Vir2Ual Cage’s workshops and performances at the Columbus College of Art and Design were inaugural events in the project. Mounting the two performances—Thursday, 17 September 2009, at 12:00–1:30 p.m. and 6:00–10:00 p.m.—involved extraordinary collaboration and logistical support, what with numerous performers, a complex sound system, and live video streaming between Columbus, Ohio and Ghent, Belgium, where a simultaneous performance of Song Books took place at the Orpheus Institute.
Seen in the following photos are singers Jacqueline Bobak, Paul Berkolds, Nina Eidsheim, and Carmina Escobar; instrumentalists Rocco Di Pietro and Larry Marotta; dancer Kathy Carbone; and performance artists Danielle Julian-Norton and Tim Rietenbach. Two photos show a unique multi-media work by Ike Newsum, who created an intricate homage to John Cage and Merce Cunningham. Also participating were several students from the Columbus College of Art and Design and Ohio State University; some of them performed live, while others played cameo roles, contributed videos, or made installations.
Note the several scores and solo numbers from Song Books posted on chalkboards. In the box were “runes,” symbols from a font based on Cage’s manuscript, that invited audience members to perform certain solos that could easily be realized without preparation. Appearing in these “public participation” solos are Dean of Media Studies Ron Saks, President Dennison Griffith, and several students or other members of the community. Among the more popular solos were those that called for typing a given sentence on an amplified typewriter, playing a game, and interpreting Cage’s Solo 78, the score to which reads “What can you do? I can take off my shoes and put them on.” The large winged sculpture in the center of the performance space is Michelle Lach’s Oracle, which seemed an appropriate addition to this environment where chance played a major role.