Sunday, September 10, 2006

dig fluxers esstheticica

Process Aesthetics, Eternal Networks,
Ready-Made Everyday Actions, and Other
Potentially Dangerous

found here at


... point that I want very much to establish is that the choice of these "ready-mades" was never dictated by aesthetic delectation. The choice was based on a reaction of visual indifference with a total absence of good or bad taste in fact a complete anesthesia.

[too much eYe candy in this ole'world] [UncleSelavie]

... the danger of repeating indiscriminately this form of expression and decided to limit the production of "ready-mades" to a small number yearly. [yearly ready-made Limited inc.]...was aware at that time that, for the spectator even more than for the artist, art is a 'habit-forming drug'
[think of that poem by Tzara where he says the poet is a pharmacist; derrida's work on plato's pharmakon_ word as drug_forgetfulness of memory]and I wanted to protect my "ready-mades" against such contamination ... .. Marcel Duchamp

"In "An Introduction to Dada" originally published as an insert to Robert Motherwell's influential 1951 edition of The Dada Painters and Poets, Tristan Tzara presents a number of statements on the interrelationship posed between art and life that coincide, to an uncanny extent, with Robert Filliou's 1963 definition of the "Eternal Network." Tzara insists that participants in Dada "had repudiated all distinction between life and poetry" [2] and had determined that "the real aim of art (was) integration with the present-day world." [3] Although this posteriori reflection is specific to the actions of a World War I era avant-garde, it further corresponds to myriad mid-century artistic strategies that revolved around the so called "art/life dichotomy" including the environments and happenings of Allan Kaprow, the correspondence networks of Ray Johnson, Fluxus, the Nouveaux Réalistes, and Arte Povera. Furthermore, an expanding community of contemporary artists continues to rally around a banner dedicated to the inseparableness of art and life. Tzara explained that participants in Dada sought to integrate art with their present day world because "it seemed to us that literature and art had become institutions located on the margin of life." [4] However, despite the Dadaists' (and the Surrealists') attempts to dissolve distinctions between life and poetry, the institution of art's position within life did not shift closer to center. The proposed marriage lacked prerequisite reciprocity. Life, after all, did not ask to be integrated with art. "

he ... did a somewhat different version of this posting

Tristan Tzara ~ my mother
& married to Doctor Dread
gave birthday to Doctor Duffy
or the kabalistic googoos
was yarned by wool
& chalked by cools
which is a funky dunky rhyme
Her uncle was Hans arp
of fame & Fortune
but didnt die of a psyco-geography attack
as did Rene not Descaret, you know
not Duchamp, Dubord!
the one that blew his brains
out in 1994!
My god! now that was a scandal!
the poor fella sticking a pistil in his mouth like that!

Contra the above
statements my father,
or my father by contagion
who art in heaven
Jean Genet
did not at all see it this
way &
never "bought" the idear.

that ar t an
life are one


ptomaine said...

"However, despite the Dadaists' (and the Surrealists') attempts to dissolve distinctions between life and poetry, the institution of art's position within life did not shift closer to center. The proposed marriage lacked prerequisite reciprocity. Life, after all, did not ask to be integrated with art."

I think that this is a wise and accurate observation. I believe it continues to be a major dilemna in art transcending itself to become a part of everyone's everyday life. Although many of us working in dada/fluxus/etc believe that civilization/humans would benefit from this merger, most people are unaware of how or why this might be so (or how to do it). Those of us who would advocate such a merger have apparently not done a good job of explaining or demonstrating the benefits--even if the benefits seem clear and obvious to us in our own lives. We find and feel the magic in this merger and when we hold this magic up what they usually see is an impractical empty-handed eccentric --not someone to follow or to take advice from.

Or something like that.

Cocaine Jesus said...

in response to ptomaine's succinct and elequent comments, most people, in my experience are too busy with the dross of everyday existance to even think about life as art or indeed art as life. the one thing the industrial revolution has done is to drive virtually every last ounce of thought about freeing their natural creativity right to the backs of their mothball heavy, but other wise empty purses.
the only nation, again in my limited experience, who work to live rather than live to work, is the french. even they however, are unable to release all that uncorked super nova of creation that sits in the heads and hearts of mankind.

my point?

general joe public doesn't give a shit about art as long as the bills are coming in. so i guess you are right.

ptomaine said...

[jesus, i've never been accused of being elequent before. thenk you.]

But this merging "art & life" idea is a huge and worthy goal, no? I am convinced it can add more meaning to life--to all of our lives. It has added more meaning and value to my life when and where I have been able to do it. But that seems to be as far as we've gotten: individuals working out idiosyncratic solutions that don't appear to apply to or to appeal to many others. [I'm not complaining. If that is all this project ever is, just a small number of people experimenting with different ways to merge art & life, that's still a wonderful thing.] Surely, however, there must be ways to increase 1. the number of people and 2. the amount of activitiy involved in the merge-art-&-life project.

Trying to "raise" people/life up to the level of "art" (i.e., to get people to "appreciate art" and to want to "live there") seems to reinforce the existing distinction between art and life (and put some people off in its condescension). Conversely, art trying to sneak into life and pretend that it's just popular entertainment or something fun and creative to do seems to lose the art side of the equation and part of its soul. I think we have to look for other solutions...other ways to approach the merge-art-&-life project (disclaimer: I am not very knowledgeable about what has and has not been tried by others, so please educate me).

I have been fooling around with this issue--in one form or another--for a long time--from how to stimulate more creativity in everyday life ("New Wave Psychology") to how to merge art & life. I haven't gotten very far with it. My current best thinking for how to stimulate others (especially non-artists) to pursue th merge-art-&-life project is to present some of the most accessible creative games and some of the perceptual frames (i.e., ways of looking at the world through an art lense) as activities/hobbies to help one along their spiritual path. Activities, hobbies, creativity games that can help a person explore the meaning and spirit of their life. Which still sounds grandiose, pretentious, and somewhat goofy. This appraoch tries to solve the challenge by using the tactic of repackaging, reframing, or rebranding the issue (and probably has the same weaknesses as the sneak-art-in-on-life approach), so I am not wildly optimistic about its potential. But this merging "art & life" idea is a huge and worthy goal, no?

Or something like that.

Nobody said... the greek language the word pharmakon has two meanings:

A poison

B medicin

Only he dosis determins the meaning...

Clifford Duffy said...

indeed it _ does. I had in mind the way derrida was using in his book _Dissemination and the long and wonderful exegesis deconstruction he applies to the word as it was used in classical greek by this, guy, this dude, gay guy, name of Plato? cheers.