An art manifesto is a public declaration of the intentions, motives, or views of an artist or artistic movement. Manifestos are a standard feature of the various movements in the modernist avant-garde and are still written today. Art manifestos are sometimes in their rhetoric intended for shock value, to achieve a revolutionary effect. They often address wider issues, such as the political system. Typical themes are the need for revolution, freedom (of expression) and the implied or overtly stated superiority of the writers over the status quo. The manifesto gives a means of expressing, publicising and recording ideas for the artist or art group—even if only one or two people write the words, it is mostly still attributed to the group name.
In 1855 Gustave Courbet wrote a Realist manifesto for the introduction to the catalogue of his independent, personal exhibition. And in 1886 the Symbolist Manifesto was published in the French newspaper Le Figaro by the poet and essayist Jean Moréas.
The first art manifesto of the 20th century was introduced with the Futurists in Italy in 1909, followed by the Cubists, Vorticists, Dadaists and the Surrealists: the period up to World War II created what are still the best known manifestos. Although they never stopped being issued, other media such as the growth of broadcasting tended to sideline such declarations. Due to the internet there has been a resurgence of the form, and many new manifestos are now appearing to a potential worldwide audience. The Stuckists have made particular use of this to start a worldwide movement of affiliated groups.
Manifestos typically consist of a number of statements, which are numbered or in bullet points and which do not necessarily follow logically from one to the next. Tristan Tzara’s explanation of the manifesto (Feeble Love & Bitter Love, II) captures the spirit of many:
“A manifesto is a communication made to the whole world, whose only pretension is to the discovery of an instant cure for political, astronomical, artistic, parliamentary, agronomical and literary syphilis. It may be pleasant, and good-natured, it’s always right, it’s strong, vigorous and logical. Apropos of logic, I consider myself very likeable.
Before the early 20th century, the manifesto was almost exclusively a declaration with political aims. The intention of artists adopting the form, therefore, is to indicate that they are employing art as a political tool.
The art manifesto has two main goals. The first is to define and criticize a paradigm in contemporary art or culture; the second is to define a set of aesthetic values to counter this paradigm. Often, manifestos aspire to be works of art in their own right; for instance, many manifesto writers intend for their texts to be performed. Other manifestos cannot be fully appreciated simply as written statements because they rely heavily on graphic design for communication, a common feature in Dada manifestos. Several artists have written manifestos about artistic mediums not their own.
Historically, there has been a strong parallel between the art manifesto and the political manifesto. It was not uncommon for manifesto writers of the early 20th century to also be politically active. In Italy, Futurist founder Filippo Tomasso Marinetti ran for office, and both Russian and Italian Futurists issued political manifestos. In England, Vorticist Wyndham Lewis supported the Suffragettes, while in France, Surrealist André Breton supported the Communist party. Often however, these political organizations rejected the artists’ attention; in other cases, artists were censored and persecuted by European authoritarian governments, like Fascist Italy and Communist Russia, which institutionally rejected the avant-garde.
Realist Manifesto 1855
Gustave Courbet wrote a Realist manifesto for the introduction to the catalogue of his independent, personal exhibition, 1855, echoing the tone of the period’s political manifestos. In it he asserts his goal as an artist “to translate the customs, the ideas, the appearance of my epoch according to my own estimation.”
Symbolist Manifesto 1886
In 1886 the Symbolist Manifesto was published in the French newspaper Le Figaro by the poet and essayist Jean Moréas. It defined and characterized Symbolism as a style whose “goal was not the ideal, but whose sole purpose was to express itself for the sake of being expressed.” It names Charles Baudelaire, Stéphane Mallarmé, and Paul Verlaine as the three leading poets of the movement.
Futurist Manifesto 1909, 1914
The Futurist Manifesto, written by the Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, was published in the Italian newspaper Gazzetta dell’Emilia in Bologna on February 5, 1909, then in French as Manifeste du futurisme in the newspaper Le Figaro on February 20, 1909. It initiated an artistic philosophy, Futurism, that was a rejection of the past, and a celebration of speed, machinery, violence, youth and industry; it was also an advocation of the modernization and cultural rejuvenation of Italy.
Since the founding manifesto did not contain a positive artistic programme, the Futurists attempted to create one in their subsequent Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting (1914). This committed them to a “universal dynamism”, which was to be directly represented in painting and sculpture. Objects in reality were not separate from one another or from their surroundings: “The sixteen people around you in a rolling motor bus are in turn and at the same time one, ten four three; they are motionless and they change places… The motor bus rushes into the houses which it passes, and in their turn the houses throw themselves upon the motor bus and are blended with it.”
Cubist Manifesto 1912
Du “Cubisme”, written in 1912 by Albert Gleizes and Jean Metzinger, was the first major theoretical text on Cubism. The book was illustrated with works by Gleizes, Metzinger, Paul Cézanne, Fernand Léger, Juan Gris, Francis Picabia, Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, André Derain and Marie Laurencin. In this highly influential treatise Gleizes and Metzinger explicitly related the concept of ‘multiple perspective’ to the Bergsonian sense of time. The faceted treatment of physical objects and space blurred the distinctions between subject and abstraction, between representation and non-objectivity. Effects of non-Euclidean geometry were used to convey a psychophysical sense of fluidity of consciousness. Du “Cubisme” introduced the concept of ‘simultaneity’ into the theoretical framework of Cubism. It was in part a concept born out of a conviction based on the authors understanding of Henri Poincaré and Bergson that the separation or distinction between space and time should be comprehensively challenged. It was based both on philosophical and scientific ideas, on Riemannian geometry and the relativity of knowledge, contradicting notions of absolute truth. These ideas were disseminated and debated in the widely available publication, and read by writers and artists associated with the advent of modernism.
The Art of Noise 1913
The Art of Noises (Italian: L’arte dei Rumori) is a Futurist manifesto written by Luigi Russolo in a 1913 letter to friend and Futurist composer Francesco Balilla Pratella. In it, Russolo argues that the human ear has become accustomed to the speed, energy, and noise of the urban industrial soundscape; furthermore, this new sonic palette requires a new approach to musical instrumentation and composition. He proposes a number of conclusions about how electronics and other technology will allow futurist musicians to “substitute for the limited variety of timbres that the orchestra possesses today the infinite variety of timbres in noises, reproduced with appropriate mechanisms”.
Manifeste de l’école amorphiste 1913
Published in Les Homme du jour in 1913, it has never been clear whether this was a sincere manifesto of the new school of amorphism, or a parody.
Vorticist Manifesto 1914
Extracts from the Vorticists’ BLAST manifesto were published in their magazine Blast, number 1, on June 20, 1914, and then in Blast, number 2, in July 1915.
Suprematist Manifesto 1915
In 1915, Kazimir Malevich laid down the foundations of Suprematism when he published his manifesto, From Cubism to Suprematism.
Dada Manifesto 1916
Hugo Ball recited the first Dada manifesto at Cabaret Voltaire on July 14, 1916.
The second Dada manifesto was recited by Tristan Tzara at the Salle Meise on March 23, 1918, and published in Dada, No. 3 (Zurich, December 1918).
De Stijl 1918
Signed by Theo van Doesburg, Robt. van ‘t Hoff, Vilmos Huszar, Antony Kok, Piet Mondrian, Georges Vantongerloo, Jan Wils
Manifest I of “The Style” (De Stijl), from De Stijl, vol. II, no. 1 (November 1918), p. 4.
Realistic Manifesto 1920
The Realistic Manifesto (published August 5, 1920) was written by Russian sculptor Naum Gabo and cosigned by his brother Antoine Pevsner, and the key text of Constructivism.
Purist Manifesto 1920-1925
The founders of Purism, Amedee Ozenfant and Charles-Edouard Jeanneret (better known as Le Corbusier), titled their manifesto Apres le cubism (After Cubism).
Surrealist Manifesto 1924
The first Surrealist manifesto was written by the French writer André Breton in 1924 and released to the public 1925. The document defines Surrealism as:
Psychic automatism in its pure state, by which one proposes to express — verbally, by means of the written word, or in any other manner — the actual functioning of thought. Dictated by the thought, in the absence of any control exercised by reason, exempt from any aesthetic or moral concern.
Art Concret 1930
Base de la peinture concrète, was written by Otto G. Carlsund, Theo van Doesburg, Jean Hélion, Marcel Wantz and Léon Arthur Tutundjian, published in Revue Art Concret, no. 1 (April 1930).
Manifesto of Mural Painting 1933
Manifesto of Mural Painting was written by Mario Sironi in 1933.
Manifesto: Towards a Free Revolutionary Art 1938
Towards a Free Revolutionary Art was written by surrealist André Breton and Marxist Leon Trotsky as a reaction against the Soviet Union’s mandated art.
White Manifesto 1946
White Manifesto is a 1946 text written by Lucio Fontana.
COBRA manifesto 1948
CoBrA manifesto, titled La cause était entendue, written by Christian Dotremont, and sighed by Karel Appel, Constant, Corneille, Asger Jorn, and Joseph Noiret in 1948.
Refus global 1948
The Refus global (or Total Refusal) was an anti-establishment and anti-religious manifesto released on August 9, 1948 in Montreal by a group of sixteen young Québécois artists and intellectuals known as les Automatistes, led by Paul-Émile Borduas.
The Refus global was greatly influenced by French poet André Breton, and it extolled the creative force of the subconscious.
Manifesto of Eaismo 1948
Manifesto of Eaismo is by Voltolino Fontani.
Sculptors’ First Manifesto 1949
Sculptors’ First Manifesto is by René Iché.
Mystical Manifesto 1951
Mystical Manifesto was written by Salvador Dalí in 1951.
The Mystical Manifesto inaugurated Dalí’s Nuclear mysticism period.
Manifesto pittura nucleare 1951
Written was by Enrico Baj.
Les Spatialistes Manifesto 1952
Les Spatialistes, an Italian group based in Milan drew up a manifesto for television.
Un Art Autre 1952
This work by Michel Tapié defined the art informel movement.
Gutai Manifesto 1956
This manifesto by Jirô Yoshihara defined the artistic aims of Japan’s Gutai group.
Auto-Destructive Art Manifesto 1959
Written by Gustav Metzger in 1964, this was given as a lecture to the Architectural Association, and taken over by students as an artistic “Happening”. One of Metzger’s Ealing College students was Pete Townshend, who later cited Metzger’s concepts as an influence for his famous guitar-smashing during performances of The Who.
Neo-Concrete Manifesto 1959
Neo-Concrete Manifesto, by Ferreira Gullar, begins:
We use the term “neo-concrete” to differentiate ourselves from those committed to non-figurative “geometric” art (neo-plasticism, constructivism, suprematism, the school of Ulm) and particularly the kind of concrete art that is influenced by a dangerously acute rationalism. In the light of their artistic experience, the painters, sculptors, engravers and writers participating in this first Neo-concrete Exhibition came to the conclusion that it was necessary to evaluate the theoretical principles on which concrete art has been founded, none of which offers a rationale for the expressive potential they feel their art contains.”
Manifesto of Industrial Painting 1959
“Manifesto of Industrial Painting: For a unitary applied art”, written by Giuseppe Pinot-Gallizio, in August 1959, was originally published in Italian in Notizie Arti Figurative No. 9 (1959). Shortly afterwards it was published in Internationale Situationniste no.3 in a French translation. It was translated into English in 1997 by Molly Klein. It has only 70 points and is written a grand utopian rhetorical manner, with statements such as, “A new, ravenous force of domination will push men toward an unimaginable epic poetry.” One of its themes is the reconciliation of industry and nature:
The return to nature with modern instrumentation will allow man, after thousands of centuries, to return to the places where Paleolithic hunters overcame great fear; modern man will seek to abandon his own, accumulated in the idiocy of progress, on contact with humble things, which nature in her wisdom has conserved as a check on the immense arrogance of the human mind.
Manifestos in the 1960s reflected the changing social and political attitudes of the times: the general ferment of “counterculture” revolution to overthrow the existing order and the particular rise of feminism and Black Power, as well as the pioneering of new art forms such as body art and performance art.
Situationist Manifesto 1960
The Situationist International was founded at Cosio d’Arroscia April 27, 1957 by eight members, who wanted a revolutionary art with a state of constant transformation, and hence newness, as well as abolishing the gap between art and life. The manifesto espousing this was issued May 17, 1960 and reprinted in Internationale Situationniste number 4 in June 1960. It advocated the “new human force” against technology and the “dissatisfaction of its possible uses in our senseless social life”, stating “We will inaugurate what will historically be the last of the crafts. The role of amateur-professional situationist—of anti-specialist—is again a specialization up to the point of economic and mental abundance, when everyone becomes an ‘artist'”. Its final sentence is: “Such are our goals, and these will be the future goals of humanity.”
The Chelsea Hotel Manifesto 1961
This manifesto, written by Yves Klein, has been copyrighted since 1989 by the Gagosian Gallery. It begins with the prompts for the later statements in the manifesto, the first line being, “Due to the fact that I have painted monochromes for fifteen years”. It is a meditation by the artist about his work and life:
An artist always feels uneasy when called upon to speak of his own work. It should speak for itself, particularly when it is valid.
What can I do? Stop now?
No, what I call “the indefinable pictorial sensibility” absolutely escapes this very personal solution.
He appropriates the sky:
Once, in 1946, while still an adolescent, I was to sign my name on the other side of the sky during a fantastic “realistico-imaginary” journey. That day, as I lay stretched upon the beach of Nice, I began to feel hatred for birds which flew back and forth across my blue, cloudless sky, because they tried to bore holes in my greatest and most beautiful work.
Birds must be eliminated.
He ends with an affirmation that he is “ready to dive into the void”.
I Am For An Art… Manifesto, 1961
Claes Oldenburg, a Pop artist, reacting against Abstract Expressionism, along with other young artists. The Manifesto ‘I am for an Art’ was originally made to be included in the catalogue of the ‘Environments, Situations and Spaces’ exhibition. Each of the statements begin with ‘I am for an art…’.
The following quote is from the first two statement in his poetical manifesto:
“I am for an art that is political-erotical-mystical, that does something other than sit on its ass in a museum.
I am for an art that grows up not knowing it is art at all, an art given the chance of having a starting point of zero… ”
Fluxus Manifesto 1963
Written by George Maciunas, this short hand-printed document consists of three paragraphs interspersed with collage elements from dictionary definitions related to “flux”. It is written in lower case, with upper case for certain key phrases, some underlined. Its first paragraph is:
Purge the world of bourgeois sickness, “intellectual”, professional and commercialized culture, purge the world of dead art, imitation, artificial art, abstract art, illusionistic art, mathematical art, — purge the world of “Europanism”!
It advocates revolution, “living art, anti-art” and “non art reality to be grasped by all peoples, not only critics, dilettantes and professionals.”
SCUM Manifesto 1967
SCUM, by Valerie Solanas, is an acronym for the “Society for Cutting up Men” and the manifesto was not specifically about art. However, it has become part of art history, because it was published in 1968, the same year that Solanas, who had spent time in Andy Warhol’s “Factory”, shot and nearly killed him. It also has sections that address art ideas. Solanas spent her last years as a street prostitute and died in 1988.
It is a document of just over 11,000 words. Its tone and basic theme are evident from the title, but it is not quite as clear cut as it seems and some women are admitted to be as bad as men (women artists, for example). SCUM wants to “destroy all useless and harmful objects — cars, store windows, “Great Art”, etc.” In a section on “‘Great Art’ and ‘Culture'” it states:
The male ‘artist’ attempts to solve his dilemma of not being able to live, of not being female, by constructing a highly artificial world in which the male is heroized, that is, displays female traits, and the female is reduced to highly limited, insipid subordinate roles, that is, to being male.
The male ‘artistic’ aim being, not to communicate (having nothing inside him he has nothing to say), but to disguise his animalism, he resorts to symbolism and obscurity (‘deep’ stuff). The vast majority of people, particularly the ‘educated’ ones, lacking faith in their own judgment, humble, respectful of authority (‘Daddy knows best’), are easily conned into believing that obscurity, evasiveness, incomprehensibility, indirectness, ambiguity and boredom are marks of depth and brilliance …
Absorbing ‘culture’ is a desperate, frantic attempt to groove in an ungroovy world, to escape the horror of a sterile, mindless, existence. `Culture’ provides a sop to the egos of the incompetent, a means of rationalizing passive spectating; they can pride themselves on their ability to appreciate the `finer’ things, to see a jewel where this is only a turd (they want to be admired for admiring).
Maintenance Art Manifesto 1969
The full title of the manifesto is “Maintenance Art—Proposal for an Exhibition”; it is considered a seminal document of feminist art. Mierle Laderman Ukeles was pregnant at the time, and decided to reinterpret household chores by becoming a “maintenance artist”, where she would “perform” them. Through this such “maintenance” revealed itself as an important condition for freedom and social functioning and she extended the idea beyond feminism to projects like the 11 month Touch Sanitation, involving 8,500 New York workers. More recently she has addressed a landfill site on Staten Island.
The manifesto was followed by a questionnaire (1973–76) and was concerned with making art of what would normally be seen as routine, mundane chores. She wrote, “After the revolution, who is going to pick up the garbage on Monday morning?”. She followed this up with a “Sanitation Manifesto!” (1984) The Maintenance Manifesto stated:
Maintenance is a drag; it takes all the fucking time (lit.) The mind boggles and chafes at the boredom. The culture confers lousy status on maintenance jobs–minimum wages, housewives — no pay. Clean your desk, wash the dishes, clean the floor, wash your clothes, wash your toes, change the baby’s diaper, finish the report, correct the typos, mend the fence, keep the customer happy, throw out the stinking garbage, watch out don’t put things in your nose, what shall I wear, I have no sox, pay your bills, don’t litter, save string, wash your hair, change the sheets, go to the store, I’m out of perfume, say it again — he doesn’t understand, seal it again — it leaks, go to work, this art is dusty, clear the table, call him again, flush the toilet, stay young.
AfriCobra Manifesto 1970
Afri-Cobra was a black artist collective founded in the late 1960s by Jeff Donaldson and based in Chicago. He helped organise international shows of black artists and wrote influential manifestos. AfriCobra is an acronym for “African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists”. This was derived from combining the term for Africa with “Cobra”, the “Coalition of Black Revolutionary Artists”. The manifesto stated the groups objectives to be the development of a new African American art, involving social responsibility, community artistic involvement and promotion of pride in Black identity. There were parallels with African American musical innovations, and the advocacy of a complementary aesthetic involving sublime imagery and high-key colours.
WAR Manifestos early 1970s
WAR is an acronym for “Women Artists in Revolution” of which Nancy Spero was a member. Prior to this in 1966–70 she had created a series of anti-Vietnam War “manifestos” which were images created with water paints and inks on paper. She then attended AWC (Art Workers Coalition) meetings, which had men and women members, and became part of WAR, which was an offshoot. She said, “I loved it. I was so angry at that time about so many things, especially about not being able to get my art out, to get people to look. I thought, “WAR”— that’s it. We started to organize some actions and protests and wrote manifestos. For example, a few of us marched into the Museum of Modern Art and demanded equality for women artists. Then, I joined another, the Ad Hoc Committee of Women Artists. It all went very fast in those days.”
Women’s Art: A Manifesto 1972
Valie Export is a Viennese performance artist who worked with the Actionists and catalogued their events. She did her own confrontational body art, with a philosophy of “Feminist Actionism”, inviting people to touch her in the street. She issued “written manifestos predicting with vengeance the future of women’s art” and “made important theoretical contributions to communicating a personal feminism in performance. She felt that it was important politically to create art. ‘I knew that if I did it naked, I would really change how the (mostly male) audience would look at me.'”
Collectif d’Art Sociologique manifesto 1974
The French Sociological art Collective was founded by Fred Forest, Jean-Paul Thénot and Hervé Fischer and had their manifesto published in the newspaper Le Monde. Its main purpose was using sociology to underpin artistic actions, or using artistic actions to elucidate sociological phenomena. One such action was the auctioning of a “artistic square meter” in 1976 to spoof the inflation of prices in the housing and art markets. The collective made heavy use of mass media and live performance using video, telephones, etc. The group was dissolved in 1981, though some of its tenets were brought by Fred Forest and Mario Costa with the Communication aesthetics movement of 1983.
Body Art Manifesto 1975
In 1975 François Pluchart promoted the first Body Art show at the Galerie Stadler in Paris, with work from 21 artists, including Marcel Duchamp, Chris Burden and Katharina Sieverding. The first Body Art manifesto was published.
A Manifesto on Lyrical Conceptualism 1975
by Paul Hartal
This is a four-page document illustrated with nine black and white images of the artist’s paintings, collages and multimedia, published in Montreal in 1975. “My art is a painted metaphor; the past machine of a perpetual second, the fossil emotion of an infinite longing, the magic desire evolving on the broken axis of the compressed space, reflected in the form of inner, personal landscapes”, writes Hartal in the manifesto. “Art ought to be total”, he suggests. “The biotic separated from the geometrical is arbitrary, and ignores the human nature.” The idea of “Lyrical Conceptualism is based on the wholeness of the psychological coordinate”, he says. It “derives from the id, ego and superego”; an “art in which the primarily twofold character of the artist’s view evolves into a lyrical, intuitive and conceptual triad”. In The Brush and the Compass: The Interface Dynamics of Art and Science (Lanham: University Press of America, 1988, 341 pp), Hartal discusses in more detail the theory of Lyrical Conceptualism or Lyco art,
Punk and cyber 1976–1998
The rise of the punk movement with its basic and aggressive DIY attitude had a significant input into art manifestos, and this is reflected even in the titles. Some of the artists overtly identified with punk through music, publishing or poetry performance. There is also an equivalent “shocking” interpretation of feminism which contradicts the non-objectification advocated in the 1960s. Then the growing presence of the computer age began to assert itself in art proclamations as in society.
Crude Art Manifesto 1978
Artist Charles Thomson promoted the Crude Art Manifesto 1978.
This was posted in Maidstone Art College by Charles Thomson, then a student at the college. 21 years later he co-wrote the Stuckist manifestos with Billy Childish. Thomson was also a member of the punk-based The Medway Poets. The manifesto rejects “department store” art and “elitist” gallery art, as well as sophistication and skill which are “easily obtainable … and are used both industrially and artistically to conceal a poverty of content.” The priority is stated to be “the exploration and expression of the human spirit”.
Smile Manifestos 1982
by Stewart Home
At this time Stewart Home operated as a one-person movement “Generation Positive”, founding a punk band called White Colours and publishing an art fanzine Smile, which mostly contained art manifestos for the “Generation Positive”. The rhetoric of these resembled the 1920s Berlin Dadaist manifestos. His idea was that other bands round the world should also call themselves White Colours and other magazines be titled Smile. The first part of the book Neoist Manifestos/The Art Strike Papers featured abriged versions of his manifesto-style writings from Smile.
International Association of Astronomical Artists Manifesto 1982
The basic tenet of the IAAA is the depiction of space (as in the cosmos) through realist painting. They disassociate themselves from science fiction and fantasy artists: “a firm foundation of knowledge and research is the basis for each painting. Striving to accurately depict scenes which are at present beyond the range of human eyes”. The group now has over 120 members representing 20 countries.
Cheap Art Manifesto 1984
by the Bread and Puppet Theater
The whole title is “the Why Cheap Art? manifesto”. It is a single sheet, issued by the Bread and Puppet Theater “in direct response to the business of art and its growing appropriation by the corporate sector.” There are seventeen statements, most of them beginning “Art is” and ending with an exclamation mark, set out mostly in upper case, sometimes mixed in with lower case, in different typefaces which get bolder through the leaflet till the final statement of a large HURRAH. It starts:
People have been thinking too long that art is a privilege of the museums & the rich.
Art is not business!
It stresses the positive nature of art which is beneficial to all and should be available to all, using poetic images such as “Art is like green trees”, and urging, “Art fights against war & stupidity! … Art is cheap!
A Cyborg Manifesto 1985
by Donna J. Haraway
This has the full title of “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth-Century.” Donna Haraway is a cultural historian. She advocates the development of cyborgs (“cybernetic organisms”) as the way forward for a post-gender society. This had a significant effect initially amongst academics. VNS Matrix, a group of Australian women artists and British cultural historian, Sadie Plant, established a cyberfeminist movement in 1994. From 1997, the Old Boys Network (OBN) has organised “Cyberfeminist Internationals”.
What our art means 1986
by Gilbert and George
The manifesto is five paragraphs, each with a subtitle, the first of which is “Art for All”, summing up the popularist intent of their manifesto:
We want Our Art to speak across the barriers of knowledge directly to People about their Life and not about their knowledge of art. The twentieth century has been cursed with an art that cannot be understood. The decadent artists stand for themselves and their chosen few, laughing at and dismissing the normal outsider. We say that puzzling, obscure and form-obsessed art is decadent and a cruel denial of the Life of People.
There is also an intent to change people, but “The art-material must be subservient to the meaning and purpose of the picture.” It states:
We want to learn to respect and honour “the whole”. The content of mankind is our subject and our inspiration. We stand each day for good traditions and necessary changes. We want to find and accept all the good and bad in ourselves.
The conclusion is an affirmation of “our life-search for new meanings and purpose to give to life.”
Post Porn Modernist Manifesto c.1989
by Veronica Vera
The manifesto was signed by Veronica Vera and Candida Royalle (both ex porn stars who had then directed their own porn movies), Annie Sprinkle (who gives explicit sexual one woman shows) and performance artist Frank Moore, among other significant artists who use sex in their work. In 7 short points, it founds an art movement, which “celebrates sex as the nourishing, life-giving force. We embrace our genitals as part, not separate, from our spirits.” It advocates the “attitude of sex-positivism” and wishes to “communicate our ideas and emotions … to have fun, heal the world and endure.”
A Cyberfeminist Manifesto for the 21st Century, 1991
by VNS Matrix
VNS Matrix was a cyberfeminist art collective founded in Adelaide, Australia, in 1991. Their manifesto, written in 1991, was translated over the years into many languages including Italian, French, Spanish, Russian, Japanese and Finnish. It begins:
we are the modern cunt
positive anti reason
unbounded unleashed unforgiving
we see art with our cunt we make art with our cunt
In 1996 they wrote the Bitch Mutant Manifesto.
The ____________ Manifesto, 1996
by Michael Betancourt
The ____________ Manifesto proposed an interactive, fill-in-the-blanks view of prohibitions and claims to be made about art and art movements. It was an early interactive piece of net art that appeared in webzines and in newsgroups, inviting participation. It begins:
Today, ____________ itself is obsolete.
The manifesto ends with a Reset button. The text is sampled from Tristian Tzara’s Dada manifestos, but key pieces from the original text have been omitted and replaced with blanks to be filled-in.
It is one of the earliest manifestos to be published on the Internet as well as in print.
Group Hangman 1997
by Billy Childish
Group Hangman was started by Billy Childish, Tracey Emin and two others in Medway, Kent in 1983 for a short time. Fourteen years later it reformed with more members (nearly all of whom later joined the Stuckists art group), but without Emin. At this point Childish wrote 6 short manifestos, each containing 7 – 12 statements. He says, “they were anarchic and contradictory – my favourite!” Some of the ideas resurfaced in the Stuckist manifestos written two years later. Point 9 of Communication 0001 states:
Western art has been stupefying its audience into taking the position of an admiring doormat. We, at Group Hangman however, intend to wipe our mud-encrusted boots on the face of conceptual balderdash.
Style must be smashed (“Artistic talent is the only obstacle”) and the unacceptable must be embraced. The last communication, of only two short sentences, was written in 2000 and recommends, “It is time for art to grow up.”
Extropic Art Manifesto 1997
by Natasha Vita-More (formerly Nancie Clark)
(A genre of the Transhumanist art movement whose manifesto was written in 1982)
This was written on January 1, 1997, and was apparently “on board the Cassini Huygens spacecraft on its mission to Saturn.” Following the statement “We are transhumans”, there is the explanation, “Transhumanist Art reflects an extropic appreciation of aesthetics in a technologically enhanced world.” After the manifesto is a “FAQ”, which states, “Transhumanist Arts include creative works by scientists, engineers, technicians, philosophers, athletes, educators, mathematicians, etc., who may not be artists in the traditional sense, but whose vision and creativity are integral to transhumanity.” The Manifesto is based on a Transhumanist Art Statement written in 1982. Cited as specific influences are “Abstract Art, Performance Art, Kinetic Art, Cubism, Techno Art, science fiction and Communications Art.” Some collaborators of Vita-More’s are named as Timothy Leary, Bill Viola and Francis Ford Coppola.
Source from Wikipedia