity allows the spectator to observe hierarchies established through intensity
with a greater degree of accuracy.
To restate some of the conclusions reached earlier, aspects of spatial location that
contribute to the determinaition of intensity and hierarchy include distance from spectator,

119
placement relative to spectator, placement relative to another art form, relative size, di-
rection and rate of movement, and visibility/audibility (masking). Aspects of time loca-
tion that contribute similarly include ordinal position, relative duration, rate and duration
of change, and number of changes per unit time.
The following shorthand notation summarizes some potential relationships among
location in time and space and the observation of hierarchy.

IfTA = TB If time and place are the same for art form A and art form
And PA = PB B hierarchy tends to be fixed.
Hierarchy -> Fixed

IfTA = TB If time is the same for art forms A and B and place is dif-
And P A # PB ferent for art forms A and B hierarchy tends to be fixed.
Hierarchy -> Fixed

IfTA # TB If time is different for art forms A and B and place is the
And PA = PB same for art forms A and B hierarchy tends to be not fixed.
Hierarchy 4- Fixed

IfTA 7^ TB If time is different for art forms A and B and place is dif-
And PA ^ PB ferent for art forms A and B hierarchy tends to be not fixed.
Hierarchy 4r Fixed

3.4.4 Location and Fusion


Art forms sufficiently separated by time and/or place will appear to be non-fused
(independent); hence we can speak of a proximity effect whereby a certain closeness in
time and/or space will induce previously "unrelated" component art forms to appear to
fuseor at least to permit an exchange of information among the media. The following
shorthand notation summarizes some potential relationships among location in time and
space and the observation of fusion.

120
7/TA - TB If time and place are the same for art form A and art form
And PA = PB B the two may appear to be highly fused.
Fused Not Fused

I/TA - TB If time is the same for art forms A and B and place is dif-
And PA ^ PB ferent for art forms A and B the two are likely to appear
Fused > Not Fused somewhat fused.

If TA ^ TB If time is different for art forms A and B and place is the


And PA = PB same for art forms A and B the two may or may not appear
Fused = Not Fused to be fused.

If TA ^ TB If time is different for art forms A and B and place is dif-


And PA ^ PB ferent for art forms A and B the two are likely to appear to
Fused < Not Fused be not fused.

3.4.5 Movement as a Unifying Principle


For hundreds of years composers and other artists have sought to combine various
artsboth time-based and plasticinto a single unified art form. Some have advocated
external coordination of events as a way to do this, while others have sought unification
by looking beyond external factors to internal factors or to a shared meaning. In On the
Art of the Theatre Edward Gordon Craig writes:

/ like to remember that all things spring from movement, ... and I like to
think that it is to be our supreme honour to be the ministers to the supreme
/ 49
jorcemovement.

When individual events or art forms not only co-exist but move together through
a shared time-and-space continuum, they are more likely to become unified. In fact, as
we have seen, an audience that observes two objects or events sharing the same time and
space cannot help drawing some inferences regarding their relationship. On a more de-

121
tailed, local level, individual characteristics of art forms may also move together in time
and space. Thus we can speak of two instruments or sounds whose volume, timbre, or
pitch move or change together or independently. In the preface to Der gelbe Klang Kand-
insky lists three elements and their role in the stage composition.

1. musical sound and its movement


2. bodily spiritual sound and its movement, expressed by people and objects
3. color-tones and their movement (a special resource of the stage) ...
All three elements play an equally significant role, remain exter-
nally self-sufficient, and are treated in a similar way, i.e., subordinated to
the inner purpose.5

Again, then, it is movement that is the common or unifying element.


In The Film Sense, Sergei Eisenstein writes of "finding an inner synchronization
between the tangible picture and the differently perceived sounds " of which a film is
constructed. Fusion between sound and picture is created through the common language
of movement.

Movement will reveal all the substrata of inner synchronization that we


wish to establish in due course. Movement will display to us in a concrete
form the significance and method of the fusion process.52

Finally, in The Work of Living Art, Adolphe Appia makes the argument that
movement is the unifying principle of theatrical arts.

Movementmobilityis the determining and conciliating principle which


can so regulate the union of the several art forms that they will converge,
as it were, at a given point and a given time, in dramatic art.

Movement, which operates through time, "can organize these art forms hierarchically,
can mutually and proportionately subordinate them, and can finally achieve a harmony

122
that in themselves they would have sought in vain."54 For all these artists then, movement
or change in multiple art forms is essential to the creation of a certain degree of fusion
and a certain observable hierarchy.

3.5 Location Examples


Examples in this chapter were selected to illustrate specific location issues.
Cage's HPSCHD illustrates the insignificance of time and space in the presentation of an
overwhelming abundance of material. On the other hand, time and space play highly sig-
nificant roles in the structure of Parade, both in illustrating the relationships of one art
form to another and in the work's construction. Movement, both literal and virtual, plays
a significant roles in Figgis' Time Code, Scheduler's production of The Tooth of Crime,
and Da Vinci's description of The Deluge. Finally, location is used in different ways to
delineate structure and content in Brant's Antiphony /and Stockhausen's Gruppen.

3.5.1 Insignificance of Time and Space: John Cage and Lejaren Hiller, HPSCHD
In the previous section the information structure of HPSCHD was discussed in
some detail. In this section the location in time and space of the individual component
arts, their relationships to each other and their relationships to the spectator are examined.
Because of the spatial nature of the work and the production requirements, HPSCHD
necessarily varies substantially from one production to another. Indeed, Cage's instruc-
tions describe, "an indeterminate concert of any agreed-upon length having 2-59 separate
channels with loudspeakers spaced around the audience."55 The following discussion,
therefore, will concern only a single performance, the original production of HPSCHD in
Assembly Hall at the University of Illinois in 1969. This will be assumed to be the proto-
typical HPSCHD production.56
The score of HPSCHD summarizes the materials of the piece: "twenty-minute so-
los for 1-7 amplified harpsichords and tapes for 1-52 amplified monaural machines to be
used in whole or in part in any combination with or without interruptions, etc. to make an
indeterminate concert of any agreed-upon length."57 In the case of the original perform-
ance at the University of Illinois, 59 channels of sound were projected into the space from
the perimeter of the auditorium above the audience: 7 harpsichords and four sets of 52

123
tapes were created and any or all of the 52 tapes could be played back simultaneously.
Each harpsichord solo and each tape had been composed to be 20 minutes in duration
and, consistent with Cage's instructions, could be repeated as many times as desired with
indeterminate pauses between repetitions. The systematic randomizing of multiple super-
imposed layers (as described in the previous section) resulted in an equal distribution of
sound materials over the total duration of the performance. In addition to the audio com-
ponents, the slides and films were shown continuously throughout the duration of the per-
formance, so that visual information was also distributed evenly over time.
In the first performance ofHPSCHD component elements were also evenly dis-
tributed through space, vertically as well as horizontally. Seven harpsichords were placed
on raised platforms distributed in the central "well" of the arena. The 59 amplified chan-
nels of sound (7 harpsichord solos and 52 tape parts) were projected from various loca-
tions above the audience. 8,400 slides and dozens of films were projected above the audi-
ence on several 100 by 40 foot semi-transparent sheets suspended from the ceiling and on
a continuous 340 foot screen around the perimeter of the central space. Colored lights
moved throughout the space illuminating the floor and the ceiling as well as the partici-
pants. Mirrored balls reflected light in all directions. The audience wandered through the
space on the main floor or sat in the seats; and, as there were no restrictions on move-
ment, speaking, or other reactions to the environment, their actions added another dimen-
sion or layer to HPSCHD.

About 4,000 smocks were printed in fluorescent-colored inks with the signs
of the zodiac printed on themas a reference to the "telescopic" theme.
Blacklight would pick out the audience members who wore them during the
CO

event, giving an added sense of involvement and participation.

Implementation of Cage's performance instructions results in a relatively equal


distribution of a multiplicity of diverse materials in both time and space, expanding the
rather limited dynamic and timbral qualities of the harpsichord into one of the largest
sound environments of the period. This multiplicity of material creates an environment in
which notions of foreground and background, ordinal position, and shared or alternating

124
time and space have no intrinsic meaning. Cage preferred to use the term "abundance"
rather than chaos in describing HPSCHD or similar events.

/ used to think of five as the most things we could perceive at once; but the
way things are going recently, it may be in a sense of quantity, rather than
quality, that we have our hope. When you use the word 'chaos,' it means
there is no chaos, because everything is equally relatedthere is an ex-
tremely complex interpenetration of an unknowable number of centers.59

We know that Cage was interested in creating a large quantity of events and that,
rather than creating unity, he sought to honor the differences intrinsic in an abundance of
materials. In works such as HPSCHD Cage applied the same principle to notions of struc-
ture: "Disorganization can result from the accumulation of organizations having fine dif-
ferences."60 In a response to a criticism of his work in which a writer described his music
as "interesting" but without any "substance," realizing that the writer "meant the rela-
tionships of the sounds," Cage said, "I have carefully weeded out relationships through
the use of chance operations, and what the writer was lamenting was the fact that I had
succeeded."61
Beyond the equal distribution of materials, the most important characteristic of
space in HPSCHD is the ability of individual spectators to move independently and to
control their relationships to the component events and activities. Each spectator deter-
mines an individual set of hierarchy and fusion relationships among the components and
thus creates an individual relationship to the combined work. Because of the relatively
equal distribution of components, each spectator is certain to experience a great deal of
visual and auditory spill and overlap among the various art forms and materials. Station-
ary spectators will see and hear HPSCHD relative to their respective locations. Moving
spectators will experience a wider variety of components and component relationships as
they move through the space.

You don't have to choose, really, but, so to speak, experience it. As you go
from one point of the hall to another, the experience changes; and here,

125
too, each man determines what he hears. The situation relates to individu-
als differently, because attention isn 'tfocused in one direction. Freedom
of movement, you see, is basic to both this art and this society. With all
those parts and no conductor, you can see that even this populous a soci-
ft")

ety can function without a conductor.

The relatively even spatial distribution of materials enables each audience mem-
ber to determine physical hierarchy among the components without an imposed bias.
Likewise, approximately equal sound durations and the absence of ordinal position (the
art forms all having commenced prior to the audience entering the space) enables the
audience to determine temporal hierarchy. In addition to distribution, the sheer quantity,
variety and density of material, presented over a substantial period of time and in such a
cavernous space as the Assembly Hall, have other effects. The extended period of time
allows the spectator to become familiar with the material, to note similarities and con-
struct relationships between them; the large space, the size of the projections and the
widely distributed sound allow many vantage points for viewing both individual details
and the totality of the work. The results for the spectator were both disorienting and uni-
fying. Calvin Sumsion, one of the participants, described his experience as follows:

The first half-hour, I felt quite confused. I could detect no goal, purpose or
objective. I saw no logical arrangement of subject matter or sound which
held my attention. Ifailed to see any relationship among the various types
of presentations. Toward the end of the evening I came to the realization
that the whole seemingly confused affair, probably had much in common
with the world around us, and, in fact, could have been a simulated model
of it. After this became clear, I felt a purpose in my being there.

Time plays a critical role in the distribution of information and in the observation
of fusion and hierarchy. The length of HPSCHD, together with the unrelenting density of
visual and sound information present in the performance space, made it possibleor
even inevitableto make associations and to observe fusion among the components. And

126
because the components were distributed relatively equally in both space and time, spec-
tators were inclined to assign to the work a non-hierarchical structure.
HPSCHD relies on a nontraditional space for its presentation. Although Cage
does not specify a particular performance space, and indeed HPSCHD has been per-
formed on a traditional proscenium stage, its success ultimately depends on a radical
breakdown of traditional performance/audience roles. Performer and audience share a
common space, intermingling, interpenetrating and to a certain extent exchanging roles.
While performers do not assume the passive role of a traditional audience, they can ob-
serve and respond to the audience, other performers, and to surrounding activity, particu-
larly the lighting and visuals. The effect and significance of location and movement is
diminished.
In HPSCHD everything is foreground, everything is background; all elements
have equal weight, equal importance. All elements are allocated the same amount of
space, the same amount of time, intermingling, interpenetrating in a shared space and
time. The audience is witness to a constantly changing kaleidoscope of material. Whether
it is possible to categorize, quantify or measure specific changes, movement, density, etc.,
is largely irrelevant. Cage's goal appears to have been to create a rich distribution of ma-
terials and changes that though meaningful in detail are devoid of inherent meaning as an
aggregate. Overlapping, juxtaposition, movement, distance, direction, and duration have
no particular significance, other than to invite spectators to create their own personal un-
derstandings. Meaning is not contained within the work or within individual components;
it is, rather, contained within the individual spectator.
HPSCHD, then, is a completely open work which successfully eliminates Cage's
and the other contributing artists' egos from the production. At any given moment
(synchronically) location and time relationships of coincident events may be important to
the spectator, who is surrounded by an ocean of sound and sights originating and moving
in all directions. Over time (diachronically) the effect and significance of individual or
groups of events is diminished. Ultimately, responsibility for spatial and temporal rela-
tionships between the components and, by extension, the determination of fusion and hi-
erarchy lies with each spectator.

127
3.5.2 Significance of Time and Space: Ballets Russes, Parade
In HPSCHD space and time relationships are in a sense superficial; they lie on the
surface of the work, open for all to see. Despite their pervasiveness, however, space and
time have no intrinsic meaning or significance in. HPSCHD; it is up to the spectator to
assign meaning. In Parade, in contrast, time and space relationships are less obvious but
function as important signifiers of intrinsic meaning which has been determined a priori
by the work's collaborators. HPSCHD's individual time and space relationships are in-
significant and intentionally unintentional; Parade's are significant and intentional. Pa-
rade attempts to bring the theatre of the street into a performance space, but the context it
supplies is that of the traditional proscenium stage. Within that context, time and space
are employed to reinforce the information structure and the relationships among the com-
ponent arts. While HPSCHD can be said to be about everything and about nothing, Pa-
rade, though somewhat elusive, is about somethinga specific something.
Parade's dualitiesdescribed in the previous section as visual/audio, inside/out-
side, foreground/background, abstraction/realism, high/low, illusion/realityare seen
through the filters of time and place. It is not what happens during the show that the audi-
ence sees and hears, but what happens before and after the show. It is not what happens
inside the theatre that the audience sees and hears, but what happens outside the theatre
and beyond the stage. Parade is not the show that happens in the theatre; it is the bally-
hoo that happens outside the theatre. It is thus less about the (unseen) show than about the
peripheral elements that surround it: what happens before, after and outside the theatre;
the mundane realities of the theatre-making rather than the imagined reality on the stage.
In this sense an understanding of time and place is critical to an understanding of Parade
and specifically to the dualities of foreground/background and inner/outer space (both
literal and virtual). Francis Steegmuller notes the inner/outer duality inherent in Parade
and throughout Cocteau's oeuvre:

[Considering Cocteau 's lifelong obsession with aspects of artistic crea-


tion, it can scarcely be doubted that the chief theme o/Paradethat any
performance seen by an audience is as nothing compared with the invisi-
bles that artists are up to within (whether behind the scenes, within their

128
own heads, wherever), invisibles concerning which the painfully indiffer-
ent public lacks any interest, let alone understandingmust have had its
true origin in his own realization of the contrast between what his poetic
imagination was constantly suggesting to him and his dissatisfaction with
most of what he had so far been able actually to produceas well as in
his fascination with the backstage, onstage, and out-front spectacles of the
Ballets Russes.64

Time
Parade's timeunlike that in HPSCHDis matrixed; it represents and references
a specific time and place: music hall entertainments of early 1900s Paris. All events and
activities are based on real events and activities of the day, with which Parisian audiences
would have been familiar. What may have been unacceptable to Parisian audiences was
the presentation of burlesque sensibilities on a stage normally reserved for opera and
other "high" art. It was the realism of the music hall that interested Cocteau, and it was
particularly the trappings of music hall that he wanted to convey to the audience.

What has hitherto been called 'realistic art' is in a way pleonastic art, es-
pecially in the theatre, where 'realism' consists in admitting onto the stage
real objects which lose their reality the moment they are placed in nonreal
surroundings. The elements o/trompe-1'oeil an^trompe-l'oreille in Parade
create realitywhich alone has the power to move us, well disguised
though it may be.6j

A more detailed examination of the allocation of time reveals that all of Parade's
time is dedicated to the promotion and production elements of a show to which the audi-
ence is not witness. Of the work's seven sections two are dedicated to the "Red Curtain,"
a third, the Chorale, serves to set the stage, and in a fourth, the Finale, all performers are
on stage for a final entreaty to the audience to come "inside" the theatre for the actual
show. The three inner sections, although comprising literally the majority of the score (90

129
of the 114 pages in the Dover Edition), are merely glimpses of what a spectator might
see if she were to come inside the theatre.
In performance, this short tease, this parade, is broken up by outbursts from the
orchestra and managers (pages 14-16, 34-35, 36-42, and 92-96), including an extended
appearance of a third manager disguised as a horse who performs in pantomime (page
62). Visually this is reinforced by the role of the managers and of the set. While the three
"acts" are on stage for a greater amount of time than the managers, it is the interruptions
of the managers and Cocteau's "noises," notable not only for their intrusiveness but for
their startling size and scope, that command the audience's attention. In the end, time is
more evenly divided between the set, curtain and managers on the one hand, and the "pa-
rade" of the three acts on the other. Looking at it another way, Picasso's set and Satie's
relatively static music share the total time while Picasso's curtain and managers and
Massine's performers split it.
Events and activities are communicated in a mostly sequential, alternating pattern
of managers and parade, beginning and concluding, significantly, with musical sections
dedicated to the curtain and managers. Managers are introduced one at a time inter-
spersed between the three "performances," and reappear together for the "supreme effort"
after the third "act." The "Prelude du rideau rouge" and the "Suite au Prelude du rideau
rouge" frame the acts and managers, separating the "interior" from the "exterior." In this
case, however, it is the interior which frames the exterior; not only is the music in these
outer sections more intimate but the raising of the curtain reveals a scene taking place
outside the theatre. The relationship between the set and costumes and the performers is
inverted, with the performers being of lesser significance. Cocteau himself reinforces the
importance of the scenic materials and downplays the importance of the three acts in the
introduction to the 1917 score with the following disclaimer:

KB. The management reserves the right to switch the order of numbers in
7
the parade.

Within the three central movements, the music, costumes and set for the managers
as represent a more "exterior" style, while the music and visuals for the "parade" charac-

130
ters, in contrast, are more unassuming. The following two musical examples (Figures
3.17 and 3.18 contrast the manager's music (appearing at the beginning of the Chinese
Magician's section) and the music for a character (the Chinese Magician himself).
14
[5] (J ~Wjl

Figure 3.18: Manager's theme (measures 78-81).

131
I. Prestidigitateur chinois
Chinese conjurer

Tiriib

Hp. I

*pra
U
HI I
F
yons

(Il^ff " 'I-


AH. I IB"* ^ " ' i.. I "

v"** ii*>'i "ffa

C.B. i V'ft
i L * ' ^

* #^
?

Figvire 3.19: Chinese Magician's theme (measures 45-49).

When different musical or visual materials overlap or come in close proximity, it


is the more exterior stylethrough dynamic levels in the case of the music and by sheer
force of size in the case of visual elementsthat wins out. This is as true for Cocteau's
trompe-l 'oreille (including Revolver, Flaques Sonores, Claquer, Sirene aigue, Sirene
grave, Bouteillophone, Machine a ecrire, and Roue de la Loterie) as it is for and Picasso's
trompe-l'oeil, which includes bits of newspapers, imitation wood, etc. Cocteau's bits of
acoustical illusion interrupt Satie's more static and continuous musical materials, while
Picasso's enormous and outrageous costumes and set interrupt Massine's more traditional
"choreography" for the three acts. The juxtaposition of the two types of audio materials
and the two types of visual materials goes to the heart of Parade.
In A Call to Order, Cocteau attributes the following to Satie, "I have composed,
Satie said modestly, a background to certain noises that Cocteau judges indispensable to
delineate the atmosphere of his characters."68 While this is an obvious exaggeration, writ-
ten well after the initial production of Parade, Steven Whiting writes "the noises indeed
played a large role in Paradea role that Cocteau likened to that of the newspaper, cor-

132
nices, and false wood-grains that Cubist artists were integrating into their paintings. It
is this very juxtaposition of unlike materialsthe real and unreal visual and sound mate-
rials contributed by the various collaboratorswhich contribute to Parade's jarring ef-
fect on the spectator.
Unlike in HPSCHD, Parade usually presents materials and events one after the
other, with the exception of section six, the Final, in which all performers reunite onstage
for one final attempt to lure the audience inside the theatre for the main event. When two
elements or events are presented together they are generally very distinct, so that the
managers' intrusions are imposed on rather than fused with existing activity. Satie's score
certainly does not overwhelm with quantity of materials, rather it provides a base or
ground upon which Cocteau's trompe-l'oreille as well as Picasso's set and costumes can
be set. Visually, the reverse is true: Picasso's set and costumes overwhelm both through
their size and density of information, while the three "acts" are reduced to the "stature of
puppets."

Space
As mentioned previously, space and time are matrixed; they refer to an actual
space and time, which is presented using the conventions of a traditional proscenium
stage. But the stage presents an offstage space, and this setting itself presents a unique
challenge to understanding the relationships and dualities among components. It is the set
and costumes that sow confusion in the minds of the audience and reinforce the illusions
intrinsic to Parade. Frederick Brown describes the role of the costumes and scenery in
his biography of Cocteau.

The Managers are decor; that is their very role. Attired in scenery, they
become emblems of illusion, thus acquiring the kind of reality they would
not have if portrayed realistically ... The backdrop moves forward to the
proscenium, cramping the "image " into an imaginary surface. The ballet,
like cubist painting, achieves a different order of reality. It tells you what
it isa parade "representing" the real drama which unfolds behind or in
front of the guignols: behind them, for they appear onstage as their own

133
proxies enticing the audience to go "inside " and see them, in front, for
with the backdrop telescoped into the proscenium where does the stage lie,
if not in the audience proper?10

Inner space and outer space are depicted both literallywhat occurs outside the
theatre in the sideshow booth and what occurs on stageand virtually. For Cocteau the
inner/outer dichotomy might capture the struggle to reconcile his personal artistic inten-
tions with that which is finally realized on stage; for the audience it refers to the differ-
ence between which is actually seen on stagethe foretasteand the show itself, which
can only be imagined.
Parade's use of a traditional proscenium makes largely irrelevant matters of di-
rection, distance, and movement for the component media and audience. However, size,
spatial overlap, and the related effects of proximity and spill play a significant role in the
determination of foreground and background. The set and managers' costumes are de-
signed in an exaggerated size and style. In simultaneous or sequential proximity they de-
mand attention, leaping from their normal supportive background role to the foreground.
Cocteau describes the development of this aspect of Parade in A Call to Order.

In the first version the Managers did not exist. After each music-hall turn
an anonymous voice, issuing from a kind of megaphone, sang a typephrase,
summing up the different aspects of each character. When Picasso showed
us his sketches, we realized how interesting it would be to introduce, in con-
trast to the three chromos, unhuman or superhuman characters who would
finally assume a false reality on the stage and reduce the real dancers to
71
the stature of puppets.

The inverted relationship between the size of the set and managersand the at-
tention they commandand the relatively diminutive size of the performers reinforces
the promotion of the show over the actual show itself. Picasso's red curtain breaks up the
space and reinforces the perception that what the audience is seeing is not the perform-
ance itself but what is taking place back stage or off stage.

134
Cocteau describes another experience in A Call to Order that bears on his interest
in the exaggerated size of the two managers.

One day, I was looking at the children's puppet show in the Champs
Elysees when a dog came on the stage, or rather a dog's head, as big in it-
self as two of the other actors put together. 'Look at the monster,' said a
mother. 'It is not a monster, it is a dog,' said the little boy.72

The set of alternative timie-space matrices thus comes to include experiences from child-
hood, with their associations of innocence and freedom from deceitagain in contradic-
tion to the "realities" of the managers, the advertisements, the noises and the clutter.
Visual and auditory proximity and spill are important factors in determining rela-
tionships in Parade. The continuous presence of the set affects everything presented on
the stage. Because the Paris and New York managers' costumes are constructed similarly
to the setindeed, as Frederick Brown points out above, the managers "are attired in
scenery"they never completely disappear from consciousness even when they are off-
stage. And the performers' presence is not enough to overcome the managers' inordinate
size. Similarly, the "traditional" instruments in Satie's score are present throughout Pa-
rade, while the jarring effects of the sirens and other noises linger long after they end,
inducing the expectation that they will return.
Overall, the density and presentation of materials and information is generally or-
dered: either one or two visual or audio elements occurs one after the other. After the
third, rather tame "act" there occurs the anticipated confusion, in which all performers
managers, acts, set, traditional instruments and noiseare on stage at the same time. Pa-
rade concludes as it begins, with the red curtain.

Summary
Collaboration in which all contributors have a relatively equal voice can result in
unpredictable results that after the fact may seem anticipated and intentional. Such is the
case with the combination of artists in Parade. Cocteau, in particular, somewhat dissatis-
fied with his loss of control over the work, seemed to want to find cause and justification

135
for the resultand, to a certain extent, take credit where it was not due. Parade is a com-
bination of disparate parts, a combination of multiple paradoxes, and it is the incongruity
of visual and audio components which makes it work. Whiting describes the paradox in-
herent in Parade's combination of arts as follows:

The paradox that lay at the heart o/Parade was one ofCocteau 's favorite
themes: the confusion in the minds of the audience between the foretaste
and the feast-to-come, between the sideshow and the main event, between
the exterior spectacle and the interior one. ... Picasso and Satie rendered
this paradoxical relationship between exterior and interior with particular
eloquence, each in his own way but congruently.73

3.5.3 Directed and Undirected Movement: Mike Figgis, Time Code; Richard
Schechner, The Tooth of Crime; Leonardo Da Vinci, The Deluge
The directed movement of Mike Figgis' Time Code, Richard Schechner's The
Tooth of Crime, and even Leonardo Da Vinci's description of The Deluge stand in sharp
contrast to the undirected movement of Cage's HPSCHD. As previously explained, Fig-
gis uses the audio track of Time Code to guide the viewer from one quadrant of the screen
to another. Action moves and the story unfolds as the spectator's focus is directed from
place to place. Initially, movement is virtual, since each of the quadrants presents a dif-
ferent cast and a different story to the viewer, whose gaze is directed by the changing
audio levels of the different quadrants. In other words, information itself is not moving;
movement is achieved by changing the emphasis or intensity levels in different quad-
rants. Later, as the separate stories converge into one story, movement changes from vir-
tual to literal as characters and information literally move from one discrete quadrant or
camera shot to another. Because of the nature of the mediumfilmthe spectator is not
required to move physically, but a change of focus is required in order to observe all ac-
tivity and movement.
In Richard Schechner's production of Sam Shepherd's The Tooth of Crime, action
takes place in a theatre without a single central performing space. Instead the environ-
ment is dominated by a "large, centrally situated structure more than thirty feet in diame-

136
ter, with several towers rising twelve and sixteen feet." The structure is modular and
can be "reconstructed" in a number of ways. Individual modules have "windows" cut into
them, "framing and focusing" the action. The structure is intended to interfere with the
audience's experience of the performance and to encourage spectators to seek out infor-
mation either through change of focus or by moving within the space.

For the first time TPG used a structure that blocks vision and has no sin-
gle arenalike central playing space. Spectators move around the viewing
gallery or on the floor in order to follow the action of the play.

While Schechner allows the audience multiple options for viewing Tooth's action,
including remaining fixed or changing locations, it is clearly implied that movement is
required in order to view the entirety of the play. Whether such completeness is necessary
to make sense of the production is less clear. In this way The Tooth of Crime shares some
common ground with Cage's large scale works. Ultimately, however, Tooth exhibits the
characteristics of the information structure of a traditional playa well-made playin
which action and information is cumulative and there is a beginning, middle and end.
Although individual spectators will naturally experience Tooth differently, events
and activity within the information structure still resemble the narrative structure of a tra-
ditional play. Media work, together and information is presented in a cumulative manner;
thus, for instance, while the music adds a significant layer to the information structure it
does not project a different structure. By adding in audience movement and participation,
however, Tooth takes on the "feel of a street scene and guided tour."76 The spectator's
experience becomes as much about the journey as about the narrative around which the
journey is constructed.
Finally, the text by Leonardo da Vinci describing The Deluge, mentioned previ-
ously in this chapter, is another good example of directed movement. Considered as an
unrealized plan for a painting, Leonardo's description is linear and cumulative, present-
ing the viewer with one image after another. In this sense Leonardo's description is time-
based rather than spatial; it leads the viewer from one image, one scene to another, in a

137
prescribed order. After describing Leonardo's text as a "shooting-script" Eisenstein
continues:

Without appraising in detail the structure of this extraordinary "shooting-


script, " we must point, however, to the fact that the description follows a
quite definite movement Moreover, the course of this movement is not in
the least fortuitous. The movement follows a definite order, and then, in
corresponding reverse order, returns to phenomena matching those of the
opening. Beginning with a description of the heavens, the picture ends
with a similar description, but considerably increased in intensity. Occu-
pying the center is the group of humans and their experiences; the scene
develops from the heavens to the humans, and from the humans to the
heavens, passing groups of animals. The details of largest scale (the close-
ups) are found in the center, at the climax of the description ... In perfect
clarity emerge the typical elements of a montage composition.
The content within each frame of the separate scenes is enforced
by the increasing intensity in the action?1

3.5.4 Location as Structure and Content: Henry Brant, Antiphony I; Karlheinz


Stockhausen, Gruppen
For many composers and artists working collaboratively in "intermedia." loca-
tionparticularly in spaceis a useful tool for separating different information or media
or for delineating the work's structure. Historically, one function of the antiphonal music
of the Renaissance and Baroque was to separate two groups of similar instruments and
thereby to make the musical material intelligible. Even Berlioz' use of offstage brass in
the Requiem and the separation of instrumental groups in Ives' Unanswered Question
serve to clarify matters of content; location in these cases serve merely as containers and
are not of interest in themselves. But in the case of John Cage's large multimedia works,
such as HPSCHD, location does not reveal anything about the structure or content, nor is
locationin space or timeused to separate information or media. Here location is con-
tent; it is part of the information being conveyed to the audience. With the serialization of

138
other musical parameters, i.e., duration, timbre, register, etc., advocated by composers
such as Milton Babbitt and Karlheinz Stockhausen, physical location and movement of
sound begin to be seriously considered as a means of expression itself. The work and
writings of Henry Brant and Karlheinz Stockhausen, two proponents of spatial composi-
tion, deal with the use of location as structure in the former case and location as content
in the latter.
Throughout his career Henry Brant experimented with and advocated the use of
physical location to separate musical materials, clarifying texture, timbre, and range, as
well as musical structure. In "Space as an Essential Aspect of Musical Composition"
Brant writes of the difficulty of combining complex contrasting textures, "each with its
own distinctive sonority scheme, over the same octave range."7* He attributes this to the
"accidental" unisons which occur when complex materials are combined and which "are
apt to be of poor and confusing tone quality and hence disturbing to the overall harmonic
effect." This effect is exacerbated by the closeness of the emission points of the individ-
ual contributing notes.
As a solution he proposes spatial separation, which "permits a greatly expanded
overall complexity, since separated and contrasting textures may be superimposed freely
over the same octave range."79 Brant's goal is to create a complex texture while preserv-
ing the intelligibility of the different musical materials. Intelligibility of contrasting mate-
rial is enhanced by using different instrumental groups with different timbres and/or dif-
ferent frequency ranges. If the two textures share timbres or frequency ranges then physi-
cal separation is a good way to clarify the content.

If these same textures are now disentangled by distributing their respec-


tive performing groups into widely separated positions in the hall, the uni-
sons occurring between the contrasted textures are no longer perceived,
because the groups at this distance can no longer make harmonic contact
between the tones that they simultaneously sound, and their respective
tone qualities are now so diffused that no connection between them can
impress itself on the listener.

139
In Brant's first spatial work, Antiphony I, the symphony orchestra is divided into
five groupsstrings, woodwinds, horns, brass and percussioneach of which is "situ-
ated in a different part of the hall, having its own distinct tempo, meter, and bar-line
scheme."81 Brant emphasizes the groups' separation and independence from each other
by giving each a different conductor and insisting that instrumentalists in each group be
placed such that "each player sees only his own particular section-conductor."*2 Later in
the explanatory remarks he states again, "On no account may all five groups be placed
together on the stage, or near the stage! This would go directly counter to the specific
spatial-polyphonic concept of the music."
The string orchestra provides a continuous layer, but the other four groupseach
of which has a distinct timbre, tempo, texture, location, and musical contententer and
exit at various times throughout the work. These separate groups overlap in time, with
staggered entries and releases which change to emphasize the different locations and ma-
terials in space. As the location of each of the groups is constant, there emerges an ob-
servable correspondence between location and musical material. The various entrances
both define the overall space and emphasize the distinctions between the various musical
materials and groups. The following excerpt from Antiphony /exemplifies the wide vari-
ety of musical materials presented by each group and illustrates a typically staggered set
of entrances.

140
Allien nw troyp:

Figure 3.20: Brant, Antiphony I, 29.

If Stockhausen was dismissive of Gabrieli's, Berlioz's and Mahler's use of space,


Brant's disagreement with Stockhausen was considerably more direct. He argued that
Stockhausen's Gruppenfur drei Orchester was "not really spatial, because 'all of the or-
chestras have brass, woodwinds and percussion, so the direction and the tone quality can-
not indicate the source of the material.'"85 His criticism is, however, somewhat mis-
guided. The goals of Brant and Stockhausen are nearly mutually exclusive: where Brant's
spatiality is structural, defining a static space, a sonic architecture, with specific musical
materials, textures, and timbres, Stockhausen uses location as another compositional pa-
rameter through the use of "location scales" in which musical material moves through a
space. In his lecture, "Music in Space," Stockhausen comes to the conclusion that spatial
location, specifically a sound's origin relative to the spectator, is a quantifiable parameter
and can therefore be serialized in a fashion similar to pitch, duration, timbre, and loud-

141
ness. For Stockhausen, then, location is determined by and contained within the process
of composition; for Brant, location is external to the process, applied after the fact to en-
hance the understanding of the work.
Stockhausen's Gruppen fur drei Orchester is scored for 109 musicians separated
into three orchestras of similar composition and placed around the audience. In addition
to tempo relationships, Gruppen explores spatial relationships and the movement of mu-
sical material from one location or orchestra to another. For Stockhausen, it is important
"to experience the simultaneity of various time-spaces and movements"86 in Gruppen. In
order to grasp such movement, it is critical to recognize similarities in material. In her
article "From Point to Sphere: Spatial Organization of Sound in Contemporary Music
(After 1950)" Maria Anna Harley describes the following instance of sound movement in
Gruppen:

An instance of sound movement is presented at group 119 in the score


with the rotation of three successive hexachords in the brass. The illusion
of movement is constructed by a temporal overlapping and dynamic shap-
ing of the sounds. The chords swell dynamically in the third, the second,
andfinally in the first orchestral group, creating an impression of the con-
tinuation of the sound essential or the perception of its movement}1

142
Figure 3.21: Stockhausen, Gruppen, group 119.

More generally, when in Gruppen sound moves from one location to another,
there must be a similarity of musical groups and materials, having matching timbres and
registers and of course overlapping or contiguous in time. Of these requirements and rela-
tionships in Gruppen Stockhausen writes:

The similarity of the scoring of the three orchestras resultedfrom the re-
quirement that sound-groups should be made to wander in space from one
sounding body to another and at the same time split up similar sound-

143
structures: each orchestra was supposed to call to the others and to give
answer or echo.89

From the previous example and from his own writing it is clear that Stockhausen
intends for the spectator to observe movementvirtual movementof sound from one
orchestra to another. Whether this is successfully accomplished in performance is another
matter. Harley continues her description of this instance:

This simulation of motion by using stationary sources is not entirely suc-


cessful: there are too few instrumental groups which are too distant in
space and which play chords with the dynamic peaks too widely spaced in
time. This, and the fact that brass timbres are quite difficult to match ex-
actly, hampers the perception of a single auditory stream, that is, the im-
age of a rotating sound.

It is clear, then, that Brant and Stockhausen are diametrically opposed in their use
of space. Brant is interested in furthering the complete separation and distinction of the
individual materials of which the score is comprised, while Stockhausen in more inter-
ested in intermingling the materials in space and in the intelligibility of the movement of
musical ideas. For Brant's goals to be successful, ensembles must differ significantly, so
that the spectator can track the contrasts. For Stockhausen the ensembles, timbres and
textures must be similar in order for movement to be observed. Brant, then, is interested
in the definition of a particular static space in an architectural sense, while Stockhausen is
interested in journeys through a space or in the movement of consistent materials relative
to the listener. In both cases, the structure of time-space locations becomes, to a certain
extent, content. A structural signifier, repeated often enough, becomes information

3.6 Summary
In addition to the contribution of location to the determination of fusion and hier-
archyto which we will return in the following sectionswe can speak of location as
structure and location as content. Location as structure implies that differences in time

144
and space are used to project differences in media and/or information. Over time, how-
ever, location as structure inevitably becomes location as content. We can also think of
locationin time or spaceas being fixed and determinate or non-fixed and indetermi-
nate. The first case leads to directed movementeither literal or virtual; the second, to
undirected movement and spectator responsibility and choice. Again, over time the spec-
tator's journey itself becomes content.
Creators of combined art works generally dedicate a significant amount of effort
and resources to manipulating time and space in order to further their objectives. At the
very least, the logistics of a large-scale work involving multiple art forms, multiple col-
laborators and multiple performers force the collaborating artists to consider the implica-
tions and limitations of space and time, as these bear on their individual contributions.
The interaction of creative personalities, financial issues, and practical limitations require
that composition of time and space be a central part of the creation and production of the
work. Beginning with the central idea or information structure which is to be expressed
by the combined art work, and proceeding through the determination of relative intensity
and fusion of the individual and combined art forms, it becomes evident, ideally, how
location in time and space can best be used. Assuming that this approach is taken, it is
clear that examining the effect of the placement of component art forms in time and place
and how they effect fusion and hierarchy individually and in combination, as well as their
relationship to the information structure, helps the analyst to understand the creators' cen-
tral ideas and goals.

1
Richard Scheduler, Environmental Theater, New, Expanded ed. (New York:
Applause, 1994), 31.
2
John Cage, Silence: Lectures and Writings (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan Univer-
sity Press, 1961), 39.
3
Raffaele Carried, Futurism (Milano, Edizioni del Milione [1963]), 15.
4
Caroline Tisdall and Angelo Bozzolla, Futurism, World of Art (London: Thames
and Hudson, 1977), 91.
5
Ibid., 93.
6
Ibid., 103.
7
Ibid., 103-104.
8
Michael Kirby, Futurist Performance (New York: Dutton and Company, 1971),
199-200.

145
9
Ibid., 199.
10
Tisdall, 105.
11
Moholy-Nagy, Laszlo, Vision in Motion, ID Book (Chicago: Paul Theobald,
1947), 315.
12
Annabelle Henkin Melzer, Dada and Surrealist Performance, PAJ Books (Bal-
timore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994), 125.
13
Ibid., 125-126.
14
Theatre design was an obsession in the first half of the twentieth century. De-
sign dates for many of the projects associated with the Bauhaus including a detailed de-
scription of Gropius' "Total Theatre" may be found in Gilbert Lupfer and Paul Sigel's
2004 study, Walter Gropius, 1883-1969: The Promoter of a New Form published in Koln
by Taschen.
15
Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, 'Theater, Circus, Variety," in Oskar Schlemmer, Laszlo
Moholy-Nagy, and Farkas Molnar, The Theatre of the Bauhaus, ed. Walter Gropius and
Arthur S. Wensinger, trans. Arthur S. Wensinger (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University
Press, 1961), 68, emphasis Moholy-Nagy.
16
Ibid., emphasis Moholy-Nagy.
17
Schechner, Environmental Theater, xxviii.
18
Ibid., xxix.
19
Ibid., xxxvii.
20
Ibid.
21
Ibid., 6.
22
Michael Kirby, "Happenings: An Introduction," in Happenings and Other Acts,
ed. Mariellen R. Sanford (London: Routledge, 1995), 5.
23
Ibid., 6.
24
Allan Kaprow, "Excerpts from 'Assemblages, Environments & Happenings,'"
in Happenings and Other Acts, ed. Mariellen R. Sanford (London: Routledge, 1995), 236.
25
Sergei Eisenstein, The Film Sense, ed. and trans. Jay Leyda (San Diego: Har-
court Brace Jovanovich, 1947), 4.
26
Kaprow, "Excerpts," 237.
27
Charles Ives, Symphony #4 (New York: Associated Music Publishers, 1965),
13n.
28
Edgard Varese, Spatial Music (from a lecture given at Sarah Lawrence College,
1959), in Elliot Schwartz and Barney Childs, eds., Contemporary Composers on Con-
temporary Music, Expanded Ed., (New York: Da Capo Press, 1998), 204.
29
Edgard Varese and Gunther Schuller, "Conversation with Varese," Perspectives
of New Music, iii.2 (Spring-Summer 1965): 36-37, as quoted in Glenn Watkins, Sound-
ings: Music in the Twentieth Century (New York: Schirmer Books, 1988), 585.
30
Henry Brant: "The Uses of Antiphonal Distribution and Polyphony of Tempi in
Composing," American Composers Alliance Bulletin 4, no. 3 (1955): 13.
31
Charles Ives, "Music and Its Future," in American Composers on American
Music: A Symposium, ed. Henry Cowell (New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co.,
1962), 196,191, quoted in Maria Anna Harley. "An American in Space: Henry Brant's
'Spatial Music.'" American Music 15, no. 1, (1997): 75.
32
Henry Brant, from a 1992 interview, quoted in Harley, American in Space, 75.

146
33
Cage, Silence, 12.
34
Karlheinz Stockhausen, "Music in Space," Die Reihe no. 5, (1959): 82.
35
Ibid., 69.
36
In a sense at least two time/space matricies always exist in the theatre or in the
context of any performance: one created by the performers on the stage and one that the
spectator brings into the theatre. The goal of most narrative theatre is to create a
time/space matrix on the stage which is so strong, so believable that the spectator's
time/space matrix is overwhelmed.
37
Darko Suvin, "Reflections on Happenings," in Happenings and Other Acts, ed.
Mariellen R. Sanford (London: Routledge, 1995), 293.
38
Throughout this section space is used to refer to an undefined, unspecified, ab-
stract location while place is used to refer to a specific location within or a subset of the
total performance space. In Kirby's time-place-character matrix the term place is some-
what of a misnomer in the general sense. In practice, particularly for Kirby, actors operat-
ing within this matrix do create a specific, recognizable time and place which resonates
with the spectator. In a non-matrixed structure a recognizable time and place that reso-
nates within the psyche is not created unless we consider that time refers to the time of
the performance and place refers to the location of the performance. Environments usu-
ally take great pains to establish a specific place matrix but usually ignore time.
39
New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, ed. Lesley Brown (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1993), 769.
40
Ibid., 2183.
41
Schechner, Environmental Theater, 8.
42
William Brooks, recorded conversation, October 28,2002.
43
Eisenstein, Film Sense, 25. Eisenstein's emphasis. The entire passage may be
found on pages 25-28.
44
Schechner, Environmental Theater, 254.
45
Ibid., 59.
46
Michael Kirby, "Allan Kaprow's Eat," in Happenings and Other Acts, ed.
Mariellen R. Sanford (London: Routledge, 1995), 50.
47
Allan Kaprow, "Plan for Eat," as reproduced in Kirby, "Allan Kaprow's Eat,"
49.
48
Sergei Eisenstein, Film Form: Essays in Film Theory (San Diego: Harcourt
Brace Jovanovich, 1949), 20-21.
49
Edward Gordon Craig, On the Art of the Theatre (New York: Theatre Arts
Books, 1956), 47.
50
Wassily Kandinsky, "On Stage Composition," in Kandinsky: Complete Writings
on Art, 1st Da Capo Press Edition, eds. Kenneth C. Lindsay and Peter Vergo (New York:
Da Capo Press, 1994), 264.
51
Eisenstein, Film Sense, 81, emphasis Eisenstein.
52
Ibid., 82, emphasis Eisenstein.
53
Adolphe Appia, The Work of Living Art: A Theory of the Theatre, ed. Barnard
Hewitt, trans. H. D. Albright (Coral Gables, FL: University of Miami Press, 1960), 8,
emphasis Appia.
54
Ibid.

147
55
John Cage, HPSCHD, title page of score, reproduced in Rene Berger and Lloyd
Eby, eds., Art and Technology (New York: Paragon House Publishing, 1986), 156. Please
see endnote 42 of Chapter 2 for detailed information concerning the error in the number
of tapes listed on the score and subsequently reproduced in many catalogs and sources.
Throughout this discussion the incorrect number of tape parts are corrected.
56
All references to this production are from Husarek description or other eyewit-
ness accounts of this production.
57
John Cage and Lejaren Hiller, HPSCHD, title page, as reproduced in Rene
Berger and Lloyd Eby, eds., Art and Technology, Science and Values Series. (New York:
Paragon House Publishers, 1986), 156.
58
Stephen Husarik, "John Cage and Lejaren Hiller: HPSCHD, 1969," American
Music 1, no. 2 (1983): 12.
59
Kostelanetz, John Cage (ex)plain(ed) (New York: Schirmer Books, 1996), 101.
60
David Revill, The Roaring Silence: John Cage, A Life (London: Bloomsbury,
1992), 227.
61
Richard Kostelanetz, Conversing with Cage (New York: Limelight Editions,
1988), 78-79.
62
John Cage in Richard Kostelanetz, John Cage (ex)plain(ed) (New York:
Schirmer Books, 1996), 102.
63
Calvin Sumsion, "The Integration of Visual Elements by I-Ching Philosophy
and Gestalt Psychology" (M.A. Thesis, University of Illinois, 1969), as quoted in
Husarek, 19.
64
Francis Steegmuller, Cocteau: A Biography (Boston: David R. Godine, 1986),
161.
65
Ibid., 183-184.
66
Erik Satie, Jean Cocteau, and Victor Rangel-Ribeiro, Parade: ballet realiste sur
un theme de Jean Cocteau (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2000). All page numbers
in the subsequent discussion are taken from this edition.
67
Satie, Parade, viii. (republ. of the score orig. publ. by Ed. Salabert, Paris, copy-
right 1917 by Rouart, Lerolle & Cie., Paris).
68
Jean Cocteau, A Call to Order, Written between the years 1918 and 1926 and
including "Cock and Harlequin", "Professional secrets", and other critical essays (New
York: Henry Holt and Company, 1926), 54.
69
Steven Moore Whiting, Satie the Bohemian: From Cabaret to Concert Hall,
Oxford Monographs on Music (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 482.
70
Frederick Brown, An Impersonation of Angels: A Biography of Jean Cocteau
(New York: The Viking Press, 1968), 143-144.
71
Cocteau, Call, 51.
72
Ibid., 24.
73
Whiting, 473.
74
Schechner, Environmental Theater, 241.
75
Ibid., 8.
76
Ibid., 241.
77
Eisenstein, Film Sense, 29.

148
78
Henry Brant, "Space as an Essential Aspect of Musical Composition,"
Contemporary Composers on Contemporary Music, eds. Elliott Schwartz and Barney
Childs, 224, emphasis Brant.
79
Ibid.
80
Ibid.
81
Henry Brant, Antiphony I, for symphony orchestra (New York: Carl Fischer,
1977), composed 1953, rev. 1968, introduction.
82
Ibid., emphasis Brant.
83
Ibid.
84
Ibid., 29.
85
Harley, "American in Space," 74.
86
Karlheinz Stockhausen, Texte, vl, 71, as quoted in Maria Harley. "From Point
to Sphere: Spatial Organization of Sound in Contemporary Music (After 1950)," Cana-
dian University Music Review, No. 13,(1993): 135.
87
Ibid.
88
Karlheinz Stockhausen, Gruppen fur drei Orchester (London: Universal Edi-
tion, 1963), composed 1955-1957, reproduced in Harley, "Point to Sphere," 134.
89
Stockhausen, Texte, vl, 156, as quoted in Harley, "From Point to Sphere," 133.
90
Harley, "From Point to Sphere," 135.

149
CHAPTER 4
HIERARCHY: CONTROL AND INTENSITY

It would be meaningless to say that [the theatre] includes music, dance,


pantomime, or mimicry. Obviously it uses movement, harmonies, rhythms,
but only to the point that they can concur in a sort of central expression
without advantage for any one particular art.

4.1 Overview and Background


Traditional narrative theatrical forms exhibit specific hierarchical relationships
among the component or constituent arts. In general, in these relationships the written
word controls everything that happens on the stage; the text stands at the top of a hierar-
chical structure commanding, indeed demanding the support of the other media that com-
prise what is known as the mise en scene. Wagner's gesamtkunstwerk provides the ulti-
mate example of this particular structure. In Music and Drama he describes this relation-
ship as follows:

That which is offered to sight in the constant presence and motion of that
exponent of articulate verse-melodythe actoris dramatic gesture; that
which makes this clear to the sense of hearing being the Orchestra, the
original and necessary effectiveness of which is confined to its being the
harmonic bearer of the verse-melody. In the complete expression of all
communications of the actor, whether to eye or ear, the orchestra accord-
ingly takes a sustained part, ever available as supportive and explanatory.2

Adolphe Appia, a scenic designer responsible for many productions of Wagner's


operas, changed the relationship between music and text in opera production by advocat-
ing a hierarchy of expression in which music was the guiding principle in a new form he
called the "word-tone drama." In Appia's word-tone drama, music, which itself expresses
the inner life, "governs both the time duration and the continuity of the drama"3 and "be-
cause of its fixed duration,... determines the actor's role and thus his visible expression
is already contained within the earliest conception of the drama."4 To a large extent Ap-

150
pia was responding to the flat scenic designs and mise en scene currently in vogue, both
of which were not controlled by the artist. He advocated that the visible production ele-
ments"lighting, the physical arrangement of the setting on the stage, and scene paint-
ing"5"become an integral part of the drama, ... a medium of artistic expression, ... de-
rived directly from the dramatic work's original conception.""6 In Appia's word-tone
drama the actor no longer dominates the production; but rather, as a carrier of the "word,"
"become[s] the intermediary between the music and the inanimate part of the stage pro-
duction"7 all of which are relatively equal in importance. In Music and the Art of the
Theatre, Appia describes the place of the actor in the word-tone drama.

He is rather but one medium, neither more nor less important than the
others, at the poet's disposal. Once the actor ceases to be the dominant
element in production, having no longer to "make a speech, " he recedes
into the background to take his place among his co-workers, the various
other poetic-musical devices, ready to follow the convolutions resulting
from the momentary importance of any one of them as they are brought
into play.

That one art form or another has "momentary importance" has ramifications for a
changing or "floating" hierarchy (to be introduced and described below), as first one and
then another medium dominates the structure. Although the idea of relative equality
among component media would be taken up in the twentieth century by many different
artists and artistic movements (including Kandinsky, Eisenstein, Artaud, and Brecht), and
is not unrelated to the democratization of societies and the rise of the middle class, for
Appia "[a] work of art is stble to retain its integrity only if all its expressive elements are
controlled by its creator."9 In this sense Appia is not a revolutionary, he is merely extend-
ing and correcting the relationship between text and music, thus paving the way for the
logical developments that would follow.
Though music and text may together manifest the inner life and external emo-
tions, and thus share equally in the creation of the work, in production the text is less im-
portant than the music, from which all other media ultimately derive their life and form.

151
Appia argues that "the word-tone poet [the author of a music-drama] has in music the
guiding principle which,... necessarily and inevitably dictates the mise en scene. "10 He
continues, summarizing his argument as follows:

[A] dramatic idea requiring musical expression in order to be revealed


must spring from the hidden world of our inner life, since this life cannot be
expressed except through music, and music can express only that life. By
means of the spoken word, [the dramatist] endows it with a practical dra-
matic form and composes the poetic-musical text, the score; this text im-
poses an already living role upon the actor, a role he has now only to take
on. The proportions of this role determine the form of the setting through
three-dimensionality (the point of contact between the living actor and the
inanimate setting); the nature and extent of the three-dimensionality deter-
mine the spatial arrangement of the setting which in turn controls the light-
ing and painted scenery.11

Figure 4.1 illustrates this hierarchy relationship.

O u t " of M u s i c
(in the- widest" sens*)
springs
TUCo HcaprloM of TWfc Dr-aw<\ Express-cc

The w k i c h Hie- a u t h o r e*ntaodi&s fhthe-


TeMtpoKfl! OUT or f Score
EI ewenf of Word anJl Tone
Drama \ t o -form / Libr&tro
Drama (.Parrtfur)
find permits fr To be pr*#*n+cj T I H - O H ^ U

-rt, c v i AcTor Express <J


Sotting
E l e m e n t of i . .. OH +W-
_ LictWri rig
r-VamtiMg
and tkus c rt,efr<i,s

T h o Word-Tone- Dramv

Figure 4.1: Adophe Appia, "The Word-Tone Drama."12

152
Fixed hierarchicail structures, in which one or another art dominates the others
during the compositional process or on the stage, are only one possible form of hierarchy
among art forms in stage composition. In The Theater and Its Double, Artaud argues
against the subjugation of the theatre by spoken texts or narrative information structures
and calls for a new language of the theatresubstituting "a poetry of the senses" for the
"poetry of language."13 This new theatre, Artaud continues, "consists of everything that
occupies the stage, everything that can be manifested and expressed materially on a stage
and that is addressed first of all to the senses instead of being addressed primarily to the
mind as is the language of words."14
Artaud is not merely calling for the replacement or suppression of one language in
favor of another. What he appears to propose is a multiplicity of languages, each capable
of speaking directly to the audience, and each in its own way. In this sense Artaud's thea-
tre is not unlike Appia's description of the word-tone drama.

And the fixation of the theater in one languagewritten words, music,


lights, noisesbetokens its imminent ruin, the choice of any one language
betraying a taste for the special effects of that language; and the dessica-
tion of the language accompanies its limitation}5

For Artaud theatre arises not from a "performed text" supported by the mise en
scene, nor from any single component art form that controls the others. Rather, it arises
from a confluence of independent languages, each created individually by a contributing
art form and together capable of offering "everything that can be said and signified upon
a stage ... , everything that finds its expression in space."16 We may interpret this to mean
that although component art forms come together at the point of presentation, no one of
them dominates the language of the stage, either through greater visual or auditory
prominence or by exerting control over the others.
This movement towards a multiplicity of languages represents a shift from literal
language or realism and the representation of physical life towards a language of symbols
or abstraction and a representation of inner life. In the early twentieth century this shift of
focus occurred throughout society; it coincides, for example, with the rise of psychology

153
and the work of Freud and later, in a more explicitly symbolic form, of Carl Jung. In ef-
fect, it corresponds with a shift away from narrative, literal information structures fo-
cused on the mind to non-narrative, albeit logical, information structures that represent
ideas and emotions and address themselves to the senses.
Rather than exhibiting a fixed hierarchical relationship, component media may be
relatively equal in intensity, or dominance or prominence among media may be tempo-
rary, shifting among components in turn. John Cage used chance operations and indeter-
minacy in many of his large scale works to create a kind of controlled anarchy, in which
all component arts vie for the audience's attention. Joan Retallack describes the results of
his work with indeterminacy and chance operations as a "mutually consensual, non-
hierarchical enterprise."17 In these works hierarchy is not determined by the composer, is
not embedded in the work; the spectators must create hierarchies for themselves, indi-
vidually.
In his work Floating Hierarchies, Herbert Briin describes a series of temporary
hierarchical structures which would result from preparations for performance.

So that there be hierarchies, and so that these hierarchies float


Each member of the ensemble is top or center, yet also initial in-
terpreter and linguist, of one movement: a temporary, therefore accept-
able hierarchical structure. The movements show in preparation and per-
formance how useful and indispensable hierarchies can be, if they are kept
afloat, if they float from any one to any other and are protected against
stability.n

In this case a specific arrangement of temporary but fixed hierarchical relationships is


created not by the composer, but by the performers. Prior to performance, each performer
composes a score, prepares the ensemble and leads the performance of a single move-
ment. Unless the spectator is privy to the rehearsal process or is witness to more than one
presentation prepared by different performers, hierarchy will be nonetheless embedded
and observed in the final performed presentation. Although the relationships are not static
throughout the work, changing as they do from movement to movement, they are fixed

154
for that particular realization and performances of that realization. The difference here is
that rather than the composer creating a specific hierarchy, he has delegated that respon-
sibility to the performers.

4.1.1 Hierarchy and Form


By definition individual genres or forms are associated with specific hierarchical
relationships that are both identifiable and repeatable from work to work within the par-
ticular genre. For forms consisting of multiple arts these relationships exist among com-
ponent media; for forms consisting of a single media, these relationships exist within the
single art form. These hierarchies are recognized by artists as a set of compositional con-
ventions or rules and by spectators as a set of expectations. When a work adheres rea-
sonably closely to these conventions or expectations it is recognized as belonging to a
particular genre or having a particular form. Such works are generally based on tradi-
tional information structuresi.e., narrative for staged works; logical for concert works.
The information structure contributes to the identification of form and genre and
to defining the relationships among the parts of the whole work. In works with a logical
information structure, whether narrative (such as plays, opera, ballet, or film) or non-
narrative (such as concert music, modern dance, etc.), we make certain general assump-
tions about the relationships among or within the component art forms. For each genre a
different but identifiable set of control and intensity relationships exists; these in turn de-
termine the genre. In narrative structures, for example, the story comprises the informa-
tion structure, and the relationships among the secondary art forms are more or less
"fixed" in a supporting role. In nineteenth-century concert music, symphonies and string
quartets contain an ordered, specified set of movements and hierarchical relationships
among instruments and instrumental groups. When composing such works, the artist ac-
knowledges a particular common practice (following or building on that tradition, or even
opposing it) to create the work; the spectator brings a set of expectations that assists in
the interpretation or observation of the work.19
In addition to these "fixed" relationships and generally accepted genres and
forms, there exists an infinitely wide range of relationships, genres and forms that are not
fixed, in which no one art form dominants the entire work. Artists may create hierarchy

155
relationships that change from moment to moment; art forms and events may be pre-
sented simultaneously or juxtaposed without an explicit hierarchical relationship at all, so
that it is left to the spectator to sort it out. Artaud, Kandinsky, Eisenstein and other artists
suggest that such non-controlling, non-fixed relationships offer a wide, nearly limitless
range of possibilities for the artist and spectator to explore.
In sum, two basic hierarchy classes exist. In the first, a set of hierarchy and inten-
sity relationships determine which art form controls one or more other art formseither
for the duration of the work or for temporary but fixed intervals of time during the work;
these relationships are determined a priori by the composers. Traditional forms and gen-
res fall into this category. In the second, a confluence or competition of art forms leaves
no single one of them dominant; in this case it is the spectator who chooses or determines
the importance of each art form and the relationships between them. The first hierarchy
class is fixed and is specified during the creation or presentation of the work; the second
is not fixed and is specified by the spectator. Generally speaking, the first represents a
closed structure, with a definitive hierarchy determined by the artists; the second, an open
structure that allows spectators to individually determine the relationships among the
work's component arts. (Open and closed hierarchy classes will be discussed further in
section 4.2.5.)

4.1.2 Historical Context


Historically, fixed and non-fixed hierarchies have existed side by side, with one or
the other being the dominant or normative structure in a particular culture at any given
time in history. During the court fetes and spectacles of the early Renaissance, music,
painting, poetry, dance, architecture, and design, contributed more or less equally to the
spectacle. United by a single external themethe deification of the monarchhierarchy
in these spectacles was largely non-fixed: fireworks, jousts and other staged tournaments,
entry processionals, reenactments of battles, feasts, and indoor entertainments including
poetry, pageant cars, and choreographed dances occurred at various indoor and outdoor
locations, and at various times over days or even weeks. This open structure in which
"scattered props and moveable pageant cars enabled everyone placed round the three
sides of a hall to take part in the visual experience"20 allowed performer and spectator to

156
freely intermingle and appears to have be the normative structure in the early part of the
Renaissance.21
By the middle of the seventeenth century a more or less fixed or closed structure
seems to have become prevalent at these festivals. With the development of the illusionis-
tic stage, in which visual effects could be more easily controlled, indoor spectacles and
more literally "staged" entertainments became more popular. A stage or setting that fa-
cilitated a higher degree of control allowed artists to embed specific meaning in the spec-
tacle. Thus the "staged" spectacle, whether it was a play, ballet or opera, was usually
based on a narrative information structure that described or reinforced the dominant so-
cio-political structure of the time. A fixed structure reinforced the supremacy of the mon-
arch and, as Rodney Strong writes, "is directly connected with the rise of absolutism."22
The development of the proscenium stage with its single point perspective epitomizes this
hierarchical structure; it declares, in effect, that there is only one interpretation, one per-
fect way to observe the spectacle. No longer are members of the ruling class honored and
exalted with externaland outdoorstructures of loosely organized events; now the su-
preme power of a single monarch is confirmed by the fixed structure, and reinforced by
ideal perspectives of the indoor proscenium theatre.
Fixed hierarchy and intensity relationships dominated narrative and non-narrative
staged formsplays, opera, concert music and balletthrough the end of the nineteenth
century. It wasn't until the early part of the twentieth century and the rise of the large in-
dustrial city that these relationships began to break down; no longer was it assumed that a
successful combined work required all component arts to reinforce each other in support
of a text or narrative. New political and social systems, developments in philosophy and
psychology, and the rise of the industrial city encouraged experimentation with and chal-
lenges to the previously fixed, closed structures and relationships in theatre, music and
the visual arts.
The growing realization among artists that fixed forms and structures were not
necessary for the creation of large-scale works led artists to explore other hierarchy and
intensity relationships among art forms; in particular, they investigated open relation-
ships, relationships that depended more on the spectator for meaning. In the visual arts

157
and in the new medium of film Kandinsky and Eisenstein wrote extensively of the limit-
less range of hierarchy and intensity relationships in combined works.
Kandinsky insisted that each component art contribute equally to the combined
work, and asserted that there were many ways to combine media. He decried the work of
Wagner when he wrote, "[duplicating the resources of one art (e.g., music), by the iden-
tical resources of another art (e.g., painting) is only one instance, one possibility."23 In On
the Spiritual in Art, published in 1912, Kandinsky describes some of these relationships.

Apart from the concordance of two, or eventually all three, elements of stage
composition, the following can also be utilized: discordance, the alternation
of the effects of individual elements, the exploitation of the complete (and of
course, external) independence of each of the separate elements, etc.24

The three elements of stage composition that Kandinsky mentionsmusical movement,


bodily movement, and pictorial movement"play an equally significant role, remain ex-
ternally self-sufficient, and are treated in a similar way, subordinated to the inner pur-
pose. ... Conceived graphically," he continues, "the three elements can take entirely indi-
vidual, in external terms, completely independent paths."25 Not only are the various art
forms equal conveyors of information; they may be independent as well.
Japanese Kabuki theatre provides another model of hierarchy and intensity rela-
tionships among media in combined forms. In Film Form Serge Eisenstein records his
impressions of the Japanese Kabuki theatre.

The Japanese have shown us another, extremely interestingform of en-


semblethe monistic ensemble. Soundmovementspacevoice here do
not accompany (nor even parallel) each other, butfunction as elements of
equal significance.26

For Eisenstein hierarchy is changing and fluid. In his description of Kabuki he


makes a comparison to soccer, "the most collective, ensemble sport" in which the ele-

158
ments are players "passing to each other the dramatic ball." Similarly, in developing his
own ideas on the synchronization of visual and aural elements in film, Eisenstein writes:

It is apparent that any one of these synchronization approaches may serve


as the "leading, " determining factor in the structure, dependent on the
need. Some scenes would require rhythm as a determining factor, others
would be controlled by tone, and so on.

In other words, hierarchy changes from moment to moment, minute to minute, section to
section; at any given time information is conveyed by the most appropriate art form.
In Futurist and Dada cabarets the simultaneous presentation or juxtaposition of
unrelated elements that were presented equally or in many cases in competition with each
other shocked the sensibilities of contemporary audiences. Simultaneous poetry readings
led to simultaneity in Dadaist plays such as Apollinaire's Les Mamelles de Tiresias, in
which "sensual assaults on the audience overlapped from several areas on stage simulta-
neously."29 In dance, the Ballets Russes and the Swedish Ballet presented Parade and
Reldche, works that were influenced by the circus, a typical non-hierarchical form. In-
deed, the Ballets Russes was itself a new experiment in democratization, collaboration
and independence of media. Although the greatest influence was exerted by Diaghilev
and his "inner court" the companyin some respects the artistic equivalent of the Rus-
sian revolution"embodied an individualist ideal,"30 that found a voice in Parade.
In addition to the Futurists, Dadaists and Surrealists, the Bauhaus artists' "Theatre
of Totality" embraced the new open structure. This theatre, Maholy-Nagy writes in
"Theater, Circus, Variety," proposes to "integrate a sequence of human movements and
thoughts on an equal footing with the controlled, 'absolute' elements of sound, light
(color), form, and motion."31 Bauhaus artists, including Oskar Schlemmer, Maholy-Nagy,
Farkas Molnar, and Andreas Weininger, proposed and designed theatre buildings that
would enable productions to manifest these new hierarchy and audience relationships.
Bertold Brecht, writing in "A Short Organum for the Theatre," advocates the in-
dependence of media to further his "alienation effect," which was meant to motivate the
spectator through a distancing or dis-identification from the performer.

159
[70]
... The story is set out, broughtforward, and shown by the theatre as a
whole, by actors, stage designers, mask-makers, costumers, composers,
and choreographers. They unite their various arts for the joint operation,
without of course sacrificing their independence in the process.

... [74]
So let us invite all the sister arts of the drama, not in order to cre-
ate an "integrated work of art" (Gesamtkunstwerkj in which they all offer
themselves up and are lost, but so that together with the drama they may
further the common task in their different ways; and their relations with
one another consist in this: that they lead to mutual detachmentP

Finally, Richard Scheduler, who experimented with and wrote extensively about
the audience-spectator relationship in Environmental Theater, elevates the role of the
"production" elements or mise en scene in the theater to a higher level than that of the
performers. In this sense he is advocating a relationship among art forms similar to that
described by Artaud in The Theater and Its Double. "Production elements," Schechner
writes, "need no longer 'support' a performance. These elements are more important than
the performers."34 He continues, "At many times during a performance actors and danc-
ers will support the technician, whose activated equipment will be 'center stage.'"35
Schechner uses the term "multi-focus" to describe this new performer-spectator
relationship.

In multi-focus, more than one eventseveral of the same kind, or mixed-


mediahappens simultaneously, distributed throughout the space. Each
independent event competes with the other for the audience's attention.
The space is organized so that no spectator can see everything. Spectators
move or refocus their attention or select.

160
The "multi-focus" spectacle allows each spectator to determine the hierarchy of art forms
or elements presented together in a space, and it forces each member of the audience to
determine the relative importance of each element in the production. Once again, there is
a similarity between this type of production and the circus.
Scheduler, like many artists (including Kandinsky, Brecht, Cage, and members of
the Bauhaus school), required that "ALL PRODUCTION ELEMENTS SPEAK THEIR
OWN LANGUAGE."37 Although this statement does not mandate that the art forms be
"equal" in intensity, nor that the structure of the work be either open or closed, it does
provide guidance by proposing a "principle of autonomous channels each speaking its
own concrete performative language."38 And by suggesting that "it is even possible that
elements will be rehearsed separately,"39 Schechner embraces explicitly the method that
Cage and Cunningham used in many of their dance collaborations, such as How to Pass,
Kick, Fall and Run.
Schechner owes a debt to Artaud and Eisenstein when he writes "THE TEXT
NEED BE NEITHER THE STARTING POINT NOR THE GOAL OF A PRODUC-
TION. THERE MAY BE NO VERBAL TEXT AT ALL."40 As in Artaud's The Theater
and Its Double, eliminating the text as a starting point allows other elements to take the
lead, creating the possibility of a work that is not formally dependent on a single informa-
tion structure or a single fixed hierarchical structure. At any point in the work, any of the
component art forms may lead or follow, competing equally for the audience's attention.
In music, composer and pianist Alberto Savinio played concerts in Paris using
performance techniques that included "smashing the piano with his fists and dragging a
board up and down the keys."41 Savinio proposed that music and the other arts sit side by
side only by chance, and he attempted to expose the "artificiality of such interdepend-
ence"42 of art forms in staged works. In the following excerpt from "Le Drame et la mu-
sicque," in Scatola Sonora, Savinio presages Cage's extensive work with chance opera-
tions.

So then, when presenting, in the ensemble of a work, the element of con-


cert music with the element of dramaas I have proposed itone ought
not perceive in this association anything but a completely disinterested

161
setting side-by-side, since the musical element depends little on the dra-
matic element, and the latter is equally independent of the former.
It will do, in the end, to make the independent musical element par-
ticipate in the drama with the same value and the same liberty that this
element possesses when it appears accidentally amidst the continuous
dramas of life.

Cage's work with indeterminacy and chance operations, as noted in previous sec-
tions, ultimately serves the goal of eliminating his ego from compositional decisions on
both microscopic and macroscopic levels. The results, according to Joan Retallack, are a
"mutually consensual, non-hierarchical enterprise."44 Almost all of Cage's work from the
1960s forward is in some way non-hierarchical. His work with Cunningham, the Varia-
tions and other happenings, and his writings and work with mesostics epitomize the "de-
mocratic" if not anarchic ideal originating in the American spirit of Emerson and Tho-
reau.
With the expanding use of computers and new technologies in the creative proc-
ess as well as the presentation of individual and combined works, artists and composers
have an almost unlimited degree of control over individual art forms, parameters and re-
lationships among component arts. This capability is a double-edged sword, useful both
to create extremely complex non-hierarchical structures and to control and synchronize
multiple arts in fixed hierarchical structures. In either case, because technology is a
means to an end, the use of computers or other technology in the creation and presenta-
tion of combined works does not substantially alter the fundamental aesthetic or formal
issues.
In the following sections we will examine three domains within which hierarchies
may be manifest, and we will define hierarchy in the context of two scales: control and
intensity. Following that we will examine some factors that influence the determination
of hierarchical relationships and look at several historical models for hierarchy. Finally, a
shorthand for notating hierarchical relationships will be introduced and a few specific ex-
amples of hierarchy will be presented.

162
4.2 Hierarchy Definitions and Usage
Introduced in Chapter 1, the life cycle of a composition and its three domains will
be discussed in greater detail in this section. A general definition of hierarchy and its
manifestation in each of the domains follows. Hierarchy may be further defined in terms
of control and intensity: these two scales and their expression in the three domains are
described next. Because hierarchy may or may not change during a composition, two re-
lationship classes are introduced: fixed, or closed, and floating, or open. Finally, hierar-
chy and its relationship to the information structure are examined. As each of these terms
and definitions are presented, relevant examples and context are provided.

4.2.1 Three Domains: Composition, Form/Content Object, Observation


Hierarchy among art forms may be scrutinized at several points in the life cycle of
a composition or combined work. In this section three domains, representing different
points in the life cycle, will be considered: compositional process, the form/content ob-
ject, and spectator observation. Within and across these domains, hierarchy is linked with
a broad range of issues and intermedial relationships, the most important of which are
control and intensity. Although hierarchy, control and intensity are related and overlap to
some extent, they are not identical and cannot be used interchangeably. This will become
more apparent as these terms are explored with respect to the three domains and several
examples. At this point it is sufficient to understand that hierarchy, in a general sense,
implies a ranking based on authority and dominance, while control and intensity are
properties which, although contributing to hierarchy in varying degrees and different do-
mains, may be examined and/or measured separately. Before examining hierarchy, con-
trol and intensity, however, it will be useful to identify and define the limits of each of
the three domains in which they will be considered.
The following general diagram, Figure 4.2, indicates the most important points in
the life cycle of a composition:

163
< OWOMIIONXL

K)KM.lO.\'IK\T
OIUKT

P^K^^^^^^^^H^^^*^ !P>fiE^^|ycmswi^KipN

Figure 4.2: Life cycle of a composition.

Beginning with an idea or information, the creatorsapplying a set of personal intentions


or biasdevise a compositional process or methodology that results in a form/content
object that reflects those ideas or intentions. The form/content object is then presented or
performed for a spectator or group of spectators who, if adequately prepared, properly
informed and located in the proper time/space matrix to observe the form/content object
as intended, receive the idea/information as intended by the creators. Obviously this is a
complicated process, the success of which depends on many factors outside the control of
the artists.45 Nevertheless., some observations can be made within and across these do-
mains that will help to clarify the place of hierarchy among the component arts and artists
in a combined work. In Silence John Cage writes, "composition, performance, and audi-
tion or observation are really different things. They have next to nothing to do with one
another."46 His assertion draws sharp boundaries between different domains in the life-
cycle of a work, encouraging their separate examination; but in practice (even for Cage)
the domains also form a continuum that begins with an idea that resonates in the creators
and ends with individual and collective resonances in the minds of the spectators who
witness the work's presentation.
The present discussion focuses on three parts of this continuum: the composition
process or methodology used to create the work, the form/content object which defines
and comprises the combined art work, and the spectator's observation of the combined art
work. These domainscomposition process, form/content object, and spectator observa-
tionhave been chosen because in many cases they can be readily identified and, to a
certain extent, examined individually. Other domains are less useful in studying hierarchy
for various reasons: the limitless nature of the initial idea or information and its insepara-

164
bility from the composition; the personal and subjective nature of compositional intention
or bias; and the limitations or transformations imposed in presentation, which is con-
strained by the biases and capabilities of both individuals and media and also by envi-
ronmental factors over which the creators have little or no control. It may also be noted
that although "observation" should properly include the intentions and prior experiences
of the spectators, these will not be considered in this discussion.
Of course, the creators of a combined work might choose to obscure their inten-
tions or even to mislead the audience; however in this discussion it is assumed that their
desire is to convey an idea or information to the spectator. It is also assumed that the
creators are methodologically capable of accurately translating or encoding the idea or
information into a form/content object that accurately represents and communicates the
idea or information to the spectator. In other words, we assume there are no substantive
inadequacies in the transformations shown in the following diagram:

IDEA/INFORMATION => METHODOLOGY => FORM/CONTENT OBJECT

Further, because we assume that the creators are capable of accurately "composing" the
idea by means of an appropriate methodology, and because we cannot set boundaries on
the domain of "ideas," the diagram can be shortened as follows:

COMPOSITION METHODOLOGY <=> FORM/CONTENT OBJECT

The hierarchies implicit in presentations can vary in ways not intended by the
creators. When performers are used, hierarchies result partly from individual or group
biases and abilities and from interpersonal dynamics; they are also affected by the
time/place matrix of the performance and other factors outside the control of the per-
formers, producers or composers. In still other cases hierarchy may be established by
technology, with uncertainties introduced by the creators' and performers' expertise and
experience. In the present discussion, we assume that the presentation is "ideal"; that is,
the work is transmitted transparently to the spectator in exactly the manner in which the
creators intend. We will also assume that the spectator is situated in a time and place ap-

165
propriate to the performance and is capable of observing or receiving the information as
intended, with minimal bias. If both of these assertions are true, we can posit:

FORM/CONTENT OBJECT <=> OBSERVATION

Combining these assumptionsthat is, assuming that an ideal composer accu-


rately encodes the idea and intent in a form/content object which is transparently con-
veyed by an ideal performer or performers in an appropriate time/space matrix and which
is observed by an ideal spectatorthe following diagram applies:

COMPOSITION <=> FORM/CONTENT OBJECT <=> OBSERVATION

Or, more simply:

COMPOSITION <=> OBSERVATION

This obvious oversimplification of the combined work of course does not reflect
reality; but in most cases it does reflect the natural goal of artists and audiences alike. It
also helps to isolate and identify the domains in which hierarchy will be examined. Each
of these domains will be discussed in turn in the remainder of this section.

Domain One: Compositional Process


Compositional process includes the methodology and the relationships among
collaborators as well as the actual creation of the combined work. On a macro-level it in-
cludes the relationships among component arts and artists and the integration of each into
the process and combined work; and on a micro-level it includes similar relationships
within each component media and the composition of each component by each contribut-
ing artist. In its broadest form it includes the entire process from the point of the initial
idea or information to the completed form/content object.
Within a given compositional process the methodology may be determined by a
single or by multiple sets of intentions, and it may consist of one or more information

166
structures. Multiple intentions may result from multiple collaborators; multiple informa-
tion structures may result from multiple arts, multiple artists or both. If certain collabora-
tors' intentions determine methodology to the exclusion of those of the other collabora-
tors, the first collaborator dominates or controls the compositional process and those per-
sons' perspectives may appear to be the most intense or prominent in the form/content
object. If several collaborators' viewpoints are incorporated into the methodology, there
may be less control by a single set of intentions, and contributions to the form/content
object may appear to be of equal intensity. If only one information structure is present,
and that information structure is carried by one component, that art will likely have
greater intensity or prominence within the form/content object. If multiple information
structures are present (e.g., one for each component art) intensity is likely to be more
evenly distributed among the components.47 A particularly salient example of multiple
compositional intentions incorporated into a single work is Parade, whose contributors
included Cocteau, Satie, Picasso, Massine, Appollinaireand less directly, Diaghilev,
without whose support it would never have been produced.
During the compositional process several factors contribute to determining hierar-
chy, including: the order of composition of the component arts, i.e., generative order;
whether component art forms are created by one or several artists; whether the process is
directed and if so by which artist; whether there is feedback among artists and art forms;
and whether there are one or several information structures. Implementation of a hierar-
chy in the compositional process can in turn determine or influence the intensity hierar-
chy in the form/content object. Indeed, any compositional methodology tends naturally to
embed a set of intensity relationships into the form/content object; awareness of this in-
clination is necessary to create or avoid hierarchy relationships in the combined work.
These issues will be discussed in more detail when we return to control and intensity.

Domain Two: The Form/Content Object


Through the compositional process, the collaborating artists' ideas, information
structures and intentions are encoded using a combination of art forms into a single
form/content object which, if the creators are successful, can completely transmit the
ideas, information structures and intentions to the spectator. In that form/content object,

167
as in the compositional process, the component arts will define a set of intensity relation-
ships. This may contain fixed relationships among the components, changing but repeat-
able relationships among components, or non-fixed, non-repeatable relationships among
components.
In most cases the compositional process results in a fixed score or set of directions
for the realization of the combined art work. The information and relationships are fixed
within the work; the score and instructions are intended to be interpreted in a single way
or within a narrow range of interpretations by a "transparent" performer and observed
within a similar range of expectations by a typical, "ideal" audience member. In The Role
of the Reader Umberto Eco describes texts which are written and meant to be interpreted
in this way as "closed." According to Eco, closed texts "obsessively aim at arousing a
precise response on the part of more or less precise empirical readers."48 Whether the
creators' intention is narrow and singular or complex and multiple, in a "closed" work it
is fixed and intrinsic to the finished work a priori of its presentation to the spectator in a
time/place matrix. In reality, this "closed" work needs neither performer nor spectator for
completion. Meaning does not come from interpretation or observation; meaning has al-
ready been imposed by the creators and is embedded within the combined work, which is,
in itself, complete.49
When a combined form/content object has an "open" structure the relationships
among art forms are not fixed by the creators of the work, or they may be "fixed" only
within a wide range of possible relationships. The component art forms do not control
one another and either their relative intensities are more or less equal or they change dur-
ing the course of the composition in an unpredictable, unrepeatable manner. Under such
conditions the performer and spectator can (re)create hierarchiesof both intensity and
controlindividually. Each spectator will experience the work differently, as determined
by the observation of the form/content object and the spectator's individual background,
cultural awareness, tastes, and prejudices. According to Eco such works

reject the definitive, concluded message and multiply the formal possibili-
ties of the distribution of their elements. They appeal to the initiative of the
individual performer, and hence they offer themselves, not as finite works

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which prescribe specific repetition along given structural coordinates, but
as 'open' works, which are brought to their conclusion by the performer
at the same time as he experiences them on an aesthetic plane.50

In other words:

CREATOR < > OBJECT < > OBSERVER51

Domain Three: Spectator Observation


Observation entails reception of the form/content object by an interested spectator
located in a specific place at a specific time in relationship to the presentation. (In this
discussion the location is assumed to be one that allows the observer to receive the
form/content object as intended by the creators.) In fixed or closed works most or all of
the information is often delivered from a single location such as the proscenium stage to a
single ideal location in the auditorium. The audience is arranged to maximize the number
of people whose location approaches the ideal; and in most successful works control or
intensity hierarchies do not depend on spectator location. By contrast, in combined art
works in which information is presented by multiple art forms from multiple locations in
multiple time relationships, the spectator's perspective is critical to the observation of
control and intensity. In either single- or multiple-point presentations open or closed
structures may exist; however, it is more likely that single-point presentations will be as-
sociated with closed works having fixed hierarchical structures, while multiple-point
presentations allow for either an open or closed structure.
As already stated, the form/content object is fixed in a closed work, which has a
single intended performance/spectator interpretation model. The creators assume that the
performers will interpret the work transparently, conveying the creative intent accurately
to an audience of "ideal" spectators who are capable of observing the form/content cor-
rectly and therefore receiving the creators' intentions accurately.
An open work, on the other hand, places responsibility for hierarchical relation-
ships in the performer/spectator. By presenting the component art forms more or less
equally in terms of control and intensity, in both time and space, and by allowing each art

169
form to co-create the work through an independent information structure, the creators en-
courage unique performances, individual observation, and spectator participation. The
work is created anew with each presentation from different but equally valid viewpoints.

Three Domains: Summary


It is apparent that control and intensity exist in different degrees in each of the
three domains and that combinations of control and intensity over the three domains de-
termine the overall hierarchy. Control, having more to do with authority, dominance and
influence, is evident primarily in the compositional process. It may also be of importance
in form/content objects observed to have improvised structures or in cases where the in-
put to one art form is dependent on the output from another art form. Intensity appears
less significant in the compositional process and more important in the form/content ob-
ject and spectator observation. Additionally it is important to distinguish whether inten-
sity ranks art forms according to which is most prominent or according to which is carry-
ing the information. These and related issues will all be addressed in more detail in the
following sections.
In summary, we could construct separate hierarchies for each of these three do-
mains: compositional methodology, based primarily on control or dominance; form/con-
tent object, based on control (if it is important) and intensity, related either to sensory
prominence or to information structures; and observation, based on the experiences of an
"ideal" spectator. In most cases we expect that the composers or creators seek to create a
work in which the content and delivery are consistent with the expectations of the ob-
server, and in such cases there will often be substantial overlap between the hierarchies
established in the three domains. In some cases, however, the creators have a different
goal (e.g. Bertold Brecht's goal to motivate the audience to action by preventing them
from empathizing with the characters); in these cases different domains may well have
distinctly different hierarchies. In much of the following discussion we will assume that
the creators' intention is consistent with the spectators' experience and that therefore hi-
erarchies in the three domains will tend to overlap; however, when there are possibilities
for separate hierarchies for each of the domains it will be noted.

170
As there is considerable overlap between the terms "hierarchy," "control" and "in-
tensity," as well as "dominance," "authority" and some other terms, we will spend some
time establishing distinct definitions for each of the terms. However, in practical analysis
it will be nearly impossible in most cases to keep the terms wholly separate from each
other. When such overlaps among terminology occur they will be noted.
In addition, as we define terminology it will be useful to introduce a shorthand
notation to represent certain relationships quickly and efficiently. For this discussion,
then, circles containing letters will be used to represent individual art forms, while verti-
cal and horizontal positioning and arrows will be used to indicate the hierarchical struc-
ture and dominance within that structure.

/ j*

Figure 4.3: Representations of an art form and hierarchy relationships.

4.2.2 Hierarchy: Basic Definitions and Structures


The dictionary defines "hierarchy" as "a body of people, animals, or things ranked
(in grades, orders, or classes) one above the other, esp. with respect to authority or domi-
nance."52 In this study we will apply the term more broadly, so that it describes not only
structures in which art forms are placed one above the other but also structures in which
art forms are placed side-by-side in positions of relatively equal rank. In this latter case,
the absence of a hierarchy is itself a type of hierarchy.
Consider the following three basic hierarchy structures. Figure 4.4 illustrates a
typical hierarchy among three art forms in which art form A both exhibits a controlling
influence on art forms B and C, and exceeds them in prominence. In this case, one art
form (or, in the compositional process, one creator) controls or directs the creative output
of two art forms (or artists).

m
* *

Figure 4.4: Basic hierarchy structure 1.

171
In performance or presentation to an audience, art form A is probably the most prominent
and is probably also the art form that carriers the information structure. The subsidiary art
forms support the dominant art form by reinforcing it, but they conform to a single in-
formation structure and contribute little or no additional content. As noted before, this
hierarchy structure characterizes most opera, dance, and staged works created from about
the end of the Renaissance to the beginning of the twentieth century, with Wagner's ge-
samtkunstwerk a kind of ultimate example. In western arts, this hierarchy structure re-
mains dominant in much new art created in older styles and genres.
A second basic structure, Figure 4.5, is one in which none of the art forms control
or dominate the others. Each of the art forms, while sharing in the delivery of a common
information structure, contributes to the work more or less independently.

0---0---0
Figure 4.5: Basic hierarchy structure 2.

In performance these three art forms may be more or less equal in prominence or they
may exchange dominance during the work, sometimes leading or dominating, sometimes
following or supporting. Examples we have already discussed include Renaissance spec-
tacles and entertainments and Parade, in which each component art form approaches the
subject matter more or less independently, creating and advancing the different material
from which the work is deriveda good example of Eisenstein's "polyphonic mon-
tage." An example within the domain of music composition is Herbert Brtin's Floating
Hierarchies, in which each performer assumes different rolesinterpreter, composer and
directorin different movements. {Floating Hierarchies will be examined in greater de-
tail on pages 205-207.)
Figure 4.6 illustrates the third basic structure in which all component media are
independent and do not share a common information structure.

'IP'

Figure 4.6: Basic hierarchy structure 3.

172
In this case art forms may exhibit no discernable composed relationships to each other.
Art forms may have equal or unequal prominence. The only unifying relationship among
components is that they share an enclosing time and/or enclosing space, determined by
the creators, which can be very narrow or so broad as to encompass innumerable seem-
ingly unrelated events. In Assemblages, Environments, & Happenings two of Allan
Kaprow's rules for Happenings support this third type of hierarchy structure.

(C) The performance of a Happening should take place over several


widely spaced, sometimes moving and changing, locales. ...

(D) Time, which follows closely on space considerations, should be vari-


able and discontinuous.54

In this category can be placed many works by John Cage and Merce Cunningham, such
as How to Pass, Kick, Fall and Run and Canfield (as well as Cage's own HPSCHD and
Musicircus) and performsince art works and environments by Allan Kaprow and others.

4.2.3 Hierarchy and the Three Domains


The preceding three simple diagrams illustrate hierarchy in a general sense; how-
ever, hierarchy may be examined separately in each of the three previously described
domains. Because hierarchy refers both to the creative process and to the relationships
embedded in the form/content object as a result of that process, it is possible that hierar-
chies established by the composition methodology may not be reflected in the
form/content object.

Hierarchy in the Composition Domain


In the composition domain, hierarchy guides the relationships among artists and
among the component arts during the composition process. Authority and dominance im-
ply influence and control, direction and leadership. Among art forms, control can be es-
tablished somewhat arbitrarily; but it is inherent in human relationships and plays a sig-
nificant role in the creation of a combined work. These relationships and the resulting

173
hierarchy may produce multiple information structures, as multiple collaborators and art
forms actively contribute to the composition process. At any given time in this process
one or another of the art forms or artists may lead or direct the composition of the work.
When a single artist dominates or controls the composition process or creates all compo-
nent arts, the resulting form/content object will probably be dominated by a single art
form. There are countless individual examples and genres in which the work of one con-
tributor or artist drives or determines the composition, with the remaining media in a
supporting role; in music, Wagner's operas and Scriabin's Prometheus and Mysterium are
paradigmatic instances.

Hierarchy in the Form/Content Object


Hierarchy in the form/content object is a fixed, identifiable structure that de-
scribes the relationships among component art forms. Certain relationships may be exam-
ined from moment to moment (synchronically); others, over a longer period of time (dia-
chronically). The structure is embedded in the final combined work during the composi-
tion process by the work's creators, and it is observed, either as intended or not, by an
interested spectator. Although this object or structure is the result of a composition proc-
ess that includes controlling relationships among media and contributors (not necessarily
the same relationships), it is usually intensity that is most readily observed by the specta-
tor in performance. In the case of a work that is itself a process, or that demonstrates a
control process, control relationships may also be apparent. (An example would be a
work in which the relationships are controlled by a computer or some other mechanical
device using a specific set of rules either during composition or in presentation.) This
type of hierarchy is both object and procedure.

Hierarchy in the form/content object is linked both to the creators' intentions and
the spectators' observations. If the creators have done their job well they will have accu-
rately translated their intentions into a form/content object containing a set of hierarchy
relationships that may be observedunder the proper, "ideal" conditionsby the specta-
tor. In other words, the following will be true:

PROCESS = OBSERVATION

174
In works with closed or fixed structures, intensity, control and location cues among art
forms help the spectator to infer the creators' intentions and receive the information
structure correctly. In works with open or floating structures, non-specific intensity, con-
trol and location cues among art forms provide an opportunity for spectators to create
their own hierarchy and information structures.

Hierarchy in the Observation Domain


The spectators' challenge is to decode the information structures encoded in the
form/content object. Determining hierarchical relationships is not usually a goal in itself,
but it provides useful cues that assist the spectator in reconstructing the creators' inten-
tions. If the form/content object is a successful translation of the information structure, an
ideal spectator should observe the work as intended. The creative process itself may not
be observable by the spectator unless it (and its control relationships) are intrinsic to the
information structure.
The hierarchies built during observation are affected by whether the audience can
see or receive all information as the creators intended. From a purely practical standpoint,
anything that obstructs or prevents a particular spectator from seeing and hearing the
presentation as intended by the creators influences that person's observation hierarchy. If
all parts of the presentation are observed as intended by the creators, then an informed,
interested spectator should be able to reconstruct the intended hierarchy and information
structure. If the creators' intention is to embed a fixed static hierarchy in the form/content
object, that may be observed; if the creators' intention is not to embed a fixed hierarchy
in the form/content object, the spectator will be able to create his or her own hierarchy.
However, because an observation hierarchy is based in part on the relative promi-
nence of each art form, even for a fixed work the hierarchy will not necessarily be the
same for each spectator at every time and location during the work's presentation.
Moreover, since each spectator brings different preferences, affinities, and experiences to
a performance, each will probably create a distinct hierarchy (though differing possibly
only in detail). Eco, in The Role of the Reader argues that the spectator or addressee is
"bound to supply his own existential credentials, the sense conditioning which is pecu-
liarly his own, a defined culture, a set of tastes, personal inclinations, and prejudices."55

175
Many factors contribute to the observation of hierarchy; these include the location
of component forms in space and in time, the physical relationship between component
media in the performance space, and the location of the spectator in time and space in
relation to the component media individually and in combination. Observation of hierar-
chy is also affected by unintended factors external to the form/content object; these in-
clude aural and visual interference (noise or action) from other spectators or from within
or outside the performance space, equipment malfunctions, and the physical state of the
spectator (temperature, comfort, bodily needs, etc.).

Summary
As mentioned previously, hierarchy establishes control and intensity relationships
among art forms. In fact, it may be more appropriate to posit the reverse: that control and
intensity relationships determine the hierarchy among art forms. The relationships be-
tween these terms will be discussed further below. In addition to control and intensity, the
term "dominance" is also entangled with hierarchy; to dominate is to be the most influen-
tial or conspicuous, and to assert that one art form "dominates" is to establish its place (at
least in part) in a hierarchy. Finally, hierarchy is both a fixed structure and a process; and
although a different hierarchy may be observed in any of the three domainscomposi-
tion, form/content object, or observationin many cases the hierarchies of the three do-
mains will coincide.

4.2.4 Two Hierarchy Scales: Control and Intensity


A general definition of hierarchy has been introduced and three domains in which
hierarchy may occur have been described. Now two hierarchy scalescontrol and inten-
sitywill be considered in detail. Although these two scales may be examined and quan-
tified separately, both in individual works and in each of the three domains, they have
much in common and may even mirror each other in each of the three domains under
consideration. In general, control relationships are intentional and are composed into the
form/content objecteither consciously or by default through the acceptance of conven-
tions inherent within the chosen genre or form. Intensity relationships may be intention-
ally composed, unintentionally composed through an unconsidered combination of me-

176
dia, or the result of factors outside the control of the creators (performance circum-
stances, spectator predisposition, etc.).

Control
As noted previously (page 171 above), hierarchy refers to a ranking of elements
"with respect to authority or dominance." Authority and dominance imply influence, con-
trol, direction and leadership by one or more elements, contributors or art forms over
other elements, contributors or art forms. Control occurs and is observed diachronically,
over time; that is, there must be a particular period of time during which the control
transaction occurs and over which it may be observed. Furthermore, because control rela-
tionships imply cause and effect, control may in fact only be observed in retrospectthat
is after both the cause and the effect have occurredthrough a diachronic analysis. Si-
multaneous events cannot, by themselves, be said to control each other because it cannot
be determined which event is the controller and which is the controlled. However, simul-
taneous events suggest the possibility that one or more processes or methodologies have
conspired to bring two or more events together in time and/or place.56

Control in the Composition Domain


Control relationships in the composition process occur when one or more collabo-
rators direct other collaborators during the creation of the combined work. Directing col-
laborators specify and delegate creative tasks based on the controlling artists' ideas and
intentions; they often conceive the work in terms of their own art forms and seek other
artists and art forms to support the idea. The amount of control exerted by the controller
may be great, as with Wagner; or control may be more like a guiding hand, as with Di-
aghilev and the Ballets Russes.
When a single artist creates all component media in a combined work, the domi-
nant art form is likely to be the one in which the creator has the most experience; very
often this is the medium created first. Subsequent media likely will be directly or indi-
rectly influenced by what has been previously composed. Although it becomes more dif-
ficult to compose independent information structures, that there is a single creator does
not preclude the use of multiple information structures or floating hierarchies. Scriabin's

177
Poem of Ecstasy and the unfinished Mysterium are good examples of a single creator
composing rather independently for several component arts. Control in the composition
process may or may not be evident in the completed work, although a high level of con-
trol is likely to result in a work in which all art forms appear to support and reinforce a
single information structure.
Composition methodologies in which collaborating artists influence each other or
in which control is spread among collaborating artists are more likely to produce com-
bined works with multiple information structures. Art forms in these works are not
merely supporting each other, but represent independent information structures and, in
the combined work, have relatively equal intensities. The methodology may fluid, or it
may be highly controlled, as in my own work, Enigmatic Game, a collaboration between
a composer, choreographer and visual artist in which specific and equal amounts of re-
sponsibility and control are granted to each of the collaborators both in the selection of
source materials and in the creative process. (This example will be covered in greater de-
tail on pages 209-210 at the end of this chapter.)
In a third instance collaborating artists work independently from each other in dif-
ferent media, combining the component arts only in production or performance. Exam-
ples of this process include Japanese Noh theatre and the collaborations of John Cage and
Merce Cunningham. In the case of Noh theatre, actors, musicians and chanters undergo
intense and independent preparations interacting on stage only during performance.

A noh performance consists in the meeting of several groups of people


each of whom train andrehearse independently. ... Only at the perform-
ance itself does everything come together.57

Although component sound and movement are rehearsed separately in Cage and Cun-
ningham's How to Pass, Kick, Fall and Run, there is no intentional interaction in per-
formance. This type of simultaneous presentation has more in common with the simulta-
niest poetry readings of the Futurist and Dadaist evenings.
In the composition domain control may be driven by force of personality or ideas,
but it may also be established by an external composed relationship or algorithm defining

178
the relationships between component media or between collaborators. During the compo-
sitional process, execution of the algorithm with or without intervention by the crea-
torsresults in a fixed form/content object that may then be presented without the
knowledge of or separate from the algorithm that was used to create it. This external
composed relationship may result in a high degree of control, a rather fluid relationship
among contributing artists, or no controlled relationships at all.

Control in the Form/Content Object


There are only two situations in which control may be contained within the
form/content object. In the first case, one or more art forms control the output of one or
more other art forms. Into the combined work the artists have incorporated an algorithm
that determines a relationship between a controller art form and a controlled art form or
art forms. In a simple case, a change in one art form results in a change in another. This
relationship or algorithm may itself be the idea or information structure upon which the
work is based. In a work involving performers, the algorithm may consist of a precise set
of directions or rules that dictate the conditions under which sound or activity may be
produced. In music, John Zorn's game pieces are good examples of controland shifting
controlin the form/content object.
In works presented with the assistance of computers or other technology the algo-
rithm may be a computer program containing instructions that control electronic devices
such as tape machines, lighting, etc.58 In its most common form a computer is pro-
grammed to take input from one medium and output information that effects a change in
another medium. The algorithm may or may not be observable by the spectator; but in all
cases these relationships are, of necessity, logical and may comprise all or part of the in-
formation structure.
In the second scenario, control is exercised by the art forms that carry the infor-
mation structure; these together determine what happens from moment to moment during
the work. Other art forms are relegated to supporting roles, reinforcing or amplifying the
single information structure conveyed by a single media, but adding no additional infor-
mation.

179
Control in the Observation Domain
Spectator observation of control relationships among component media depends
in part on whether the control relationships are inherent to the form/content object. If they
are, the control relationship may be intentionally obscured or it may be fully exposed as
part of the information structure. (An example of the latter case is I Am Sitting in A
Room, by Alvin Lucier, in which the processing of the recorded text, accumulating over
time, is the information structure.) Observation of control relationships may also be ob-
scured or enhanced by extra-compositional factors such as spectator location and experi-
ence, external events, etc.
Observing control often entails examining the information structure and determin-
ing whether one art form is its principal carrier. Sometimes, as in Lucier's work, control
relationships are actually part of the information structure. Other times, as in narrative
works, a dominant information structure regulates subsidiary activities. In both cases the
information structure defines the relationship among art forms; either there is a direct
cause-and-effect relationship among components, or a dominant media is supported or
reinforced by other media. Works of the first type often use technology to establish the
algorithm or relationship among the art forms; Ron Pellegrino's experiments and compo-
sitions fit into this category.
More difficult to observe are control relationships that have occurred during the
compositional process. As previously noted, such relationships may not be apparent in
the final work; rather, what is observed is the result of these relationshipsoften a highly
fused, hierarchical art work in which a single information structure is presented primarily
by one art form and supported by others. To determine whether a contributing media is
adding vital information to the combined work, remove it from the work and note
whether the information structure remains intact. If, for example, the color is removed
from the films The Wizard ofOz or Pleasantville a substantial amount of information is
lost; whereas removing color from, for instance, The African Queen has a much less sig-
nificant effect. A similar loss of information occurs when a Wagner opera is performed
with a piano reduction; the contrast here might be with the mutable orchestrations of
early Baroque opera.

180
In general, it can be somewhat problematic to quantify control, especially since it
may not always be directly observable in the form/content object. Control or influence
exerted by particular collaborators during the compositional process may only be re-
trieved by examining correspondence or other documents or by first-person accounts.
However, for narrative information structures the controlling role played by the text is
generally apparent and can be loosely quantified. Relationships between component art
forms defined or controlled by an algorithmic structure may, in many cases, be measured
more rigorously.

Intensity
A dictionary definition of intensity is "the measurable amount of some quality,
e.g., force, brightness, a magnetic field, etc."59 As an identifiable, quantifiable quality,
intensity may be applied to any characteristic of any art form under consideration, which
makes it especially useful in intra- and inter-medial comparisons. Within a single art form
intensity is relatively easy to identify and quantify. In music or other auditory forms, for
example, intensity is a combination of volume and timbre that produces amplitude and is
measured by the decibel. In visual arts, intensity is determined by a combination of hue,
saturation and brightness. In dance, intensity is determined by degree and rate of move-
ment and by proximity.
Although it is relatively easy to quantify the momentary intensity of a single iso-
lated characteristic, such as amplitude in music, it is much more complicated to measure
the combined intensities of several characteristics taken together within a single art form.
And even measuring combinations of characteristics does not completely describe inten-
sity or prominence over time within a single media in the context of a composed work.
Add in the locations and perceptions of individual audience members and the combina-
tion of multiple different component arts and intensity becomes extremely difficult to
measure and compare. Nonetheless, without delving into perception theory, which would
take us far afield, certain observations may be made with regard to intensity and the com-
bined art work.
When art forms are combined intensity levels of individual parameters or charac-
teristics are not the only faictors that help a spectator determine prominence. In the com-

181
bined work, the relationships of the individual art forms to each other as well as to the
spectatorspecifically in terms of location in time and placealso play a significant
role. Both internal, intrinsic factors, consisting of parameters that can be individually
measured within each of the art forms, and external factors, which define the relation-
ships among art forms in time and space, contribute to the observation of intensity in a
combined work. The intensity scale within a hierarchy, then, may be defined as the rela-
tive levels of prominence among art forms in a combined art work as determined by fac-
tors both internal and external to the individual art forms.
Within art forms different parameters tend to overlap and impinge upon one an-
other when considered in combination, and the results can be somewhat subjective. For
example, in music and other sound-based forms intensity refers to the energy associated
with the sound wave and may be defined as "the amount of total mechanical energy (po-
tential and kinetic, associated with the elastic oscillations of the points of the medium)
that is transferred during each second through a surface of unit area (1 m2) perpendicular
to the direction of propagation."60 However, in addition to this purely mechanical energy,
overall intensity in music must take into account other measurable factors, such as fre-
quency, timbre, texture, and duration. All of these factors are interrelated; they cannot be
examined in isolation. Thus, for example, although frequency may be measured as pitch
or in hertz, frequency and amplitude together determine perceived loudness (intensity)
levels, as described by the well-known Fletcher Munson curves.61
An examination of other art forms individually yields similarly complex relation-
ships among parameters intrinsic to the form. Still, when considering a single art form,
parameters may be identified and quantified both individually and, although with some-
what more difficulty, in combination with each other. When art forms are combined,
however, the analysis becomes infinitely more complicated: one cannot, in the presence
of a staged form, make quantifiable judgments that conjoin different measurement sys-
tems. One can make only a subjective judgment of which art form appears to be the most
prominent at any given time, based on the intensity of the parameters inherent to the me-
dium and on the manner in which the art forms are combined.

182
Intensity in the Three Domains
During the composition process intensity is one tool of many in the creator's
workbox. If all the contributors to the combined work are cognizant of hierarchies within
their respective media and understand the intensity relationships formed when different
art forms are combined, this understanding may itself determine a methodology or work-
ing process among the collaborators. They might, for example, choose to create a work in
which one art form is intentionally more prominent, constructing a process which sup-
ports that intention; or the "idea" for the work might be a composed series of transforma-
tions in which different ait forms come to the fore. Of course, interpersonal relationships
among the contributing artistsin which one artist is significantly stronger in articulating
a visionmay be of greater importance in determining intensity and hierarchy in the
combined work. In this case, however, the methodology will be based more on control
than on intensity.
In the form/content object actual intensity levels of internal or intrinsic character-
istics or properties may be measured. When the properties or characteristics are similar
some sort of reasonable comparison may be possiblei.e., between relative loudness
levels of different sound sources or light levels of different light sources or, more gener-
ally, between different rates of change of different parameters in different media. Meas-
urements and comparisons may be made synchronically or diachronically, and measure-
ments may be taken in a specific location or distributed throughout the entire presentation
space. Characteristics external to the component arts may also be measured and com-
pared if these characteristics are specifically composed into the form/content object as
part of the instructions or requirements for presentation. Such characteristics might in-
clude the times of presentattion and spatial locations of the component arts, and the envi-
ronment in which the components occur.62 Furthermore, the intensity of a component
may depend not on the absolute value of a measurement but on the perceived difference
between this and that of another component. In making such comparisons, and particu-
larly when considering external characteristics or context, one must focus on the specta-
tors' experience.
Ultimately, that which is most intense may not be that which receives the specta-
tor's attention. When information or media are in competition the loudest, fastest, bright-

183
est or most colorful may not be perceived as the most prominent. As the component art
forms share space and time they impinge upon each other, possibly changing the way in
which a spectator observes intensity. In the context of a combined art work, a component
form may become more prominent simply because it is significantly different from the
other art forms with respect to location, movement, timing, or rate of change. Moreover,
if the information structure is considered, one may ask whether intensity refers to that art
from which appears to be the most prominent or to that art form which carries the infor-
mation. That is, prominence may sometimes be determined merely by the physical effect
on the spectator, while at other times it may be determined by the spectator's attempts to
grasp meaning or significance.63

Summary
To this point we have considered hierarchy to be primarily constituted by control
and intensity relationships. These can be combined, in which case their overall effect is
relatively easy to grasp; but they can also be independent. A form/content object may ex-
hibit control relationships among components, while at the same time rather equal inten-
sities. For example, a single artist or algorithm may exert a high degree of control over
the compositional process and yet seek to create a work in which the components have
relatively equal intensities. On the other hand, a creative process in which all artists con-
tribute equally may nevertheless produce a work in which one art form is dominant. In
other words, there need not be a direct relationship between the hierarchies created by
control relationships and those created by intensity. Moreover, specific intensity levels
are measured at a specific point in time and space; average intensity levels are measured
over time and the total space. Control, however, as it is a relationship in which a transac-
tion takes place, must be measured over a period of time.

4.2.5 Hierarchy Classes: Fixed/Closed and Floating/Open


Three basic hierarchy structuresapplicable both in the abstract and in each of
the three domainsand two hierarchy scalescontrol and intensityhave been intro-
duced and discussed in detail. In some cases these three structures and/or scales will co-
incide or reinforce each other; in others they will not. Hierarchy structures may be fixed

184
and intrinsic to the finished combined work, applied either at a single point in time or
over the full duration; or they may shape a process that affects the compositional meth-
odology, the resulting form/content object or the act of performance. Hierarchies that are
designed by the creators a priori and which remain the same with each presentation of
the work may be described as "closed" or "fixed"; hierarchies that are not designed by
the creators but are determined in performance by the performers, or during observation
by the spectators may be described as "open" or "floating." In the first case, the spectator
is expected to receive the hierarchy as intended by the creators; in the second case the
creators' intention is to allow performers or spectators to create hierarchies individually.

Fixed/Closed
To further clarify fixed and floating hierarchy classes it is useful to introduce fur-
ther distinctions, based in part on the work of Umberto Eco in The Role of the Reader. In
a fixed hierarchy, the creators, through the conscious or unconscious use of an estab-
lished form or genre, embed relationships among art forms in the form/content object. In
both instances the spectator is expected to observe the hierarchy as the creators intended.
The hierarchy structure consists of either a single unchanging relationship or a series of
different relationships in which dominance and/or intensity shift during the work. In ei-
ther case, each time the combined work is presented the hierarchy structures and subse-
quent relationships among component arts are the same; this consistency is a central as-
pect of the creators' intentions.
On a diachronic level, in which the entire composition is considered, the hierarchy
is fixed; that is, each iteration of the work has the same hierarchy structure. On the syn-
chronic or local level hierarchy may change, but only in a predictable, repeatable way;
that is, in each iteration of the work the same changes occur in the same order. The first
case, in which the diachronic hierarchy structure is fixed and the synchronic relationship
is static (fixed-static) may be called "simple." The second case, in which the diachronic
hierarchy structure is fixed but the synchronic relationship is changing {fixed-changing}
may be called "complex." The first consists of a single hierarchy relationship; the second
consists of a number of hierarchy relationships following one after the other in what may
be called a "hierarchy chain." In both cases the work is closed, in that each presentation

185
contains the same hierarchy structure, embedded in the form/content object. The specta-
tors' observation adds nothing to the structure; the work is complete in itself.
In a simple hierarchy, then, the hierarchy relationship among components does
not change within the form/content object; a single, unchanging hierarchy relationship
applies throughout the work. A simple, fixed hierarchy is identical each time the work is
presented correctly; the information structure is presented by the same art form or combi-
nation of art forms during the work. The hierarchy is composed by the work's creators,
embedded in the form/content object and intended to be observed in the same way by all
spectators.
In a complex hierarchy the hierarchy relationship among components changes
within the form/content object; there is a chain of hierarchy relationships, in which first
one and then another component is most prominent. (Prominence may be achieved
through control, dominance, intensity, information structure or a combination of any of
these.) The information structure may be passed from one art form to another. If the
complex structure is fixed (diachronically), the chain of hierarchy relationships is the
same each time the work is presented correctly; it is composed by the work's creators,
embedded in the form/content object and intended to be observed in the same way by all
spectators. In some cases a chain may include identifiable subchains: patterns of chang-
ing relationships which repeat during the work's presentation.
In some cases, the performers act as composers, fixing a previously created inde-
terminate form/content object. During preparation, the performers embed a fixed set of
hierarchy relationships (static or changing) in the form/content object. The performers'
hierarchy structure then becomes the hierarchy for that realization or presentation of the
hitherto indeterminate form/content object, remaining unchanged in subsequent perform-
ances of that particular realization. In this instance the original work is both open and
closed: open as it presents itself to the performers for potential presentation, and closed as
presented to the spectator after the performers have embedded their own hierarchy. Un-
less the spectator observes the rehearsal process or multiple realizations of the form/con-
tent object, the work remains closed. Herbert Bran's Floating Hierarchies is one example
of an open-closed work.

186
Floating/Open
In a floating hierarchy, the structure and relationships are not embedded in the
form/content object. The work is incomplete without its presentation in a time/space ma-
trix and depends on the presenters and/or spectators for completion and meaning.64 Two
general cases of floating hierarchies exist. In the first, the artists intentionally create a
form/content object in which the component arts are independent. Each artist uses an in-
dividual information structure, and each art form is presented at a relatively equal inten-
sity in a shared time and space. Once completed, the combined work and hierarchy rela-
tionships are fixed, albeit equal, and the presentation is intended to be the same each
time. Spectators bring their own backgrounds, educations, values and preferences to the
presentation, and each creates a personal hierarchy by selecting from among the compo-
nent media, determining which has more or less prominence and control and which is
carrying the information structure. In some cases the spectator, presented with an abun-
dance of alternatives, may be encouraged to view the spectacle from various vantage
points by moving through the performance space, thus creating a distinct relationship to
the component media and activity and determining the relative importance or value of
each event or bit of information.
In the second case, the composers create an algorithm or specific set of instruc-
tions to be executed either by human or mechanical means. The algorithm or instructions
introduce an alogical or unpredictable element, resulting in a different hierarchy in each
presentation. Such a work is indeterminate, incomplete, and floating because each suc-
cessive presentation of the work results in a different hierarchy structure. As in the fixed
model, that structure may consist of one or multiple hierarchy relationships.
The first case, in which the hierarchy structure presents the component media at
equal intensities, and which allows individual spectators to create an individual hierarchy,
may be called fixed-open. Each presentation of the work is identical or fixed, yet to the
spectator, open. The second case, in which the hierarchy structure in successive presenta-
tions changes, with each presentation inducing a single spectator interpretation, may be
called floating-closed. Each presentationdescribed above as the last example of the first
classis different, yet to the audience, fixed. (An example is Brtin's Floating Hierar-
chies mentioned above.)

187
In both of these cases, completion of the form/content object requires input from
an outside observer/interpretereither spectator, performer or mechanical device. The
first, a fixed form/content object, depends on the individual spectator for meaning; the
second, a floating form/content object, depends on an interpreter to impart meaning to the
spectator. In addition to these two cases there exists a third, in which the interpretation of
a set of instructions results in a structure in which control and intensity are relatively
equal, so that it is again left to the spectator to add meaning to the form/content object in
presentation. This case may be called floating-floating. (John Cage's Musicircus is an
example of this class.)
In theory the form/content object created by the artists may be floating while a
single presentation is fixed (Brun, Floating Hierarchies), or the form/content object may
be fixed while the presentation is floating (Cage, Variations). The first offers itself to pre-
senters as an open or floating work but to the spectator as a closed work; the second of-
fers itself to presenters as a closed work but to the spectator as an open work. Another
example of the second case is Cage's Imaginary Landscape No. 4 for twelve radios and
twenty-four performers, who interpret a detailed score in which kilocycle, amplitude, and
timbre changes are precisely specified. Although each rendition of the score should be
exactly the same, external factors insure that the resulting performance will be different.

Hierarchy Class Summary


We can now divide hierarchy models into two main categories: those that are
"fixed" and embedded in the combined work (each presentation of the work displays the
same hierarchy structure); and those that are "floating" and rely on presenters and/or
spectators to define the hierarchy structure (each presentation of the work potentially dis-
plays a different hierarchy structure). We can further say that simple models are those in
which a single relationship persists throughout the work and complex models are those in
which the relationships change. Furthermore, complex hierarchies may sometimes be pat-
ternedthat is, subchains of relationships may occur in a more or less repetitive manner
during the presentation of me combined work.
Above and beyond the simple ranking of component art forms in a combined
work, hierarchy can encompass numerous relationships among component media, with

188
different degrees of accuracy in different domains. Hierarchy is implicit in highly con-
trolled structures, loosely controlled structures and structures in which there is no control
at all. Hierarchy can be used to measure and compare intensity relationships and predict
relative prominence among components in the combined work. Already it can be seen
that different hierarchy models exist in different works and at different points in the life-
cycle of each work.

4.2.6 Hierarchy and the Information Structure


In addition to the hierarchies among artists and art forms it is useful to consider
one further relationship: that between the artists or art forms and the idea or information
with which the work is concerned. The latter encompasses not only the information struc-
ture but the motivation or raison d'etre for the work itself. In some cases the collabora-
tors or components are engaged directly with the idea or information; in other cases cer-
tain art forms access the idea only indirectly, through other, mediating components. The
two cases (and some intermediate ones) have different implications concerning the rela-
tionships between the information structure and the hierarchy structure and how these are
realized in the combined work.
First it is important to determine whether there is only one information structure.
If so, which art forms have direct access to the idea or information structure, and which
have indirect access? In traditional, hierarchical genres, such as opera, symphonic music
or realistic painting (with Wagner always a paradigm), all component art forms are sub-
servient to a single information structure. All art forms work together, supporting each
other in the presentation of a single idea. In this historical and still widely accepted
model, a single creative individual directs the production and delegates tasks to other art-
ists who then create in their respective media to support the central idea. In another mod-
el, however, exemplified in the Cage and Cunningham collaborations and the Ballets
Russes, each of the art forms has direct access to the compositional idea or to different
compositional ideas and may provide its own response or have its own information struc-
ture.
The following diagram, Figure 4.7, illustrates the difference between these two
models. In the first case component A has direct access to the idea while component B is

189
informed by component A's interpretation of the idea. In the second case, both compo-
nent A and component B have direct access to the idea, respond individually and may
have independent information structures.

/ \
/ V

/ \
El w O

Figure 4.7: Indirect and direct relationship to the idea.

Associated with these different models will be either one or several information
structures carried by the art forms together, separately, or in various subgroups (in which
two or more fused art forms together present an information structure). Art forms and in-
formation structures may be supportive, unsupportive or disinterested in each other. Art
forms may accompany or support another art form that carries an information structure,
or they may lead or carry an information structure themselves. Art forms may be in the
foreground or background, with information structures moving in a similar, oblique, or
parallel manner so that they reinforce each other; or a complex hierarchy of art forms
may create a sort of counterpoint of information structures in which first one, then an-
other structure alternately has prominence in the overall presentation. In describing the
sound-image montage, Eisenstein writes that any element "may serve as the 'leading' de-
termining factor in the structure, dependent on the need. Some scenes would require
rhythm as a determining factor, others would be controlled by tone, and so on."65 Simi-
larly Kandinsky writes:

[MJonumental art is the combination of every art in one single work,


whereby (1) each art, while remaining exclusively within the bounds of its
given form, becomes a joint begetter of the work, and (2) with this work,
each art is brought to the fore or relegated to the background, according
to the principle of direct or inverted contrast.66

190
If more than one art form has access to the generative idea, each might have its
own information structure, and these may themselves exhibit a kind of hierarchy of im-
portance, which may not be identical with the hierarchy of the art forms. An obvious ex-
ample of a collaboration in which the artists share more or less equally in the responsibil-
ity for the creation of the work is the Ballets Russes production of Parade in which sev-
eral information structures commingle and interpenetrate. In this work, the information
structure of the music or the dance might be said to be more important than that of the
set, even though the set is arguably more "intense" or more "prominent." Each is compo-
nent is composed somewhat independently from the others, and each has independent
information structure with relative levels of importance.
In the following sections we will examine in more detail some factors that con-
tribute to the determination of hierarchical relationships. We will look at some specific
hierarchy structures, introducing a shorthand notation to describe such relationships. As
with any overview that attempts to describe general relationships, many examples may
not suit the notation or the analysis. However, the attempt here is not to create a system to
which all examples must conform or which encompasses all cases that can be imagined,
but merely to propose tools and terminology that may be useful in describing and com-
paring certain types of relationships among art forms in combined works.

4.3 Determining Hierarchical Relationships


Many factors contribute to the determination of hierarchical relationships among
media in a combined work. While time and space relationships and their measurement are
probably the most obvious and important, many other relationships, individually and in
combination, must be considered when examining hierarchy. These include objective fac-
tors intrinsic to each individual component as well as specific fixed and changing time
and space relationships. Additional subjective factors include style and context and the
information structure.

4.3.1 Time and Space


Hierarchy as structure and hierarchy as process stand in somewhat different rela-
tionships to time and space, and hence they require different analytical techniques. A

191
synchronic analysis can be applied to hierarchy at a single moment in time; a diachronic
analysis, over a period of time. In a similar way, a local analysis limits hierarchy by spa-
tial location, while a global analysis encompasses the totality of the space. It is important
to choose the right approach for each situation; time and space are important factors in
the way artists create hierarchies and spectators observe them. During construction of the
combined work, control and intensity relationships are encoded in time and space; in ob-
servation, the spectator decodes the time and space hierarchy to interpret the information
structure. In sum, then, and broadly speaking, hierarchy can be analyzed with reference to
the following time/space matrices: synchronic-local, synchronic-global, diachronic-
local, and diachronic-global.

Time: Synchronic and Diachronic


When considering a single characteristic (or very similar ones), intensities may be
measured and compared either at a single point in time, synchronically, or over a period
of time, diachronically. In the former case intensity is tracked on a moment-to-moment
basis; in the latter, average intensity per unit time can be determined over a specified pe-
riod or the duration of the work. Such comparative analyses will not apply when charac-
teristics differ significantly, and hence they may not be useful in accurately describing
relative prominence among component media. Furthermore, local intensity relationships,
considered individually, may contribute little to a comprehensive understanding of the
hierarchy structure over the duration of the work. In addition, the time at which intensity
is sampledwhether at a passing or at a structural pointmay affect the understanding
of the overall intensity structure. Although in observation, momentary analysis may be
subjectively accurate, it is not in itself meaningful; and it depends, of course, on spectator
location, observation capabilities, individual bias, and the inherent differences from one
presentation to another. Over a period of time, however, subjective, momentary observa-
tions provide not merely a collection of comparable measurements, but an accumulation
of grouped and relational data filtered through an individual spectator's memory.
Control and dominance can only be observed over a measurable, though possibly
quite small, amount of time. Because observing control requires the spectator to note
what happens in one or more art forms as a result of changes occurring in one or more

192
other art forms, a strictly synchronic analysis may not yield useful results. Control and
dominance among media are more difficult to analyze both within the form/content ob-
ject and in observation because they depend upon the time-and-space frame or context in
which they are situated (and in which the measurement is made). Finally, the distinction
between simple and complex hierarchy structures depends upon time and upon dia-
chronic analysis. In order for stasis or change to be observed, the relevant hierarchies
have to be established long enough to be recognized as distinct.

Space: Local and Global


With respect to space and hierarchy, similar conclusions apply: a global analysis
of the entire performance space may yield a different hierarchical structure than a local
analysis. While the entire performance space encompasses all component media, a subset
of the space may contain fewer art forms, and different subsets of the performance space
may contain different overlapping combinations of media. In performance, proximity
among components contributes to the observation of control and intensity: control is eas-
ier to judge among arts in close proximity to each other than among components spread
over a large space. It is also easier to compare and manipulate intensity levels among art
forms situated within a relatively small subset of the global space.
Proximity also affects the spectator's observation of hierarchy. In spectacles in
which many art forms surround the audience and convey information simultaneously
from many directions, one or more art forms may appear to control or to be more intense
than others on a local level, while on a global level the reverse may be true.67 In John
Cage's HPSCHD spectators are encouraged to move throughout a space in which multi-
ple art forms and information structures are projected. The relationship between spectator
and art forms changes at each different location, while at the same time remaining consis-
tent on a global level.68
In sum, then analysis of control and intensity in a combined work is dependent
upon the time-and-space context in which the different factors are measured. Hierarchies
can be analyzed by focusing on measurements taken at regular time intervals or at spe-
cific locations in the performance space; the analysis will probably be more reliable if
measurements are taken at significant structural points in the work. In any case, a dia-

193
chronic analysis requires that momentary, or synchronic, hierarchy measurements be
made and then combined to yield an overall hierarchy or hierarchy structure for the entire
work. The construction of that structure is affected by several additional factors, to which
we now turn: objective factors internal and external to the component arts, subjective fac-
tors, and the effect of the information structure on hierarchy.

4.3.2 Objective, Measurable Factors


Intrinsic Factors
While it is out of the scope of this paper to investigate perception theory, or to
provide an exhaustive study of individual art forms, it is useful to examine several pa-
rameters intrinsic to specific media in order to understand the scope and complexity of
determining a methodology for analyzing hierarchy. The intensity of individual parame-
ters contributes to the overall intensity of a particular medium and ultimately, to the ob-
servation of hierarchy relationships in the combined work. Loudness, brightness, move-
ment, etc., taken separately, do not determine hierarchy; but in combination with each
other, other art forms, and situated within a specific time and place, parametric values
contribute to both observation and analysis.
Of the parameters intrinsic to each of the art forms we have already mentioned
frequency, amplitude, timbre, rhythm, texture and duration for music. For the visual arts
parameters include hue, saturation, brightness, shape, size, and materials. Aural and vis-
ual components combine in various ways in each art form. The dominant elements in mu-
sic are aural, while in the plastic arts they are visual; but in theatre, the aural and visual
elements are combined, each contributing in varying degrees to the combined spectacle.
In addition to scrutinizing individual parameters we can examine how these pa-
rameters change: first, whether there is movement or change, and then the rate of move-
ment or change, the degree, direction and acceleration of movement or change, and the
regularity of movement or change. We can also consider densitynot only the number of
events per unit time but also the number of changes per unit timeand, similarly, how
density changes. Moreover, change can occur over either time or space; therefore the
time sample size and the space sample size are both important factors in taking and inter-
preting measurements of change. In general one expects that increasing the value of one

194
or more parameters for a particular art form, while all others are held steady, will lead to
an increase in the intensity of that art form; however, that link depends to some extent on
the context in which the change occurs.

External Factors
Relationships among individual art forms and between art forms and the spectator
comprise the external factors that contribute to hierarchy in a combined work; these in-
clude time and space relationships, movement and change, and density. Many of these
factors have been discussed above, but there remain certain contextual factors that affect
prominence and hence hierarchy. With regard to time, both ordinal position and duty cy-
cle (the duration of emission time) play significant roles in determining prominence. Me-
dia or events that occur first and/or last, or those that are active for more extended periods
of time, tend to have greater prominence and may be assumed to play a dominant role or
to convey important information either at the moment they are initiated or throughout the
work. In addition, proximity in time, as well as ordinal positions, may contribute to the
observation of a controller - controlled relationship between media; that is, a consistent
change in one art form, immediately followed by a consistent change in another, suggests
that the first controls the second. Conversely, when events occur simultaneously with
similar intensities, they may be observed to be equal in prominence.
With regard to space, location and movement (of an art form, of the information
structure, of the spectator) have already been discussed. In the previous section it was
noted that art forms which are closer to the spectator, that occupy more space or that are
easier to see have greater prominence than those that are farther from the spectator, that
occupy less space, or are harder to see. Art forms that have a greater spatial prominence
may likewise be assumed to play a dominant role or to convey important information.
Spatial proximity may facilitate the observation of equal prominence or intensity, or it
may highlight intensity differences that would go unnoticed if spread over a larger space.
With regards to movement or change and the synchronization of change two addi-
tional factors should be considered. The first is that movement or change itself tends to
increase the prominence of the art form in which the change occursat least temporarily.
However, the context for the change may affect whether it is associated with increased

195
intensity or, indeed, whether it is observed at all. To introduce a change may increase an
art form's intensity, but constant changeover an extended period of timemay become
no change at all. The second factor is synchronized change, which often leads a spectator
to ascribe equal intensity to the synchronized art forms. Again, however, long-term syn-
chronization may have the opposite effect, encouraging the spectator to focus on differ-
ences of intensity that might not otherwise be noticed. Synchronized change may also
suggest a controller - controlled relationship between the synchronized art forms, though
they must be decoupled at some point if the controlling form is to be identified.
Event or information density also contributes to intensity and hierarchy in a com-
bined work. In general, the greater the number of events (or the density of information)
emitted by a particular art form per unit of time, the greater the intensity. Yet again, how-
ever, context plays an important role. If density increases steadily over time, an art form
may actually lose prominence, yielding to another art form with a lower density but a
more distinctive character at that moment. Elaborating Eisenstein's metaphor,69 informa-
tion and the information structure shift among the component art forms like the ball in a
soccer match, passed from one player to another. As the "time of possession" of the in-
formation "ball" by a particular art form increases, so will that media's prominence in-
crease.

4.3.3 Subjective Factors


Style and Context
Thus far the discussion has centered on internal, intrinsic parameters and their in-
teractions within individuEil media and on interactions among the component arts and the
spectator. In many presentations all of these factors may be measured and quantified ob-
jectively. However, other factors are more difficult to measure objectively; these include
stylistic considerations, the spectator's contribution to observation and the impact of the
information structure on control, intensity and hierarchy.
The inclusion of a recognizable style or idiom in a combined work, particularly in
a context of less familiar styles, tends to focus a spectator's attention on that particular
style. A recognized style immediately catapults an art form into prominence because even
a moderately trained spectator can easily separate it from the other materials in the pres-

196
entation. The spectator relies on the recognized style for guidance much like a sailor re-
lies on a lighthouse; the familiar is used to situate and comprehend the unfamiliar or am-
biguous. When several styles compete for the audience's attention, individual spectators
are forced to choose among them. In John Cage's HPSCHD, for example, the harpsi-
chords play quotations from Mozart and several other composers. The ear recognizes
these snippets, and spectators select the harpsichord material from the multiple sources
available, using the snippets as focal points in their own information structures.
However, even style does not guarantee that a particular spectator will experience
a work in a pre-determined way. Each individual brings to a presentation a distinct his-
tory and approach, and this will be critical to the observation and assessment of the work.
Despite the creators' clear intentions and careful methods, a spectator may observe the
finished work in an entirely unpredictable but logical and individual way. This is as true
for works intended to be interpreted in a specific manner as it is for works that allow the
spectator to create individual information structures or hierarchy. In observation, what the
spectator brings to the performance has a great deal to do with which art form that specta-
tor interprets as most prominent and, ultimately, the spectator's understanding of the
work's hierarchy.

Information Structure
Finally, the inforaiation structure of the combined work and the spectator's will-
ingness to be seduced by it contribute significantly to the observation of hierarchy among
component arts. Particularly in combined works having a single information structure,
that structure itself can claim a certain amount of the spectator's attention. Narrative
structures, or strong, logical, non-narrative structures (as in Peter Greenaway's film
Drowning by Numbers or Sal Martirano's L. 's G. A.) are the most seductive, and Brecht's
"alienation effect" is a celebrated attempt to subvert this. The art form or forms that carry
such an information structure may likely appear to be the most important or prominent art
form, with other art forms supporting and elaborating it. On the other hand, a very well
known narrative or non-narrative structure may have the opposite effect. Once this famil-
iar structure is recognized, spectators are more able to set it aside, focusing instead on
other component arts or details of the production.

197
Similarly, an unusual and wholly explicit structure may be used to undermine a
more conventional one. Thus, in some circumstances, hierarchy may depend less upon
the prominence of art forms than upon the information structure. For example, in Thirty
Two Short Films about Glenn Gould, a 1993 documentary by Francois Girard, the spec-
tator becomes preoccupied with counting and comparing individual segments, rather than
acquiring the information contained within them. Once the information structure is
knownin this case announced in the titlethe audience becomes obsessed with verify-
ing its truth.

4.4 Hierarchy Relationship Charts


This section outlines a notation for the classification and discussion of hierarchy
relationships. This notation is a useful starting point in analyzing hierarchy among com-
ponent arts in a single work and also in comparing hierarchies in different works. It takes
into consideration both control and intensity and can thus be used to examine the rela-
tionship between these two scales. It will be used in the examples at the end of this sec-
tion, and it can be combined with a notation for fusion (to be introduced in the next chap-
ter) to provide a more detailed description of the relationships among art forms.
The notation may be applied to any of the three domains previously discussed
composition, form/content object, or observation; but, like any reductive notation, it will
not fully capture the nuances of each piece. Nor does it adequately describe relationships
over time; since it can only provide a snapshot of these relationships, it is useful primarily
in synchronic analysis, to scrutinize relationships at a particular moment in time or to
generate an overall impression of the work.
Notational conventions are consistent with those introduced previously: letters
represent component media; vertical placement of letters indicates relative intensity; dot-
ted lines and arrows indicate control relationships. In addition, the letter "I" signifies
ideas or information structures. The examples below are illustrative; they by no means
exhaust the possibilities. Elements may be reordered within the models given, and there
are many other relationships and models that are not discussed.

198
4.4.1 Simple Hierarchies
For both fixed and floating classes, simple hierarchies are those in which the rela-
tionships among component arts do not change during the work. Simple hierarchies may
be constituted from control and intensity scales in any of the three domains previously
examined. Commonly control and intensity are either both static or both changing; how-
ever, it is possible that the control relationships might be static while the intensity rela-
tionships change or vice-versa. For large numbers of elements, the possible relationships
quickly become very complicated; the diagrams in Figure 4.8 are limited to simple hier-
archies involving one, two or three media. Arrows indicate direction of control or domi-
nance of one media over another; and of course, any of the three art formsA, B, or C
could be in any of the positions.

/ % < \

o o

/
4
/ \
\ /
4
/ \
\ /
it \
>
4 t
^
4*
\

0 OH- HQ *--- OH--^0


Figure 4.8: Various simple hierarchies showing both intensity and control relationships.

Control (indicated with arrows) may move in any direction: from media with
greater intensity to media with lesser intensity, from lesser to greater, or in both direc-
tions simultaneously. The later creates a feedback relationship in which each of the arts
informs, influences and changes each of the other art forms. Figure 4.9 summarizes the
possible relationships among component media.

199
I I I I I I
J . i A Ji
I I I I I I
I I I I I I

-D
I
a!
sI
I ! I

W W W

Figure 4.9: Various control relationships.

In addition to structures in which intensity differs in tandem with control, a class


of relationships exists in which in which the intensities of component media are relatively
equal while the control relationships remain intact.

Thus I becomes I or I
i
i
i i

O
Figure 4.10: Different intensity and similar intensity relationships.

In the middle example of Figure 4.10, it may not be apparent to the spectator which of the
art formsA or Bis dominant, even though it is art form A that controls art form B
(and in the rightmost example, art form C as well). Moreover, of course, it is always pos-
sible that different spectators will observe different fixed or simple hierarchies, including
ones not intended by the creators. We will return to such structures when we consider
floating hierarchies in section 4.4.3 below.

4.4.2 Complex Hierarchies


Complex hierarchies, like simple hierarchies, are embedded in the combined
work; but complex hierarchies change during the work's presentation (although in fixed
classes, the changes can be embedded in the combined work). Because they are embed-
ded, the chain of hierarchies remains the same for each presentation of the work and is

200
thus subject to notation and analysis. The same notation can be used, with arrows con-
necting individual structures in a hierarchy chain; Figure 4.11 illustrates a short chain
consisting of three component arts.

4 4 4
*f * * H
o o o o o
6
Figure 4.11: Complex hierarchy chain.

Patterned Hierarchies
Patterned hierarchies are a subset of complex hierarchies; in them a chain of
changing hierarchy relationships recurs or repeats. Typically, in a patterned hierarchy,
either control or intensity (or both) passes from one element to another in a predictable
way. (Thus, for example, one could conceive of a work for music, film, and dance in
which music dominates for a period of time, film for a second period of time and dance
for a third, with the pattern then repeating.) Figure 4.12 illustrates a pattern in which a
single hierarchical structure persists but the relationship among the component arts
changes.

4 / \
/ / \\
4/ \
// \\ //
4/ s\
\
* \ X

O O Q
Figure 4.12: Patterned hierarchy with the same structure.

In Figure 4.13 the structure changes as well as the positions of the elements.

201
6 *
o
/ %
1

o 6 0
Figure 4.13: Patterned hierarchy with repeating structure pattern.

These two examples illustrate only two of the many possible complex hierarchies that
may be created and represented by this notation.

4.4.3 Floating Hierarchies


Floating hierarchies are not embedded in the form/content object but are deter-
mined in performance by the audience and/or presenters. In the following examples, con-
trol relationships are non-existent or at least, not apparent to the spectator, while the in-
tensities of the component arts are assumed to be relatively equal. Some of the examples
of fixed structures shown above exhibit characteristics of floating structures; however,
they have a single information structure, while floating hierarchies generally have multi-
ple ones.
In Figure 4.14, the two examples on the top row may be called semi-floating, be-
cause they rely on a single information structure; the three below are fully-floating, in that
each art form has an independent information structure. The examples in the lower row
are applicable to many Cage/Cunningham collaborations, in which each collaborator cre-
ates material independently from the other.

/ \ / i \

e #
Figure 4.14 (cont.)

202
la lb la lb la lb
I I < , !
: i i i *< i
I I 1 I i s "N i

Figure 4.14: Floating hierarchy models.

Because media may be combined in an unlimited number of ways, hierarchy


models can become quite complicated. For example, it is possible that one information
structure determines another; or that information structures control not individual arts but
groups of arts; or that fixed and floating relationships may be combined in a single work.
In Figure 4.15, the first example represents two non-controlling arts having individual
information structures and different intensity levels. The second illustrates a work with
three information structures and three media, two of which are of similar intensity, with
the third having a lower intensity. Finally, in the third example can be seen a complex
collection of control and intensity relationships among the three component arts and two
information structures.

la lb la Ic lb II 12
r ; ' ,--'-''
i j i j 1 I \,' '

Q \ ^ ] II fj^V *Q
O
Figure 4.15: Complex floating hierarchy models.

4.5 Hierarchy Examples


Chapter 4 examples feature various hierarchy structures, scales, and classes in
various domains. We begin with two examples of floating hierarchies, Cage's HPSCHD
and Brtin's Floating Hierarchies. Next, hierarchy in the composition process is examined
through three examples: Parade, Appalachian Spring, and Enigmatic Game. Finally, hi-
erarchy and the information structure in Mike Figgis' Time Code is examined.

203
4.5.1 Two Examples of Floating Hierarchies: John Cage and Lejaren Hiller,
HPSCHD and Herbert Briin, Floating Hierarchies
John Cage and Lejaren Hiller, HPSCHD
In HPSCHD John Cage went to great lengths to insure that no hierarchy would be
imposed and that all component media would be presented at relatively equal intensities.
He sought to make HPSCHD an anarchic universe in which each spectator would con-
struct relationships among the materials presented and thus create an individual hierar-
chy. His success is undeniable. Far from a thoughtless juxtaposition of materials,
HPSCHD assembles components, each carefully composed using chance procedures, that
together produce a largely indeterminate experience for the audience, ensuring that each
spectator's experience will be different.
Figure 4.16, which represents the hierarchy relationships in HPSCHD, includes an
additional level of detail: the "M's" represent the compositional methodologies used to
produce each of the component media. Though the methodologies share certain charac-
teristics, subtle differences accommodate the distinct features of each art form. The indi-
vidual arts are related to each other only through their relationships to the similarities in
methodology. This model applies to the totality of the work, and it indicates that over the
total duration of the work (diachronically), intensities are essentially equal; from moment
to moment (synchronically) and from place to place (locally), of course, the actual inten-
sitiesand for each spectatorare likely to differ.

i + i i #
o o
Figure 4.16: Hierarchy model for HPSCHD.

In interviews Cage twice confirmed his intentions for HPSCHD.

204
There will be fifty-one [rightly 52] tapes, and there will be the seven solos
for live harpsichord. They '11 probably all be amplified to be equal volume
with the tapes. In effect, there will be a maximum of fifty-eight [rightly 59]
channels. The piece could be expressed by a performance of one to seven
live harpsichords and one to fifty-one [rightly 52] tapes, according to how
large a performance one wishes to give.

I read a criticism of my work recently in which the writer said my music


was extremely interesting as sound, but it was unfortunate that it didn 't
have any substance. I wondered what he would have meant by substance,
then I realized he meant the relationship of the sounds. I have carefully
weeded out relationships through the use of chance operations, and what
the writer was lamenting was the fact that I had succeeded.12

The "substance" referred to by the second writer above, and which is supposedly lacking
in Cage's work, is a fixed hierarchy created by the composer and embedded in the work.
But Cage sought a "purposeful purposelessness,"73 which is successfully created in
HPSCHD. Each spectator is free to focus on one or another component, or a subset of
that component, either audio or visual, and to construct a personal hierarchy among the
components of the work. Or the spectator may choose not to focus on any specific com-
ponents or events, allowing the whole to maintain an equilibrium. In either case, by care-
fully selecting materials and methodologies and presenting the results at an equal and
constant intensity, the composer's ego, bias, and preferences are removed from the work,
and authority is given to the spectator.

Herbert Brun, Floating Hierarchies


In HPSCHD Cage composed a large number of individual components, the mean-
ing of each of which, taken individually, is fixed. The combination of these components
in presentationin a particular time/space matrixproduces a non-hierarchical indeter-
minate work. Herbert Brim's Floating Hierarchies takes another approach to the produc-
tion of a work with a floating hierarchy. The score of Floating Hierarchies is a set of

205
graphics which in themselves neither create nor represent control or intensity hierarchies,
either individually or in combination: literal meaning is not fixed in the graphics. The in-
structions describe the process by which the score is prepared and presented: by an en-
semble of "Composing INterpreting performERS" or "coiners"; in this process "each
member of the ensemble is top or center, ... of one movement."74 Thus, Briin continues,
this arrangement produces "a temporary, therefore acceptable hierarchical structure."75
The "coiners" are invited to "compose (NOT improvise!!!) a performance for which each
ensemble member in turn composed all conditions and events."76
As a group, the ensemble members decide which one of the included graphics will
be used as the score and in which order movements will be performed. Individually, each
ensemble member converts the graphic score "into a code, which reflects the variety of
the figures and, at the same time, the families of similar shapes. The resultant code is to
serve as a kind of "dictionary," where this coiner associates the variety, the quantity, the
size, the features of the visual events with sequences of musical events."77 Each coiner
"begins to compose and notate" a musical score and parts; this comprises one of the total
number of movements in this particular realization. Additionally, each coiner is responsi-
ble for leading the rehearsal and performance of his particular "movement." Figure 4.17
depicts one possible realization of Floating Hierarchies.

la lb Ic
!
I
I I

/ \ /* '\ / "\

6 o 6 o 6 o
Figure 4.17: Possible hierarchy model for Floating Hierarchies.

Inside the back cover of the score, Brim indicates how the program note should be
printed in order to describe the relationships among the performers and score. With this
information in hand, spectators witnessing a performance of Floating Hierarchies,
whether familiar or not with Briin's score and graphicswill be made aware of the hier-
archy relationships and of which instrument or interpreter is "directing" each movement.

206
In this sense, however, the performance is not "floating" but merely a single realization
of a fixed structure that consists of a hierarchy chain created by the performer/interpreters
rather than the composer. Subsequent performances of a particular realization/production
of Floating Hierarchies will be characterized by the same set of hierarchy relationships
as the first.
Brtin naturally assumes and indeed specifies that the performance of the "direct-
ing" coiner will dominate in terms of both control and intensity. The desire in Floating
Hierarchies is not to create a structure in which the spectator is free to determine compo-
nent relationships, but one in which the performer or "coiner" exercises the control and
responsibility that would normally reside with the composer. In this sense Brtin has cre-
ated a certain "purposeful purposefulness" for the performer. For the spectator, however,
the result is the same as if the composer wrote every note explicitly. To the performer,
Floating Hierarchies presents an explicit control hierarchy (and a somewhat less explicit
intensity hierarchy) masquerading as an open, indeterminate score; to the spectator who
observes a single presentation of Floating Hierarchies, it presents itself as a work with
explicit control and intensity hierarchies similar to traditionally notated works. Only the
presentation of several different realizations of Floating Hierarchies can, perhaps, con-
vey the idea of "floating" or indeterminate hierarchies.

Where every member of a self-described community in turn occupies for


some limited time the top or center or fulcrum of that community's struc-
ture, there a floating hierarchy can prevail.

4.5.2 Hierarchy in the Compositional Domain: Ballets Russes, Parade; Christo-


pher Preissing, Enigmatic Game; Aaron Copland and Martha Graham, Ap-
palachian Spring
Ballets Russes, Parade
Although Parade does not evoke the same visceral audience response as it did
nearly 100 years ago, it is widely accepted as an innovative work, in which the collabora-
tors worked together, more or less equally, preserving the independence of their own art
forms. The background of Parade has been discussed previously, in Chapters 2 and 3. A

207
single, loose, information structure unites the work. From this structure each of the col-
laborators "hangs" their contribution. The relative intensities of the visual and aural com-
ponents are balanced over the duration of the work. Because the components are pre-
sented sequentially and occupy a very clear artistic "space," the artists are less dependent
on each other than on their relationship to the information structure. Consequently, the
components sometimes appear unrelated to each other and often seem to be arbitrarily
occupying the same time and place. The audience may consider the components sepa-
rately or in combination, in either case constructing a personal hierarchy.
Figure 4.18 illustrates the control hierarchy among the four collaborators and five
arts. In this diagram I is the overall idea of the circus sideshow; A represents the scenario
created by Cocteau; B, the visual contributions by Picasso (costumes, set, and curtain); C,
the visual/dance contribution of Masssine; D, the musical score by Satie; and E, the noise
score by Cocteau. Control relationships are indicated by the dotted arrows. The visual
and audio components are separated, with neither exerting much influence over the other.

I .^
l
,.-'' / \ ^
*-'''''' ''l'--r III * 1 \ ^^-^

Figure 4.18: Hierarchy model for Parade.

Over the total duration and entire performance space, the intensities of the com-
ponents are relatively equal. From moment to moment these intensities change, some-
times dramatically: with the entrance of the New York and Paris Managers, Picasso's vis-
ual costumes have a greater intensity than other visual components; and with the sounds
of the sirens and typewriter, Cocteau's "noise" contribution has the greater intensity than
Satie's score. Figure 4.19 illustrates the individual components and their relationships to
each other at the introduction of the New York Manager. Ai and A2 represent the
"interior" and "exterior" aspects of Cocteau's scenario; B1-B3 represent Picasso's curtain,
set and costumes; Ci represents the choreography for the Managers and the three actors

208
actors by Massine; and D and E represent the audio contributions of Satie and Cocteau.
At this moment, the spectacle of the managers and the "noise" dominates the structure.

9 ^n

tl|
Figure 4.19: Hierarchy at the entrance of the New York Manager.

In addition to conventional measures of intensity (volume, size) and to the


changes created by the introduction or activities of different performers, hierarchy in Pa-
rade is determined by stylistic differences. As an aural component, Satie's score seems to
provide a constant, general wash of generally familiar sound against which Cocteau's
percussion "noises" and even the visual components stand out. Among visual compo-
nents, Picasso's costumes and set are stylistically striking, literally dwarfing the purpose-
fully minimalist and mundane appearance and choreography of the American Girl and the
other performing acts. Certainly the presentation of Picasso's curtain by itself, with its
own "theme" music, gives it the elevated status usually reserved for a star performer. The
"horse," on the other hand, seems to suffer without music and comes off partly as an af-
terthought or as one bad joke too many.

Christopher Preissing, Enigmatic Game


Enigmatic Game is an experiment with using a highly controlled compositional
methodology to create a floating structure that in performance would force the audience
to make individual viewing choices and create an individual hierarchy. Figure 4.20 de-
scribes the creative process and control relationships among the three collaborators. In
this diagram the gray A, B, and C refer to the three collaborators; Px, to information struc-
tures corresponding to individual poems by Christian Morgenstern, selected by the col-
laborators; and the colored Ax, Bx, Cx to contributions by each of the respective collabo-
rators. Each of the collaborators created two solos for his own art form, directed two col-
laborations, and was directed in two collaborations. Thus, while each artist selected four
poems, each participated in the creation of six poem settings.

209
UK
f I \ \

i l l ! I I I I I I I !
I I I I I I I I I I I !
1 1 1 1 I I I 1 1 1 1 1

g 5 0 /^v^x

Figure 4.20: Hierarchy model for Enigmatic Game.

In presentation intensity relationships were determined in part by the location of


individual poem settings on the main and two side stages and the physical location and
relationship of each spectator to the surrounding stages. Although each individual setting
was independently created by one or two of the three collaborators, in presentation they
overlapped in time and place, impinging and spilling onto each other. See page 69 for a
plot of the twelve poems in time and space; in Figure 4.21, the poems are arranged in a
hierarchy based on their locations on either the center or side stages. For most of the
audience, due to the fixed seating in a theatre of this type, the center or main stage has the
greatest prominence.
Main Stage

Left Stage
HI HI Right Stage


Figure 4.21: Location of the twelve settings in Enigmatic Game.

210
Aaron Copland and Martha Graham, Appalachian Spring
When music audiences think of Appalachian Spring they usually think first of the
orchestral work by Copland and only after that of the modern dance by Martha Graham.
This is a testament both to the universality and strength of Copland's score and to the in-
dependence and equality of the two components of Appalachian Spring. Although it can
be argued that the dance and music are highly fused, eachparticularly the musical
scoreconveys a complete, though not identical, information structure. Music and move-
ment are indeed mutually supportive, but they also depart from and complement each
other. In part this may be attributable to the artists' maturity and recognition of their own
personal limitations and expertise. Although Martha Graham took the lead in developing
the script, she did not dictate specifics of the scenario, movement or music.

Whereas Ruth Page, Eugene Loring, and Agnes de Mille had similarly
provided Copland with a rigorous outline, Graham's scripts, while more
detailed in terms of mood and character analysis, rarely specified precise
action and only hesitantly suggested music of one sort or another.80

Howard Pollack describes the genesis of Appalachian Spring in his biography of


Aaron Copland. In 1942 Graham sent Copland an initial script, entitled "Daughter of
Colchis"; Copland rejected this and instead "proposed something like a cross between it
and Our Town. "81 Graham responded with a second script, "House of Victory," sent in
May 1943. This script Copland "generally liked, though he suggested various revi-
sions."82 From a revised version of this script, received in the summer of 1943, and two
further drafts, Copland constructed "a kind of composite scenario of his own."83 Thus,
although Copland exerted something like a veto over certain versions, it was Graham
who was responsible for the creation of the original script. Yet it was Graham, not Cop-
land, who often strayed from the script, moving and rearranging scenes after Copland's
score was finalized. On more than one occasion this resulted in music accompanying
movement that differed substantially from Copland's expectations; thus, for instance, the
music originally intended for the runaway Fugitive was eventually used for a hellfire
sermon by the Revivalist.

211
It is apparent that both Graham and Copland conducted their own research for
Appalachian Spring and that they did not always agree.85 The result is that the music and
choreography each contribute different information to the work's structure. Although
Copland finished the score for Appalachian Spring following the original scripts, while
Graham was still revising the work's choreography and concept, ultimate control of the
final structure and composition of the dance lay with Graham. In the days before the
premiere Copland "was surprised to find 'that music composed for one kind of action had
been used to accompany something else. ... But that kind of decision is the choreogra-
pher's, and it doesn't bother me a bit, especially when it works.'"86 Copland later wrote,
"What Martha did was often in direct contrast to what the music was doingwith the
result that a special and interesting atmosphere was createda kind of counterpoint be-
tween music and dance."
Figure 4.22 illustrates this creative process. Letter A represents the dance or
movement component of the work; B, the music component; and C, supporting compo-
nents of the theatre such as lighting and costumes. It is evident from the diagram that al-
though Appalachian Spring is derived from a single idea, and Copland and Graham
worked together to develop the information structure, the result is two related but differ-
ent information structures. Further, this diagram indicates that the musical score B grows
directly from Copland's information structure IB. The music score was finalized before
the movement and thus influenced movement A, which in turn reshaped the movement
information structure IA.

IA I & I B

T T

O
Figure 4.22: Hierarchy model for Appalachian Spring.

212
4.5.3 Hierarchy and the Information Structure: Mike Figgis, Time Code
As a final example it is useful to return to Mike Figgis' film Time Code. In this
film, Figgis juxtaposes four film shots in frames of equal size (Figure 4.23); visually,
then, each of the shots is equally important. With the addition of the sound track, in
which the levels change in order to reveal important dialogue, a hierarchy is imposed on
the four shots, the spectator is "guided" through the film, and a story is told. Time Code is
an experiment in intensity, in which one component is held constant while the other is
allowed to change. However, the theatrical release is only one possible version or realiza-
tion of the hierarchy and of the work. Indeed, in 2002, as if to demonstrate these possi-
bilities, Figgis "performed" the audio components of Time Code in real time, adjusting
levels differently and creating a different chain of hierarchies in each performance.

Figure 4.23: Arrangement of individual frames in Time Code.

Figure 4.24 contains two hierarchy diagrams that demonstrate how this works. In-
tensity among the visual componentswithout audioremains equal across all frames,
unless one arbitrarily assigns greater importance to one frame over another. The four
sound tracks making up the audio component of Time Code are arranged in a hierarchy
chain in which first one then another audio track has a great intensity. (The sound effects
tracks have been purposefully omitted in this example.) While this essential structure
does not change during the film, the content and storyline are eventually consolidated in a
single frame: as the film reaches its conclusion, one by one three of the frames drop
away, leaving only one through which the credits roll.

213
Visual Component Audio Component

111

@

*

t
Q @
Figure 4.24: Visual and audio hierarchy models in Time Code.

4.6 Summary
Hierarchy as a fixed object or structure may be the result of a controlling process
or methodology. Thus hierarchy represents not only that fixed set of relationships among
art forms but also the means by which that structure is created. Hierarchy, then, repre-
sents both the fixed, identifiable result of an ordering process and that process itself,
which is based on authority, dominance, and control, as well as human relationships and
dynamics. Hierarchy may be observed by a spectator who tracks levels of control and
intensity both individually and in combination. Hierarchy may be observed or analyzed
synchronically (in time) and locally (in space) or diachronically (in time) or globally (in
space). These several analyses may not necessarily be congruent, and hence limitations

214
on time and space are necessary to make a meaningful overall analysis of hierarchy rela-
tionships.

1
Antonin Artaud, The Theater and Its Double, trans. Mary Caroline Richards
(New York: Grove Press, 1958), 90-91.
2
Richard Wagner, Opera and Drama, trans. Edwin Evans (London: Wm. Reeves,
n.d.),601.
3
Adolphe Appia, from Music and the Art of the Theatre in Richard C. Beacham,
Adolphe Appia: Artist and Visionary of the Modern Theatre. Contemporary Theatre Stud-
ies, volume 6. (Chur, Switzerland: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1994), 46.
4
Ibid., 48.
5
Ibid., 46.
6
Ibid., 45, emphasis Appia.
7
Ibid., 46, emphasis Appia.
8
Adolphe Appia, Music and the Art of the Theatre, ed. Barnard Hewitt, trans.
Robert W. Corrigan and Mary Douglas Dirks (Coral Gables, FL: University of Miami
Press, 1962), 21.
9
Appia, in Beacham, 45.
10
Ibid., 46.
11
Appia, Music and the Art of the Theatre, 26, emphasis Appia.
12
Ibid., 27.
13
Artaud, Double, 37.
14
Ibid., 38.
15
Ibid., 12.
16
Ibid., 69.
17
John Cage and Joan Retallack, Musicage: Cage Muses on Words, Art, Music
(Hanover, NH: University Press of New England / Wesleyan University Press, 1996),
xxix.
18
Herbert Brim, Floating Hierarchies for a Quartet of Coiners (Composing Inter-
preting performers), Set Two, 1984/1996 (Baltimore, MD: Smith Publications, 1996),
introduction.
19
A genre may be defined by a range of acceptable practices. These are not mutu-
ally exclusive of practices in other genres nor do they create absolute boundaries, being
subject to the fluctuations of historical and environmental context.
20
Roy C. Strong, Splendor at Court: Renaissance Spectacle and the Theater of
Power (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1973), 73.
21
In addition to the music composed for these festivals, painting and architecture
was commissioned, and they were memorialized in extravagant commemorative books
and programs.
22
Strong, 73.
23
Wassily Kandinsky, "On Stage Composition," in Kandinsky: Complete Writings
on Art, 1st Da Capo Press Edition, eds. Kenneth C. Lindsay and Peter Vergo (New York:
Da Capo Press, 1994), 259.

215
24
Wassily Kandinsky, "On the Spiritual in Art," in Kandinsky: Complete Writings
on Art, 1st Da Capo Press Edition, eds. Kenneth C. Lindsay and Peter Vergo (New York:
Da Capo Press, 1994), 206.
25
Kandinsky, "On Stage Composition," 264.
26
Sergei Eisenstein, Film Form: Essays in Film Theory (San Diego: Harcourt
Brace Jovanovich, 1949), 20, emphasis Eisenstein.
27
Ibid., 21.
28
Sergei Eisenstein, The Film Sense, ed. and trans. Jay Leyda (San Diego: Har-
court Brace Jovanovich, 1947), 85.
29
Annabelle Henkin Melzer, Dada and Surrealist Performance, PAJ Books (Bal-
timore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994), 131.
30
Lynn Garafola, Diaghilev's Ballets Russes (New York: Oxford University
Press, 1989), 25.
31
Laszld Moholy-Nagy, 'Theater, Circus, Variety," in Oskar Schlemmer, Laszld
Moholy-Nagy, and Farkas Molnar, The Theatre of the Bauhaus, ed. Walter Gropius and
Arthur S. Wensinger, trans. Arthur S. Wensinger (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University
1961), 62.
32
Bertolt Brecht, "A Short Organum for the Theatre," Playwrights on Playwrit-
ing: The Meaning and Making of Modern Drama from Ibsen to Ionesco, ed. Toby Cole
(New York: Hill and Wang, 1960), 102.
33
Ibid., 104.
34
Richard Schechner, Environmental Theater, New, Expanded ed. (New York:
Applause, 1994),xxiv-xxv.
35
Ibid., xx vi.
36
Ibid., xxxvii, emphasis Schechner.
37
Ibid., xl.
38
Ibid.
39
Ibid.
^Ibid.^li.
41
Christopher Schiff, "Banging on the Windowpane: Sound in Early Surrealism,"
in Wireless Imagination: Sound, Radio, and the Avant-Garde, eds. Douglas Kahn and
Gregory Whitehead (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1992), 166.
42
Ibid., 167.
43
Ibid., 167-168.
44
Retallack, Musicage, xxix.
45
In previous centuries this process was significantly more successful both be-
cause the creators worked within a set of accepted restrictions or conventions and be-
cause audiences for whom the works were created shared similar backgrounds, education,
bias, etc.
46
John Cage, Silence: Lectures and Writings (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan Uni-
versity Press, 1961), 6.
47
It is necessary to distinguish between information structure and intention or
bias. While there may be only one information structure in a composition, each collabo-
rator may have a different bias or interpretation of that information structure and, conse-

216
quently, a different methodology for encoding that information structure into the
form/content object.
48
Umberto Eco, The Role of the Reader: Explorations in the Semiotics of Texts
(Bloomington, IN, Indiana University Press, 1984), 8.
49
This is particularly true in cases in which the art work is delivered by mechani-
cal means as in works containing electronic media or computer controlled art forms.
50
Eco, 48-49.
51
Although we have spoken of the closed, combined art work as being "com-
plete" without an audience, the form/content object cannot be described outside of the
creator-observer dichotomy. Both the creator and observer ascribe meaning to and take
meaning from the form/content object, whether the observer is a typical audience mem-
ber or a theoretician approaching the work as a score or set of directions. Information
moves from the creators into the delivery medium or form/content object to the observer.
52
New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, ed. Lesley Brown (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1993), 1231.
53
Sergei Eisenstein describes "polyphonic montage" in The Film Sense as the
"simultaneous advance of a multiple series of lines, each maintaining an independent
compositional course and each contributing to the total compositional course of the se-
quence." Eisenstein, Film Sense, 75, emphasis Eisenstein.
54
Allan Kaprow, Assemblages, Environments, and Happenings (New York,
Abrams, 1966), 190,191, emphasis Kaprow.
55
Eco, 49.
56
According to C. G. Jung "synchronicity takes the coincidence of events in space
and time as meaning something more than mere chance, namely, a peculiar interdepend-
ence of objective events among themselves as well as with the subjective (psychic) states
of the observer or observers." C. G. Jung, The I Ching or Book of Changes, trans. Richard
Wilhelm and Cary F. Baynes (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1967), forward,
xxiv.
57
Schechner, Environmental Theater, xlix.
58
In The Total Theatre, advocated by Maholy-Nagy, all aspects would be mecha-
nized and controlled; "integrat[ing] a sequence of human movements and thoughts on an
equal footing with the controlled, 'absolute' elements of sound, light (color), form, and
motion." Moholy-Nagy, "Theater, Circus, Variety," 62.
59
Shorter Oxford, 1389.
60
Juan Roederer, Introduction to the Physics and Psychophysics of Music, 2nd ed.
(New York: Springer-Verlag, 1979),73.
61
Harry F. Olson, Music, Physics and Engineering, 2nd ed. (New York: Dover
Publications, 1967), 253. A more detailed analysis of the relationships among musical
parameters is beyond the scope of the present study. The interested reader may wish to
read Juan G. Roederer's Introduction to the Physics and Psychophysics of Music for fur-
ther information.
62
Although specified in a set of instructions, measurements of lighting intensity,
for example, will probably differ between a work presented in a New York loft and the
same work presented at a suburban dinner theater. On the other hand, external factors

217
"composed" into Cage's Imaginary Landscape No. 4 for twelve radio receivers and
twenty-four performers are intended to yield different results for each performance.
63
William Brooks addressed this issue with the following observation: "Does in-
tensity refer to the medium which appears to be the most prominentwhich is reception
theoryor to the medium which carries the informationwhich is either compositional
theory or some sort of high order analysis which attempts to replicate the compositional
method? Can these two be separated? Yes it seems to me they have to be; and sometimes
they're going to be the same (and we often stipulate that the composer, creators want
them to be the same), but sometimes the composer or creators don't care, or sometimes
they want them to be different. Brecht wants to create a theatre of alienationa situation
in which he specifically is trying to push the reception of the work in a direction that is
different from what seems to be the intention. A very pathetic tale is going on and be-
cause of delivery and a whole bunch of other things he undercuts the pathos. He's not
concerned with empathy or catharsis. He's trying to induce critical thinking." William
Brooks, recorded conversation, October 28, 2002
64
An open structure or set of relationships among art formsone in which all
arts-forms are completely independent from one anotheris not the only alternative to
the fixed-closed structure. There is a wide, infinite range of possibilities between the two
extremes. Kandinsky writes about the range of possibilities available to the creative artist
as a "series of possibilities that lie between collaboration and opposition." Kandinsky,
"On Stage Composition," 259.
55
Eisenstein, Film Sense, 85.
66
Kandinsky, "Content and Form," 88.
67
There is a foreground-background relationship for hearing which is not dissimi-
lar from peripheral vision.
68
The position of the spectator and the relationships between spectators and art
forms are taken up in more detail in Chapter 3: Location (Time and Space).
69
In our previous discussion, Location and the Information Structure, it was dem-
onstrated that the delivery of information could be transferred from one art form to an-
other over the course of the combined work. Eisenstein compares the distribution of the
them in Japanese Kubuki theater as follows: 'The first association that occurs to one in
experiencing kabuki is soccer, the most collective, ensemble sport. Voice, clappers,
mimic movement, the narrator's shouts, the folding screens all are so many backs, half-
backs, goal-keepers, forwards, passing to each other the dramatic ball and driving to-
wards the goal of the dazed spectator." Sergei Eisenstein, Film Form: Essays in Film
Theory (San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1949), 21.
70
Frangois Girard, Niv Fichman, Don McKellar, and Colm Feore, Thirty Two
Short Films about Glenn Gould (Culver City, CA: Columbia Tristar Home Video, 2000).
71
Richard Kostelanetz, Conversing with Cage (New York: Limelight Editions,
1988), 76. Please see endnote 42 of Chapter 2 for detailed information concerning the
error in the number of tapes listed on the score and subsequently reproduced in many
catalogs and sources.
72
Ibid., 78-79.

218
73
At the time that Cage likely first used the construction "purposeful purposeless-
ness" he was studying the work of the Chinese Zen master Huang Po. Probably the first
printed occurrence of the phrase appeared in Silence in 1957. The complete text follows:
"And what is the purpose of writing music? One is, of course, not dealing with purposes
but dealing with sounds. Or the answer must take the form of paradox: a purposeful pur-
poselessness or a purposeless play. This play, however, is an affirmation of lifenot an
attempt to bring order out of chaos nor to suggest improvements in creation, but simply a
way of waking up to the very life we're living, which is so excellent once one gets one's
mind and one's desires out of its way and lets it act of its own accord." Cage, Silence, 12.
74
Herbert Briin, Floating Hierarchies for a Quartet of Coiners (Composing Inter-
preting performers), Set Two, 1984/1996 (Baltimore, MD: Smith Publications, 1996),
performance note.
75
Ibid.
76
Ibid.
77
Ibid.
78
Ibid.
79
However, here is an example where historical context is imperative to the un-
derstanding of the work. At the time of Parade's premiere, it was unprecedented to pre-
sent a circus act on a theatrical stage. The "mundane" steps were shocking, and in that
sense the recognizable style could more plausibly compete with Picasso's designs.
80
Howard Pollack, Aaron Copland: The Life and Work of an Uncommon Man
(Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1999), 393.
81
Ibid., 391.
82
Ibid.
83
Ibid., 393.
84
Ibid., 403.
85
Ibid., 400.
86
Aaron Copland, as quoted in Pollack, 393.
87
Copland, as quoted in Pollack, 393.

219
CHAPTER 5
FUSION

Sight and hearing mutually complete, support, and illustrate one another,
if the directing hand of the artist is able to hold them apart successfully,
and to unite them.l

5.1 Overview
In The Essence of Music and Other Papers, Busoni discusses the dichotomy be-
tween sight and hearing and the artist's responsibility when combining them, specifically
in opera, the combined art work of the time. Busoni explores the topic further in the essay
"The Oneness of Music and the Possibilities of the Opera," asserting that opera appeals
both to the eye and to the ear: "[t]he outward incidents appeal to our eyes and the inner
ones to our ears."2 "Music," he says, "finds in the opera primarily the creative space for
its own expansion, but it will not portray outward incidents and visible occurrences."3 For
Busoni sight and sound have separate and independent roles, even as they contribute to
unity in the opera. Each element conveys different ideas and information in distinct ways
to different senses. It is the responsibility of the artist to recognize their equal, yet unique
roles, "to hold them apart successfully"i.e., to preserve their independenceand yet
"to unite them." One could say that Busoni is advocating a non-hierarchical relationship
among media, a unification of equals.
Wagner's Ring cycle, in which unity is achieved through the fusion of music and
drama into an "organic continuity," had been completed a half century before Busoni
wrote The Essence of Music. Wagner's theoretical text, Oper und Drama, in which he
laid out the principles on which the gesamtkunstwerk are based, had been written nearly
seventy-five years before Busoni's essays. Clearly Busoni was intimately familiar with
Wagner's theories; in the quotation that heads this chapter, he appears to paraphrase
Wagner's description of the relationship of the individual musical numbers of the classi-
cal opera to each other and to the whole.

220
[Drama] consists, according to form and contents, of a chain of such or-
ganized members. These mutually complete and support one another of
necessity, in the same way as do the organic members of the human body.4

In his treatise, Busoni incorporates the first part of Wagner's assertion into the
statement that "sight and hearing mutually complete, support, and illustrate one another."
However he continues with a clause indicating that completion and mutual support results
not from the art forms or the "organized members" themselvesas among the "organic
members of the human body"but from the "directing hand of the artist" who, if suc-
cessful, is able "to hold them apart..., and to unite them." For Busoni, the successful
work is one in which component art forms contribute independently to the combined
work; for Wagner, the opposite seems to hold true: the combined work is unified by the
content within each of the components.
That music, text, and mise-en-scene are highly fused in the late Wagnerian dramas
is unquestionable: all component media in the gesamtkunstwerk share a single, common
goal. Just as the corporeal elements of the body work together to move life forward, the
component elements of the opera work together to move the drama forward. Purpose (ex-
pression) and components (materials) are locked in an unbreakable, symbiotic relation-
ship; ultimately all become a single thing.

The material has consequently to be always present in the expression;


whilst the expression has to be one always presenting the material, ac-
cording to its extent.

To achieve unity, then, all the elements that constitute operaincluding music
must subjugate themselves and their own inner desires or essence to a central, externally
imposed idea: the drama, which moves forward most fundamentally through the actors'
presentation of a narrative structure, articulated with "verse-melody" and "dramatic ges-
ture." Though each component media is a vital part of the totality, all support the drama;
the orchestra, for instance, "is confined to its being the harmonic bearer of the verse-
melody."6

221
In the complete expression of all communications of the actor, whether to
eye or ear, the orchestra accordingly takes a sustained part, ever avail-
able as supportive and explanatory.

Busoni, in contrast, proposes a very different approach to combining art forms to


create an opera.8 In the introduction to Doktor Faust, originally published with the essay
"The Oneness of Music and the Possibilities of the Opera," Busoni emphasizes the inde-
pendence of music from the text and the dramatic situation.

The principal thingfor me to do was to mould musically independent


forms which at the same time suited the words and the scenic events and
which also had a separate and sensible existence detached from the words
and the situation.9

Music, and by extension, opera's other component art forms, "complete, support and il-
lustrate one another" only if they are treated independently, if they have a "separate and
sensible existence detached from the words and the situation." Hence the constituent
elements, and by extension the creative artists, have very different roles and responsibili-
ties than in Wagner's gesamptkunstwerk. Instead of being fused and subordinated to a
single goal, Busoni's art forms are to contribute individually and independently at all
stages of the composition of the combined work. Yet as a composer, Busoni still tends to
privilege the place of music.

It is, with the opera, a question of "a musical work of the combined arts "
as against the Bayreuth conception of it as "a work of the combined arts. "10

In advocating for "musical" forms, rather than subordinating all to visual or textual ele-
ments, Busoni inadvertently opens the door to a wide range of possibilities. For by exten-
sion, each collaborating artist may compose for each art form independently. Separation
would thus be preserved; only later would the arts be combined in the larger composition,
each contributing in its own intrinsic way.11

222
Wagner's gesamtkunstwerk and Busoni's "directing hand," then, represent con-
trasting positions with regard to fusion of art forms in combined art works. In the remain-
der of this chapter we will first proceed from this dichotomy to a definition of fusion and
an examination of the factors that contribute to the determination of fusion. We will in-
troduce techniques, forms and terms used by composers and other artists to create and
describe their work. After that we will propose a shorthand notation for the representation
of fusion among art forms; and this will be used in the analysis of several works. To
make the discussion manageable, we will assume a degree of familiarity with Wagner's
theories and music and will not review the extensive literature on Wagner. Instead, we
will begin our discussion historically at the beginning of the twentieth century referring
to Wagner only when necessary to illustrate specific points.
Wagner's musical achievements and his theories concerning the combination of
art forms influenced and inspired nearly all composers, writers and visual artists from the
late nineteenth century through the twentieth century and continue to do so today. As we
shall see, notions of fusion and the subsequent reactions to the "total art work" inspired
creativity throughout the sirts and resulted in an overwhelming quantity and range of art
theories, art movements, and art works that are relevant for our discussion. In the follow-
ing pages, we will examine many of these, but we will of necessity have to limit our dis-
cussion to a handful of salient examples and omit a large quantity of materials that might
otherwise be included. It is left to the interested reader to apply the ideas introduced in
this paper to additional works.

5.2 Fusion Definitions and Usage


In this section we will offer a general definition of fusion and then apply that
definition to the combination of art forms. As we shall see, fusion is not an absolute term,
and part of our task will be to identify various degrees of fusion between media and to
review the wide range of possibilities that exists between Busoni's and Wagner's ap-
proaches to combing media. After reviewing the degrees and types of fusion possible
among component media, we will identify several classes of factors that contribute to the
creation and observation of fusion and then apply the time and space techniques used in
previous chapters to clarify their characteristics.

223
Towards a Definition of Fusion
According to the dictionary, fusion is "the union, blending, or bonding together as
one whole of different things (as) by melting."12 Techniques for achieving fusion are usu-
ally specific to the elements that are being fused; but the part of this definition that ap-
plies directly to combined art works is the phrase "as one whole." In other words, fused
art works (or fused components) are the result of a process or processescompositional
or otherwisethat requires the resultant object to be regarded as a single whole, rather
than a combination of discrete elements. By adopting some of the previously introduced
terminology to creative activity, we arrive at the following working definition of fusion:

Fusion is the result of a compositional process or procedure in which two


or more separate art forms are combined in a shared time and/or space in
order to produce a different, inseparable entity.

The "inseparable entity" may be the total combined art work, or it may be a part of it; that
is, it is possible for some, but not all, art forms in the combined work to be fused. Be-
cause the fused art works are inseparable, the combined work ceases to exist when one or
more fused components are removed from the whole.13 However, fusion can exist in
various degrees. For now we distinguish three basic fusion relationships, or degrees of
fusion, among component arts: indifference or non-fusion among elements: a complete or
high degree of fusion in which components are inseparable from the whole: or a degree
of fusion that falls somewhere between these two extremes, or that encompasses only
some of the total number of art forms in the combined work.
In the first case, two or more elements share the same time and/or space and con-
tinue to exist as individual, independent forms. The absence of fusion may be due to in-
trinsic differences between the media, or to social and cultural factors that shape the spec-
tator's observation of the totality. (An example of the latter would be the initial reactions
to futurist and dada performances in which disparate elements were juxtaposed with no
attempt to merge them. Such performances today would hardly raise an eyebrow and
cannot possibly be understood as they were in their original historical-cultural context.)
Fusion may also be excluded by compositional decisions made by the creative artists, so

224
that content, style, information structure, and/or hierarchy are deployed to preserve the
independence of the component art forms. We shall return to such factors shortly.
At the other extreme, in a highly fused work compositional processes are used to
combine component media into a work that is greater than, or at least different from, the
sum of its constituent parts. When one or more of the component media are omitted or
removed the result is fundamentally different from the combined work; the combined
work ceases to exist. In The Art of Assemblage William Seitz summarizes the relationship
of the component parts to the whole and notes a similarity to Gestalt psychology of the
late nineteenth century.

The term Gestalt... was the basis for a school of psychology, ... which as-
serts that a whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and that each ele-
ment in a given pattern is altered by its participation in a relational unity}4

In addition to being composed by the artists, fusion can occur unintentionally,


simply by placing components or events within a certain distance or proximity in time
and/or space. Sergei Eisenstein describes what occurs when two or more separate ele-
mentsin this case, film shotsare brought together or juxtaposed.

[TJhe juxtaposition of two separate shots by splicing them together re-


sembles not so much a simple sum of one shot plus another shotas it
does a creation. It resembles a creationrather than the sum of its parts
from the circumstance that in every such juxtaposition the result is qualita-
tively distinguishable from each component element viewed separately.

It is just this circumstance that Eisenstein seeks to exploit when combining separate film
shots to create a montage. In his words, the effect of this proximity is that u two film
pieces of any kind, placed together, inevitably combine into a new concept, a new quality,
arising out of thatjuxtaposition. " The mind automatically makes connections between
two unrelated objects when they are brought close enough together in time and/or space.

225
The phenomenon can be extended from film to include the combination of sepa-
rate "shots" or elements within any one single art form; it has parallels in literature
(Lewis Carroll and James Joyce), music (Charles Ives and musique concrete and electro-
acoustic music), and the cabaret performances of the Futurists and Dadists. Eisenstein
acknowledges this in The Film Sense where he writes:

This is not in the least a circumstance peculiar to the cinema, but is a phe-
nomenon invariably met with in all cases where we have to deal with jux-
taposition of two facts, two phenomena, two objects. We are accustomed
to make, almost automatically, a definite and obvious deductive generali-
17
zation when any separate objects are placed before us side by side.

To explicate this phenomenon it is useful to introduce another term, reactive,


which can help describe what happens when art forms are combined. Reactive or reaction
describes "a chemical process in which two or more substances act mutually on each
other and are changed into different substances."18 By analogy, then, a reactive combina-
tion of two or more media that "act mutually on each other" results in a work in which
the components are somehow "changed" into different "substances."19
Reactive combinations of art forms commonly result from the artists' intentional
exploitation of shared characteristics: analogous compositional methods, similar content
or style, or shared time or space. Component art forms may share a single information
structure, or they may be linked by certain external factors that shape the conditions un-
der which an audience views or observes the resulting art work.20 Regardless of tech-
nique, however, a reactive combination of individual art forms results in a work in which,
once combined, the component forms are taken to be inseparable. Because the combined
work is not equivalent to any one of the component media, and because the component
media may contribute in different ways to a single information structure, the removal of
one of the fused elements from the combined reactive work weakens the structure. And
because some of the information necessary for an understanding of the work is thereby
omitted, the result is something less than the combined work. A simple comparison of
film and opera will be sufficient to demonstrate this idea.

226
In general, film contains at least three components: visual images, the screenplay
or text, and a musical score, which may include sound effects but which does not include
the text. One may view the images with the dialogue and eliminate the music. Although
the experience may differ greatly from viewing the film with the music present, the pri-
mary information or narrative structure upon which the film is based in most cases re-
mains intact.21 The score, in this case, is an embellishing or supporting media that serves
to amplify the information that is conveyed by the visual element and the screenplay. The
result is, arguably, still a film; the narrative structure is carried by the visual and textual
elements, which exhibit a high degree of reactive fusion. Eliminating either the visual
element or the screenplay, however, is different. One may read the screenplay without the
visual element, or, in some cases, watch the visual element without the dialogue and still
understand the narrative structure. However, one is no longer viewing a combined art
workfilmbut simply reading a screenplay or watching action on a screen. Removing
either the visual element or the screenplay results in something less than what is under-
stood to be the medium of film.22
Traditional nineteenth-century proscenium opera also contains three basic com-
ponents: visual elements (including set, staging, lighting, costumes, etc.), the libretto or
text, and a musical score. In a live performance all three elements are present, and each
contributes to the overall effect. However, one might listen an audio recording of an op-
era; in this case the visual element is eliminated, just as sound might be eliminated from
film. Some of the operatic staging may be apparent or implied by locating sounds within
the stereo field, or from the text, but, for the most part, it has been removed. Because the
music and the libretto carry the majority of the information structure and exhibit a high
level of fusion the listener accepts the experience as opera. However, to eliminate either
music or textfor example, by reading the libretto (or even acting it out on stage) with-
out the musicfundamentally alters the information structure. A reader of the libretto
may still understand the plot, but what is left is not opera.
From this comparison one sees that a reactive combination of art forms results in
a fused component that is somehow greater than, or at least different from, the sum of its
parts. In the case of film, the screenplay and the visual element are reactively fused; in
the case of opera, the libretto and the music are reactively fused. In both cases, the third

227
elementmusic in the case of film, and staging in the case of operafunctions in a sup-
porting role. Removing one of the reactive elements destroys the combined form whether
or not the third element remains.
Wagner's gesamtkunstwerk, and works modeled after it, aspire to complete unity,
created through the reactive fusion of all component elements. In Busoni's concept the
component arts are held apart before combining them, resulting in a high degree of inde-
pendence among the elements with little or no fusion. But there is a very broad, third
category of fusion relationships encompassing the range of possibilities that lies between
these two extremes. Artists such as Sergei Eisenstein and Wasssily Kandinsky have rec-
ognized and embraced the creative potential that a more subtle use of media combination
offers to the artist who creates large-scale works. Kandinsky was particularly interested
in exploring alternative relationships among media in stage works. In On the Spiritual in
Art he observes:

Apart from the concordance of two, or eventually all three, elements of


stage composition, the following can also be utilized: discordance, the al-
ternation of the effects of individual elements, the exploitation of the com-
plete (and of course, external) independence of each of the separate ele-
ments, etc.23

And in the introduction to his stage composition Der gelbe Klang Kandinsky describes
the relationship between music and dance as "[a] series of combinations, which lie be-
tween the two poles: collaboration and opposition."24
It is the wide range of possibilities between these two extremes that is important.
In film, for instance, and particularly for Eisenstein, no longer does the synchronization
of sound and image imply a parallel or consonant relationship among component media;
the combination may also result in dissonance. In The Film Sense Eisenstein first de-
scribes the combination of visual images in montage and, later, combinations of visual
images and sound. In both cases a variety of correspondences among components is
available to the composer.

228
It is important to keep in mind that our conception of synchronization does
not presume consonance. In this conception full possibilities exist for the
play of both corresponding and non-corresponding "movements, " but in
either circumstance the relationship must be compositionally controlled.25

Although determining the degree of fusion among component art forms is highly
subjective, most observers would probably agree that there is a greater degree of fusion
between music and movement in Graham and Copland's Appalachian Spring than there
is in Cage and Cunningham's How to Pass, Kick, Fall and Run. During the creation of
Appalachian Spring, Graham made many revisions to the narrative, rearranging the
placement of music and using some music for different scenes than those for which it was
composed. However, Graham and Copland worked from a single information structure
and they agreed on a collaborative relationship in which the choreographer leads the
process, the composer giving up a certain degree of control. In contrast, in How to Pass,
Kick, Fall and Run Cunningham and Cage, whose "score" consisted of the reading of a
number of one minute stories, worked independently, the combined work sharing little
but a common performance location and time.26
In summary, when two or more art forms (or any other elements) are brought to-
gether in the same place and/or time, one of three things may occur: 1) the art forms have
little or no effect on each other and remain completely independent (the spectator sup-
plies his/her own, individual meaning); 2) the arts form a reactive combination in which
each is no longer apprehended by itself (the creators supply the meaning, which is em-
bedded in the combined work); or, 3) the art forms are no longer independent but can still
be individually distinguished (meaning comes from both the spectator and the creators.
These three cases are not mutually exclusive; and a single work, examined locally, may
from time to time exhibit characteristics of all three. There are an infinite number of de-
grees between absence of fusion (in which two art forms simply occupy the same time or
space) and full reactive fusion (in which art forms are no longer perceived as individual
entities).
How then do we determine fusion and assess the degree of fusion among two or
more art forms in a combined work? What specific conditions or parameters are useful

229
for the determination of fusion? Can we create or set limits to help examine these issues
in a more meaningful way? These questions will be addressed in the next few sections as
time and space are re-introduced and some specific factors affecting the degree of fusion
are considered.

5.3 Factors that Contribute to Fusion


In the following section general questions concerning fusion are discussed. These
topics include the effect of time and space and their measurement on fusion and the in-
troduction of three classes of factors that contribute to the determination of fusion. Af-
terwards a detailed examination of specific factors that contribute to the determination of
fusion is presented.

5.3.1 Analysis Techniques and Their Effect on Fusion


The calculated use of shared or contiguous time and/or space is one compositional
method to regulate fusion. Time-and-space-based analyses scrutinize measurable pa-
rameters in an attempt to examine fusion in large-scale combined art works. To under-
stand the relationships that exist among component elements, time-based analysis consid-
ers a subset (synchronic) of the total time (diachronic) in which the work occurs, while
space-based analysis considers a subset (local) of the total space (global).
Synchronic and diachronic analysis techniques were introduced in previous chap-
ters. These different approaches make it possible to distinguish between fusion as a "ver-
tical" aggregate of simultaneously or near simultaneously occurring events and fusion as
a "horizontal" accumulation of events over time. Vertical fusion, the degree of which is
determined in part by similarity of information or content, is best analyzed synchroni-
cally. Horizontal fusion, based on style, contiguity in time, the persistence of information
structure, and other factors, is best analyzed diachronically, with particular attention to
the cumulative effects of memory. Synchronic analysis necessarily entails the examina-
tion of narrow slices taken from the overall duration, while diachronic analysis considers
longer periods of time up to and including an entire movement or work.
The spectator, viewing the combined work one event at a time, applies synchronic
and diachronic analysis simultaneously. At the outset analysis can only done on material

230
presented at that moment; there is little or nothing accumulated to make a horizontal as-
sessment. As the work unfolds purely synchronic analysis becomes more difficult to per-
form, as does the ability to separate the media, because information accumulates in the
memory over the duration of the piece. At the beginning of a piece events and compo-
nents are more easily separated from each other; they may be examined individually and
then compared with other events or components. However, at a certain point in the piece,
the accumulation of events in memory enables the spectator to perform a diachronic
analysis based on what has transpired to that moment. As a result of this new, diachronic
analysis, the local analysis may be reassessed and events reinterpreted.
Spatial analyses operate similarly, with the distinction now being between local
and global relationships. A local analysis limits fusion to a single art form or a subset of
the component media situated in a single, narrow location relative to the total space.
Global analysis examines fusion among all component media or throughout the entire
performance space. Spatial analysis is probably less effective for works presented on a
traditional stage, where the narrow focus makes it difficult to isolate events, due in part to
the "spill" of one element onto another, as well as the stage itself separating viewer and
viewed. It is more useful in examining works like the environmental pieces of the 60s and
70s, in which the spectator is asked to "experience" the work by moving through the per-
formance space, and which may have compartmented structures that may be distributed
over locations separated by many miles. Space-based analysis is also quite effective when
important components of the work are technologies: film or slide projections, computer
webcasting, amplification, and staging techniques used in extremely large or alternative
performance venues.27
Compositionally, it begins to be evident that, despite Wagner's assertion that "the
material... [is] always present in the expression; whilst the expression ... [is] always pre-
senting the material, there are many alternatives for both combining and separating
elements on both the micro and macro levels within a large-scale stage work. Thus it is
possible to conceive of or encounter a work that exhibits a high degree of fusion
synchronically even as it exhibits a low degree of fusion diachronically, or a work that
exhibits a low degree of local fusion but a high degree of global fusion. And when both
analytical tools are used together, there might result a combined work that is diachroni-

231
cally fused but not fused locally, or globally fused but not fused synchronically. The fol-
lowing examples demonstrate some of the possible mixtures of synchronic/diachronic
and local/global fusion.
Consider first two media, the content of which consists of random events of ex-
tremely short duration. Using time-based analysis, on a granular or synchronic level,
these events appear to exhibit no relationship (or an alogical relationship at best) to each
other, their pitch, duration, etc. being determined by chance or stochastic methods.
Synchronically, then, these micro events and the two media are not fused. But taken over
a longer period of timethat is, diachronicallythese individual events become part of
larger "cloud" events. The clouds themselves are fused; and compositionally, within the
context of the larger work, the clouds exhibit relationships with each other. In other
words, on a synchronic level each grain has its own characteristics; and in the observation
of these, larger relationships are irrelevant or even counterproductive. On a diachronic
level, the individual, particle events are perceived as being fused, and their characteristics
have significance only as part of a larger event over a longer time. When the work is
taken as a whole, the multiple clouds may themselves be analyzed diachronically, so that
a degree of fusion characterizes the entire work. (In music, specifically, paradigmatic
works by Xenakis include Pithoprakta for 50 instruments and Eonta for piano, 2 trum-
pets, and 3 trombones.)
As a second example, consider a spatial analysis of John Cage's HPSCHD. In this
extremely large-scale multi-media work, component art forms are spread over a wide
area. Locally, the component media appear to be wildly divergent, including film and
slide projections, computer-generated sound sources, and harpsichords performing music
that is familiar even if not actually recognized. In addition, there are lighting, vendors and
the audience itself. Walking through the performance space, a spectator is initially con-
fronted by seemingly disconnected, highly differentiated local events that are occurring
on all sides (and perhaps even above and below). The variety and abundance encourage a
spectator to isolate events in different locations, so that little fusion occurs. However, if
the audience member chooses to experience the event from several locations, and if he or
she stays through much of the performance, the apparent chaos and differences between

232
component elements may diminish and they will begin to fuse in the mind and in mem-
ory.
Using these principles, the creators of a combined art work may consciously
combine or separate art forms by placing different media at different times in different
locations throughout the total time/space continuum to create varying degrees of fusion.
A spectator who understands the wide range of possibilities for combining media will be
able to observe the interplay of fused and non-fused arts in the finished work.

5.3.2 Three Classes of Factors that Contribute to Fusion


In most combined works, component media lie somewhere between fused and not
fused, between reactivity and indifference. As with hierarchy, the factors that affect fu-
sion can be divided into three non-exclusive classes: those determined or composed by
the creative artists, those inherent in the media or the media combination, and those ob-
served by the spectator during performance of the combined work.
Fusion intended by the collaborating artists is composed into each art form or
combination of art forms, and/or arises through their combination in space and time.
Whether intended or unintended, such fusion is ultimately the responsibility of the crea-
tors and is generated during the compositional process. Factors in this process (to be dis-
cussed in detail below) include content and technique, context and style, shared time
and/or place, the number of information structures and the relationships between them,
the synchronization or independence of movement or change, and the hierarchy or con-
trol exhibited among art forms.
A second group of factors affecting fusion is inherent within the component art
forms or their combinations; these include similar or complementary relationships be-
tween media and the presence or absence of a historical or normative methodology or
technology for a particular combination. If, for example, a specific combination of ele-
ments is typical of an existing genre it is likely that preexisting compositional structures,
methodologies or technologies, coupled with spectator expectations will produce a cer-
tain level of fusion among media.
The third group of factors includes those inherent in or determined by spectator
observation; in essence, these are manifested in the extent to which an observer is willing

233
to "fuse" the component media in his or her mind. Although the factors that the spectator
uses to make such judgments are similar to those employed by the creators, the observed
fusion ultimately depends on each individual spectator's taste, knowledge and cultural
background; it therefore may well differ from the fusion intended by the creators. As with
hierarchy, this set of factors depends on perception as well as observation, and an in-
depth examination of it is beyond the scope of the present study. It will only be touched
upon in relation to observations that might be made by a typical spectator situated in
various space/time relationships to the presentation of the combined work.
We may further classify these factorsparticularly within the first and third
classesby whether they affect fusion on a synchronic/local level or a diachronic/global
level. Synchronic or local factors include specific content and techniques, change or
movement, and the degree and rate of change among art forms. Diachronic or global fac-
tors include the number arid nature of the information structures, the amount of control
exerted by one element over others, style or context, and the extent to which the media
share time and/or space.
In the following pages we will examine a variety of techniques that can be used in
creating and observing fusion. We will also look at several established genres and meth-
odologies for the combination of media. Ultimately, the final arbiter of any work's suc-
cess and the extent to which fusion or lack of fusion plays a necessary part lies in each
audience member's response to the presentation of the work. The present study, there-
fore, cannot possibly provide an exhaustive account of all possible responses; it offers
only tools which an observer, or composer, may find useful.29

5.3.3 Specific Factors that Contribute to Fusion


Many factors contribute to the observation of fusion among components in com-
bined works. In the following pages some of these are introduced including: content and
style, media and spectator location and movement in time and space, information struc-
ture, internal and external unity, and control and intensity hierarchy relationships. Indi-
vidually and in combination these factors contribute to the observation and degree of fu-
sion on the combined work.

234
Specific Factors: Content and Style
In the time between the Renaissance and the past century unity in time-based art
forms was achieved primarily through structures that employed the repetition, variation
and development of content (in music, for instance, of melodic, harmonic, or rhythmic
material) over time and within a confined or relatively compact space. Synchronically,
the reiteration of relatively brief events in which both content and context recurred en-
abled memory to operate on the "grains" of the work. Diachronicallyover longer peri-
ods of timethese moments could be fit into larger contexts or structures, each of which
had a characteristic pattern or application of repetition, variation and development. Often
these diachronic structures exhibited characteristics similar to those of their constituent
"grains."
An even larger contextual frameworkstyle and aesthetic (manifested in music
by, for instance, principles of tonality, the use of consonance and dissonance, instrumen-
tal connotations, and so forth)allowed the same or similar source materials and tech-
niques to be used and reused in works by a single artist or by artists working at the same
time in geographic proximity. Thus, on a granular level, one can note motivic and the-
matic relationships among the late string quartets of Beethoven; more generally, it is pos-
sible both to identify the styles of individual composers, such as Bach, Haydn, or Mozart,
and to differentiate regional "schools" or situate a group of composers in the "Classical"
period.
In such works, information was presented to and accumulated by an observer
through known, logical structures. Elements within an art form and art forms supported
and enhanced one another and usually also a small number of focal ideas (themes). The
structures themselves, though distinguishable, have certain consistent features.

The form aspects essentially conventional to European music are, for in-
stance, the presentation of a whole as an object in time having a begin-
ning, a middle, and an ending, progressive rather than static in character,
which is to say possessed of a climax or climaxes and in contrast a point
or points of rest}1

235
In music during this time there evolved certain established instrumental and vocal
combinations: string quartets, piano trios, woodwind quintets, male choirs, etc. These
were favored in part because their constituent instruments were especially able to blend
and fuse their sounds together. In Silence, John Cage also writes, "In the case of the har-
monious ensembles of European musical history, a fusion of sound was of the essence."32
Still today, instrumentalists who play in orchestras or other ensembles are taught to
"blend with" or "mirror" the sounds of other instrumentsthat is, to fuse with themin
order to pass off musical material to other players as smoothly and as seamlessly as pos-
sible. In structure, instrumentation, and performance, then, prior to the beginning of the
twentieth century, conventions regulated both horizontal and vertical dimensions of mu-
sic, creating a high degree of fusion. In other arts at this time, similarly, a high degree of
fusion was valued and desired; and conventions unified not only fused art works but also
genres, styles, and groups of artists circumscribed in time or place.
After the beginning of the twentieth century, and particularly after the First World
War, the conventions generating unity and fusion in music and the arts began to give way
to an emphasis on contextin this case, a shared time and placeand to combinations of
widely varied and seemingly unrelated materials and media. In part this may have been a
consequence of the rise of the large city as a locus of artistic activity. With industrializa-
tion and urbanization artists confronted a jumble of new sights and sounds: noises from
factories, ever larger buildings, motorized vehicles, crowds, smells, confusionand the
horrors of the First World War. Rather than fusing artistic elements by emphasizing simi-
larities of content and context, artists responded by combining and juxtaposing forms,
materials and styles in ways that had not been previously considered.
In the visual arts amd music this would ultimately result in the development of
several new forms, including film, assemblage, performance art and electronic music, and
of techniques such as collage, simultaneity and juxtaposition. In The Art of Assemblage,
William Seitz writes that

the proper backdrop for recent assemblage is the multifarious fabric of the
modern cityits random patchwork ofslickness and deterioration, cold
planning and liberating confusion, resplendent beauty and noxious

236
squalor. The cityscape gives striking evidence of the world-wide collision
of moralities and panaceas, facts and propagandas, and sets in relief the
countless images ... of contemporary life. In the past, the great determi-
nants of the arts were nature, man, and God. For the twentieth century a
fourth must be added: the artifact.

To which he later adds:

[W]e live in a world in which a million differing realities collide, far too
many for us to digest. Sheer quantity, diversity, and contradiction make a
carefully partitioned impression impossible. One is forced to choose be-
tween parochialism, sweeping renunciations, or an apprehension of real-
ity in fragments from which truth, or some semblance of it, may arise.

The shift from an art built on similarity and variation to one structured around dif-
ference and context was startling to audiences and artists who had previously relied on
conventions to fuse artistic components. It was quickly apparent that such conventions
could serve the opposite purpose: in works that are predominantly in a single recogniz-
able style, an element that resists that style will appear to be independent from or not
fused with the rest of the work. Wassily Kandinsky noted the effects of color used in iso-
lation or in the context of conventional colors and forms; as an example he describes the
effect of placing a red horse in an otherwise "natural" landscape.

[A] red horse is a completely different case. The very sound of the words
creates an altogether different atmosphere. The natural impossibility of a
red horse necessarily demands a likewise unnatural milieu in which this
horse is placed. Otherwise, the overall effect is either that of a curiosity
(i.e., a purely superficial and inartistic effect), or else a clumsily con-
ceivedfairy tale (i.e., a well-founded curiosity having an inartistic effect).
A normal, naturalistically painted landscape with modeled, anatomically
precise figures would produce such a discord when placed together with

237
this horse that no feeling wouldfollow from it, and it would prove impos-
sible to fuse these elements into a single unity35

In music too, style and context function similarly. When combining different mu-
sical materials and instruments, elements that evoke different established "styles" will not
fuse as well as elements evoking a single style. Depending on which style appears to
dominate, one element or another will usually appear to be out of context, and the whole
will tend to resist fusion. In Charles Ives' The Unanswered Question separate styles and
materials are performed exclusively by separate instrumental groups: strings, flutes, and
solo trumpet. In this example, traditional development is avoided; each instrumental
group and material is treated differently. No style dominates and no context is created, so
no material sounds out of context.
In works in which a multitude of different styles coexist, particularly when these
are unconventional, or continue over an extended period of time, different consequences
ensue. In the first case, an abundance of disparate materials may make the identification
of a particular style impossible; the spectator may therefore be unable to disentangle the
different elements, instead taking the totality of materials itself as a whole. In the second
case, if several different styles are observed over a long enough period of time, they be-
come fused by sheer repetition and conditioning; over time, the audience learns to group
disparate elements together. In such works, then, depending on the span of time over
which the analysis is madesynchronic or diachronicone may observe elements to be
either fused or not fused. In both cases, the abundanceof either material or time
makes it difficult for a spectator to avoid the effects of fusion and to keep the components
separate. Individual elements lose their independence and merge with or are subsumed
into the composite work.36 The entangled styles create their own context, making a virtue
of cacophony: the audience becomes accustomed to noise.
As an example we can return to Cage's HPSCHD. The seven harpsichords, per-
forming music based on Mozart and incorporating excerpts from Beethoven, Chopin, Bu-
soni, and others, coexist with a wash of more or less indeterminate computer generated
sounds; both are presented in a shared space over an extended period of time. While the
material is stylistically different, the related timbres of the acoustic harpsichords and the

238
computer HPSCHDs, combined with the extended performance duration, make it difficult
to separate and to keep the different materials separated. On the other hand, the familiar-
ity of the excerpts (stylistically and, for some listeners, in detail) allow them to resist be-
ing fused into the myriad other sounds and images. The visual effect of the harpsichords
is also very strong image, evoking styles of music and periods of time that are far re-
moved from those associated with the films, slides, and electronic equipment. Overall,
then, HPSCHD presents initially incongruous materials that, over the three-hour duration
of the performance, become grudgingly accepted as a single fused work.
More obvious examples of the combination of disparate styles within a single
composition can be found in the works of Charles Ives; these include the kaleidoscopic
juxtapositions in the second movement of the Fourth Symphony, and in many smaller
works including the Set for Theatre Orchestra and the songs "Ann Street" and "General
William Booth Enters Into Heaven." In. A Union of Diversities: Style in the Music of
Charles Ives, Larry Starr describes some of the techniques Ives used to combine multiple
styles in a single piece, such as juxtaposition, sequencing, and layering.
Elsewhere, at the beginning of the twentieth century, other visual and performing
artists were forced to come to terms with the changes that were occurring. The Futurists
responded to urban noise and the War with sound poems, the intonuromi of Russolo, and
manifestos on noise. The Dadaists and Surrealists, pointing up the absurdity of existing
political and social systems in fin-de-siecle Europe, produced simultaneous poems, caba-
rets and circus-like theatre, and eventually surrealist films such as Un chien andalou and
L 'Age d'Or by Luis Buiiuel and Salvador Dali. While many composers working in
strictly musical idioms continued to adhere to the formal structures of the nineteenth cen-
tury, artists and composers who combined media in a search for new forms embraced the
techniques of juxtaposition, simultaneity, collage and assemblage.
Some of these artists made specific reference to ways in which political, social,
and technical developments influenced the creation of art. In The Film Sense Sergei
Eisenstein notes that "these arts, fused together, correspond to the very image of an epoch
and the image of the reasoning process of those who are linked to the epoch." Like
many others, he argued that jazz arose in part in response to the new era; he approvingly
quotes the following from an article by Rene Guillere on the "jazz age":

239
Formerly the science of esthetics rested content on the principle of fused
elements. In musicon the continuous melodic line threaded through
harmonic chords; in literatureon the fusion of a sentence's elements
through conjunctions and transitions; in arton a continuity of plastic
forms and structures of combinations of these forms.
Modern esthetics is built upon the disunion of elements, heighten-
ing the contrast of each other: repetition of identical elements, which
TO

serves to strengthen the intensity of contrast. ...

This new music, this jazz then, is not based on the structures of the nineteenth
century. Rather, according to Eisenstein, it is the aural equivalent of a "modern urban
scene, especially that of a large city at night."39 And Guillere concludes by arguing that
"[jazz] doesn't employ voices with accompaniments, similar to figures against a back-
ground. Everything works. Each instrument performs its solo while participating in the
whole."40 Although in retrospect this description of jazz seems rather simplistic, the basic
thrust is more or less true. Each instrument in a jazz quartet, like each element in a com-
bined art work, contributes directly to the totality of the work; each element may have its
own information structure; and each element may be independent from the other elements
in the work or not. Component media (within the ensemble) may be fused or not fused.41

Specific Factors: Location in Time and Space


In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries fusion within and among art forms was
facilitated by placing performers in close proximity. The parallel with sociological hier-
archies is unmistakable: the vision of one person is communicated, through elite groups
of specialists, to the masses. In discussing the physical performance space and the place-
ment of performers therein John Cage observes that

[i]n the case of the harmonious ensembles of European musical history, a


fusion of sound was of the essence, and therefore players in an ensemble
were brought as close together as possible, so that their actions, produc-
tive of an object in time, might be effective.

240
The fusion of individual instrumental timbres in a musical work and the fusion of
art forms in an opera or theatrical piece of this period was furthered by their proximity in
space and time and enhanced by presenting the combined work in a specific physical set-
ting: the proscenium stage. (Recall that prior to the development of the proscenium stage
and the single point perspective, spectacles and theatrical presentations would take place
over larger space and time frames, enabling and encouraging various observation points
and experiences. Rather than experiencing separate elements, the proscenium stage, with
its a single narrative structure, forced the audience to see a single fused art form.) Devel-
opments and refinements of the proscenium stage continued uninterrupted through the
development of opera, classical ballet and concert music up to the end of the nineteenth
century. Then political, social, and industrial changes began to undermine the conven-
tions of the proscenium and to open up other possibilities for presenting staged works.
Futurist and Dadaist productions combined unrelated or dissimilar elements and cele-
brated their differences. Time and space became useful tools to amplify these differences,
to hold the elements apart when combining them. Again John Cage provides a cogent
summary in Silence where he observes:

In the case, however, of the performance of music the composition of


which is indeterminate of its performance so that the action of the players
is productive of a process, no harmonious fusion of sound is essential. A
non-obstruction of sounds is of the essence. The separation of players in
space when there is an ensemble is useful towards bringing about this
non-obstruction and interpenetration, which are of the essence. Further-
more, this separation in space will facilitate the independent action of
each performer.43

In early Futurist and Dada performances it was very difficult to achieve separation
of elements in the close physical space of the cabaret or club (not to mention the prosce-
nium stage). It would take a radical redesign and construction of new performance spaces
and the use of non-traditional spacesas well as the non-traditional use of traditional
spacesto explode this forced fusion of artistic components. Development of new and

241
alternate spaces has often come in conjunction with theatrical productions which have
long runs or with companies working in a single space over many years. These new per-
formance spaces have allowed or even forced the spectator to assume a more active role;
they include Bauhaus designs, spaces built for Polish director Jerzy Grotowski, and sites
adapted by Richard Schechner's Environmental Theater, the Once group, and many oth-
ers. Because construction of new professional theatres is very costly, many of the con-
cepts and designs never made it past the early stages of development.44
The goal of most alternative stages is to enhance the differences among the com-
ponent elements or art forms in a combined work by separating them in the space. Often
this forces the spectator to view the component elements or media individually rather
than as part of a fused work. To avoid blending or fusion Cage advocates spatial separa-
tion as a way to preserve these differences.

Rehearsals have shown that this new music, whether for tape or for in-
struments, is more clearly heard when the several loud-speakers or per-
formers are separated in space rather than grouped closely together. For
this music is not concerned with harmoniousness as generally understood,
where the quality of harmony results from a blending of several elements.
Here we are concerned with the coexistence of dissimilars, and the central
points where fusion occurs are many: the ears of the listeners wherever
they are45

Specific Factors: Time and Space Relationships


It is useful to review some of the possibilities, set out in Chapter 3 (section 3.2.2,
pages 93-96 for time; section 3.3.2, pages 102-104 for space), for the placement and rela-
tionships among events or art forms in time and space. With regard to time, two or more
events may be composed to: 1) occur simultaneously, beginning and ending at the same
time; 2) overlap or phase, beginning and ending at different times but with a degree of
simultaneity; or 3) occur sequentially, with one either immediately following the other
(juxtaposed) or separated from it by a specified time duration. (A hybrid category, some-
times tipping towards simultaneity and sometimes toward overlap, contains events that

242
begin at the same time but end at different times, or vice versa.) In each of these cases, if
we assume that all events occur in a relatively confined space, what is observed will be
similar from various audience locations.
With regard to space, two events or art forms in combination may: 1) occur in a
shared place; 2) overlap spatially, with one event moving from one location to another);
or 3) occur in separate spaces. In the first case, a single observation point is suitable to
experience the combined work in its entirety. In the third case, component art forms may
be widely separated or placed so that they cannot be experienced unless the audience
physically moves to a new location. In this case, differences in spectator location and ac-
tivity enable each spectator to experience the work differently.
When we consider time and space together, the possibilities increase to a mini-
mum of nine:
1) art forms presented simultaneously but separated by location;
2) art forms overlapping in time but separated by location;
3) art forms presented sequentially in time and separated by location;
4) art forms presented simultaneously in overlapping locations;
5) art forms overlapping in time and presented in overlapping locations;
6) art forms presented sequentially in overlapping locations;
7) art forms presented simultaneously in a shared location;
8) art forms overlapping in time in a shared location;
9) art forms presented sequentially in time in a shared location.

Broadly speaking, and assuming an observation point in which all events propa-
gated by all component media are equally viewable, it is probable that art forms pre-
sented in the same time and place will exhibit a higher degree of fusion than art forms
that are physically or temporally separated. Figure 5.1 models this relationship in a sim-
ple diagram. At the origin component media share both time and space and are highly
fused. As the shared time and space expands outward, separating into different times
and/or locationsthat is, moves farther from the origin on either or both axesthe de-
gree of fusion decreases and the elements become more independent.

243
same ; ' ' f t a < i : '' p. dB*erart

Figure 5.1: Relationship of time and space to degree of fusion.

A specific technique used in manipulating the separation and combination of ele-


ments is the compartmented structure of performance art of the 60s and 70s.46 Michael
Kirby describes compartmented structure as the "arrangement and contiguity of theatrical
units that are completely self-contained and hermetic."47 In this type of structure "[n]o
information is passed from one discrete theatrical unitor "compartment"to an-
other. Now consider the difference between compartments containing a single medium
and those containing multiple media. In works built from single-medium compartments,
different media are necessarily situated in different compartments, and they will probably
exhibit a high degree of independence from each other. In works containing multiple-
media compartments, the two or more art forms or media contained within a single com-
partment will probably exhibit a high degree of fusion. In either case, because no infor-
mation is passed between compartments, the contents of each compartment may be ob-
served as independent from the contents of all the others.

Specific Factors: Media Movement in Time and Space


Until now the discussion has been limited to static relationships between media in
time and space. In practice, however, most time/space relationships are dynamic and
changing. Art forms, events and information move from one location to another, and this
affects the relationships among them and the extent to which spectators will observe them

244
to be fused. In the simplest cases, the degree of fusion changes as time relationships shift
from simultaneous to sequential and space relationships shift from proximity to separa-
tion. Such "contrapuntal" uses of time and space may result from multiple information
structures and will, overall, increase the independence of component art forms. However,
in order for this effect to occur, the overall dimensions of both time and space must be
large enough to allow the changes to be observed. In particular, for separation in time to
affect the degree of fusion, the total duration of the work must be significantly longer
than the event duration; for spatial separation to affect fusion, the production location
must be large enough to accommodate a change in focus.
Some of the experimental theatres mentioned above were designed specifically to
allow for the movement of stage elements relative to the audience. This was particularly
true of Bauhaus designs, which include Oskar Schlemmer's mechanized theatre, which
introduces a play of forms, colors, and figures; Maholy-Nagy's "theatre of totality,"
which would include "rotating sections, ... movable space constructions and DISKLIKE
AREAS, in order to bring certain action moments on the stage into prominence";49 Farkas
Molnar's "U-Theater," consisting of up to four movable stages, an elevator capable of
moving in all directions, and suspended bridges and drawbridges connecting the various
stages and balconies; and The Spherical Theater, proposed by Andreas Weininger, in-
tended to present "all primary media ... in a new mechanical synthesis"50 and designed to
rotate around its vertical axis.
If the movement of single art forms affects fusion, simultaneous changes in mul-
tiple art forms affect it even more. What happens when movements or changes in art
forms are synchronized; what happens they are not? When movement or change occurs in
one media does it cause a corresponding change or movement occur in another? What
about the degree of change? In most cases, simultaneous or coordinated changes lead to a
higher degree of fusion than independent changes. In one of Eisenstein's earliest writings
on the combination of sound and film he writes:

ONLY A CONTRAPUNTAL USE ofsound in relation to the visual montage piece


will afford a new potentiality of montage development and perfection.

245
THE FIRST EXPERIMENTAL WORK WITH SOUND MUST BE DIRECTED ALONG

THE LINE OF ITS DISTINCT NON-SYNCHRONIZA TION WITH THE VISUAL IMA GES.51

Later Eisenstein explores many different ways of creating synchronization between dif-
ferent aural and visual characteristics. Images may of course be cut merely to correspond
to a sound track, but other combinations are possible, including "syncopated combina-
tions and a purely rhythmical 'counterpoint' in the controlled play of off-beats, shot-
lengths, echoed and repeated subjects, and so on."52 The relationships may be based on
parameters other than rhythm: "Some scenes would require rhythm as a determining fac-
tor, others would be controlled by tone, and so on."
Movement in time and space is only one type of change that may occur within
and among component art forms. Changes may occur in any parameter of any art forms
and these changes may or may not correspond to similar changes in another art form. All
aspects of such changes and their relationships (parameter, direction and degree of
change), must also be considered in order to accurately determine the amount of fusion
among component media. Changes in the same parameter, in the same or similar direc-
tion or to the same extent or degree would typically imply a higher degree of fusion than
changes that differ in their aspects.54
By way of example, let us consider an imaginary case in which two media in a
combined work are changing over time. We first determine whether the changes are oc-
curring at the same time, and then whether they affect similar parameters. For this exam-
ple let us assume that simultaneous changes in both art forms are affecting the density.55
We then determine whether the densities are changing in the same or in different direc-
tions, i.e., increasing or decreasing. If the direction is the same we may then ask whether
the changes are occurring to the same extent or degree. If change is occurring at the same
time, in the same parameter, in the same direction, and to the same degree it should be
fairly clear that the two media are highly fusedat least with respect to density within
the span of time during which the changes occur.
On a local or synchronic level then, change entails examining the relationships
among instances of relatively brief localized events. If, for example, two events occur
together, are there changes in direction or degree, and are they coordinated? On a global

246
or diachronic level, do multiple events or changes occur together over time? That is, do
the changes occur in "unison" or in a kind of "counterpoint"; do they, for example,
gradually move from parallel movement to contrary movement and then back? If they do,
we might be tempted to speak of a "phase" shift with regards to change in the component
media. And in examining single events individually, or as a group, we may also need to
consider whether the time interval between the changes is consistent and whether that
time interval is small or large.
A final consideration, as always, is proximity. When a change in one media ef-
fects a corresponding change in another media the two changes must occur closely
enough together in time and/or space to be observed by the spectator, who attributes re-
latedness and meaning to them. If two or more events or changes are separated by a time
or space interval of sufficient magnitude they will not be observed to be related regard-
less of similarities; fusion and meaning will be difficult to establish. Finally, it is impor-
tant to consider the total duration over which the change occurs in each art form. Does
one change occur over the duration of the piece while another change occurs over a few
seconds? If so, the disproportion will tend to undermine fusion.
In sum, at least the following characteristics must be considered when observing
changes among component arts in time and space: the parameters in which the changes
occur, the direction and degree of change, the lengths of time the changes occupy, and
spatial and temporal proximity of the changes.

Specific Factors: Spectator Location and Movement in Time and Space


In addition to the placement and movement of events or media in time and space,
the spectator may move relative to individual or combined art forms, or the relationship
of the spectator to the entire performance space may change. Can the spectator in fact ob-
serve all the events produced by each of the component art forms equally well? For per-
formances taking place on a proscenium or similar stage all spectators witness the per-
formance in basically the same wayas the creators intended, if all goes well. But in un-
conventional presentationsthe ones in which we are interestedlocation can be a con-
stantly changing compositional parameter. Either the distribution of elements within the
space and/or time is changing, as described above, or the audience itself is moving or

247
situated so that each spectator has a different relationship to each of the component arts at
different times during the presentation. Works of this type include Scheduler's Environ-
mental Theater, Happenings, Grotowski's Poor Theatre, Once productions, etc. We have
already discussed Richard Scheduler's production of The Tooth of the Crime, in which
the "set" "blocks vision and has no single arenalike central playing space. Spectators
move around the viewing gallery or on the floor in order to follow the action of the
play."56 Another example is Allan Kaprow's Eat, a happening in which audience mem-
bers use a map to guide themselves through the environment in which they experience the
piece.
In such performances memory adds another level of complexity, and distance in
time becomes relative. A kind of dialectic is created: on one hand an observer perceives
each element as bounded by a particular place and time; at any moment the elements pre-
sent may be taken as fused or independent. On the other hand the journey through the
space, and the spectator's memory of it, in which events accumulate over time, becomes
an experience in and of itself. The journey is continuous, and the experience itself is the
work; all the events that occur on the way become embedded in or fused with the mem-
ory of the journey. The journey is more than a series of events, and the whole is more
than the sum of its parts. Time and place interact in memory, so that in retrospect the ex-
perience is simultaneously synchronic and diachronic. One can experience each moment
separately and yet from a point removed in time experience the accumulated, fused conti-
nuity. (A diagram of the plan for Eat may be found on page 115.)
In addition to the journey taken by a spectator, the overall distancein space or
timebetween the spectator and the work affects the observation. From a greater physi-
cal distance one tends to perceive a higher degree of fusion among component media;
similarly, when events are removed in time they tend to fuse together. What appear to be
unrelated events at the outset or during the course of the piece may much later, via mem-
ory, bond together. Similarly, when situated at great distance away in space, a spectator
may experience the work as a composite of the individual arts because the whole occu-
pies a space that is perceptually proportionally small. Moreover, at close range placement
and movement of components are significant, so much as to make it impossible to ob-
serve one event without excluding another; whereas from a greater distance differences in

248
place and movementabsolute and relativebecome insignificant, and one necessarily
sees everything together.57
Ultimately, the "external" structures of works that ask the spectator to participate
individually in the creative process are not so different from "internal" structures that
guide the viewer through the work. In both cases, the composition structures a number of
different elements in a way that provides a context for understanding the relationships
among the components, thereby gaining some meaning. And in both cases, media loca-
tion and movement is without doubt one of the most influential factors in determining
fusion. But location cannot be taken as an absolute; it must be tempered by considera-
tions of synchronic and diachronic analysis and the physical and temporal location of the
spectator. All these factors are crucial; but they are not easy to isolate, and each depends
on all the others simultaneously.

Specific Factors: Information Structure


In Chapter 2 two main categories of information structurecumulative and non-
cumulativeand several specific typeslogical, alogical, narrative, etc.were intro-
duced. In this section we examine the interactions between information structures and
component media and how these interactions contribute to fusion. As with hierarchy, the
first question is whether there is more than one information structure present in the com-
bined work. Multiple information structures increase the likelihood that the component
media will exhibit a certain degree of independence or autonomy from each other. This is
particularly true if each component art has a unique information structure. Conversely, a
single information structure shared by all or some art forms increases the likelihood that
they will be fused in the combined work.
Multiple information structures are necessarily carried by multiple art forms,
though there need not be a one-to-one correspondence between art forms and informa-
tion. Single information structures, on the other hand, can interact with different media in
four ways: 1) a single information structure is carried by the combined (reactive) form; 2)
a single information structure is carried by each of the media more or less equally; 3) a
single information structure is carried by one or a subset of component media while the
remaining media support the information structure; 4) a single information structure is

249
passed between one or more media. It is also possible that one (of multiple information
structures) interacts with a subset of media in the four ways described above.
In general, the use of only one information structure encourages unity, if not fu-
sion, in the combined work. When that structure is conveyed by the combined form a
high degree of fusion is likely to result. Again Wagner's gesamtkunstwerk is a paradigm:
the work is not complete without the presence of all component arts, each of which not
only supports and amplifies the single structure but contributes to it in a distinct way (as,
for instance, leitmotiv is music's contribution to the narrative). On the other hand, a sin-
gle information structure that is duplicated independently in each component art may
produce a combined work that is less highly fused. In this case, because of the redun-
dancy, all component elements need not be present to comprehend the information struc-
ture.
In cases where a single information structure is carried by one or a subset of com-
ponent media, any of the supporting media may be omitted from the presentation without
damaging the information structure. Thus, for instance, in earlier opera the orchestra may
not be necessary to the information structure; it simply supports it, and a piano reduction
does no material damage. Similarly, synchronic elements in earlier opera, such as indi-
vidual arias, may be omitted, inserted or substituted for each other without fundamentally
affecting the information structure. When a single information structure is passed among
component media, all art forms participate, and all art forms must be present; to remove
any one of them results in an incomplete structure. Having compared Kabuki to soccer,
Eisenstein writes about the importance of "each theatrical element, not as an incommen-
surable unit among the various categories of affect (on the various sense-organs), but as a
single unit of theater. "58 He continues:

In place o/accompaniment, it is the naked method of transfer that flashes


in the Kabuki theater. Transferring the basic affective aim from one mate-
rial to another, from one category of "provocation" to another.59

In the case of multiple information structures carried by multiple art forms there
are an indefinite number of possibilities. In addition to the possibilities described above

250
for a single information structure, each component art may represent a separate informa-
tion structure; subsets of component arts may present separate information structures; and
several information structures may pass between several component arts.60
In addition to their number and distribution, the type of information structure also
plays a part in determining fusion. When a single information structure is relatively
strongparticularly if it is a cumulative structurefusion is enhanced. Strong informa-
tion structures are often highly logical; narratives or plots, for example, will often control
and fuse elements that might otherwise appear independent. Conversely, alogical infor-
mation structures, particularly those based on chance or indeterminate techniques, as in
many works by John Cage, allow combined works to be non-hierarchical and non-fused.
Combined works that are constructed from several independent information structures
often may be easily separated into component parts; in some cases weaker, subordinate
structures may be eliminated with little overall effect.

Specific Factors: Internal Unity vs. External Unity


Next we come to a somewhat less tangible factor, that of fusion or unity resulting
from inner meaning. Can two events or media that appear externally unrelated share an
inner meaning that leads to fusion? In their theoretical writings both Eisenstein and
Kandinsky used the terms "inner" and "internal" to describe phenomena, relationships
and synchronization that depend upon meaning; they used "outward" or "external" to de-
scribe events that can be apprehended directly by the senses. Outer synchronization
commonly applies to events that occur together, simultaneously or in physical proximity.
Although inner synchronization can momentarily be triggered by external means, it is
more apparent over time, as internal meanings gradually become apparent to the ob-
server. Busoni also appears to distinguish between "outward incidents and visible occur-
rences" and "inner ones [that appeal] to our ears"61 in his essay "The Oneness of Music
and the Possibilities of the Opera."
It is clear that observers differentiate between the outer characteristics of artistic
events, such as material content, style, and method of presentation, and their underlying
meanings (and the relationships between the meanings). There are several possible com-
binations of these inner and outer representations: inner and outer relationships are the

251
same or related; inner and outer relationships are both unrelated; and inner relationships
are related while outer relationships are unrelated, or inner relationships are unrelated
while outer relationships are related.
In the present discussion we are concerned with the effects these possibilities have
on fusion and on each other. Which types of relationship yield the greatest degree of fu-
sion among component forms? Does outer unity reinforce or impede the discovery of an
inner unity; do "external" differences help to jar the spectator into observing "internal'
meaning? In an essay entitled "On the Question of Form" Kandinsky states, "The greatest
external dissimilarity becomes the greatest internal similarity."62 And in the introduction
to Point and Line to Plane, he writes:

Every phenomenon can be experienced in two ways. These two ways are
not random, but bound up with the phenomenathey are derived from the
nature of the phenomena, from two characteristics of the same:
ExternalInternar3

For Kandinsky, it is an internal unity or "internal necessity" which appears to be


the goal. This does not automatically result from external unity, but it may be sparked by
a variety of external means. Thus Kandinsky, in "On Stage Composition," describes a
wide, inexhaustible range of possibilities with regard to the interaction of art forms.

Duplicating the resources of one art (e.g., music), however, by the identi-
cal resources of another art (e.g., painting) is only one instance, one pos-
sibility. If this possibility is used as an internal means also ..., we find
within the realm of contrast, of complex composition, first the antithesis of
this duplication and later a series of possibilities that lie between
collaboration and opposition. This material is inexhaustible. 4

In describing the synchronization of sound and film, Eisenstein differentiates be-


tween physical synchronization and inner synchronization. It is the latter, which comes
about through meaning, that is most important. In The Film Sense he states:

252
But this co-ordination is far beyond that external synchronization that
matches the boot with its creakingwe are speaking of a "hidden " inner
synchronization in which the plastic and tonal elements will find complete
r 65
fusion.

Inner synchronization may sometimes be achieved by synchronizing external change or


movement but it may also "be built upon a combination of unlike elements, without at-
tempting to conceal the resulting dissonance between the aurals and the visuals."66 As
noted before, Eisenstein insisted that "our conception of synchronization does not pre-
sume consonance. In this conception full possibilities exist for the play of both corre-
sponding and non-corresponding 'movements,' but in either circumstance the relationship
7
must be compositionally controlled.'
Eisenstein seems to be hinting at a "higher unity" in which sound and visual im-
ages come together through a unifying principal that is manifested in a common lan-
guage. This underlying principle is "precisely that principle which should determine both
the content of the shot and that content which is revealed through a givenjuxtaposition of
fro

these shots." Eisenstein describes the "definitive inner synchronization [as] that be-
tween the image and the meaning of the pieces." He continues:

From the same formula that unites the meaning of the whole piece ... and
the meticulous, cunning selection of the pieces, emerges the image of the
theme, true to its content. Through this fusion, and through that fusion of
the logic of the film's subject with the highest form in which to cast this
subject, comes the full revelation of the film's meaning.70

From a broader perspective, the problem is that of creating a correspondence be-


tween events occurring among component arts and the broader underlying meaning of
these events. The combination of several unlike elements or media actually generates a
broader range of methodologies for creating unity: each component art form consists of a

253
set of parameters that may be related to the parameters of another art form. Recognizing
this possibility, Eisenstein writes:

For each "different" kind of synchronization [that is, between two or more
media] is embraced by the organic whole, and embodies the basic image
through its own specifically defined limits [that is, the limits of each me-
dium].71

Brecht, in effect, stood this idea on its head: the unity of the outer characteristics
of art forms lies precisely in their independence from each other; from this arises the al-
ienation effect and the challenge to the "integrated work of art."

So let us invite all the sister arts of the drama, not in order to create an
"integrated work of art" (Gesamtkunstwerk) in which they all offer them-
selves up and are lost, but so that together with the drama they may fur-
ther the common task in their different ways; and their relations with one
another consist in this: that they lead to mutual detachment?2

Specific Factors: HierarchyControl vs. Intensity


Finally, we will briefly return to relationships of control and intensity and the ob-
servation of fusion among component art forms. As suggested in Chapter 4, hierarchy
particularly when manifest in controlis intimately related to fusion. If one media or art-
ist controls another media or artist, in either the creative process or the completed work, it
is less likely that the controlled component art will be independent. And because control
is only apparent to the observer when a predictable relationship exists between the con-
trolled and the controller, from the observer's perspective, a controlling relationship be-
tween two events or art forms inevitably leads to fusion.
The same cannot be said of hierarchy as determined by intensity levels. Static in-
tensity levels do not necessarily lead to fusion, though within a single media, such as
sound, strikingly different intensities may work against it. If intensity levels change, and
particularly, if the changes between components do not correspond, fusion may be un-

254
dermined. Either way, intensity levels by themselves do not determine fusion for either
the creator or the spectator.

5.3.4 Specific Factors: Conclusion


On the most basic level then, fusion and the degree of fusion among media in a
combined art work may be determined in part through the strategic placement of the
component media in shared times and/or locations by a controlling intelligence. In gen-
eral, combined art works created after the beginning of the twentieth century contain a
wide range of contents, styles, and media, which may or may not share the same time and
space. When they do, the spectator, conditioned by modern life to accept and connect a
wide variety of simultaneous events, will attempt to build causal or synchronistic rela-
tionships among them. In other words, fusion is somewhat less reliant on content and
stylethat is, on characteristics inherent in the work-than it is on the spectator's ability
to infer relationships between seemingly unrelated events, forms, or structures.
Time and place form the context in which two or more unrelated media and/or
contents share their existence. Synchronically the component art forms may appear to be
fused or not fused; but diachronically, over an extended period of time, they tend to be-
come more unified or fused. And as spectators become more accustomed to encountering
a multitude of simultaneous events in their lives outside of the theatre, they may become
more willing to accept the simultaneous presentations and juxtapositions of apparently
dissimilar elements in the arts. Through this marriage of life experience with art, seem-
ingly unrelated media or contents become unified.

5.4 Fusion Terms and Techniques


From Busoni and Wagner forward, artists have used a variety of techniques and
terms in creating works with varying amounts of fusion. Techniques have been devised to
produce greater degrees of fusion and to produce greater degrees of independence. Ter-
minology for conventionally fused work is often derived from previous centuries; new
terminology tends to be related to circumstances in which degrees of fusion or independ-
ence are part of the concept for the work. Terms generally fall into two categories: those
which describe specific techniques or methodologies, such as simultaneity, juxtaposition,

255
synesthesia, collage, montage, and compartmentalization; and those that describe the re-
sulting art forms, such as assemblage, synthetic theatre, performance art, collage, mon-
tage, Merz theatre, and total art work.72 In some cases these terms can be used quite
broadly, across many works by many artists; in other cases they are associated with a par-
ticular individual or group of artists, who employed a particular term to describe a spe-
cific technique. Many of the issues embodied in these terms have been discussed previ-
ously; nevertheless, while it is not practical to examine all of them in depth, it is instruc-
tive to look at a few in their historical contexts, using specific artists, movements and
works to flesh out our understanding of fusion.

5.4.1 Terms and Techniques Leading to Fusion


As we have seen, certain techniques are relatively widespread and have been ap-
plied by many different artists in many different media to create fused works. Similarities
in content or style often lead to fusion, which is also furthered when a single controlling
artist uses multiple art forms to advance a single information structure, usually conveying
a single fixed message-intended by the artist and intrinsic to the workto the spectator.
In the performing arts and especially in music, traditional compositional techniques of
repetition and development, goal-oriented structures, and careful orchestration contribute
to a highly fused work. In combined works, media or art forms support each other and the
information structure. Composition in one art form is controlled by, dependent on, or re-
inforces another art form.
In addition to these general techniques, a specific technique useful in creating a
high degree of fusion came into vogue among artists and followers of the Russian mystics
and theosophists George Ivanovich Gurdjieff and Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. Synesthe-
sia, or the production of a sensory impression in one sense by a corresponding stimula-
tion in another sense, inevitably leads to fusion by establishing a one-to-one correspon-
dence between two sensory domains linked to two or more mutually reinforcing art
forms. "Phonemes and tones in synesthetic sound systems might correspond to each
other, to colors, to the regulated timbre of sound colors, to personality attributes, or to the
meaning of phenomenal or cosmological traits."74 Whether experiential or theoretical,
such synesthetic relationships became popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth

256
centuries among composers and artists like Scriabin, Rimsky-Korsakov, Schoenberg,
Hartmann and Wassily Kandinsky.
One of the first examples in which two art forms are "organically" united is Scri-
abin's Prometheus: A Poem of Fire, for orchestra and "color organ." In Prometheus,
Scriabin's synesthetic system entails a set of direct relationships between specific colors,
controlled by a keyboard that projects light into the performance space, and specific tones
in the orchestral score.75 Originally, Prometheus was to be a part of a larger work, Myste-
rium, Scriabin's ultimate synthesis of all arts and senses. This extraordinary conception,
intended to last for seven days and to include "poetic dialogues, fire festivities, super-
natural music, rhythmic dancing . . . , nonmatrixed mime ..., perfume and incense burn-
ing, tactile displays, color and light fountains, and audience participation"76 would result
in the "union of humanity with divinity and the return of the world to oneness."77 Al-
though Scriabin's goal was a cosmic unity "he realized that oneness could be attained
only by the deepening and sharpening of contradictions, and not by their negation or
forcible unification."78 The Mysterium and the Prefatory Action both remained unfinished
at his death.
Next we come to the work of the Bauhaus artists, including Moholy-Nagy, Kand-
insky, Gropius and others. Bauhaus ideas derived in part from the German Werkbund,
which was in turn indebted to the arts-and-crafts movement led by William Morris in the
1880s. Morris called for a "return to the cultural integration of the great periods of the
past, wherein art, morality, politics and religion all formed one living whole."79 Walter
Gropius set out the Bauhaus credo in part as follows:

The Bauhaus strives to coordinate all creative effort, to achieve, in a new


architecture, the unification of all training in art and design. The ultimate,
if distant, goal of the Bauhaus is the collective work of art... in which no
barriers exist between the structural and decorative arts.

In the Bauhaus this principle was realized through the coordination of training in all crea-
tive fields simultaneously. "The guiding principle of the Bauhaus was therefore the idea

257
of creating a new unity through the welding together of many 'arts' and movements: a
unity having its basis in Man himself and significant only as a living organism."81
Prior to the creation of the Bauhaus, many artists in Europe and England had ar-
gued that the arts had become separated from life as well as from each other during the
nineteenth century. Individual skills in specific art forms had been relegated to specialists
and tradesmen, and in this specialization lost the vital connection with life that is neces-
sary to sustain and develop the creation of new art and new forms. Moholy-Nagy, in Vi-
sion in Motion, decried the rise of the specialist and the strict vocational training that had
come about since the industrial revolution. Rather than the "integration" of all abilities
and teachingthe ability to "acquire knowledge"education had come to mean teaching
students to follow specific instructionsfor example, to run machines. Kandinsky, a
teacher at the Bauhaus, described the previous century as a time of ordering and of spe-
cialization.

This ordering occurred on the basis of categorization, division. At the


same time, specialization became both cause and effect.
Specialization led to ordering. Orderingto specialization}2

One goal of the Bauhaus was to overcome this separation and to reintegrate the
arts into society by training artists in all aspects of design and production of visual arts. In
the performing arts the Bauhaus advocated a "Theatre of Totality" in which "[m]an may
be active only as the bearer of those functional elements which are organically in accor-
dance with his specific nature. It is self-evident, however, that all other means of stage
production must be given positions of effectiveness equal to man's."83 Moholy-Nagy de-
scribes vision in motion as "seeing, feeling and thinking in relationship and not as a series
of isolated phenomena. It instantaneously integrates and transmutes single elements into a
coherent whole." A subsequent proponent of the highly fused art work was Kurt
Schwitters. "Merz," the name given by Kurt Schwitters to his artistic activity, embraced
"all branches of art in an artistic unit."85 Schwitters described the Merz stage as follows:

258
The Merz stage serves for the performance of the Merz drama. The Merz
drama is an abstract work of art. The drama and the opera grow, as a
rule, out of the form of the written text, which is a well-rounded work in it-
self without the stage. Stage-set, music and performance serve only to il-
lustrate this text, which is itself an illustration of the action. In contrast to
the drama or the opera, all parts of the Merz stage-work are inseparably
bound up together; it cannot be written, read or listened to, it can only be
produced in the theatre. Up until now, a distinction was made between
stage-set, text, and score in theatrical performances. Each factor was
separately prepared and could also be separately enjoyed. The Merz stage
knows only the fusing of all factors into a composite work}6

5.4.2 Terms and Techniques Leading to Independence


As with fusion, independence has been furthered by certain techniques that are
applicable in many contexts. Independence may result from combinations of dissimilar
contents or styles. When component elements or art forms are kept separate during the
compositional process or controlled by separate artists, and when there are multiple, in-
dependent information structures, there tends to be a lower degree of fusion and a greater
independence of media. The components of the art work, even if derived from some
common idea (perhaps only the constraints imposed by shared space or time), may not
support each other or a single information structure, and may present multiple interpreta-
tions of the focal idea. Rather than conveying a single fixed message, the resulting art
work encourages multiple interpretations; the message is extrinsic to the work, and mean-
ing may be determined, at least in part, by each spectator individually.
Techniques like simultaneity and juxtaposition differ significantly from synesthe-
sia. Whereas the latter implies a one-to-one correspondence, simultaneity is simply the
concurrent presentation of two or more events, and juxtaposition merely places things
side by side. Hence these terms are often applied to unrelated or dissimilar elements. Si-
multaneity and juxtaposition, basic techniques of twentieth-century esthetics in all the
arts, were especially vital to the Futurist and Dadaist movements. In Futurism, simultane-
ity in visual arts "led to repeated overlapping, and transparent images that interpenetrated

259
and blended. Projecting 'lines of force' were used to suggest speed, continuity, and the
fusion of objects with their environment."87
In Futurist and Dadaist performances experiments in simultaneity included con-
current performances of poetry and manifestos, simultaneous readings of wholly unre-
lated texts, and texts presented with sound. Structures that rely on simultaneity, which
focus on variety and depend on the observer for meaning, differ from narratives, in which
meaning is intrinsic to the work and is achieved through the accumulation and develop-
ment of information. Simultaneity, according to Roger Shattuck, represents "an effort to
retain a moment of experience without sacrificing its logically unrelated variety."88

Simultaneism wanted to present a plurality of actions at the same time.


Abridged syntax and unpunctuated abruptness tended to merge disparate
moments into an "instantane." Passages were set one next to another to
encourage feeling the conflict between them rather than the linkthe set-
ting of one thing beside another without a connective. From here it is but
a short jump to obscurity, illogicality and abruptness, to surprise, shock
and "chance."

Later, these "experiments" with simultaneity and juxtaposition were incorporated


into larger theatrical pieces, used to devise staging for these works and even to determine
theatre design. In the prologue to Apollinaire's Les Mamelles de Tiresias the author pro-
poses "a theatre in the round with two stages, one at the center, the other surrounding the
spectators."90 Annabelle Melzer described the actual production in Dada and Surrealist
Performance: "[Ijnstances of simultaneism abound. From the opening scene, sensual as-
saults on the audience overlapped from several areas on stage simultaneously."91 How-
ever, with Les Mamelles' emphasis on overlap and juxtaposition, "The narrative dimen-
sion had been critically attenuated, and the 'events' or 'activities' which remained were
difficult to keep in focus serially, for they had almost no causal relationship."92
Similarly, in articles published in the avant-garde journal SIC Pierre Albert-Birot
described a new type of theatre, "le theater nunique," which would focus on "acrobatics,
sounds, projects, pantomimes, and cinematographic elements. It would be a 'grand simul-

260
taneity' encompassing all the methods and all the emotions capable of communicating
life in its vitality and intensity to the spectator. In order to convey this intensity, multiple
actions would take place simultaneously onstage as well as in the auditorium. ... The
theatre area itself would be a vast circus-like expanse with the audience placed at the cen-
ter, while on a rotating platform on the periphery the actors would play their various
scenes."93 Simultaneity and juxtaposition can be thought of as compositional techniques,
the former generally associated with time and the latter with space; but the artistic prod-
ucts that result from the use of these techniques are referred to as assemblage, montage
and collage. In The Art of Assemblage William Sietz quotes Roger Shattuck in describing
the relationship between the technique (juxtaposition) and the product (assemblage):
"[fjhe method of assemblage, ... is that of juxtaposition: 'setting one thing beside the
other without connective.'"94
Previously two elements, ideas or media had been held together by a transition or
by connective "tissue" of an appropriate sort.

Transition refers to those works that rely upon clear articulation of the re-
lations between parts at the places they join: connection at the edges
(though other, inner connections may exist as well). It means one event,
one sensation, one thing at a time, and is the effective result of the great
Renaissance disciplines.95

"The twentieth century," Shattuck asserts, "has addressed itself to the arts of juxtaposi-
tion as opposed to earlier arts of transition."96
In visual art, collage and assemblage have been used to describe the juxtaposition
or combination of unrelated elements into a single work. Max Ernst characterizes collage
as a "fortuitous encounter upon a non-suitable plane of two mutually distant realities."97
He goes on to explain that by "juxtaposing ordinary but... unrelated entities in a situa-
tion where neither belongs, poetic transformation will result."98 The "ordinary" entities in
an assemblage or collage are often drawn directly from the environment; in this sense the
work is more "natural" than one composed in a single medium. And the use of found ob-
jects can create a more direct relationship with the audience and with the epoch in which

261
the work was created. In part, it is because of these relationshipswith the audience and
the environmentthat a kind of unity, a fusion of the elementsand an internal syn-
chronizationis more likely to occur.
Montage resembles assemblage and collage but includes juxtaposition in time as
well as space. Eisenstein describes juxtaposition and montage in terms nearly identical to
those Ernst used to describe collage. "We are accustomed to make, almost automatically,
a definite and obvious deductive generalization when any separate objects are placed be-
fore us side by side."99 He continues:

[Juxtaposition] resembles a creationrather than a sum of its parts


from the circumstance that in every such juxtaposition the result is qualita-
tively distinguishable from each component element viewed separately.

For all three genrescollage, assemblage and montagesignificance resides in


the effects that the separate elements and their combination produce on the spectator. Si-
multaneously recognizing the elements separately and linking them by juxtaposition cre-
ates a unity, a fusion of the component elements with the idea. The goal of this set of
techniques, then, appears to be to create a degree of fusion without completely obscuring
the differences among component art forms, and through this external dissonance to cre-
ate a connection between the external arts and techniques and their internal meaning.
Another technique, on the other hand, attempts to preserve the separation of artis-
tic elements even in presentation: compartmentalization results in an extremely high de-
gree of independence among elements or compartments. Compartmental structures, usu-
ally associated with happenings, were discussed in Chapter 2; it is useful to reiterate the
description by Michael Kirby even though it has been previously quoted.

Compartmented structure is based on the arrangement and contiguity of


theatrical units that are completely self-contained and hermetic. No in-
formation is passed form one discrete theatrical unitor "compart-
ment"to another.101

262
Compartmentalization, as described by Kirby and as generally practiced, does not
necessarily confine a single art form to a single compartment. Nevertheless, this structure
is instructive for our discussion because it leaves open the possibility of individually
compartmentalized media and is a prime example of non-fused, independent structural
units. These units are often separated by time and/or spacein extreme cases, such as
Allan Kaprow's Self Service, in which 31 activities were presented in three cities over
four months, by a great deal of time and space. It is useful to recall Kaprow's "rules-of-
thumb" for describing time and space implications for happenings, quoted earlier:

(C) The performance of a Happening should take place over several


widely spaced, sometimes moving and changing, locales. ...

(D) Time, which follows closely on space considerations, should be vari-


able and discontinuous.102

Like Happenings, performances characterized as "environmental theatre" leave it


to the audience to derive meaning and make connections among the unconnected com-
partments or theatrical events. Fusion is in the eyes and ears of the beholder. In "Six Axi-
oms for Environmental Theater," Richard Schechner introduces the term "multi-focus" to
describe performance or theatrical events that are superimposed, overlapped, juxtaposed.
It is the spectator's responsibility to select from the events and material provided, to
choose his or her individual focus. Again, recalling Schechner's description of the "multi-
focus" event quoted previously, is useful:

In multi-focus, more than one eventseveral of the same kind, or mixed-


mediahappens simultaneously, distributed throughout the space. Each
independent event competes with the other for the audience's attention.
The space is organized so that no spectator can see everything. Spectators
move or refocus their attention or select.103

263
Scheduler's definition sounds like the description of a circus; and indeed, con-
taining simultaneous and sequential compartmented and non-compartmented structures,
the circus itself, with its sideshows, clowns, midway, animal acts, and variety of perform-
ers in various locations, is not that different, at least in form, from environmental theatre
or, for that matter, Renaissance spectacles. In recent years it was explicitly a model for
John Cage's Musicircus. The juxtaposition and simultaneity of performances and activi-
ties taking place throughout the circus grounds, and in the Musicircus, insures that no two
visitors to the circus have the same experience. Each spectator is forced to make deci-
sions about where to go and what to see. In the end, each spectator will have seen the cir-
cus, or in the case of Cage, the Musicircus; and each in a way unlike that taken by anyone
else.

5.5 Fusion Relationship Charts


In this section we propose a notation and method for classifying and discussing
fusion relationships, intended not only to analyze fusion in a single work as well but also
to compare fusion as exhibited in different works by the same or different creators. This
notation will be used in the examples at the end of this section; it may also be combined
with the hierarchy notation introduced in a previous section to provide a more detailed
description of the relationships among art forms. The cautions that applied to the hierar-
chy notation also apply here: this notation does not adequately describe the nuances of
any one piece nor the relationships between art forms as they change over time. Because
it can provide only a snapshot of these relationships, it is primarily useful to analyze what
is going on at a given moment in time or to gain an overall impression of works in which
the relationships among component arts are relatively static.
As in the hierarchy notation system introduced in the previous chapter, letters rep-
resent component media. Here, however, here upper and lower-case letters are used to
indicate relative intensity levels within the combined work. Media that exhibit a high de-
gree of fusion are represented by closely spaced letters (i.e., AB). Media that are less
fused or that can be easily extracted from a combined art work are separated by a space
or a vertical line (i.e., A B or A | B) respectively.

264
When two art forms are combined in a single work the following relationships are
possible:
TWO ART FORMS

A |B AB AB

A |b Ab Ab

a |B aB aB

Figure 5.2: Fusion relationships between two art forms.

For three art forms many more relationship possibilities exist:

THREE ART FORMS

A|B|C AB|C A|BC AC|B ABC ABC

A|b|c A|B|c a|b|C A|b|C a|B|C a|B|c

AB|c aB|c Ab|c ab|C aB|C Ab|C

A|bc a|Bc a|bC a|BC A|bC A|Bc

Ac|b ac|B aC|b aC|B AC|b Ac|B

Abe aBc abC aBC AbC ABc

Figure 5.3: Fusion relationships among three art forms.

Obviously, as more media are added the number of possible relationships grows expo-
nentially. However, as with hierarchy, some relationships may be purely theoretical; and
of course these diagrams do not consider the effects of changing relationships or combi-
nations, either over time or in space. They simply illustrate the wide range of possible
relationships between a number of media.

265
5.6 Fusion Examples
The following examples draw upon works that illustrate various degrees of fusion
among component art forms and collaborating artists. The first three works were created
by a single artist and make use of synesthesia to fuse components. Ives' "Ann Street" and
the Ballets Russes' Parade juxtapose unrelated styles to avoid fusion of components
within a single medium and among a multiplicity of media respectively.

5.6.1 Synesthesia and Fusion: Alexander Scriabin, Prometheus', Arnold Schoen-


berg, Die gluckliche Hand; Wassily Kandinsky, Der gelbe Klang
Composed within a relatively short period of time in the years leading up to the
First World War, each of these three worksScriabin's Prometheus, Schoenberg's Die
gluckliche Hand, and Kandinsky's Der gelbe Klangwas created by a single artist who
composed for all component media. All evidence the influence of the mystical theosophy
of Madame Blavatsky and George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, and all employ the technique of
synesthesia to unify and fuse component media: Scriabin by means of an orchestral score
and color projections; Kandinsky by bringing together descriptions of movement, color,
and music; and Schoenberg by combining a musical score with detailed remarks about
lighting and staging.
Although not a new phenomenonthe notion of intrasensory correspondences
known as synesthesia dates back to the middle of the eighteenth centuryit was in the
early twentieth century that the one-to-one correspondence among sensory elements and
emotional states was exploited as a convenient and useful basis for combining otherwise
unrelated elements. In these works, a high degree of fusion among component elements is
achieved through direct, systematic, synesthetic mappings between sound, light/color,
movement, and emotional states. Meaning is reinforced through external relationships
(i.e., coincidence in time and space) and resonates internally not only through a common
information structure but through the coincidence of emotional, mental, spiritual, or other
extrasensory states and relationships.

266
Alexander Scriabin, Prometheus [Ab]
A = orchestral score
b = color projections

Scriabin, whose work was arguably the most directly influenced by the Russian
theosophists, devised for Prometheus a systematic analogy between color and pitches.
Scriabin was by no means the first to explore such relationships; composer Ernest Gretry
(1740-1813) had written an essay titled "The Analogy Between Color and Music" in
which he writes of the "inseparability of these two senses and arts, since both belong to
the natural order of things."104 In 1912, Der Blaue Reiter contained an article by Scri-
abin's friend and supporter, Leonid Sabaneyev, that provided an exegesis of Prometheus.
Sabaneyev's article refers to another article written for the January 1911 issue of Music
[Moscow]; in this appeared the following chart describing Scriabin's personal sound-
color relationships:

c Red Ft Blue, intense


G Orange-pink Dl> Purple
D Yellow At> Red-purple
A Green E\> Steely
E Whitish-blue Bl> With a metallic shine
B Similar to E F Red, dark

Figure 5.4: Scriabin's sound-color relationships.105

When the pitches are arranged in the circle of fifths, the colors arrange themselves ac-
cording to the spectrum, as shown in Figure 5.5, a chart created by Bulat Galeev, who
founded the color-music electronics laboratory in Kazan.

267
SCRIABIN'S MUSICOCHROMO^-LOGO SCHEMA*

Will (Human)
Red (Intense)

Diversification ol Wifl
Creative Play
Deep Bed
Ofange

Lust or Passion Joy


Rose tor Steel) Yellow

Humanity
Flesh ((Silnt of Steel)

Movement of Spirit
Into Matter
Violet or Lilac Dreams
Sky Blue
(Moonshine or Frost)

r>
Will (of the Creative Spirit)
Violet or Purple V

Contemplation
Blue (or Pearly Blue)

Wit) (of the Creative Spirit)


Violet or Purple

Creativity
'Bright Blue or Violet

Figure 5.5: Scriabin's Musico-Chromo-Logo Schema. 106

In Prometheus the color correspondences are projected by means of a tastiera per


luce, literally "keyboard for light" but commonly called "color organ." A cursory exami-
nation reveals that the "pitches" for the color organ directly correspond to the score, and
indeed are often identical to particular lines in the score. In Figure 5.6, for instance, com-
pare the "luce" to the cello part at rehearsal 3 (measures 67-68); similar passages can be
found in measures 81-82 and 129-130.

268
Figure 5.6: Comparison of the cello and luce parts in Prometheus.

Watkins provides a more detailed analysis of the relationship between the projected col-
ors and the harmonies in Soundings.

Various transpositions of the mystic chord account for the changes in


color. The root of these transpositions, regardless of the inversion, is indi-
cated in the color-keyboard part (tastiera per luce) printed in the score at
the top of each system. The composer thus provides a simultaneous color-
harmonic analysis of the work's progress. The keyboard, of course, acti-
vates no sound but was intended to trigger colors allied to the root color
of the momentary version of the "mystic chord." Actually, there are two
voices in the tastiera per luce part: The faster moving one indicates the
root of the "mystic chord, " while the slower moving one, which remains
static for long periods of time, progresses roughly in a whole-tone scale
from F$ through C (dividing the octave in half through its tritone and
symbolizing earth) to F$ (heaven). The piece ends on an Fi-major triad
(celestial blue), the only triad of the piece. Obviously it is the interplay of

269
the two color voices that determines the color that was to be projected at
any given time and that guaranteed the kaleidoscopic range of hues.108

For the most part, however, the color exists in Prometheus to reinforce the me-
lodic and harmonic elements of the piece. Although there are two lines present for the
color organ and the second line moves independently from the melodic/harmonic mate-
rial of which the piece is composed, it is doubtful that the resulting light combination can
be seen as two separate lines and that even if this can be done, whether the second line
will be observed to be independent from the musical element. Apparently, Scriabin was
not completely satisfied with merely reinforcing harmony with color. Faubion Bowers
reports that Scriabin said that "he had indeed wanted 'to augment sounds with the paral-
lelism of light. But now, I want counterpoint," Scriabin continued. "The lights pursue
their melody, and the music goes on with its. Now I want a contrapuntalism of all the dif-
ferent lines of art'"109 It is not certain at what time this comment was made, but it may be
the reason that a second voice was added to the color organ part.
The autograph manuscript provides further evidence both that the tastiere de luce
and the harmonic/melodic material in Prometheus were not originally independent and
that the second, independent voice was added later. In Figure 5.7 the color organ part ap-
pears to have been attached to the completed orchestral score as a separate element; this
may indicate that the orchestral score and luce part were conceived and written independ-
ently or, more likely, that the musical score was composed first with the part for the color
organ added later. Either way, the color part cannot exist without the musical score; it is
not an independent component but fused with the music.

270
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271
Arnold Schoenberg, Die gliickliche Hand [AB cd]
A = music score
B = text
c = light/color
d = staging

Schoenberg's detailed stage and lighting instructions for Die gliickliche Hand
provide another example of a fused relationship of sound, light and emotional states.
Scored for a chorus of six women, a chorus of six men, a Monster, a Man, a Woman, a
Gentleman and a chamber ensemble to an original text by Schoenberg, Die gliickliche
Hand was written at about the same time as Kandinsky's Der gelbe Klang and Scriabin's
Prometheus. In addition to associating individual instruments with characters, the score
contains "meticulous directions for coordination of stage directions and lighting with the
musical score [that] is unparalleled in the history of music."111 An example is the "Wind-
Light-Tone Crescendo" that takes place after a text spoken by The Man.

As it becomes dark, a -wind springs up: at first sighing faintingly, then


steadily and threateningly swelling louder (along with the music).
Along with this wind-crescendo is a light-crescendo. It commences
with a dim red light (from above) which changes into brown and then to a
muddy green. Next it evolves into a dark blue-gray, followed by violet.
This splits into an intense dark red which becomes increasingly brighter
and more glaring until, after attaining a blood-red, it is mixed more and
more with orange and then bright yellow until a glaring yellow light alone
remains and is projected from all sides onto the second grotto.n2

Continuing with these elaborate stage directions Schoenberg goes on to describe


how the lighting and colors are associated with the action on stage.

The Man has projected this crescendo of light and storm as though both
arose from with him. First (the red light) he looks at his hand; it then

272
sinks, visibly exhausted; slowly (muddy green) his eyes become excited.
His agitation grows; his limbs tighten convulsively; he stretches out both
arms (blood red); his eyes bulge from his head and his mouth opens in ter-
ror. When the yellow light appears, his head must appear as though it will
explode. The Man does not turn toward the grotto, but stares straight
ahead.113

These detailed descriptions and direct associations between specific colors and
specific actions result in a highly fusedalthough somewhat arbitrary and necessarily
co-dependentrelationship between the sound-text and color-staging components in Die
gluckliche Hand. However, the parallel changes in all the art forms manifest only their
external characteristics and not their internal meaning. Indeed, in "The Relationship to
the Text," which appeared in Der Blaue Reiter, Schoenberg decries the "exactness of
rendering the action ... as irrelevant to its artistic value"114 Rather than two artistic events
or activities having a direct parallel in external expression Schoenberg suggests that
"ftjhis parallel may also occur, may even be much more profound, when externally the
opposite is true."115 Schoenberg concludes:

Once this has been recognized, it is easy to understand that the external
congruence of music and text, which reveals itself in declamation, tempo,
loudness, has as little to do with the internal congruence, and stands at the
same level of primitive imitation of nature, as the copying of a model. An
apparent divergence on the surface can be necessary because of a parallel
movement on a higher level}16

Apparently Schoenberg had recently read On the Spiritual in Art and made use of
Kandinsky's emotion-color associations in Die gluckliche Hand. He also shared Kandin-
sky'sand Eisenstein's-desire to dissociate external correspondences between arts
from their internal or inner meaning. In practice, the relationships between color, emo-
tion, and bodily movement of the actors in Die gluckliche Hand do not match Schoen-
berg's description in his Blaue Reiter article; but taking him at his word, it may be that

273
accuracy regarding "external" features was less important than conveying his sense of the
inner significance.
In Die gliickliche Hand, Schoenberg has composed a highly integrated, fused
structure in which all components work towards a single goal. The music and text rein-
force each other through a high degree of fusion. Lighting and staging are somewhat
separated but not independent from the other two media, and they exist to support and
enhance to the telling of the story. Though Schoenberg felt that strict parallels in the
movement of external characteristics were not critical to understanding, he did not move
very far from this principle.

Wassily Kandinsky, Der gelbe Klang [A | B | C]


A = staging (movement)
B = color
C = musical directions

Kandinsky believed strongly in the equality and external independence of compo-


nent art forms in staged work and wrote extensively on both external and internal rela-
tionships. In "On Stage Composition," the introduction to Der gelbe Klang, Kandinsky
opens by stating:

Each art has its own language, that is, its own methods.
Each art is something complete in itself. Each art leads a life of its
own. It is an empire in itself.
Therefore the methods of the various arts are completely different
externally. Sound, color, word!...
In their innermost core these methods are wholly identical: their fi-
nal goal obliterates external differences and reveals their inner identity117

Eisenstein's inner synchronization of sound and images and Kandinsky's inner


meaning of sound, action and color describe a method for creating a stronger sense of fu-
sion among component arts than is possible when one merely links the external character-

274
istics of those arts. As we have seen, both Kandinsky and Eisenstein recognized the ex-
ternal independence of the individual arts, asserting that they do not need simply to rein-
force each other but can consist of "both corresponding and non-corresponding 'move-
ments.'"118 Kandinsky, however, is more explicit in describing the relationships among
component arts in "On Stage Composition."

All three elements play an equally significant role, remain externally self-
sufficient, and are treated in a similar way, i.e., subordinated to the inner
purpose.
Thus, e.g., music can be completely suppressed, or pushed into the
background, if the effect, e.g., of the movement is sufficiently expressive,
and could be weakened by combination with the powerful effect of the mu-
sic. The growth of musical movement can correspond to a decrease in the
movement of the dance, whereby both movements (the positive and the
negative) take on a greater inner value, etc., etc. A series of combinations,
which lie between the two poles: collaboration and opposition. Conceived
graphically, the three elements can take entirely individual, in external
terms, completely independent paths.11

Der gelbe Klang is Kandinsky's attempt to put these ideas into practice. In it he
relied heavily on Symbolist notions of correspondence between sound, color, and staging,
as the following brief excerpts from Picture 2 of Der gelbe Klang demonstrate:

Gradually the blue haze yields to pure, very intense white light. At the back
of the stage, a hill quite round, dazzling green and as large as possible.
The background is violet, moderately bright.
The music is shrill, violent with repeated A's andB's andB's and
A-flats. These single tones are finally swallowed up by loud stormy
sounds. Suddenly everything is silent. A pause. Again A and B whimper
sorrowfully but also clearly and sharply. This lasts for some time. Then
another pause. ...

275
Later, the flower rocks very slowly from right to left, in complete
silence. Still later the leaf begins to move, not with the flower but inde-
pendently. Still later they both rock in an uneven tempo. Then, as before,
they move separately. A very thin B sounds when the flower movesa very
deep A when the leaf moves. Then they rock together while both notes ac-
company their movements. The flower trembles violently and then is quite
still. But the notes continue to be heard.120

While Kandinsky describes the roles of each of the constituent arts in Der gelbe Klang as
being independent and complete, he still relies on location and timing to "fuse" the com-
ponent media, as well as direct correspondences between specific notes and specific im-
agery in order to convey meaning.

Summary
Scriabin's Prometheus, Schoenberg's Die gluckliche Hand, and Kandinsky's Der
gelbe Klang comprise a group of pieces that explore the relationships among sound,
color, and emotional states as well as other component elements. In each of these cases
the "composer" of the work wrote very specific instructions or composed not merely for
his own media but for all other component elements of the combined work. All three
pieces employ synesthetic techniques or, at the very least, create highly interdependent
relationships among the component arts.
These three works have, to some degree, their point of departure in Wagner's ge-
samtkunstwerk. All of these artists appear to have, at least initially, adhered to the formu-
laic one-to-one correspondences prescribed by Blavatsky and the Russian mystics,
though each shaped these distinctively. Whereas Scriabin seems to attribute certain abso-
lute properties to color and sound, properties that are able to transform humanity, Kand-
insky acknowledges the complicated relationships between the artistic creation, the audi-
ence and the socio-political context. For Kandinsky and Schoenberg (as well as Eisen-
stein), the independence and equality of the component media are crucial: no art is less
important than another. In this they differ from Wagner. They also seem to propose a dif-
ference between an external hierarchyapplicable especially to the methodology by

276
which the work's components are composedand an internal fusion or unity that renders
largely irrelevant merely external characteristics. In practice though, the results are
somewhat unconvincing realizations of their theories and rather similarin Kandinsky
and Schoenbergto traditional theatrical models.

5.6.2 Charles Ives, "Ann Street"; Ballets Russes, Parade


Ives' song "Ann Street" and the Ballets Russes production of Parade exemplify
the juxtaposition, without fusion, of unrelated styles. In both works an external context
serves to unify the unrelated elements of which each work is constructed. The unifying
information structure provides an identifiable time and place matrix; the individual com-
ponents are placed in single or alternating scenes. Juxtaposing externally unrelated ele-
ments allows the audience to focus instead on the internal relationships or meanings
among them. "Ann Street" was made by a single creator, while Parade is the result of a
collaborative effort in which each artist had more or less equal input.

Charles Ives, "Ann Street" [AB11 AB2 | AB3...]


A = music
B = text

Ives' "Ann Street," although a purely musical work, is a fine instance of a work in
which several components resist fusion. In it appear several independent styles and stylis-
tic shifts reflecting the hustle and bustle of an early twentieth-century American urban
neighborhoodin this case, New York City's financial district. Words and music in
"Ann Street" together describe the sights and sounds one might find on this "rather short"
block in lower Manhattan: Ann Street's brevity is reflected in the song "Ann Street."
In^4 Union of Diversities, Larry Starr examines Ives' characteristic way of pre-
senting diverse materials through simultaneous and sequential juxtaposition. It is clear
that Ives is not attempting a fusion of the musical materials; rather, he sets them against
each other in order to explicate a larger unifying idea. Hence it is imperative that the
component styles remain independent from each other. "Ann Street" is one among sev-
eral works that explore this principle. In The Unanswered Question "three stylistic

277
streams [are presented]: one played by a group of string instruments, one played by a solo
trumpet, and one played by four flutes"; and in Central Park in the Dark, "a string body
presents one stylistic layer while winds, brass, percussion instruments, and piano super-
impose another."121 Except for The Unanswered Question the titles of most of these
works describe the time and/or place matrix in which the differing stylistic materials are
contained: Central Park in the Dark, "Ann Street," General William Booth Enters into
Heaven, Three Places in New England, etc.
Central Park in the Dark and, to a lesser extent, The Unanswered Question super-
impose incongruent styles in several layers, but "Ann Street" juxtaposes several styles
sequentially, primarily in the piano. At one pointmeasure 11the piano and vocal
lines present two different kinds of material simultaneously. The vocal part, separated by
a one measure piano interlude, continues the previous material while the piano part con-
tinues the interlude. The various styles are not intended to fuse musically; indeed it is
their very incongruity, and the fact that all may be heard on "Ann Street," that provides
unity. According to Starr,

[ijn "Ann Street, " and in much of Ives' music, the alterations of musical
stylewhile appearing to disrupt or even destroy continuity, form, and
unity as traditionally conceivedactually create continuity, form, and
unity on another level of perception.ni

Could the other "level of perception" to which Starr refers be that "internal" unity
which Kandinsky, Eisenstein, Cocteau, and others have sought? Could it be that in their
work as well, it is external discontinuity, the shifting of styles themselves, that makes
possible the discovery of an internal continuity by the observer? Starr argues convinc-
ingly that although "Ann Street" may be analyzed using traditional melodic, rhythmic
and harmonic techniques, it is the changing styles that most clearly define the work's mu-
sical character. Starr argues, "[i]n fact, the stylistic changes in 'Ann Street' create an
overall design, and thus may be seen as producing unity and coherenceon a large
scalerather than confusion."123 The discontinuity of the various styles and the meanings
associated with each are clearly visible in the score itself. The sections in this brief two-

278
page song are described and analyzed in detail by Starr; although many parameters may
change between sections, some conventional relationships remain. As Starr indicates, al-
though "Ann Street" relies predominately on stylistic features, it is also true that "tradi-
tional analysis can tell us a lot about it."124 Considering Ives' history and musical train-
ing, this is not at all surprising. His musical language was rooted in tradition, and yet he
found it necessary to pursue other avenues, employ other techniques, to express what he
wanted. Like the Futurists, with their variety shows, Ives was responding to his environ-
ment, to what he was experiencing and what he remembered. But unlike them, he worked
alone; the multiplicity in Ms art results instead from the diversity of the sounds and mate-
rials with which he re-creates the world around him.

Figure 5.8: "Ann Street," measures 1-10.

279
Ballets Russes, Parade [A B C D e]
A = Jean Cocteau, Scenario and Noise Score
B = Erik Satie, Musical Score
C = Leonide Massine, Choreography
D = Pablo Picasso, Costumes and Sets
e = Guillaume Apollinaire, Program Note

Parade has been extensively discussed in the preceding chapters, and it is surely
not necessary to again provide a full synopsis of this seminal work, "a burlesque scene
played outside a sideshow booth to entice spectators inside."126 Although originally con-
ceived by Cocteau at the instigation of Diaghilev, Parade was not so much a collabora-
tion between complicit contributors as an amalgamation of competing components and
interests forged into a whole by the sheer force of Diaghilev's personality. Although the
individual component arts share time and space and a single, simple information struc-
ture, the collaborators and their media resist fusion; each contributes a separate, inde-
pendent voice to the whole.
Like Ives' "Ann Street," Parade frames its many dissimilar components in an ex-
ternal time and space matrixin this case, the circus sideshow. And like "Ann Street," it
is the diverse, independent nature of the components that is the key to the concept. In Pa-
rade, however, disconnection operates on multiple levels. It applies to the individual
"numbers" of the sideshow, represented by the acrobats, the little American girl and the
Chinese magician, and also to the component media comprising the work. In both "Ann
Street" and Parade the disconnected "numbers" follow one another on stage, rather than
appearing simultaneously. In Parade, however, this may result primarily from practical
considerations; there appears to be no aesthetic reason why one turn occurs before an-
other or why two acts cannot overlap. In reality, it seems, one could reorder, add, or re-
place numbers without changing the effect of the work at all. Satie's nonchalant musical
score, Cocteau's "noises," Massine's choreography, and Picasso's staging comprise a
larger, meta-"sideshow" of disconnected arts and collaborators. This "sideshow," how-
ever, is not so genteel. Here, component arts overlap and juxtapose on the same stage,

280
"elbowing" each other out of the way, upstaging one another and competing for the spec-
tator's attention.
The staged "numbers" are disconnected not only from each other but also from
the context in which they are presented. With the two oversize managers and the "come
on" for the show, the numbers participate in a shifting foreground-background dance. By
importing the music hall to the concert stage Parade juxtaposes aspects of high and low
art, reality and poetry; and the same juxtaposition characterizes the details, with Coc-
teau's "noises" and Picasso's newspaper bits side by side with more conventional music
and action.
During the early part of the twentieth century, the place of music in dance was
changing. No longer at the center of the production, in Diaghilev's work music was sup-
planted by design as the unifying element. Diaghilev "came to understand that decor
'should be conceived as one of the integral parts'"127 of ballet, an equal partner with mu-
sic and movement. By 1919 Massine had put the designer's case more strongly, stating,
"the two essentials [choreography and plastic art] would be balanced with an inclination
toward the plastic element."128 Seven years earlier Kandinsky had argued for a similar
equality among the component arts. In the preface to Der gelbe Klang, Kandinsky identi-
fies the elements of stage composition (sound, objects, and color) and asserts, "All three
elements play an equally significant role, remain externally self-sufficient, and are treated
in a similar way."129
For Parade Diaghilev brought together four artists, who already had acquired a
certain degree of success (or notoriety) in their respective fields, to contribute equally to a
new production. Whether or not Kandinsky's ideas were consciously applied, in practice
the four collaborators would certainly "play an equally significant role" in the production,
and their individual contributions would "remain externally self-sufficient." In this re-
spect Parade would be a successful realization of Kandinsky's theory and a paradigmatic
watershed in the transformation of the "top down" approach of the gesamtkunstwerk to a
collaborative process that rejected hierarchy and fusion
Parade's lack of a story or traditional plot certainly allowed each of the contribu-
tors to interpret and reinterpret the piece in his own way. Cocteau, though responsible for
the scenario, exercised limited influence on the collaborators. During composition vari-

281
ous intrigues and alliances (Cocteau/Satie, Picasso/Massine) shaped what would eventu-
ally appear on the stage. Artists worked together but were careful not to give anything up;
each sought to imprint his stamp on the final production and changed allegiances as
needed to win approval of particular goals. Thus, Satie and Picasso resisted Cocteau's
"noises"; Cocteau fought to insert texts and realistic sounds into the work, supported by
Picasso's dictum "don't be afraid to glue a piece of newspaper to the canvas";130 yet Satie
and Cocteau were jealous of Picasso's stature; and over it all loomed Diaghilev.
The result of this collaboration of equals, this nearly anarchic process, is that each
component articulates the scenario with a different voice; each component is independent
and yet no one component captures the essence of the work completely. Cocteau summa-
rized the collaborators' process and relationships eloquently in the May 18,1917 edition
of Excelsior as follows:

Parade brings together Erik Satie's first orchestral score, Pablo Picasso's
first stage decor, Massine 's first Cubist choreography, and a poet's first
attempt to express himself without words. We have worked so closely to-
gether that the contribution of each is in close union with the contributions
of the others without impinging on them.

By presenting a circus sideshow on the concert stage, Parade is, at its highest
level, a play between realism and abstraction; low art and high art. Cocteau's fascination
with illusion and the backstage elements of productionthat which is seen by the specta-
tor as against that which the artist imaginesand with the incorporation and juxtaposi-
tion of realistic objects on the stage all contribute to the overall effect of the production.
In the following excerpt from the Excelsior article Cocteau tackles the question of "real-
ism" in Parade:

It was appropriate ... to do justice for the first time to the true meaning of
'realism' in theatrical terms. What has hitherto been called 'realistic art'
is in a way pleonastic art, especially in the theatre, where 'realism' con-
sists in admitting onto the stage real objects which lose their reality the

282
moment they are placed in nonreal surroundings. The elements o/trompe-
l'oeil andtrompe-l'oreille in Parade create realitywhich alone has the
power to move us, well disguised though it may be.132

Each of the collaborators incorporated various "bits of newspaper" into his indi-
vidual contribution: Satie's almost verbatim quotation of Berlin's That Mysterious Rag;
Cocteau's noises, texts, aind advertisements (while the orchestra was sitting down and
warming up); Picasso's cityscape costumes for the managers; and Massine's everyday
movements for the American girl. The individual elements are not developed, but merely
presented side-by-side; the numerous incongruities keep them from fusing externally and
force the spectator to examine their inner meaning. Cocteau describes Parade's music
and by extension the relationship of the contributions of each of the collaborators thus:

A fugue comes bustling along and gives birth to the actual melancholy
rhythm of the fair. Then come the three dances. Their numerous themes
each distinct from the other, like separate objects, succeed one another,
without being developed, and do not get entangled. A metronomical unity
governs each of these enumerations which are super-imposed upon the
simple outlines of each character and upon the imaginative ideas evoked
by them.133

Not only the juxtapositions but also the relationships between components con-
tributes to "dissonance" and a lack of unity and fusion in Parade; like the creators, the
components form and dissolve alliances in pursuit of momentary goals. Visually, for ex-
ample, the stage managers' larger-than-life "reality" overshadows the dancers, whose on-
stage "reality" is reduced to a kind of puppetry. Yet dance steps performed by the manag-
ers are lost in the costuming, the managers are absorbed into the decor, and because of
the difference in stature the two groupsmanagers and actscoalesce into two unified,
but non-overlapping sets. It is left to the audience to determine which is foreground and
which is background.

283
A similar relationship applies to Satie's musical score and Cocteau's noises. It is
fruitless to argue about which of the sound components is more realistic or which one has
more meaning. Each is stylistically coherent; though they sound "together," they have
little in common. On the relationship between the musical score and the noises Satie
would later state:

I composed, ...a backgroundfor certain noises which Cocteau considers


indispensable in order to fix the atmosphere of his characters.

Cocteau had a different view:

Satie exaggerates, but the noises certainly played an important part in


'Parade'. Material difficulties, however (amongst others the suppression
of the compressed air), deprived us of those 'ear deceivers'dynamo,
Morse apparatus, sirens, express-train, aeroplanewhich I employed with
the same object as the 'eye-deceivers'newspapers, cornices, imitation
wood-work, which the painters use.135

Most of Cocteau's noises and all of his texts did not make it into Parade. How-
ever, his injection of realityboth noises but particularly the textsinto Parade had an
additional function: to extend the role of the individual acts beyond what was presented
and to allude to the real spectacle inside the fair booth. Thus other componentsthe
Managers, for instanceassumed part of that function.

In the first version the Managers did not exist. After each music-hall turn
an anonymous voice, issuing from a kind of megaphone, sang a type-
phrase, summing up the different aspects of each character. When Picasso
showed us his sketches, we realized how interesting it would be to intro-
duce, in contrast to the three chromos, unhuman or superhuman charac-
ters who would finally assume a false reality on the stage and reduce the
real dancers to the stature of puppets}36

284
Parade is in part an experiment in realizing Kandinsky's theories of equality
among art forms in staged works; it is also a moderately successful application of Bu-
soni's dictum "to hold them apart, and unite them." Whether Parade is artistically suc-
cessful is another matter. The independence of each of the collaborating/competing artists
means that no one art carries the information structure and that therefore no single com-
ponent stands independently to represent the work. On the contrary, it is only through the
combination of components that the work is created. For what is Parade? Certainly there
is a musical score, but one can hardly imagine it without the staging, without the move-
ment, without the decor or the scenario. Parade's information structure operates very
much as Eisenstein described, "passing to each other the dramatic ball and driving to-
wards the goal of the dazed spectator."137
Although Parade was successful in "amalgamating" music, ballet, painting, cos-
tuming, and literature, and although each artist was encouraged to experiment within his
own art form, there was no bonding, no fusion of media. Of all the collaborators only
Cocteau conceived the work to be an integrated multimedia production. Cocteau thus
wanted to "control" the production; but in the end, as each contributor interpreted in
terms his own way, and as the sheer volume of overlapping ideas became overwhelming,
the artists were forced to compromisemost of all Cocteau.

5.7 Summary
Fusion in combined stage works, and among artistic components in combined
works, is a consequence of a number of factors; these include location, movement and
change, the place and relationship of the spectator, the information structures, content and
style, internal and external unity, and hierarchy. Like other aspects of the work, fusion
may be observed over different spans of time (synchronically or diachronically) and dif-
ferent parts of space (locally or globally). Like all aspects of the combined work fusion
does not exist in isolation; in particular, it must be examined together with hierarchy, in-
formation structure, and location. Fusion is not absolute, and a wide range of degrees of
fusion existsfrom no fusion, or complete independence, to total or reactive fusion, in
which case the removal of one element destroys the whole.

285
Wagner and Busoni exemplify two contrasting approaches to combined, stage
works, and these two approaches have influenced much of the way artists collaborate to
create combined works even today. Fusion, more than hierarchy, depends on the observa-
tion, memory, and psychology of the spectator, and its use in the combined work changed
much after the start of the twentieth century, Previously unity in art depended largely on
conventions of content and style; during the twentieth century it came to depend on con-
text and the superposition of dissimilar elements. Eisenstein observed that any time two
or more events are brought together an observer will attempt to relate them. However,
ultimately external relationships, external similarities, are important only insofar as they
contribute to internal meaning; indeed, some might argue that external relationships im-
pede the experience of internal meaning. It is evident that today creators have both more
resources and more responsibility; but they remain dependent on the audience to join
them as co-conspirators in the creation of the work.

Ferruccio Busoni, "The Essence and Oneness of Music: The Oneness of Music
and the Possibilities of the Opera," The Essence of Music and Other Papers, trans. Ro-
samond Ley (New York: Dover Publications, 1957), 5.
2
Ibid.
3
Ibid.
Richard Wagner, Opera and Drama, trans. Edwin Evans (London: Wm. Reeves,
n.d.), 610-611.
5
Ibid., 601.
6
Ibid.
7
Ibid.
8
In fairness, however, Busoni appears to be mainly concerned with liberating mu-
sic from the drama; he is reacting against the "oppression" of music in Wagner's ge-
samtkunstwerk. The present discussion, which applies to all other media, is a logical ex-
tension of this theory.
9
Busoni, "Essence," 73.
10
Ibid., 7.
11
Although the outcome of this approach may be a work that is indistinguishable
from that of Wagnerparticularly to a spectatorBusoni's methodology opens up a
wider range of possibilities for the combination of media to the artist. Cage has already
been quoted: "[c]omposing's one thing, performing's another, listening's a third." John
Cage, Silence: Lectures and Writings (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press,
1961), 15.
12
The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, ed. Lesley Brown (New York:
Oxford University Press, 1993), 1047.

286
Of course it remains the artist's prerogative whether and how to "fuse" or not
"fuse" the component media in a combined work. Fusion, in itself, need not imply that
the component art forms play subordinating or dependent roles, or that they lose their in-
trinsic ability to contribute independently to the art work. On the contrary, for Busoni and
many others, fusion actually requires the independence of the component art forms in the
combined art work.
14
William C. Seitz, The Art of Assemblage (New York: The Museum of Modern
Art, 1961), 150.
15
Sergei Eisenstein, The Film Sense, ed. and trans. Jay Leyda (San Diego: Har-
court Brace Jovanovich, 1947), 7-8, emphasis Eisenstein.
16
Ibid., 4, emphasis Eisenstein.
17
Ibid.
18
Shorter Oxford, 2490.
19
Reactive combinations of art forms result not from a quasi-scientific approach
to the combination of particular "substances," as may happen with the combination of
chemicals. In the case of performative media reactive combinations may result from fac-
tors beyond the control of the composer or creatorsthe physical performance space and
performance time, the actions of performers as individuals and as a group, and observa-
tions made by spectators.
20
In established genres such as film or opera the widespread use of such links has
conditioned audiences to assume that combined elements are inseparable. Indeed, they
commonly expect not only a highly fused work but also a fixed set of hierarchical rela-
tionships among the elements.
21
Examples of films in which important elements of the information structure are
carried by color, for instance, have been listed and discussed previously. See Chapter 4,
page 180.
22
It might be argued that silent film lacks dialogue but is still "film." However,
except for certain experimental works, silent films do have a narrative structure, often
manifested in dialogue that is presented visually on the screen. In any case, a screenplay
designates more than just dialogue; it also describes the scenario, actions and situations of
the characters.
Wassily Kandinsky, On the Spiritual in Art, in Kandinsky: Complete Writings
on Art, 1st Da Capo Press Edition, eds. Kenneth C. Lindsay and Peter Vergo (New York:
Da Capo Press, 1994), 206.
24
Wassily Kandinsky, "On Stage Composition," in Kandinsky: Complete Writ-
ings on Art, 1st Da Capo Press Edition, eds. Kenneth C. Lindsay and Peter Vergo (New
York: Da Capo Press, 1994), 264. Originally published in The Blaue Reiter Almanac,
New Documentary Edition, ed. Klaus Lankheit, The Documents of Twentieth Century
Art (New York: The Viking Press, 1974).
25
Eisenstein, Film Sense, 85, emphasis Eisenstein.
26
Although Appalachian Spring exists as a score in its own right and is performed
independently of the choreography, Copland indirectly acknowledged the fusion of the
two when he created a separate, musically motivated, "suite" from the materials he had
written. On the other hand, Cage's "music" to How to Pass, Kick, Fall and Run was later
released on one of his best-known recordings, Indeterminacy, with no changes whatso-

287
ever.
27
Isolating events synchronically, in time, is somewhat easier than isolating them
in space because events are automatically ordered in time-based analysis. In space-based
analysis all events are present at the same time; and unless the distances between them
are large enough to require clear choices from the spectator, it may be difficult to deter-
mine which events are actually isolated. In both cases, though, the mediating factor is the
same: the ability of the mind and memory to accumulate experience in such a way that
the individual events become subsumed in the context of the larger work.
28
Wagner, Opera and Drama, 601.
29
It might be noted that the performers' role in this process is not considered here.
Although performers are critical to the interpretation of the creators' intentions, for the
purposes of this study it is assumed that the performers will not "color" the work with
their own biases, technical limitations, or individual or group personality dynamics. In
other words, a completely transparent interpretation is assumed.
30
Traditional musical forms developed during this time, including sonata form,
three-part form, theme and variations, etc., are based on the repetition and development
of materials which the composer combines to create unity over time both within a move-
ment and within the piece. Even in Beethoven's late string quartets, with their variety and
abundance of thematic materials, relationships among motives demonstrate a unity de-
spite the apparent diversity from movement to movement and from quartet to quartet.
31
Cage, Silence, 36.
32
Ibid., 39.
33
Seitz, Assemblage, 73-74.
34
Ibid., 74.
35
Kandinsky, Spiritual, 201.
Ken Gaburo's Enough(not enough) is an extreme example of this. The overly
long duration of the work challenges the audience to maintain interest in a constantly
changing texture without being able to interact, or change one's relationship to it. The
result being, in at least one case, that the audience, not perceiving differences or an end,
retires out. of disinterest.
37
Eisenstein, Film Sense, 100, emphasis Eisenstein.
38
Rene Guillere, "II n'y a plus de perspective," Le Cahier Bleu, No. 4 (1933), as
quoted in Eisenstein, Film Sense, 94-95.
Eisenstein, Film Sense, 98.
40
Ibid., 97.
41
It is important to note that fused art forms do not necessarily create a single
"unified" or integrated meaning. In other words, two elements may be fused to the
senses, due to technology, shared time or space, or other factors, and yet the meanings of
the two elements may remain unrelated. Conversely, component elements that have the
same or similar meanings may actually resist fusion. It is also the case that media sharing
time and/or space do not necessarily become fused simply because of their co-existence.
However, their juxtaposition can lead to the observation of connections that would oth-
erwise remain hidden.
42
Cage, Silence, 39.
43
Ibid.

288
44
Several of these designs have already been noted on page 83 in Chapter 3.
45
Cage, Silence, 12.
46
This technique will be more fully described in section 5.4.2 below.
7
Michael Kirby, "Happenings: An Introduction," in Happenings and Other Acts,
ed. Mariellen R. Sanford (London: Routledge, 1995), 5.
48
Ibid.
49
Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, 'Theater, Circus, Variety," in Oskar Schlemmer, Laszlo
Moholy-Nagy, and Farkas Molnar, The Theatre of the Bauhaus, ed. Walter Gropius and
Arthur S. Wensinger, trans. Arthur S. Wensinger (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University
Press, 1961), 68, emphasis Moholy-Nagy.
50
Oskar Schlemmer, "Theater (Biihne)" in Oskar Schlemmer, Laszlo Moholy-
Nagy, and Farkas Molnar, The Theatre of the Bauhaus, ed. Walter Gropius and Arthur S.
Wensinger, trans. Arthur S. Wensinger (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press,
1961), 89.
51
Sergei Eisenstein, Film Form: Essays in Film Theory (San Diego: Harcourt
Brace Jovanovich, 1949), 258, emphasis Eisenstein.
52
Eisenstein, Film Sense, 83.
53
Ibid., 85.
54
The most extreme cases are: parallel changes in direction and degree and
changes in one media and no changes in another media. That is, as one media changes,
another media may change or not change. If a change occurs in a corresponding media
the change may be in a similar direction, i.e., increasing density of events.
55
Other changes may be occurring in other parameters, but for now, we will only
look at a single parameter.
56
Richard Schechner, Environmental Theater, New, Expanded ed. (New York:
Applause, 1994), 8.
57
A similar journey, though on a localized scale of a single magazine page or bill-
board may be seen in advertising and graphic design: movement and fusion through the
strategic use of typography, color, and images, and the lines and angles formed by the
combination of these elements. In a successful advertisement the viewer's eyes move
through the ad in a manner that communicates the advertiser's message clearly. If ele-
ments are viewed individually, the message is lost; combined, into a fused, composite
whole, the message is unmistakable.
58
Eisenstein, Film Form, 21, emphasis Eisenstein.
59
Ibid., emphasis Eisenstein.
60
See the analysis of Enigmatic Game in Chapter 4: Hierarchy.
61
Busoni, "Essence," 5.
62
Wassily Kandinsky, "On the Question of Form," in Kandinsky: Complete Writ-
ings on Art, 1st Da Capo Press Edition, eds. Kenneth C. Lindsay and Peter Vergo (New
York: Da Capo Press, 1994), 245. Originally published in The Blaue Reiter Almanac.
Wassily Kandinsky, Point and Line to Plane, in Kandinsky: Complete Writings
on Art, 1st Da Capo Press Edition, eds. Kenneth C. Lindsay and Peter Vergo (New York:
Da Capo Press, 1994), 532, layout Kandinsky.
64
Kandinsky, "On Stage Composition," in Kandinsky: Complete Writings, 259.
65
Eisenstein, Film Sense, 82.

289
66
Ibid., 84-85.
67
Ibid., 85, emphasis Eisenstein. In The Film Sense Eisenstein proposes a "verti-
cal" montage in which there is a "simultaneous advance of a multiple series of lines, each
maintaining an independent compositional course and each contributing to the total com-
positional course of the sequence." Eisenstein, Film Sense, 75. As a way to control this
type of composition he proposed adding a "staff of visuals to the "audio-visual" score.
This advance both predates current computer software for the combination of sound and
images and recalls Scriabin's use of the extra staff above the orchestra for his "color or-
gan."
Eisenstein, Film Sense, 10, emphasis Eisenstein.
69
Ibid., 86, emphasis Eisenstein.
70
Ibid., 86, emphasis Eisenstein.
71
Ibid, my emphasis.
72
Bertolt Brecht, "A Short Organum for the Theatre," Playwrights on Playwrit-
ing: The Meaning and Making of Modern Drama from Ibsen to Ionesco, ed. Toby Cole
(New York: Hill and Wang, 1960), 104.
73
Other terms used for describing various degrees of fusion include synthesis,
mixture, amalgamation, combination, compound, blend, etc. However, because these
terms are relative and difficult to define, both qualitatively and quantitatively, they will
be avoided in the present discussion.
74
Douglas Kahn, "Introduction: Histories of Sound Once Removed," in Wireless
Imagination: Sound, Radio, and the Avant-Garde, eds. Douglas Kahn and Gregory
Whitehead (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1992), 15.
75
Scriabin's intuitive system of correspondences between color, harmony and
meaning and its use in Prometheus will be discussed in more detail later in this chapter.
76
Mel Gordon, "Songs from the Museum of the Future: Russian Sound Creation
(1910-1930)," in Wireless Imagination: Sound, Radio, and the Avant-Garde, eds. Doug-
las Kahn and Gregory Whitehead (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1992), 210.
77
Boris De Schloezer, Scriabin: Artist and Mystic, trans. Nicolas Slonimsky
(Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1987), 67.
78
Ibid., 63.
79
Walter Gropius, as quoted in Herbert Bayer, Walter Gropius, Ise Gropius, eds.,
Bauhaus: 1919-1928 (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1938), 12.
80
Walter Gropius, "The Theory and Organization of the Bauhaus," as reproduced
in Herbert Bayer, Walter Gropius, Ise Gropius, eds.,Bauhaus: 1919-1928 (New York:
The Museum of Modern Art, 1938), 24-25.
81
Ibid., 25.
82
Wassily Kandinsky, "And, Some Remarks on Synthetic Art," in Kandinsky:
Complete Writings on Art, 1st Da Capo Press Edition, eds. Kenneth C. Lindsay and Peter
Vergo (New York: Da Capo Press, 1994), 708. Originally published in HO, Amsterdam,
1927.
83
Moholy-Nagy, "Theater, Circus, Variety," 60, emphasis Moholy-Nagy.
84
Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Vision in Motion, ID Book (Chicago: Paul Theobald,
1947), 12.
85
Kurt Schwitters, "Merz," trans. Ralph Mmheim,Der Ararat, (Munich, 1921),

290
in Robert Motherwell and Jean Arp. 1981. The Dada Painters and Poets: an Anthology.
(Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1981). 62. Original copy-
right 1951 by Wittenborn, Schultz.
86
Ibid., 62.
87
QQ
Seitz, Assemblage, 26.
Roger Shattuck, The Banquet Years: The Origins of the Avant-Garde in France
1885 to World War I, Revised Ed. (New York: Vintage Books, 1968), 310.
89
Annabelle Henkin Melzer, Dada and Surrealist Performance, PAJ Books (Bal-
timore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994), 35.
90
Guillaume Apollinaire, LesMamelles de Tiresias, prologue, as quoted in Mel-
zer, 125.
91
Melzer, 131.
92
Ibid.
93
Ibid., 125-126.
94
Seitz, Assemblage, 25, emphasis Seitz. The original quotation by Shattuck may
be found on page 256 of The Banquet Years.
95
Shattuck, 332.
96
Ibid., 332, emphasis Shattuck.
97
Max Ernst, as quoted in Seitz, 40.
98
Seitz, 40-41, attributed to Max Ernst, emphasis Seitz.
99
Eisenstein, Film Sense, 4.
100
Eisenstein, Film Sense, 7-8, emphasis Eisenstein.
101
Kirby, "Happenings," 5, emphasis Kirby.
Allan Kaprow, Assemblages, Environments, and Happenings (New York,
Abrams, 1966), 190,191, emphasis Kaprow.
103
Schechner, Environmental Theater, xxxvii.
104
Faubion Bowers, Scriabin: A Biography, 2nd rev. ed. (New York, Dover Pub-
lications, 1996), v2,204.
105
Leonid Sabaneiev, Music (Moscow), January 1911, No. 9,199, in Wassily
Kandinsky and Franz Marc, eds., The Blaue Reiter Almanac, New Documentary Edition,
ed. Klaus Lankheit, The Documents of Twentieth Century Art (New York: The Viking
Press, 1974), 131.
106
Scriabin, Aleksandr Nikolayevich, Poem of Ecstasy; and, Prometheus: Poem
of Fire. Notes by Faubion Bowers (New York: Dover Publications, 1995), 114.
107
Ibid., measures 64-71,125.
1OX

Glenn Watkins, Soundings: Music in the Twentieth Century (New York:


Schirmer Books, 1988), 166.
109
Bowers, 205.
110
The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd ed., ed. Stanley Sadie
(New York: Grove, 2001), 23: 487.
111
Watkins, 162.
112
Ibid.
113
Ibid.
114
Arnold Schonberg, "The Relationship to the Text," in Wassily Kandinsky and
Franz Marc, eds., The Blaue Reiter Almanac, New Documentary Edition, ed. Klaus

291
Lankheit, The Documents of Twentieth Century Art (New York: The Viking Press,
1974), 102.
115
Schonberg, 94, emphasis Schonberg.
116
Ibid., 102.
117
Wassily Kandinsky, "On Stage Composition," in Wassily Kandinsky and
Franz Marc, eds., The Blaue Reiter Almanac, New Documentary Edition, ed. Klaus
Lankheit, The Documents of Twentieth Century Art (New York: The Viking Press,
1974), 190, emphasis Kandinsky.
11 k
Eisenstein, Film Sense, 85.
119
Kandinsky, "On Stage Composition," in Kandinsky: Complete Writings, 264.
120
Watkins, 158-159.
Larry Starr, A Union of Diversities: Style in the Music of Charles Ives (New
York: Schirmer Books, 1992), 116.
122
Ibid., 27, emphasis Starr.
123
Ibid., 26.
124
Ibid., 24.
125
Ibid., 21.
126
Alan M. Gillmor, Erik Satie (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1992),
283n.
127
Michael Larionov, "Diaghilev and His First Collaborators," Ballet and Opera
8, no. 3 (September 1949): 15, as quoted in Lynn Garafola, Diaghilev's Ballets Russes
(New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), 84.
128
Leonide Massine, "On Choreography and A New School of Dancing," Drama
1, no. 3 (December 1919): 69, as quoted in Garafola, 84.
129
Kandinsky, "On Stage Composition," in Kandinsky: Complete Writings, 264.
130
Francis Steegmuller, Cocteau: A Biography (Boston: David R. Godine, 1986),
180.
131
Ibid., 183-184.
132
Ibid., 184.
133
Jean Cocteau, A Call to Order, Written between the years 1918 and 1926 and
including "Cock and Harlequin", "Professional secrets", and other critical essays (New
York: Henry Holt and Company, 1926), 25.
134
Ibid., 54.
135
Ibid.
136
Ibid., 51.
137
Eisenstein, Film Form, 21.

292
EPILOGUE

[TJhe spectator is drawn into a creative act in which his individuality is


not subordinated to the author's individuality, but is opened up through-
out the process of fusion with the author's intention, ... In fact, every spec-
tator, in correspondence with his individuality, and in his own way and
out of his own experience ... creates an image in accordance with the rep-
resentational guidance suggested by the author, leading him to under-
standing and experience of the author's theme. This is the same image that
was planned and created by the author, but this image is at the same time
created also by the spectator himself1

Creator: (Re)creator
Many artists neglect to consider, or only subconsciously consider, the creative
role played by the spectator in the observation of the artists' product; or they assume that
each member of the audience will naturally receive the workwhether open or closed
and recreate the idea in the same form as it was originally imagined, to the same depth,
breadth, and detail. And why should this not be true? The artist begins with an internal,
subjective ideasubjective because it is derived not merely from the imagination, but
from that individual's background, training, socio-economic status, likes and dislikes,
preferences and prejudices; in short, that which makes it an idea, and not a fact, is also
that which makes it subjective.
To construct something that exists in space and time is to posit the existence of an
audience. In the broadest sense the audience is everyone; and even in the most extreme
environmental theatre, in which no audience is invited, at least one spectator (possibly the
creator) is assumed.2 If the creators intend to communicate the idea in the same form as it
was imagined, the ideal spectator, in addition to receiving the work properly, will have
exactly the same credentials as those of the creator; in short, the ideal (re)creator of such
a work is the creator. (To distinguish the two roles of the artist and the spectator the terms
creator and (re)creator will be used.) However, consciously or subconsciously, we know
that no such ideal spectator exists: each audience member brings a different background,

293
training, socio-economic status, likes and dislikes, preferences and prejudices, to the pro-
duction; and along with observing the form/content objectin time and spaceeach
(re)creates the internal idea for himself. The best that can be hoped for, in the case of
such a fixed or closed work, is that the spectators arrive at an idea similar to or congruent
with that intended by the creators. In The Role of the Reader Eco writes:

We see it as the end product of an author's effort to arrange a sequence of


communicative effects in such a way that each individual addressee can
refashion the original composition devised by the author. The addressee is
bound to enter into an interplay of stimulus and response which depends
on his unique capacity for sensitive reception of the piece. In this sense the
author presents a finished product with the intention that this particular
composition should be appreciated and received in the same form as he
devised it. As he reacts to the play of stimuli and his own response to their
patterning, the individual addressee is bound to supply his own existential
credentials,... Thus his comprehension of the original artifact is always
modified by his particular and individual perspective. In fact, the form of
the work of art gains its aesthetic validity precisely in proportion to the
number of different perspectives from which it can be viewed and under-
stood. These give it a wealth of different resonances and echoes without
impairing its original essence... A work of art, therefore, is a complete
and closed form in its uniqueness as a balanced organic whole, while at
the same time constituting an open product on account of its susceptibility
to countless different interpretations which do not impinge on its unadul-
terable specificity.

In composing a combined work the creators conspire to construct an object (more


or less open or closed) which, as it is built, describes its audience, identifying and reduc-
ing it from the universe of all possible spectators to a specific field of competent specta-
tors who alone can complete the work. The narrowness of the field can be correlated with
the degree to which the work is closed. If an ideal spectator is required, the work itself

294
as it unfolds in time and spacemust create the observer who then (re)creates and com-
pletes the work. Without that limitation, works in which the creators intend that each
audience member have the same responseworks which may be considered closedare
actually open, to unpredictable interpretations. Thus, it is the artist's responsibility to de-
fine the field of competent spectators either at the outset or within the work's construc-
tion. In the confines of this paper it is not practical to describe the mechanisms by which
an audience is circumscribed; for the present it suffices to say that the creators of a com-
bined work stipulate that there are competent spectators, and that each work itself de-
mands and/or produces the specific field of spectatorsthe audiencewithout whom the
work is incomplete.4
Likewise, the (re)creator, approaching the open or closed work, assumes a broad
field of meanings. By observing the form/content object, its individual component media,
and their placement in time and space, the spectator creates relationships. These relation-
ships in turn lead the spectator to choose and discard alternatives from the universe of
possibilities with which he starts. In other words, the (re)creator works back through a
quantity of external (objective) objects and relationships, and by a reductive process ar-
rives at a more narrow field of possible (subjective) meanings.
For both creator and (re)creator the process is generative. The creator expresses
an internal idea or theme (subjective) making it external through media, form, relation-
ships, etc. The (re)creator, as he can only observe that which is external (objective), be-
gins by examining objects, locations, relationships and (re)creates meaning or a field of
meanings which he takes to be aligned with that of the creator. Both creator and
(re)creator make certain assumptions. Creators often work with a subconscious awareness
of the aforementioned relationships and their effects on the spectator, and they assume
their audience will have the competency needed to observe relationships and derive
meaning. (Re)creators, on the other hand, though they may not be certain about signifi-
cance, are often able to discern the smallest details and to observe relationships between
them; they trust that there is meaning within the work and that the creators have the abil-
ity to convey it. Figure 6.1 demonstrates this relationship:

295
constructive reductive
media (re)create'
create

encode decode

inlern.il external internal


meaning I I I V U I IM l y . meaning

hierarchy/fusion time/space hierarchy/fusion


relationships relationships relationships

Figure 6.1: The constructive - reductive cycle.

My goal then has been to create a set of tools, structures, and terminology that
will allow creators and (re)creators to have a common languageuseful both to the artist
as he creates the work and to the spectator as he (re)creates the work. By exposing certain
relationshipsthe information structure, location in time and space, and hierarchy and
fusionthese become explicit and consciously available to both artist and spectator. For
the creator, there results a better understanding of the role of the (re)creator and a more
effective use of tools and relationships both to define the field of model spectators and to
communicate with them. For the (re)creator, there results a more effective use of tools
both to observe the form/content object and to reduce the field of relationships and possi-
ble meanings.

Relationships of Relationships
This study has covered a broad range of ideas, many of which lie just below the
surface consciousness of artists and spectators; and it has introduced a framework for the
study of combined art works. It has examined, from inspiration to reception, a combined
work's information structure, media location, and relationships among its constituent
elements; and it has situated these within synchronic and diachronic frames (time) and
local and global frames (place). None of the ideas that have been introduced operate in
isolation from any of the others. The information structure requires realization in one or
more art forms, and it depends on the hierarchy and fusion relationships among these art

296
forms. The observation of these relationships depends upon their presentation in time and
place and their relationship to the spectator. Ultimately it is by means of all these rela-
tionships, in their multifarious combinations, that meaning is impartedalbeit always
mediated by the spectator's experience and credentials. Figure 6.2 offers a shorthand
summary of these relationships.
{ ARTISTS }

inspiration

literal W'jfjlVM'l)
idea
(lomething happens)

information structure(s)

non u r ' j i i v p

media ( M l , . . . Mx)

hierarchy Intermedial fusion


lubtionsriips

location

I i"p time/place place


matrix

{SPECTATORS}

Figure 6.2: Relationships in a combined art work.

The creator takes that which is internal, whether literal or abstract, and which is of
necessity subjective, having originated from within a single or small group of artists; and

297
assuming a specific field of spectators capable of (re)creation, the creator constructs an
information structure. Through the elaboration of external, necessarily objective means
the artists construct a form/content object (the combined work) comprised of one or more
media in which various hierarchy and fusion relationships are encoded; they place these
in a time/space matrix in such a way that a spectator is allowed the opportunity for obser-
vation.
The (re)creator works in the opposite direction. Rather than encoding and con-
structing relationships, the spectator decodes and reduces them. Beginning with that
which is external and most directly affects the senses, he examines the component art
forms and the events they emit individually and in combination, almost certainly making
judgments about which events are louder or closer, and in what order they occurall re-
lations that can be directly ascertained. From this information the spectator makes deci-
sions about the relationships (hierarchy, fusion) among components, using these to begin
to determine what appears to be significant. Tracing backwards through the many rela-
tionships and events, and using his internal personal credentials, the (re)creator discards
that which has less resonance, yielding an internal, subjective field of meaning that he
takes to correspond to that intended by the creators.

Further Study
The goal of this study has been to create a flexible system of tools and terminol-
ogy that will enable meaningful discussion of relationships among component media in
combined works. These tools do not depend on scale; they are useful for examining both
large-scale works in which many media are presented in a large time/space matrix and
short works in a single art: form presented on a proscenium stage. The objective has been
to create a framework that can be used for the analysis and discussion of existing works
as well as in designing methodologies for the creation of new works. In this sense the
framework is both analytical and generative, useful to both creators and (re)creators of
combined works.
The current study has pursued comprehensiveness and scope at the expense of
much detail; in this sense it serves in part as a broad outline for additional work that may
be done in this area. Future research might include a more probing study of the relation-

298
ships between the performer and the work and between the performer and the observer as
well as the role of intention in the creation of the work and within the form/content ob-
ject. These critical relationships have deliberately been slighted in order to focus on the
combined work and its relationship to the creators and (re)creators. It would also be de-
sirable to further refine the hierarchy and fusion notation systems and, in particular, to
create a methodology for combining them.
Some details derived from the analyses in the current paper invite further study.
Among these are a comparison of Scriabin's color charts and Blavetsky's systematic
work; and a more comprehensive analysis of existing works would no doubt suggest re-
finements to the notation and methodology. Among the pertinent works are certain semi-
nal works from the Ballet Russes, Dada and Surrealist productions (Reldche, Les Maries
de la Tour Eiffel), Merz Theatre and the German Bauhaus; Happenings or Environmental
works such as EAT; works by Roger Reynolds (Ping) and Robert Ashley (Perfect Lives);
and works by Fluxus artists. Finally, future work may entail additional research in semi-
otics, relying particularly on Eco (A Theory of Semiotics), Peirce, Jakobson, and Barthes,
and also in areas of reception theory and aesthetics.
It has been the intention of this study to formalize and visualize a process that
many artists and spectators only use subconsciously. Its usefulness lies in providing a
common language that allows spectators to circumscribe a field of possible meanings and
artists to circumscribe a field of spectators; it proposes that a generative process of con-
struction and reduction is essential to both the creation and understanding of a combined
work. Although this theory relies on and is indebted to the work of many others, this par-
ticular interpretation, combination and construction is my own.

1
Sergei Eisenstein, The Film Sense, ed. and trans. Jay Leyda (San Diego: Har-
court Brace Jovanovich, 1947), 33.
2
This relationship was discussed in Chapter 4, pages 158-160.
3
Umberto Eco, The Role of the Reader: Explorations in the Semiotics of Texts,
Advances in Semiotics, (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1984), 49.
4
Much of the argument in this section, Creator: (Re)Creator, is based on the work
of Umberto Eco in The Role of the Reader.

299
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AUTHOR'S BIOGRAPHY

Christopher Andrew Preissing is an active free-lance composer, improvise^ sound


designer, and flute player working in music and combined media in the Chicago area. He
holds a Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from the University of Illi-
nois at Urbana where he studied with Herbert Brun, Salvatore Martirano, and William
Brooks. He received Bachelor of Music degrees in Flute Performance and Music Theory
and Composition from Ball State University where he studied with Morris Knight, David
Foley, Cleve Scott and Paul Boyer. He taught at Indiana University South Bend, is a for-
mer composer-in-residence at Beloit College, Guest Composer at The Latin American
Music Center at Indiana University, and was twice Associate Artist in Residence at the
Atlantic Center for the Arts with Yuji Takahashi and John Zorn. Christopher has received
awards and commissions from the Jerome Foundation, Meet the Composer, Illinois Arts
Council, Arts Midwest, American Composers Forum, Ruthmere Foundation, Chicago
Composers Forum, Indiana Arts Commission, and ASCAP. His music has been featured
nationally and internationally at SEAMUS National Conferences, SCI National Confer-
ences, DISCOVERIES XXXI (Scotland), International Electronic Music Plus Festival,
Florida Electroacoustic Music Festival, BONK Festival of New Music. From 2005
through 2008 he served as president and executive director of Chicago Composers Forum
where he produced numerous concerts and programs including the 2005 and 2007 Musi-
circus events at the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Chicago Cultural Center. In
2008 he performed with International Contemporary Ensemble and internationally re-
nowned painters The Zhou Brothers in a live painting, live music performance. Christo-
pher has composed electronic and acoustic scores, and collaborated with choreographers,
playwrights, poets, filmmakers, and visual artists. Currently Chris is working on an eve-
ning-length production with Khecari Dance Theater, supported by Chicago Dancemakers
Forum and the Richard Driehaus Foundation. In February he will be in residence at the
Ragdale Foundation and in March 2009, with support from Partners of the Americas, he
will be in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he will present composed and improvised music with
the Chicago-based improvisation collective Amis.

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