Study no. 38 [Variations on Sol LeWitt's Variations of Incomplete Open Cubes]

for 8 players


Performance Instructions:

For 8 players.

Prior to performance, each player is assigned one node cube. Only one player should follow each cube.

Prior to performance, each player predetermines seven distinct sonic events. Each sonic event corresponds to one of the seven event nodes. Note: not all event nodes will be visible from variation to variation. The seventh sonic event, which corresponds to the center event node, should be more distinct than the others.

When the attack cursor reaches an event node, play that node's corresponding sonic event.

When a small circle (repeat spinner) rotates around the event node the attack cursor is currently at (active node), that event node's corresponding sonic event should be played again once the spinner reaches 12 o'clock. These repeats are random occurrences, may happen at any point, and may happen several times in a row.

Each variation fades in and out. Players may choose to play as soon as, or as long as, they can clearly see their cube. If the cube is unclear, pause and wait until the next variation becomes clear.

The piece may be scaled from 2 to 15 players.

Duration: A performance may include as few as 15, and as many as all 122 variations played in succession. Each variation lasts approximately one minute.


In 'Variations of Incomplete Open Cubes,' Sol LeWitt provided instructions for the creation of physical models of the 122 variations of an open cube, each variation featuring a non-reflective version of a cube with at least one edge absent. LeWitt's instructions are used here to organize 2 to 15 players, each with 7 distinct sonic events, with each event node, or corner, corresponding to one of these sonic events. Each variation features a unique series of adjacent sonic events, their potential sequence determined in part by which nodes are visible, and how they are connected to one another. A representational animated notation leads players through each variation.

Ryan Ross Smith, March 2014.

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