|Note: If you see this text you use a browser which does not support usual Web-standards. Therefore the design of Media Art Net will not display correctly. Contents are nevertheless provided. For greatest possible comfort and full functionality you should use one of the recommended browsers.|
«almost no sound» was to be heard at the 1951 premiere, and that he was aware of the soundless quality of this piece even while writing it.
As with «4'33'',» the audience of «Imaginary Landscape No. 4» experienced four minutes of heightened sensitivity in which musical content is replaced by pure listening, though still mediated through the twelve radios used as instruments, allowing the mass media omnipresence of the broadcasting stations to be experienced as aesthetic raw material at the time of performance. In today's terminology, it would be possible to speak of «433» as an ‹unplugged› version of the piece for radio. The art takes place only on the part of the recipient in both pieces, though in «433» direct physical experience replaces the radio-mediated experience. Cage turns all utopias involving artistic use of the broadcasting capacity of the mass medium upside-down: the medium remains unchanged, only our perception changes. Perhaps there is a suggestion of the power of the recipients in this: they increasingly define their own program flow from the available raw material in this age of TV zapping and web surfing.
At the age of just under twenty, Guy Debord attached himself to the Lettrist movement around Isidore Isou, which attracted his attention because of the scandal they caused at the 1951 Cannes Film Festival. His first contribution to Lettrist filmmaking premiered in Paris in 1952, but it was stopped after twenty minutes because of protests from the public. This was because «Hurlements en faveur de Sade» did not contain a single image, but simply alternated between a brightly-lit, white and completely dark cinema screen. Spoken dialogue could be heard in the light sequences; the dark passages were completely without sound. It was not until October 13, 1952 that a troop of Lettrists successfully insisted on a complete performance of the one-and-a-half-hour film. This time the audiences were prevented from leaving the cinema by promises and violence, and so finally came to enjoy the end with its twenty-four minutes of darkness and silence.
So Debord had already defined the direction which was to take him away from Lettrism and on to his foundation of situationism in his first effective public