How the Turner Prize and the X Factor are allies in anti-art

I have written an op-ed in tomorrow’s Sunday Telegraph supporting the mass Cage Against The Machine movement, which is staging a worldwide performance of 4’33 in an attempt to produce an alternative Christmas number one.

The CATM uprising ( is aimed at X-Factor and Simon Cowell’s manipulation of the public airwaves. My participation was triggered by the award of the 2010 Turner Prize last week to a so-called artwork that had been anticipated by Cage more than 60 years ago and executed by him in 1952. It signalled, for me, the end of conceptual art. 
Read the article here and respond below.

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  • I very much and respect the Cage against the machine idea and will be supporting this.
    Just as I supported the notion of all juke boxes having a single recording on them (a failed campaign) back when they were a ubiquitous intrusive noise in some former favourite establishments.
    I also favour a more permanent silencing of Cowellism – via whatever ridicule and financial reduction methods available.

  • Then it took Cage 34 years to bring to music what 1918 “white square on white background” by Kasimir Malevich brought to visual arts.

  • Norman, I was honored and delighted to participate with you and numerous family and friends, plus many others from around the world.
    Thanks for bring this to my attention!

  • Your declaration that this year’s Turner Prize award signals the end of conceptual art reminded me of the declaration of a higher-up at Frankfurt Opera that the company’s 1987 staging of Cage’s “Europeras I & II” signified the end of opera.
    When told of the comment, Mr. Cage politely disagreed.

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