Urbana-Champaign: University of Illinois, 1969. First Edition. Three large original silk-screened posters, each roughly 38" by 28" and on heavy "construction"-like paper. Occasional tiny edge tears. A small chip here and there. Some minute pin holes. Else bright and sharp. Easily near fine or better. Near Fine. Item #12883
HPSCHD (pronounced “harpsichord”) premiered at the Assembly Hall of University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign on May 16, 1969 as the culmination of a Cage artistic residency. One of the earliest musical works for computer, and ultimately a five-hour multimedia extravaganza, HPSCHD remains a landmark happening of the 1960s. Cage helped design and produce two of the posters using chance operations (the final example, depicting Cage as dragon slayer, we suspect is the work of a student who'd read too much Tolkien); these are therefore among his earliest forays into visual art. Fewer than one hundred of each were produced, and only 60 or so of the final poster (which required at least seven separate passes). The posters proved popular on campus and most were stolen for dorm display; individual examples are now rare, sets in this condition even more so. OCLC locates just one complete set (at the Getty, though we are aware of an uncatalogued set at Northwestern). A vivid group of posters representing some of Cage’s first visual artworks and documenting a major Fluxus performance, one that Richard Kostelanetz called “one of the great artistic environments of the decade.”.