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In this innovative and singular video memoir, local artist John Sanborn explores the seismic artistic upheaval wrought by three great artists: John Cage, Marcel Duchamp, and Nam June Paik.
PICO (Performance Indeterminate Cage Opera) celebrates the ways each artist challenged assumptions about what defines an artist, art, and the relationship of creator to audience. To sound the depths of their combined influence, Sanborn mixes the artists’ ideologies with personal insights, creating a dizzying mash-up of modern music, live performance, dance for camera, illustrated stories, and video compositions that transform theory into playful practice. From these expressions of change, PICO delivers an abstract narrative on the nature of revelations and disguises, the virtues of altered perception, and the interaction between art and life.
While a solidly personal work by the filmmaker, PICO features contributions from a host of collaborators, including dancers Joseph Copley, Margaret Cromwell, Carlos Venturo, Alyah Baker, Kelly Del Resario and Katherine Wells; composer Wobbly; sound artist Negativland; cellist/composer Theresa Wong; composer Luciano Chessa; architect/designer Megan Kelly-Sweeney; pianist Sarah Cahill; designer Leah Hefner; and Skip Sweeney and Roger Jones from Video Free America.
John Sanborn is a world renowned video artist whose work has been shown at every major museum in the world; including the Whitney Museum; MOMA, New York; the Prado, Madrid; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Tate Gallery, London; and the Seibu Museum, Tokyo. Electronic Arts Intermix distributes his video art. Sanborn’s television programs have been broadcast worldwide, including works with Robert Ashley, Bill T. Jones, Philip Glass, Twyla Tharp, Mikhail Baryshnikov, The Residents, and David Gordon.