Morton Feldman

100 things to do when you have the time

“There are people who say, ‘If music’s that easy to write, I could do it.’ Of course they could, but they don’t. I find [Morton] Feldman’s own statement more affirmative. We were driving back from some place in New England where a concert had been given. He is a large man and falls asleep easily. Out of a sound sleep, he awoke to say, ‘Now that things are so simple, there’s so much to do.’”
—John Cage, Indeterminacy

100 things to do when you have the time

  1. Doodle. Look for new styles, new approaches.
  2. Draw a picture of a friend. See how many different ways you can do it, such as how few lines you can use.
  3. Recite something you once memorized: a poem, a song, a story, a monologue.
  4. Memorize something new.
  5. Write a review of something you like.
  6. Go over the steps in a procedure or a process.
  7. Explain to a friend a thing you know, or think you know.
  8. Write a song, or cover a song.
  9. List the projects you’re working on, or want to work on. Set a deadline for completing one of them.
  10. Review every thing that you’ve done in the past week, the past month, the past year, the past five years, the past decade.
  11. Reread your diary or journal. If you don’t keep one, reread old sent emails.
  12. Describe something in as many words as possible, then as briefly as possible.
  13. Make up a riddle or joke.
  14. Make a puzzle for others to solve.
  15. Play a Dadaist/Surrealist/Oulipian writing game, such as automatic writing, the Exquisite Corpse, the Cut-Up Technique, homophonic translation, lipograms, …
  16. Write a story or poem entirely in your head.
  17. Observe whoever is around you. Note what they’re doing.
  18. Observe how the energy levels in a room change over time.
  19. Perform John Cage’s “silent piece” (4’33”). Pay attention to both the aural and the visual.
  20. Perform random FLUXUS pieces, then try inventing new ones.
  21. List all of your interests. Prioritize them.
  22. Compose a view.
  23. Explore a texture (a fabric, a liquid).
  24. Examine a nearby text. Why is it the way that it is?
  25. Explore a space: a room, a building, a street, a city.


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March 12th, 2012 / 8:01 am