search_query=john+cage (Version I) | About the work

(For the full version in YouTube please click here)

Manipulation of the algorithm-dictated hierarchies of the search engine and reorganization of found visual material, are the tools for this audio-visual piece made as a tribute to John Cage, the avant-garde artist and composer, on the centenary of his birth.

In the spirit of Cage’s work, “search_query=john+cage, Variation I”, is a video- based music piece constructed by a fixed conceptual mechanism. It consists of ninety-nine videos – the first ninety-nine results for the search query “john cage” as suggested by YouTube’s algorithms at the specific time of the search. The videos are aligned as a large-scale grid and begin playing simultaneously on a given cue. The length of the longest video of the search results determines the total length of the piece (The total length of “Variation I” is 74 minutes).

Once completed, “search_query=john+cage, Variation I” was uploaded to YouTube, thus acting as the missing 100th video and allowing the cycle of appropriation to continue.

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