[rumori] more about neoism.

Steev Hise (steevATdetritus.net)
Sun, 21 Nov 1999 22:01:58 -0800 (PST)

bounced to me...


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 1999 21:55:49 -0600
To: rumoriATdetritus.net
From: Lloyd Dunn <psrfATinav.net>
Subject: Re: [rumori] neoism

I have been acquainted with neoism since about 1988. In my first zine
project 'PhotoStatic' (1983-1994) and my second 'Retrofuturism' (1987-1994)
I published many writings by people who were either neoists or adopted
neoist postures from time to time. I can assure you all that the 'art
movement' or 'anti-art movement' or 'art anti-movement' was and probably is
very real. I am personally acquainted with a number of individuals who
fully consider their work to be 'neoist.'

The movement developed on ideas taken from Dada, Fluxus, what is called
'situationism', Harry Flynt, conceptual art (I suppose) and punk (i guess).
The work created was at its best when it couldn't really be described as
'art' but rather more accurately as 'philosophy' in my opinion. Some of its
main project were the 'multiple names' concept; plagiarism; and the art
strike (1990-1993). The movement had practitioners in Canada, the US and in
most countries in western Europe.

The reason there may be some question as to whether the movement was real
or not is because of the neoists themselves. They did not seek to attract
adherents and they remained wilfully obscure, with the exception of Istvan
Kantor, a Hungarian defector to the west who adopted the multiple name
'Monty Cantsin' as his own persona. This caused one of many splits within
the movement, since 'Monty Cantsin' was supposed to be an 'open pop star'
project where anyone could be Monty Cantsin so that 'his' works could be
attributed to no one in particular. Kantor's ego apparently would not allow
him to share the name. Other multiple names where put in play (possibly as
a result of Kantor), among them 'Karen Eliot' and, more lately, 'Luther
Blissett'. This latter name has become rather too closely identified with a
group in Bologna, Italy, but at least they don't claim it as their
exclusive domain.

I won't drop any actual names because I think you should discover them for
yourself. And you will if the interest is there. I will say that the
concepts the movement deals with and some of the anecdotes about its
members and the founding of the movement are truly remarkable.

Here are some URLs that might or might not put you on the right track. Bear
in mind that many neoists are probably not on the web and so you may have
to find other ways to acquire their publications, many of which have the
multiple name 'SMILE'.


>Sun, 21 Nov 1999 found Nicola Battista writing:
>->>Everybody's ignorant about something (at least). Now's my turn. What is
>->one of a hundred fake "-ism"s ie artistic movements. In my hometown Pescara
>i don't know if i'd call it "fake". Or are you saying all art movements
>are "fake -isms"? That's surely not true. What is an "ism" anyway but a
>label on which to pin some activities? even if it began as a joke, enough
>has been said and written and done under the name Neoism that it has
>become a "real" thing. I've known about it for years and I don't recall
>it ever being described as something fake. It's no less real than Dada or
>Futurism or Fluxus.
>I'd say the only fake art movements (if there are any) are the ones
>invented by critics rather than by the artists doing the stuff.
>Stewart Home has a book that i've always wanted to read but havent gotten
>around to, called "Neoism, Plagiarism & Praxis". Anyone read it and care
>to comment?
>->"Every artist is a cannibal, every poet is a thief"
>did bono really say that? weird....
>Steev Hise, Infoserf
>steevAThise.org http://www.cyborganic.com/people/steev
>recycled art site: http://www.detritus.net
>"Nature does not exist to serve humans."
> -Judi Bari
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<11> Lloyd Dunn Tel/Fax 319 358 1053 psrfATinav.net

The Tape-beatles \\ P.O. Box 3326 \\ Iowa City IA 52244 \\ USA

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