In the heliotropical noughttime following a fade of transformed Tuff and, pending its viseversion, a metenergic reglow of beaming Batt, the bairdboard bombardment screen, if tastefully taut guranium satin, tends to teleframe and step up to the charge of a light barricade. Down the photoslope in syncopanc pulses, with the bitts bugtwug their teffs, the missledhropes, glitteraglatteraglutt, borne by their carnier walve. (Joyce 1975: 349) [JJ's italics; my emphasis.]
Joyce created a language of "syncopanc pulses" (1975: 349), of "doublin existents" (1975: 578), of synchronicity. Always on the move, always displacing, splicing into something else in the same word, and at the same time elsewhere in the matrix of the dream of Finnegan. The whole of history, the babble of all languages compressed into a "hypermnesiac machine" (Derrida 1984: 146). "In the buginning is the woid" (1975: 378). Joyce's words come at you with the force of association, the riotous logic of the unconscious, the "law of the jungerl" (1975: 268). An inexhaustible language, a language definitively unfinished (Hulten 1993).
The fourth dimension was more than a poetics; it was a prototype of electronic thought. How else do we account for The Large Glass; it is not an object; it's a node in a network of ideas of "indefinite" possibility. Consult The Green Box. Start a chain reaction. Duchamp's "catalogue of ideas" never takes form; it keeps you guessing, invites you to think about it from any possible angle. You can't do it all in one moment of viewing. Dip in today, dip in tomorrow-- anything may happen (Cage 1987: 59).
In exploiting randomness Cage went beyond the concept of the line. The line imposes limits, it enforces an obliged movement in one direction. Indeterminacy is the promise of extension, of going beyond the predictable next step. Use a star chart to create a score, imperfections on a sheet of paper, throw dice. Overlap, collision, resonance. "Our ears are now in excellent condition" (Cage 1987: xii). What you thought you were listening to turns into something else. You need to be "omni-attentive" when "everything happens at once". Don't close the window. Leave it open. All sounds are welcome here. With indeterminacy you no longer take steps. You meander, like a river.
"riverrun"-- where does it run? "from swerve of shore to of Bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs" (1975: 3). Go with the flow. The energetic charge of the incipit, of first words. "Once upon a time...", "riverrun..." With first words you haven't gone anywhere, but can still go anywhere. Stories don't have to be the same every time you read them. Don't be fooled. The river isn't the same in any two spots. Make your own rivulet. Don't finish a train of thought. Jump trains. We've gone beyond finished books. It's not the time to finish anything (Hulten 1993).
Duchamp never finished anything. He created "delays". You never completely look at The Glass. In fact you don't even look at it, since you are already in it. How do you know your not in it when your not looking at it? Fragments from The Green Box can spark a myriad of associations, and these change over time through the very fact of their ambiguity. You never come back to the same Glass. You return in "indecisive reunion". You continue to think about The Large Glass over time. Who knows when you will think about it. But you think about it nonetheless. It exists not as an object but as a series of anachronous moments. The Large Glass is concerned with ideas in time. The fourth dimension is unpredictability in action. Bring things together. See what happens.
The prepared piano creates unexpected sounds that the instrument was not designed to make. What do you hear when you listen to four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence? Like Duchamp's fragments, sounds are as "free as air", liberated for "an infinite play of interpretation" (Hulten 1993). Cage envisaged that no two experiences of any of his works would be the same. Active listening is not removed from the environment. The active listener is already in the environment, is already "inter". In between, amongst other things. Inter: prefix used in English as a formative element. Interactive, interaction, interactivity. In Joyce there is no beginning, no middle, no end, there is only the state of being inter. "A way a lone a last a loved a long the riverrun". In the midst of things. Look at The Large Glass "from all associative angles" (Hulten 1993): you are always in it. Inter alia.