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ART AND THE ALTERNATIVE MEDIA,
ART IN COMMUNICATIONS,
COMMUNICATIONS AS AN ART FORM

By PAUL SIMON (1971)

Published in: Lurie, Boris; Krim, Seymour: NO!art, Cologne 1988

1. From social NO!art to social underground press, cartooning, altered advertising. From March group NO!art to communications as art form.

2. Redefining art as action and perception: The act of creating the "art object" and the experience of perceiving it are essential, the object is merely the end-product of something far more important. ..the art is the action, and actions have effects, the validity of the art action may be determined by its effects.

3. Achieving the maximum desired effect-reaching the greatest number of people as quickly as possible. Implications: the mass media must be the primary consideration. The museums become totally irrelevant,-a hindrance, in fact, towards any communication. Museums separate art from real life by preventing its free movement through ordinary perceptual channels, i.e., "everyday life".

4. Alternative media-alternative lifestyle-alternative perception of the world-alternative definitions of everything (the universe is a totality, man is a totality, you can't change a part of a whole, you have to change everything or you haven't changed anything, dig it?). In seeking to redefine art, the underground media has succeeded by incorporating (re incorporating?) art into every facet of every day existence by rediscovering the art that is integral to human existence. Newspapers become artforms, artforms become newspapers: the primal level. We have everywhere to go from here. ...

5. Spin-offs and their implications: "Underground Comics": really, the only overground comics, the only ones that deal with real life problems and situations. "Advertising": what is advertising? All communications media is what it is. It just depends what you happen to be advertising. We advertise lifestyles. New definition of advertising leads to new forms of advertising: the instant leaflet, radical postering, impromptu street demonstrations, violent revolutions.

6. Where do we go from here? Answer: everywhere.

About PAUL SIMON: Formerly editor of underground counter-culture newspapers, New York Rat and the Chicago Seed.
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