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Open Score by Robert Rauschenberg (1966)

Director: Barbro Schultz Lundestam, Barbro Schultz Lundestam
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Studio: Microcinema
Genre: Documentary, Art, Experimental/Avant-Garde
Running Time: 35 min.
Languages: English
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The release Open Score by Robert Rauschenberg travels back to Manhattan, in October 1966, to revisit a famous event that transpired there, christened "9 Evenings" and developed and produced as a result of a most unusual collaborative effort. That year, ten avant garde artists, including the legendary John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg, Yvonne Rainer and Robert Whitman, teamed up with thirty scientists and engineers employed by Bell Telephone Laboratories. Together, they created a groundbreaking array of performances, mounted at the 69th Regiment Armory, that coupled elements of the stage, music and dance. Producers Billy Klüver and Julie Martin subsequently created ten films from the said events, one devoted to showcasing each artist's work, cut together with interviews in which the men and women reflect on their creations and on the creative processes that led up to this event. This particular episode represents the first volume in that series of ten releases, and focuses exclusively on the contributions of artist Robert Rauschenberg for the said showcase. Rauschenberg's creation, entitled "Open Score," begins with a faux tennis match in which the artist attached microphones to two tennis rackets and had two performers hit the ball to amplified sound back and forth; it then features a sequence in which numerous people with infrared lights and cameras invade the stage, and wraps with an event in which Rauschenberg picks up and puts down vocalist Simone Forti repeatedly, as she interprets an Italian love song. Rauschenberg also designed the titles and the aural accompaniments to the titles. ~ Nathan Southern, All Movie Guide

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