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Rolywholyover A Circus

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In 1989, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles invited John Cage to create a new artwork based on his life. As a result, Cage composed a four movement composition for museum, Rolywholyover A Circus, which toured from 1993 to 1995. Hundreds of artworks, objects, and pieces of ephemera were subjected to a chance-derived computerized score called ROVER resulting in a kind of living composition which travled to five cities (LA, Houston, Philadelphia, New York and Mito, Japan).

The Circus changed so much each day that visitors could return to the galleries often and they never looked the same way twice. Months before he passed away on August 12, 1992, Cage asked his collaborator, “what in visual art is like 4:33 is to music?” The respondent hesitatingly offered, “nothingtoseeness”? Cage smiled and said, “that’s it!”

Rolywholyover A Circus was accompanied by city-wide festivals, performances, lectures and screenings during its tour as well as by a silver metal box containing pamphlets, scores, reproductions of artworks, articles, and letters which was designed and organized by following John Cage’s compositional guidelines.