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Themesicon: navigation pathOverview of Media Articon: navigation pathPerformance

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that was taken up by the media became an integral component of artistic actions and later of directly political activist concepts. Mediatedness, it might be pointedly concluded, is based on the skilled handling of media conditions, but not per se on the direct deployment of technological or electronic means.[9]

Artists preoccupied with crossovers between the most disparate art forms and with using a range of different media moved in circles associated with anti-bourgeois practices such as those of the Viennese Actionists («an activist gesture pertaining to the body»),[10] with scandals and art as anti-art,[11] all the way up to Yves Klein's art-immanent experiments and «Anthropometries» consisting of painting processes with naked female «living brushes» staged for a bourgeois audience between 1958–1960. At the same time, these artists displayed a decided interest in the technological conditions of society. Artists like Allan Kaprow, John Cage and later the Fluxus artists did not just want to concede chance and indeterminacy a primary role in art, but were particularly concerned with the participation of active spectators.[12]


John Cage—The aesthetic of heterogeneity

Working partly in close proximity to, and with great sympathy for, these experimental forms, John Cage was exploring an alternative to circumnavigating the twin perils of the Gesamtkunstwerk and «art = life» practice. At Black Mountain College in North Carolina, Robert Rauschenberg, Merce Cunningham and John Cage tried out an enduringly productive collaboration. They saw collaboration by no means as a holistic «fusion» of the various arts but instead, in Lawrence Alloway's words, as an «aesthetic of heterogeneity.» According to the hypothesis, the implicit belief in the possibility that something unable to be achieved with intentional action will be revealed through the combination of chance occurrences liberated unconscious levels of meaning. The key notions of situation, multiplicity, parallelism or contingency, which have remained pertinent up to the present day, were the guiding lines in an open system of operations that, for instance in regard to music, liberated the musicians from the constraints of predefined timing and harmony. According to John Cage, this was

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