Indeterminacy at the Cube Bristol March 2014 Live Feed

Indeterminacy By John Cage at the Cube, Bristol performed by Steve Beresford and Tanya Chen with Stewart Lee 22nd March 2014

Indeterminacy By John Cage at the Cube, Bristol performed by Steve Beresford, Tanya Chen with Stewart Lee 22nd March 2014

Indeterminacy By John Cage at the Cube, Bristol by Dan Pope

“John Cage’s Indeterminacy is a cardboard box filled with 90 cards containing 90 stories of different lengths, and a leaflet of instructions: “Read the stories aloud, with or without accompaniment, paced so that each takes one minute. A stop-watch or watch with a second hand will help keep time. Read all 90 stories in order or select a smaller number, using chance procedures or not.”

I found Indeterminacy engaging, diverting and, on occasion thanks to its dead-pan execution, quiet funny. But it was the inherent technical limitations of the Internet that gave this performance its extra unique dimension.

Every 20 seconds or so the live web link would cut out as the struggling signal huffed and buffered to keep up with demand. Hence the image froze and the audio ceased for another 10 seconds or so, thus creating an additional element of tension unfortunately not enjoyed by the audience in Bristol. With foresight Cage might have considered including this skittish behaviour himself as an extra random element. Nevertheless I remained dedicated and stuck with it to the end. Discouraged to the point of giving up on a piece of live performance art, the convenience of which is freely delivered to one’s home, would have been the height of rudeness, if not the act of a philistine.

So, eyes closed, I allowed myself to sink hypnotically into this aural fragmented world and drift aimlessly around my sub-conscious. Emotions stirred and memories rekindled and at times I was reminded of happier times from my childhood. Of watching strange films late into the night on BBC2 that seemingly went on for hours and carried one off into undocumented dream-like scenarios and rarely reaching any conclusion. The journey itself was the reward.

Often foreign, often free of tenable narrative, but always beguiling. Even at a tender age I was drawn to these surreal excursions. I was mindful too that foreign cinema was apt not to be coy in delivering full visceral scope to its tale. My own articulation at the time was wont to be less urbane. ‘Foreign films equal tits’, was probably the size of it. But with it came the appreciation of cinematography and film-making for art’s sake. Later, Moviedrome would further satisfy the craving for non-mainstream cinema. And hormones took care of the rest. To its credit then Indeterminacy had me wanting to revisit those half-remembered films from a forgotten age: Celine Et Julie Vont En Bateau (1974), And Soon the Darkness (1970), Endless Night (1972), Blow-Up (1966) and La cabina (1972).

And so it was that for around 40 minutes, Lee, sat at desk like a worn-down teacher on the last day of term, read aloud as a middle-aged couple looking like they’d been banished from a grow-ups dinner party did their best to undermine their benign sitter with ever-more incongruous interruptions. This might may sound as if I didn’t like it, but I did. I enjoyed it very much. Art should always take us on a journey to another place. As a result I enjoy most things that eschew the mainstream. Mind you I can’t resist the suggestion that Lee deserves another BAFTA just for reeling in the temptation to turn to his cohorts and bark, ‘I’m trying to read here, do you mind?’

Indeterminacy continues to tour the provinces.

Incidentally, I chose Endless Night (1972).

Cube, Bristol
John Cage
Steve Beresford and Tanya Chen (No website found, do you know of one?)
Stewart Lee
Indeterminacy at the Cube Bristol March 2014 – flickr set by Dan Pope
Indeterminacy (music)


Princes William and Harry go hunting before launching wildlife campaign

The British Monarchy: Animal Terrorists.

The 31-year-old royal was pictured arriving in Spain with his brother Prince Harry yesterday as they prepared for a weekend of shooting on a posh private estate in Cordoba.

The siblings looked delighted as they were greeted by friends at the airport, and clearly weren’t feeling guilty about their upcoming activities.

It’s been reported by The Sun that William and Harry will hunt the likes of wild boar, partridges and stags today – whereas William’s campaign will aim to raise awareness of the shooting and illegal trade in protected species such as rhinos and elephants.

William and Harry are not said to be breaking any Spanish laws in hunting the animals, but their timing is set to anger animal lovers, with one conservation expert calling it “absolutely shocking”.

Prince Charles will also be launching the campaign with his eldest son, with the slogan being: “Let’s Unite for Wildlife!”

It will begin with a joint video message – which is being released tomorrow – followed next week by events at venues including the Zoological Society and National History Museum.

Princes William and Harry go hunting in Spain one day before launching wildlife campaign

The clash in Crimea is the fruit of western expansion

The Cold War never ended, it just went further underground.
Cold War cartoon by Cummings

The clash in Crimea is the fruit of western expansion

The external struggle to dominate Ukraine has put fascists in power and brought the country to the brink of conflict

– Seumas Milne
– The Guardian, Wednesday 5 March 2014 20.30 GMT

Diplomatic pronouncements are renowned for hypocrisy and double standards. But western denunciations of Russian intervention in Crimea have reached new depths of self parody. The so far bloodless incursion is an “incredible act of aggression”, US secretary of state John Kerry declared. In the 21st century you just don’t invade countries on a “completely trumped-up pretext”, he insisted, as US allies agreed that it had been an unacceptable breach of international law, for which there will be “costs”.

That the states which launched the greatest act of unprovoked aggression in modern history on a trumped-up pretext – against Iraq, in an illegal war now estimated to have killed 500,000, along with the invasion of Afghanistan, bloody regime change in Libya, and the killing of thousands in drone attacks on Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, all without UN authorisation – should make such claims is beyond absurdity.

Troops under Russian command fire weapons into the air in Lubimovka, Ukraine. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Troops under Russian command fire weapons into the air in Lubimovka, Ukraine. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

It’s not just that western aggression and lawless killing is on another scale entirely from anything Russia appears to have contemplated, let alone carried out – removing any credible basis for the US and its allies to rail against Russian transgressions. But the western powers have also played a central role in creating the Ukraine crisis in the first place.

The US and European powers openly sponsored the protests to oust the corrupt but elected Viktor Yanukovych government, which were triggered by controversy over an all-or-nothing EU agreement which would have excluded economic association with Russia.

In her notorious “fuck the EU” phone call leaked last month, the US official Victoria Nuland can be heard laying down the shape of a post-Yanukovych government – much of which was then turned into reality when he was overthrown after the escalation of violence a couple of weeks later.

Continue reading at The Guardian…