john cage quotes

“If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all.”

“There is no such thing as an empty space or an empty time. There is always something to see, something to hear. In fact, try as we may to make a silence, we cannot.”

“It is not irritating to be where one is. It is only irritating to think one would like to be somewhere else.”

“There is poetry as soon as we realize that we possess nothing.”

“The highest purpose is to have no purpose at all. This puts one in accordance with nature, in her manner of operation.”

“I am trying to be unfamiliar with what I’m doing.”

“It is not futile to do what we do. We wake up with energy and we do something. And we make, of course, failures and we make mistakes, but we sometimes get glimpses of what we might do next.”

“When you start working, everybody is in your studio- the past, your friends, enemies, the art world, and above all, your own ideas- all are there. But as you continue painting, they start leaving, one by one, and you are left completely alone. Then, if you are lucky, even you leave.”

I certainly had no feeling for harmony, and Schoenberg thought that that would make it impossible for me to write music. He said, “You’ll come to a wall you won’t be able to get through.” I said, “Well then, I’ll beat my head against that wall.”

“What I’m proposing, to myself and other people, is what I often call the tourist attitude – that you act as though you’ve never been there before. So that you’re not supposed to know anything about it. If you really get down to brass tacks, we have never been anywhere before.”

“Art’s purpose is to sober and quiet the mind so that it is in accord with what happens.

“Our intention is to affirm this life, not to bring order out of chaos, nor to suggest improvements in creation, but simply to wake up to the very life we’re living, which is so excellent once one gets one’s mind and desires out of its way and lets it act of it’s own accord.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: