WE ARE ALL ARTISTS, SUPPOSEDLY.
But after a certain age, most of us give up the ghost on pursuits that require costly studio space, state-of-the-art equipment, or too many rewrites. To the rescue comes Christian Marclay’s Shuffle (Aperture, $30), a deck of oversize playing cards, adorned with photographs of musical symbols found in the everyday world, that serves as a kind of artistic assist, aiding anyone in becoming a composer. The idea is to arrange the cards to create a score or a musical fragment. The directions suggest using “as many or as few of the cards as you wish,” playing alone or with others, and employing sounds that “may be generated or simply imagined.”
There are plenty of precedents for Shuffle: the Fluxus box, Dadaist collage, the Surrealist parlor game Exquisite Corpse, the near entirety of
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