Lecture On Nothing

John Cage's Lecture on Nothing in an interpretation for video, ensemble members and people passing by.

Our project “Lecture on Nothing” is an artistic exploration of the concepts of silence and nothingness, inspired by John Cage's work of the same name. In the midst of a world of sensory overload, we want to explore the meaning of nothingness by creating a 40-minute lecture that paradoxically seems to convey nothing substantial. Through the framework of words and language, the audience will be invited to explore the emptiness between the lines and experience the beauty of silence.

An intermedia video production.

Lecture on Nothing

“He talks for 40 minutes at a time and has nothing to say” is not a cynical comment under the video of some random Youtuber, but John Cage’s self-assessment in his “Lecture on Nothing”.

Silence and Nothing

Nothing could be more healing in our overstimulated world than nothing. Silence. But to be able to perceive it, we need words as a framework. Words with which John Cage gives individual answers to questions posed by a composer at the end of the 1950s.

Empty words

Words, recited by the musicians of electronic ID and by passers-by on the banks of the Rhine, to which ChatGPT has assigned the small sections of Cage’s “micro-macrocosmic rhythmic structure” in random order. Words that go round in circles, undermining their own message and thus leading to nothing.

Nothing in Social Media

John Cage’s Lecture on Nothing was written in a time without the internet and social media. Nevertheless, it reads surprisingly critically with regard to modern media. We invite you to watch the production prepared for Instagram: