John Cage Lives

Most discussions of John Cage sight his significant influence on art and the art community of the back half of the twentieth century.  Composers such as Philip Glass, Frederic Rzewski, and Morton Feldman have cited Cage as a significant inspiration.  There is ongoing discussion about John Cage’s influence on Andy Warhol (an interesting discussion can be read here).  In my hunt for more “big names of the art world influenced by John Cage” on the internet, I ran across a lot of interesting things.  The following is an account of what I found:


The ACTAcademy UK trains young people (4 – 19 years old) in the art of acting.  They created a movie that was inspired by John Cage’s Aria.

And a performance of Aria for your comparison:


Claire Janine Satin

Music and theater were certainly not the only art form inspired by John Cage.  South Florida artist Claire Janine Satin shows us some materials derived from and inspired by writings by John Cage.



Inspired by Cage’s visual artwork entitled Eninka, a printer shows us the technique used by John Cage to create the work and, in the process, create his own art.

And the work it was inspired by, Eninka:


A Digital Prepared Piano

Cage’s prepared piano takes on an electro-acoustic flare with this work for two TENORI-ON(s):

And a sample from one of Cage’s prepared piano works, Sonatas and Interludes, which inspired the composition above:


Bassman Webcomics

Cage’s influence even popped up in a comic strip: Bassman Webcomics




Cage’s 4’33” inspired this video, which is, technically, a performance of 4’33” set in a parking garage – or is it?  4’33” requires a performer…

And a very interesting performance of 4’33” by a full symphony orchestra.  The commentator at the beginning makes a very interesting comment: “…the orchestra will remain silent — we hope — throughout the piece…” [0:24].


Other Interesting Finds

An online media aggregator, Mevio, has search results for “Artists Influenced by: John Cage” which features a few miscellaneous bands that must have been inspired by Cage’s music.

An artist plays with Google and John Cage’s philosophy of change-events to create these images.  I’m not completely sure what the process was here, but Cage was certainly an influential figure.

I ran across this invitation to “Take part in an Ambitious, John Cage-inspired art event” which discusses a little about what the plan for the work will be.

This interesting design discussion is brief, but clearly inspired by Cage.

And here’s a promotional listing for a tribute concert to John Cage, by a band called 4thirtythree who promises they won’t play 4’33”.


Get on With It!!!

At the end of this journey, it’s easy to see how Cage’s work has influenced a wide variety of art in early twenty-first century culture.  I was surprised to see how much of this inspired art is not specifically aural (or music) and how many genres of art are represented in a relatively brief search for Cage-inspired works.  Cage is alive and well in the twenty-first century.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s