Reading Chance (Olin)

Sandra Skurvida, Instructor, and Bard CCS Students: Nova Benway, Karin Campbell, Kelly Kivland, Ginny Kollak, Courtney Malick, Daniel Mason, Manuela Moscoso, and Dylan Peet

John Cage marveled about the rationale of an entire class reading the same book. In agreement with Cage, Jacques Rancière presents the following lesson in his study on Joseph Jacotot, The Ignorant Schoolmaster: students “will be asked to write compositions and perform improvisations under the same conditions: he [or she] must use the words and turns of phrase in the book to construct his [or her] sentences; he [or she] must show, in the book, the facts on which his [or her] reasoning is based.”

Following this premise, we used IC chance operations program to select four books from John Cage’s Personal Library, housed at the John Cage Trust at Bard College, for each student to read and develop a short presentation of his or her readings as part of the group presentation at the Symposium. It will be a demonstration of the method, the outcome of which is presently indeterminate.