Hungarian Academy of Arts

Intermedia department

Parallel-course/Training Ground II. 1991-92.-1992-93

Anatomic Immortality

With respect to the history of ideas and from pedagogical, jurisdictional and economic standpoint the International Parallel Union of Telecommunications sets a high value on the fact (after the time when lurking, nevertheless prohibited tendencies could appear—although behind the times—at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Art, where exclusively representative art had been taught, following the expansion of the art from the media toward the intermedia in the 1950's), that from 1991 on an experimental basi s and from 1993 in an autonomous Intermedia Department the investigation became possible in which art is not limited to the regroupables of given, conventional media only, and where art could realize itself by "ad hoc" media, or even without medial devices at all.*

In the lectures of the Parallel-Course / Training Ground II., during four semesters we were occupied with two themes that compliment each other:

a) The theory and practice of Intermedia, as theory.

b) The theory and practice of Anatomical Immortality, as practice.

a) By considering every named as a medium, Intermedia is the name of nameless reality. This sphere of existence, the "infinitesimal* infra-thin" line of intersection between the named, that is the media—all the manifested—, is the base of possibilities, the base of change. Taking the word "medium" in a narrower sense, as an artistic communication tool, intermedia is involved in the area that falls outside the areas covered by the media. Here all such names are found that define the media with broader meaning: the non-artistic media and consequently their nameless, intermedial sphere also, as mentioned above.

By stepping out of the given, conventional area covered by artistic media, the intermedia artist does not (as opposed to erroneous intermedia-definitions, deriving from the misunderstood Gesamtkunstwerk) come to the impasse of the combination of artistic media, as is done by some working in Mixed-media and Multi-media, instead, hse objectifies hir work as new name, new definition, that is new medium out of the non-artistic media or out of the potentialities lying among them.* The intermedia artist shapes non-art or lifts up contents from the infinitesimal infra-thin sphere between the non-artistic media.**

We summerized the lectures held in 1991-92. in the Spectrum-exhibition,which included the works of twenty-one, mainly student, participants.

The theme of the lectures was the spectrum, starting from the colour spectrum, through the object, meaning, political, musical etc. -spectra to the state of consciousness spectrum, always emphasizing the ultra-, infra- and the in-between-states. This sort of modelling provided the possibility to pick the idea of "intermedia" out of the spectrum of the intermedia-definitions and to direct the attention to the "non-manifested", "nameless", "conceivable" and "realizable". The notion of the medium is now placed on a larger spectrum of which the artistic media and the mass- and telecommunication tools make up only a segment. The intermedial consciousness adopts the whole of the "manifested—non-manifested" vocabulary as a medium and can decide, accept, judge, create, question, praise, destroy, name, forge, change, compare, actualize, refer, deny, analyse, ignore or charm according to the possibilities or impossibilities of the able-spectrum. At the center of the vocabulary-spectrum affected in this manner, stands the individuum, like Noah at the center of the first rainbow, recognizing that this is all projection, emanation, the imagination of hirself, as is hir answer to hir well-polished, archaic question:—"How is it possible that there is something, why not instead nothing?"*

b) We can realize the myth that we are living in—insofar as we relate to it intermedially, taking every named as a medium—through the "extra-mythic" element that the myth itself contains as an "intra-mythic" element in order to overcome, or more precisely, fulfil itself. (Thus, it has already gained expression, but is still on its initial stage of its self-realization.) This is the intermedial potential that organizes the myth under the aegis of the mythic liberation, in other words, this is the basis of the change of the myth. The art—and even more, the intermedial non-art art—is the conscious realization of this extra-mythic element which is nothing else than the elimination of the inner bounderies of the myth, as if the intra-mythic was turned inside-out to become a universal extra-myth.

Qualifying the human condition intolerable, based on our experience and Genesis 3.1-24*, we make the presumption that the cultural, economic, and legal depravation of the threefold society must be explained by its mythical roots, and so we have to perceive and apply artistic activity in this context.

According to the actual reading of the myth, the disclosed, perceived and applied Subsistence Level Standard is that which can be turned against the myth, that which can be in the end identifiable with the extra-mythic element. In this process,drawing an inference from the jurisdiction of the myth, we must step into the sphere towards the extra-mythic which is in-between the intra-mythic and the extra-mythic—into the Subsistence Level Standard Project**. Following the expression of the role of the project as model*** and during and after the continual embodiment of it, the concrete confrontation with the fundamental happening of the myth becomes inevitable in the core of the extra-mythic element: once the automated gene-operated replacement on the tree of the over-consumed fruit accomplished, the suspension of the aleotoric interpretation of the good and the evil**** also results. This is not the new fall into the sin of picking the fruit from the forbidden Tree of Immortality, but on the contrary, it restores the original situation on the level of the age of automatization, from where there is no road back to the age of the apocalypse.

The furtherance of the salvation plan of the mith happens with the realization of the Subsistence Level Standard Project, of which the last phase is the reaching of the immortality of the body.***** Thus will the inner schedule of the myth come into being.

In the academic year 1992/93, after the idea of the in-between-state was presented in the Spectrum exhibition, we made one step ahead toward the extra-mythic element: the lectures were held about Fluxus. Intermedia appeared for the first time in a programatic form in Fluxus after the proposition of S. T. Coleridge in the beginning of the nineteenth century, transmitted later by Duchamp, then Cage through to Dick Higgins. The characteristics of Fluxus were set forth in detail** from aesthetic and social points of view (we had the occasion for some critical remarks also, especially on Ken Friedman's intermedia interpretations and Fluxus's self-indulgence regarding a sentimental hippie-influence and the uncertainty surrounding the notion of 'amusement').

The Fluxus-events are rich examples of intermedia activity because, from one angle, imitation, the main characteristic of the conventional media, hardly appears, from another angle, the sphere between art and non-art is activated, from the third angle, the performers themselves are in that intermedial activity-zone which exists both between the professional and the non-professional artists and between the artist and the public, while the fourth angle provides direct experience about that aesthetically defineable sphere which is found beyond the borders of elite-art, and finally, because the events are activating the potentialities of the in-between-meaning

The influence of individual and collective life-plans of Fluxus propositions is clearly derived from the principles of Subsistence-Level-Standard-art: to "switch off" us from the closed myth, "switch in" us to the open one, leaving us to ourselves in a reflectionless existence in the middle of our own creative imagination, at the infinitesimal infra-thin centre of the barely existing universe.

For the monthly Subsistence Minimum.


Budapest, September 1993. Tam·s St.Auby the V. dispatcher of IPUT



*We were speaking about the sporadic predecessors, the Inconsequents, the Dadaists, and naturally about Marcel Duchamp, who coined the "infra-thin" sphere, who objectified latent elements from it in the intermedial zone, and who foresaw the future by fifty years, which means that our activity is beyond that, because the 'artist of the future' who will be necesarrely illegal (according to M. D.) has become legal already, if we can call an artist the one who works at an academy of fine art as a professional striker.'

**We analyzed in detail one video documentation of a Fluxconcert by Ben Vautier and then prepared that Fluxconcert, which was held exactly 20 years after the prohibited May 12, 1973. one, and was organized by the Foreign Artists Damp Studio (FADS) of IPUT in the Russian Cultural Center in four different places, with 24 people, including students, performing for the most part George Brecht's Water Yam, simultaneously. (Other authors were: George Maciunas, Robert Filliou, Ben Vautier, Emmett Williams, Robert Bozzi, Yoko Ono, La Monte Young, Tomas Schmit, Robert Watts, Henning Christiansen, Chieko Shiomi.)

***The imitation is necessarily the property of the media, for the duty of the media is the representation of the manifested, that is, the already named maifested. Consequenty, if a named manifests itself without the media then it is not imitative, but itself (the 'life' as the Fluxus says) or if the nameless is manifested then it is realized as its own "first name"—in situ nascendi. We should mention that from this point of view the informal is intermedial, because each and every informal work is a "new name", although it is embodied in the media of fine art, what's more, we could extend all medial arts toward intermediality: in the end, ideally, they are also objectifying hidden potentialities. But there is no need for this extension, because firstly, the medial objectification is now able to do it only in exceptional cases, secondly because the intermedia fulfils this function much more radically, arriving to territories where the media, by their own nature, are unable to reach, thirdly, in the present historical moment, representation as such—actualized politically in the representative democracy—is obviously and necessarily judged negatively in front of the non-representative, direct manifestation, and finally, the concept of intermedia would loose its specific meaning, which we need to approach the extra-mythic.

ƒ See our writing concerning this in the magazine Orpheus, 1993. no. 1., or the video documentation—unfortunately incomplete—in the archives of the Intermedia Department.