Alfred University News

Professor Andrew Deutsch in 'Don't Blame it on Zen,' Exhibition at Black Mountain College Museum

Andrew Deutsch, Professor of Sonic & Video Art in the School of Art & Design is featured in the exhibition "Don’t Blame it on ZEN: The Way of John Cage & Friends" at the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, curated by Jade Dellinger, Director of the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery at FSW. The exhibition is on view through January 8, 2022 at 120 College Street in Asheville, NC 28801


Andrew Deutsch, Professor of Sonic & Video Art in the School of Art & Design is featured in the exhibition Don’t Blame it on ZEN: The Way of John Cage & Friends at the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, curated by Jade Dellinger, Director of the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery at FSW. The exhibition is on view through January 8, 2022 at 120 College Street in Asheville, NC 28801

Widely revered as an innovator in the non-standard use and “preparation” of musical instruments, indeterminacy, chance-based and electroacoustic music, John Cage (1912-1992) was perhaps both the most provocative and the most influential American composer of the 20th century. Cage taught at Black Mountain College in the summers of 1948 and 1952 and was in residence during the summer of 1953. While at BMC, Cage lectured on the Huang-Po Doctrine of Universal Mind and organized what has been credited as the first-ever “Happening.” As the exhibition title and John Cage’s own words make clear, Cage wished only “to free Zen of any responsibility for [his] actions,” yet his profound influence continues to be seen, heard, and experienced through his work and the work of friends and countless followers. 

Don’t Blame it on ZEN: The Way of John Cage and Friends presents works by Cage and his contemporaries including Nam June Paik, Yoko Ono, Laurie Anderson, David Byrne, Robert Rauschenberg, and M.C. Richards as well as those deeply influenced by his work and teachings such as composer Matana Roberts, artist and performer Aki Onda, interdisciplinary artist Andrew Deutsch, and abstract turntablist Maria Chavez.

Featured Artists Include: John Cage, Laurie Anderson, Glenn Branca, David Byrne, Maria Chavez, Philip Corner, Andrew Deutsch, Peter Greenaway, Ann Hamilton, Lejaren Hiller, James Klosty, Alison Knowles, Shigeko Kubota, Christian Marclay, Charlotte Moorman, Olivier Mosset, Dave Muller, Michael Oldenberg, Aki Onda, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, Ben Patterson, Robert Rauschenberg, M.C. Richards, Matana Roberts, The Art Guys, Stephen Vitiello, ‚Äčand Lawrence Voytek. BMCM+AC is dedicated to preserving the history and exploring the legacy of Black Mountain College.

Don’t Blame it on ZEN: The Way of John Cage & Friends is presented in conjunction with the Faith in Arts Institute, co-hosted by BMCM+AC and UNC Asheville (October 13 – 16, 2021), and the ReVIEWING Black Mountain College conference (November 12 – 14, 2021) with a thematic focus on the lasting legacy of John Cage featuring keynote speaker Laura Kuhn, Director of the John Cage Trust. The public reception, held November 12 as part of the opening of ReVIEWING 12, will feature the world premiere of a new composition by John Luther Adams, Waves and Particles, performed by the JACK Quartet.