‘A disparate multiplicity’ – Cage, Tschumi , Derrida and the programme-less folie.

Clare Lesser

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


‘Are you the composer?’ ‘In a way.’ ‘The performer?’ ‘That depends…perhaps.’ ‘Audience?’ ‘Yes and no.’ ‘Has it finished?’ ‘Part of it has….’ ’I’m covered in paint!’ This hypothetical conversation could refer to John Cage’s Four⁶ (1992), a late time-bracket work that allows ‘users’ to meet at certain points in time, facilitating modes of pedagogy and praxis which open themselves to practical approaches to notions of usership. And what could usership ‘mean’ here, an overturning of traditional hierarchies, cross-programming, a shared endeavour, independence within a group brought together by a ‘mode of spacing in time’, domain heterogeneity, the heterotopia? It can mean all of these things and more. This illustrated talk aims to explore ‘usership’ through the multiplicity of performative and experiential approaches to Four⁶ with particular reference to the work of ground-breaking architect Bernard Tschumi (co-creator of Paris’ Parc de la Villette project), and philosopher Jacques Derrida, and to show how the concept of the programme-less folie can function just as well in music as it can in architecture, opening access, questioning everything.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOrpheus Institute, Ghent, Belgium: Conference - ‘From authorship and spectatorship to usership’.
StateUnpublished - Feb 21 2019


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