Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Milton Cohen’s Space Theatre.

Stumbling across these images on a rare visit to Tumblr today led me down a nice internet rabbit hole.

For (admittedly limited) context, please consult the following:

ONCE Group (Wiki).

“Milton Cohen’s Space Theater was another catalyst for ONCE. Cohen, on the art faculty and best known as a painter, was becoming increasingly interested in creating art using light. In 1957, he rented studio space in Ann Arbor and began constructing his Space Theater: a twenty-sided hemisphere fifty feet in diameter that he would equip to manipulate light in an interactive setting.

Cohen’s goals were remarkably similar to those of the ONCE composers: to shrink distance between artist and spectator, spectator and spectacle; to suggest a museum of creative presence, of living performance, of spontaneous action; and to score music, light, poetry, dance, with a single notational system, thus pressing a unitary vision. 

To create an interdisciplinary performance, Milton Cohen collaborated with two future ONCE composers, Robert Ashley and Gordon Mumma. Using their own electronic equipment—amplifiers, oscillators, filters, and four-track tape recorders—Ashley and Mumma formed the Cooperative Studio for Electronic Music, composing electroacoustic music for over one hundred Space Theater performances.” 

 - The ONCE Festivals of the 1960s by Emily Weingarten, ‘Michigan Muse’, Spring 2010

The Music of ONCE: Perpetual Innovation by Emily Weingarten (2008)
(Google books preview – check pages 3-4 in particular)

I’m unable to ascertain which publication the images above actually appeared in.