Countering Leonardo da Vinci’s notorious statement that “Art is never finished, only abandoned,” this volume rather subscribes to sculptor Ibram Lassaw’s formula that “Artworks are never finished, only begun.” Through knowledge and imagination, the thirty scholars, artists, musicians, architects, musicologists, philosophers, and art historians collected here are living proof that what was pioneered by (and thus mattered to) Xenakis still represents fertile ground for current and future exploration, experimentation, and creation. Curated from the ambitious public programming around the Iannis Xenakis: Composer, Architect, Visionary exhibition’s tour in North America in 2010-11—as the cornerstone of worldwide tributes remembering the tenth anniversary of his death—this volume attests to the fact that yes, Xenakis Matters.
Following a Preface by Kanach, who collaborated closely with Xenakis from the late 1970s until his death in 2001, the book begins with a previously unpublished Conversation between David Rosenboom and the composer. The book is then divided into three main chapters: Contexts (where Xenakis’ history and place not only in North American culture is refreshed), Processes (where specific works or techniques from his oeuvre are approached in novel ways), and Applications (where ten practicing artists describe their respective indebtedness to his example and their resulting creative expressions). An appendix of the public events around the exhibition’s North American tour is included.
Sharon Kanach, Editor: Sharon Kanach, Vice-President of Centre Iannis Xenakis (formerly CCMIX) in France and Founder and President of the Xenakis Project of the Americas of the Brook Center at CUNY, was Xenakis's assistant for two decades.