Intermedia

“First theorized by [Dick] Higgins, intermedia and the Fluxus works to which the term initially referred stand among the earliest major attempts at a self-consciously post-modern art practice, a concerted and yet still tentative turn away from modernism long before the 1970s, when the word ‘postmodernism’ (that initial emphatic hyphen finally done away with) came to imply an entire theoretical discipline. By now, the term intermedia connotes a cultural environment in which artistic mediums and forms have become, depending on one’s position or mood, either monstrously or joyously hybrid, uncategorizable, and overtly, complexly, perhaps even overly technological. For critic Rosalind Krauss, intermedia has been the codeword for a veritable international plague of multimedia installation art, itself a symptom of global capitalism. For a number of American Intermedia MFA programs, it stands for everything else artists do beyond the traditional disciplines of painting, sculpture, photography, ceramics, etc. We should remember, however, that at its inception in the mid-1960s under the pen of Higgins, intermedia was a simple and quite specific notion, a neologistic intervention aimed at giving name to the artistic interventions into the waning history of modernism that Higgins was witnessing at that moment. Intermedia sought to describe an alternative logic of artistic production in a shift away from modernist thinking without capitulating to a non-paradigm of ‘anything goes.'” (“The Crux of Fluxus: Intermedia, Rear-guard”)

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Sources

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