The Cardew Object

Posted on April 7, 2010

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The Cardew Object: The Exhibition

The Skybridge Art and Sound Space
In conjunction with The Vera List Center for Art and Politics
April 15th to May 10th 2010
Opening Reception: Thursday
April 15th, 2010 5-7pm

Opening on Thursday April 15th, 2010, The Skybridge Art and Sound Space presents The Cardew Object: The Exhibition, an interactive and multimedia exhibition following a three-day workshop on Cornelius Cardew, a collaboration between Eugene Lang College / The New School for Liberal Arts, The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School for General Studies. Instigated by 2009–10 Vera List Center Fellow Robert Sember, the workshops are part of an ongoing investigation into practices of radical learning by the sound art collective Ultra-red and the School of Echoes, groups of which Sember is a member


Cardew developed elaborate forms of graphic notation. His work also enables sound-based practices to shift political consciousness and provoke social action. This exhibition showcases and parallels workshop participants’ exploration of these larger “ways of organizing,” including interpretations of Cardew’s The Great Learning (1968-71), in an informal structured environment that invites creative engagement and collaboration.

Cornelius Cardew (1936-1981) was a core figure of the British avant-garde of the 1960s and 1970s. A student of Karl-Heinz Stockhausen and a follower of John Cage, he formed the Scratch Orchestra with Michael Parsons and Howard Skempton in 1969 in London. Based on their experiments, Cardew published the book Scratch Music, now a classic resource for experimental musicians. In the late 1970s, Cardew became increasingly involved in a Marxist-Leninist discourse, eventually rejecting his own compositional work as elitist. Cardew dies in an unresolved hit-and-run accident at the age of forty-five, estranged from most of his colleagues and challenged for his political convictions.

The Skybridge Art and Sound Space invites you to: Explore, view, listen, learn, paint, move, talk, debate, sing, and create within an immersive and interactive visual and sound environment that expands on the influential and politically controversial work of Cornelius Cardew. Come Experience it for yourself!

The Workshop:

Beginning on Friday April 9th and ending Sunday April 11th, 2010 The Cardew Object workshop will consist of:
1. Colloquium: Introduction to and discussion of Cornelius Cardew and the weekend events to follow.
2. Workshop “How can we organize collective listening”: Workshop participants collect sounds in response to a specific question relating to local and current social or political concerns, then explore procedures for collective listening and organized action following some of Cardew’s models.
3. Installation “What Did You Hear?”: Sound works produced in the Saturday workshops will be presented in a day-long public installation with collaborative performances and reflection

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