Chance collaboration.

At some point I decided that the source material for JC273 should be the 12 million pixels contained within a single photograph. Pixels to fill a book. And I knew that these relics would be selected by chance operations, each color block like an open door to a new experience.

But how to take this photograph. Where would I point the camera. Would it matter.

Tomorrow morning I’m driving 2 hours north to the John Cage Trust at Bard College. I’ve asked the director, Laura Kuhn, to select a single item from the archives. Something Cage knew of in his lifetime: a photograph, an object, a score, a piece of artwork, etc. I asked her not to reveal her selection to me until I’m there in person with her, where I will take a single photograph of this thing.

A question.
An agreement.
A selection.
A photograph.

The individual pixel as relic, a potent carrier of meaning and lost memory. A transfer of control, from artist to gatekeeper, and back again. Guardian of the remains of a life’s work. To begin JC273, I will enter a highly charged, significant situation and accept the encounter.

And yet, not exactly random. Orchestrated serendipity. Enigmatic territory, somewhere between chance and intention.

Two colors selected by chance operations on August 19, 2011.

  • 161/169/11
  • 244/229/214


  1. Query: Will the public be privy to the selection Laura makes and presents to you for the photograph? Or will that be retained as a mystery?

  2. I’m not sure yet.

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