In case any of you were curious as to whether I was posting my 100 John Cage quotes by chance, here’s the evidence. (If any of you are now asking why, see my Twitter.) The first image shows the online I Ching generator I used to toss coins. For each quote, I asked the I Ching what day I should post it, as well as during which three-hour period of the day (12-3am, 3-6am, etc.). I then used a spreadsheet to keep track of what quote occurred on what day/time. As you can see from the second image, I spread the quotes out across 32 days, a number which works well with the oracle since it contains 64 possible results.
Of course, this was much more simplified chance-based work than Cage ever did for any of his compositions. Though the days that had five or more quotes proved to be pretty taxing, especially when some had to be posted at the wee hours of the morning. I made quite a few tardy posts along the way… And even more to my dismay, I learned that Tumblr has the ability to schedule posts ahead of time about halfway through this whole project.
Also, it wasn’t completely left to chance. I chose the quotes based on whatever Cage I had been reading that day or what I happened to find on the internet mere minutes before my three-hour window came to a close. And many of the quotes took on a particularly “programmatic” meaning for me at the time, something I’m not sure Cage would have dug.
Strangely enough, the first and last days of the project (marked by the brackets on the calendar) were silent, i.e. I was not required to post any quotes. The aptness of that coincidence continues to astound me.
Tumblr seems to be a quote-hungry environment: I got a lot of likes and a whole lot of re-posts; far more than I’ve ever received for anything I’ve done on this blog! Can’t argue with spreading The Word. Perhaps another Tumblrer will be inspired to do 101 quotes for Cage’s birthday next year?