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Albert Einstein once said, "if you can't explain it simply, you probably don't understand it well enough". Somebody else once told me that whatever it is that you need to describe, you should be able to describe on an elevator ride. So, what is the simple, "elevator description" of Fluxus? Hmmm...

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Poetry has historically been associated with the physical sense of hearing. It has been thought of as an auditory art, unlike painting or drawing which have always been thought of as visual arts. Poetic texts were therefore seen as signs representing sounds, thus a poems rhythm was very important, and until recently most Western poems also tended to rhyme. In the 2oth century artists, writers, and poets for the first time took notice that while poems might have been meant to be read aloud, they never-the-less existed primarily as text typed or written on a printed page. In fact, poems could be seen primarily as text drawings or drawings using text as the page-marking medium. The first artists to widely exploit this idea were the Dada group following the first world war. One group led by Tristan Tzara explored the boundaries of poetry using text to represent sounds by playing with syllabic sensations and pseudomeaning in their work. Another group of Dada artists began to experiment with poetry as a form of visual expression, first within the confines of graphic design with poster and broadsheet designs, but eventually artists like Kurt Schwitters began using text purely for its visual qualities.

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