Monday, April 19, 2010

(a thought) - Dick Higgins

(a thought) is reprinted from a letter from Dick Higgins, perhaps the most respected artist involved with the field. He reflects on his role in, and participation with, the mail art network.

a lot of what i do is mail art's literary cognate, as yet unnamed. postal verbal gestalt-making.

one has as idea. should it be written up in a technical format for the benefit of a few aestheticians or other specialists digested by professional pudgies or pudgy professionals, and - filed? that would be instant academicism.

or should one simply get it to known thinkers - and/or artists - wherever encountered. and let them use it as they see fit. in the way ideas can be tools, or can be enjoyed for their own sake. one needn't worry about the politics, copyrights or the personality of the sender. the focus is on the thing, not the creator or his act.

being relatively anonymous, it doesn't pay very well to do things that way. but there are other satisfactions. e.g., the word i revived (from coleridge) fourteen years ago, "intermedia", has gotten very widespread use and rather little abuse. i used it in a lecture first, and noticed it didn't get picked up. so i wrote it up in a newsletter as an aesthetic idea and sent out some 5000 free copies. that got picked up.

same with my cognitive/postcognitive idea, rather sher idea, and so on - they went out first as postcards. if only more philosophical people would do things like that, it would be like the academics were offering us back our brains! i mean, philosophy is really just the art of thought, isn't it? yet the prof's, the specialists and other pudgies insist on gluing it all down into academic (that is, into non-implicative) contexts and formats, with an excess of rationcination, etc. result: american philosophy is not philosophy since it is not the art of thought - rather is is just the subject matter which so-called american philosophers teach. that's too bad, since philosophy should be as much as an art as the others - as collage-making, mail art, art performances, wordsmithing and so on.

post wordsmithing - maybe that is what i mean.

some texts require the interchange of mail or other deliveries - mail poems. what can be more exciting that waiting for the next lion to arrive?

above copied from : CORRESPONDENCE ART: Source Book for the Network of International Postal Art Activity. Eds - M. Crane & M. Sofflet.

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