Friday, September 10, 2010

Dan Colen Channels John Cage

Dan Colen clearly doesn't need any more press than he already received in the New York Times today. However, now that we have all enjoyed photographs of him making a "grass" painting and audio of him discussing his practice, can we pause for one minute and talk about how weird it is that he is sounding exactly like John Cage these days?

Dan Colen, describing his confetti paintings, today: “They’re really about putting as much distance between me and the finished painting as possible. With actual confetti, we just let it fall. The painting is this series of colors and shapes. I made a decision about a material and then I threw it up in the air, and let it make all of those arbitrary decisions.”

John Cage, describing his aleatoric process, in 1992: “[O]ne decision is just as good as another… Because each decision will give you something the other one couldn’t. So there’s no possibility of making a poor decision... You don’t need to make the right answer, because any answer you give is right.”