John Cage Performing Walter Walk (1960) – John Cage

John Cage

In 1960 John Cage was a guest on the popular American television show I’ve Got a Secret. On that show, which was broadcast regularly from 1952 to 1967, a team was supposed to guess the secret of the personalities invited. John Cage was given ten minutes on the show to perform his composition Water Walk of 1959. This film is a curious document of this unique opportunity to introduce a broad audience to avant-garde music as well as historical important evidence of the contradiction between avant-garde and television, expressed by the audience’s laughter, on the one hand, and John Cage’s limited willingness to adapt to the context of television, on the other.

Abb.: © ZKM | Karlsruhe, Foto: Steffen Harms