4’33” is a three-movement composition by American experimental composer John Cage (1912–1992). It was composed in 1952, for any instrument or combination of instruments, and the score instructs performers not to play their instruments during the entire duration of the piece throughout the three movements. The piece consists of the sounds of the environment that the listeners hear while it is performed, although it is commonly perceived as “four minutes thirty-three seconds of silence”. The title of the piece refers to the total length in minutes and seconds of a given performance.
Complimenting the 4’33” collaborative video is a theme of loss. John Cage was influenced by Zen Buddhism and 4’33” was intended to also be a moment of reflection and mindfulness. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the world has experienced loss. Not just in lives but also our loss of touch, connecting with each other and the natural world, our loss of our personal spaces as they became workplaces, and our loss of trade and business.