Take Cake


Sit in a circle around a cake and utensils 

Have the oldest in the room take the most appealing piece of cake 

Decide if the person to the left or right of the oldest starts the rotation of taking 

Continue taking cake until there is no more appeal 

Artist Statement: 

I was inspired by the concept of Yoko Ono’s Cut Piece(1965) and how she gave audience members a motionless “medium” to dictate. When given the opportunity to cut whatever articles of clothing off of Yoko Ono participants acted based on their personal desires. Some people did not want to cut a piece of her clothing that would leave her exposed, while others intended on taking advantage of her motionless state. The people at the start obviously got more control over what they wanted to cut, leaving those at the end with very few options. 

This concept of “taking and leaving” parts of something based on one’s personal agenda inspired my score Take Cake. Whenever a cake is about to be cut, people are staring at the part of the cake they really want. They rush to the front of the line to get a piece because those at the end are most likely going to get an underwhelming piece. I knew how my friends were when it came to food, so giving them an environment to act on their urges was entertaining. 

When I first brought out the cake, they were all asking for forks, cups, and spoons. They forgot about a knife. This is because my score only referenced utensils with no specifics. The knife was replaced with a cup because of TikToks we’ve seen where people are “cutting cake” using the cup. Just like the audience members in Cut Piece, my friends acted on their own personal desires when given individual control over the cake. My use of the words “appealing” and “take” definitely created a competitive environment even before we started. No one knew what parts of the cake we all were drawn to. That is until my one friend started vocalizing what parts she wanted to take…the strawberries.  

She assumed we all would leave a lot of the strawberries alone and play fair. This was because we decided to make her go last when choosing to rotate to the right of the oldest. We kept saying “there will be strawberries left for you, relax” because we all just wanted to peacefully eat cake without anyone complaining. My one friend, however, wanted to make the game feel more like a competition. While most only took one medium chunk of cake, she kept scooping more into her cup as an act of defiance. With that mindset, we all started to take the pieces that were appealing to others. My goal when creating a score was to provoke my friends into turning a normally structured thing, like eating cake in a group setting, into something competitive once removing the normal formalities. 

The start of everyone fighting IMG_2235