Based on 49 Waltzes for the Five Boroughs by John Cage
Cosmopolis: 49 Waltzes for the World is a global video documentary project based on John Cage’s 49 Waltzes for the Five Boroughs, a graphic score that appeared in Rolling Stone magazine in 1977. Using chance operations, Cage identified and superimposed 49 multi-colored triangles on the Hagstrom map of New York City, and encouraged participants to go to the apex of each angle and listen to or record the sounds of the city. Utilizing Cage's concept, the Cosmopolis project is a series of video installations developed by filmmakers Roberta Friedman and Daniel Loewenthal. Striking visual and sound portraits taken from the streets of Cairo, Beijing, Graz, Detroit, and New York City reflect urban cultures in transition.
The installation at BAC is designed by Andrew Matusik.
Roberta Friedman is a filmmaker and video artist whose projects have ranged from the commercial—including George Lucas’s Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, specializing in sparks, matte work, and swords—to the experimental, such as her video The Erl King, created in collaboration with Grahame Weinbren, which was the first interactive art piece acquired by the Guggenheim Museum for its permanent collection.
Friedman’s work spans a large assortment of film and video productions as well as collaborations with new music artists and composers, which have been presented extensively in the United States and Europe at the Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum, MOMA, the Pompidou Centre, and other venues. Friedman’s experimental films are among those selected for preservation by the American Academy of Film in Los Angeles. She is currently producing Are We Not Men: A DEVO Documentary. Generous support for this project has been provided by Montclair State University’s School of Communication & Media, where Friedman is an Associate Professor of Film.
Daniel Loewenthal is a documentary filmmaker and feature film editor with 40 studio and independent credits. Also a photographer, Loewenthal’s work has taken him to Cambodia, China, Namibia, The Republic of South Africa, Indonesia, Europe, the Caribbean, and Egypt. Loewenthal teaches editing at Montclair State University’s School of Communication & Media, and also teaches at Fairleigh Dickenson University. His work has aired on The Discovery Channel, Bravo, and TBS, and has been shown at the Sundance film Festival, Palm Springs Film Festival, and the Tribeca Film Festival.