THE PREPARED BOX (or the Prepared Boxes)
May, June and July New York City 1994


Philip Hackbarth

In honor of recently found happiness the inner smile-
(it all having been lost and/or buried for many years or something on that order)
and also the joy which I have received from attending "ROLYWHOLYOVER" the John Cage Circus at the Guggenheim in Soho (I attend at least once every week) enjoying chance encounters, movement, changes, and happenings.

Suddenly I see life as a series of chance encounters and happenings, and movement - really never knowing what is going or what is going to happen - This I look at as art, as a circus, as life - something that happens by coincidence or whatever.

I am aware of each occurrence as it occurs (at least some of them, sometimes) and I see them as life happenings and as art. I feel a new way of seeing - and feel a sense of joy in this.

Thank you John.

I met John Cage a number of years ago at Lois Long's Birthday Party at John Bergman's house. One of the things they served for Lois' birthday was a kind of bread stuffing laid out on a very large platter - very plain with no spices.

I wondered why they were serving this as it was so flat and tasteless - it seemed such an odd thing to serve (I tasted it before it was really time to eat just to see what it was like... a very odd dish indeed.)

Just before the food was served an enormous amount of chanterelles (cantharellus cibarius) were sauteed; the juices were released as they were cooking - then it was all poured over this plain bread stuffing, becoming the most delicious dish as all the very tasty juices of the wild mushrooms soaked into the bread stuffing.

There was a fountain in the back garden - a simple spout of water in a small fish pond, but they had to turn it off at night because the neighbors did not like the sound of the fountain at that time.

I saw John Cage on the streets or the markets, as he lived only one block away. We said hello or chatted sometimes for a minute. I was often curious to see what he was buying, as I felt it might be used as a musical instrument somehow, especially the time I saw him buying a watermelon.

Because of all this, I am making prepared boxes (13 in all) and my computer (mind) share joy and things that occur using objects or articles that might be found useful or interesting in some way and that it may be a surprise chance happening for the people receiving them in the form of a package in the movement (mail or sometimes hand delivered).

Each will be different, containing different articles, clippings, and objects and each

box will vary in size, shape and color.

Philip Hackbarth May 17, 1994

Back To Philip Hackbarth Trilogy Page