Book about the artistic collaboration between the musician John Cage and the choreographer Merce Cunningham. Made together with Jesper Canell
Parallel Performers is an artist book that gathers together—quite chaotically—the artwork and the many collaborative relationships (especially with Merce Cunningham and Marcel Duchamp) maintained by John Cage throughout his artistic career.
Taking into account the controversy provoked by the artists’ work, we alternated an objective and historical view with opinion articles written by various authors—both followers and detractors—that could shape a pattern or a collage of encountered opinions dealing with the work made throughout his career.
Due to Cage’s procedures and to his interest in chance operations, this book was designed within very open guidelines; this means each chapter is very different from the others. It is for that reason that we included self-sufficient elements running throughout the book: quotes by Cage and his colleagues, a series of “things that make sound,” loose sheets printed with interesting pages of the I-Ching (the Chinese book of chance used by Cage)…
Finally, we also arranged a small booklet, Audience, trying to show the importance of the audience in the artists’ work. Just as Duchamp said, “when you have the independence between the music and the dance that we have, then the observer becomes the third point in a triangle; he completes the work and each triangle is a different triangle.”
As stated in the main text, the text boxes vary according to the different chapters (or even pages), either in their size/column amount or in their justification.
According to the music flow, the page number moves throughout the book. At the beginning it is placed top left in the page, and at the end one can see it has moved to the top right.
The Objects that make sound series includes things like a mushroom, a knife, the fog, paper…It appears randomly all across the book.
The book includes a chronological list—with credits—of the collaborations between John Cage and Merce Cunningham. It features the technical information of each play as well as some process images.
This chapter is designed as a layered play—just as the artists did—; the background layer has the text and the top one has the images. This entails some controlled—actually fake—overlapping, causing some text to appear unreadable under an image. On the other hand, there’s an intention to transmit the idea of a time line, which is done by cutting the images just as we do with texts; making a partition at the end of the line and starting again in the next one.
Audience shows pictures of various spectators. This publication aims to be to the main book (Parallel Performers) what the audience was to Cage, Cunningham and Duchamp.