Benjamin Patterson’s “Paper Piece” (1960) is a text-based score that offers instructions for a group of five performers to explore the acoustic possibilities intrinsic in a multitude of paper textures. “Paper Piece” marks the first radical deviation that Patterson made from his classical and contemporary music sensibilities which spurred a period of intense creative activity. Though the score provides precise instructions, the piece began to take on a life of its own at Fluxus concerts, with spontaneous audience participation turning the piece into a chaotic happening. Our realization of the piece will take a step in the opposite direction, exploring more sparse and subtle possibilities with a version for three performers. As part of the “Paper Noise” exhibition, the live performance aims to explore the materiality of the paper, as a vehicle of collaboration and open interpretation. The piece will reuse the paper materials in the preparation of street collages and paper cut-out animations produced in previous weeks at Gallerie SBC (Montreal, Canada). For artist-in-residence Amanda Gutiérrez, it was important to include the work of the only Black composer in the Fluxus movement, Ben Patterson, who composed collaborative cutting-edge and political happenings in avant-garde music throughout his career as an artist and composer for more than four decades.
Live camera and video editing: Amanda Gutiérrez.
Performers: Stuart Jackson, Aurelio Meza, and Alejandra Jiménez.