PRINT September 2018

Carolee Schneemann

Painting as Theater: Improvised Movement–—

Visceral, Tactile, Sensuous Variations

I WAS SO READY to join an experimental movement group. Would they be ready for me? James Tenney and I had just completed our MFA studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana, his in experimental music, mine in painting. We were floundering. At the post office in Sidney, Illinois (population 686), there was a letter from Bell Telephone Labs inviting Tenney to join their electronic-music research staff. We decided to pack a U-Haul with all my paintings; his upright piano; our cat, Kitch; and our books and papers and move back to the East Coast. Philip Corner, one of Tenney’s music collaborators, advised me to investigate a group of innovative dancers working in the basement of Judson Memorial Church. I would be the first visual artist to choreograph for them.

At the same time, Tenney’s associate Billy Klüver

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