Seinfeld called itself a “show about nothing.” The following video (via Lauren Rabaino) captures this cleverly by compiling moments of “nothing.”
As I watched, the stark “nothingess” compressed together in such a literal way reminded me of John Cage‘s concept of “silence.”
The experimental composer’s piece 4’33” is generally referred to as his “silent” piece. But, like Seinfeld, it is — despite its label — not silent at all.
For Cage, it’s about the shifting the focus from the performer to the audience and sounds of the environment in which the piece is performed.
With the general Seinfeld-Cage connection in mind, I thought:
Someone should analyze Seinfeld as a “show about nothing” through the lens of John Cage’s “Silence.” Title: “There can never be nothing.”
— Greg Linch (@greglinch) March 12, 2014
Doing a quick search after this, I found that Joel Garten previously made a similar connection in a piece about MoMA’s current Cage exhibit.
As a longtime Seinfeld fan and someone who visited that Cage exhibit earlier this year, I never made the connection until sparked by that video.
Searching further, I found the connection to be even stronger when I stumbled across Cage’s 1949 “Lectures on Nothing:”
I have nothing to say and I am saying it
Let me know if you’ve seen anything about this connection before. I’d be very interested to read more or hear your thoughts.
P.S. Speaking of Cage, who used indeterminacy (a.k.a. chance operations) in his music, I’m also very interested to know if anyone has written about chance in Mallarmé’s poem Un coup de des as it relates to Forrest Gump:
Someone should write a piece on “Mama always said life is like a box of chocolates…” and “A throw of a the dice will never abolish chance.”
— Greg Linch (@greglinch) March 11, 2014