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<<  -- 3 --  Jennifer Paull    UNCAGED JOHN


Green CD

The amazing thing about that piece was that it made you spend all that time with yourself. The truth is that language is the most treacherous instrument the human mind has ever invented. The highest of truths? Language is like a map: we spread the map of the world before us and we smugly pretend to know its experience. The number pieces are really teaching us something, aren't they? We are too used to so-called explanations, and have come to think when an explanation of a thing or fact is given there is nothing more to ask about it; but the point is that there is no better explanation than actual experience. It was a week or so later, while I was walking in the woods looking for mushrooms, that it all dawned on me. I wasn't asleep and I wasn't bored, but I also don't know what it was. What can it be? [Listen -- track 4, 0:03-1:01]

Sepia CD (wafer thin, like a hi-tech computer screen)

John Cage - One 6 - One 10 - Christina Fong. (c) 1998 OgreOgress Productions

A dagger-like look from a bare-shouldered damsel strikes the camera lens ('shatters' might be more appropriate). The words, 'JOHN CAGE' and 'violin' appear in a somewhat incongruous juxtaposition superimposed upon a background of developed, shot film of the young lady, nude. About twenty or so frames are visible. This is not good pin-up calendar material as all the views are from behind, and she has very long hair. Maybe there is a link between her curves and the word 'violin'? Should one draw a parallel between form and construction? [Listen, track 3, 0:05-2:15]

Here, the back cover shows an extremely happy Cage smiling at a further twenty or so similar illustrations of the soloist. The word 'ONE' and the name 'christina fong' are superimposed upon the images. Another FREE TIBET sticker in dark green and white falls out. 'Stop Tibetocide' in orange stares up at me. The sticker is large; the dimensions of the first red, blue and yellow striped, sunburst affair are doubled. The word 'ONE' is repeated twice on the inside of the front cover, very boldly but without further colour. The letters appear textured as though fashioned from sudsy, dripping cutlery. The figure 6 (with tiny itemised sub-divisional numbers 1,2,3) lies adjacent to the first word 'ONE': next to the second printing of 'ONE', '10' (with a tiny sub-divisional 4).

This time however, the unravelling of the text is much more challenging. Again, it is written upon the CD itself in the anticipated spiral, but the background is no longer a simple affair of two equal hemispheres. The Ying and Yang symbol in royal blue and red, covers the surface. There is a bold white spot upon the blue, which becomes the filled-in 'O' of the word 'Ogre', and its negative, black counterpart upon the red, credits equal solidity to the word 'Ogress'. The spiral wording is silver and must be decrypted therefore, from background hues of blue, red, black and white. At this point, seasickness sets in. I decode 'OgreOgress productions Copyright 1998' in the centre (original capitalisation), and take a short break.

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Copyright © 28 August 2002 Jennifer Paull, Vouvry, Switzerland


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