Cage and Foucault
Musical timekeeping and the security.state
in Foucault’s theatres
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

manchesterhive requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals - to see content that you/your institution should have access to, please log in through your library system or with your personal username and password.

If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/extracts and download selected front and end matter. 

Institutions can purchase access to individual titles; please contact for pricing options.


If you have an access token for this content, you can redeem this via the link below:

Redeem token

This chapter examines John Cage's musical practice in terms of its ambivalent parallels with two techniques of power that Foucault, in his 1978 lectures, Security, Territory, Population, suggests should be distinguished from one another – those of security and discipline. The chapter both develops and disputes Benjamin Piekut's application of Foucault's notion of discipline to the power dynamics inherent in Cage's practice. It highlights Foucault's attention to the differing ways in which discipline and security, as techniques of power, regulate time. And it argues that while Cage, in his 26'1.1499" for a String Player (1954), regulates time in a parallel manner to what Foucault calls discipline, in the 1952 event at Black Mountain College, Cage utilises a principle of aleatoric governance that instead provides a sonic and theatrical parallel to what Foucault calls security. This inconsistency in Cage's methods – within the same period – cannot be accounted for if we rely on the competing political metaphors – anarchistic or liberal – with which his work is usually described. Instead the chapter argues that Cage's practice, like Foucault's tripartite analysis of mechanisms of power in Security, Territory, Population, encompasses multiple techniques of governance through its disparate approaches to musical timekeeping.


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 55 55 13
Full Text Views 1 1 0
PDF Downloads 0 0 0