While I appreciate the many ways in which John Cage has broadened the way we think about art, I do wonder at what point we, as professionals, might concede that we got the point. Is there any other artist in the 20th century whose work is remade as consistently and with so few returns?
Take the image above, which is the last frame in a GIF called “As Long As Possible” by artists Juha van Ingen and Janne Särkelä. The piece is a riff on John Cage’s “As Slow as Possible” which has no specific length, but asks its composer to chose a designative tempo. (In Halberstadt, Germany, a musician has interpreted this as a score that will last 625 years.) This variation on the theme includes 48,140,288 frames, with each frame lasting about 10 minutes. The file will complete its first loop in the year 3017 and will launch next year online from Helsinki.
Now, I get that this forces us to think outside the confines of the GIF and how we normally view them. But Cage taught us this years ago. Time to move on. Hat tip: Hyperallergic.