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Blank Manifesto – A Project (by jens kuestner, john maguire and thomas mccaldon)

“Blank Manifesto” was created by Jens Kuestner, John Maguire and Thomas McCaldon. Part of an assessment for Alex Houen’s literature module “America and the Avant-Garde” (School of English, University of Sheffield, UK), the project combines various medias and art forms, such as film, the body as a means of performance, and language. Blank Manifesto consists of the actual manifesto (see below) and a film version of so-called happenings that were performed in various English cities in 2007.

If you’re interested in that project, watch the video, read the manifesto and also take a look at the excerpt from “Critical Explanation of “Blank Manifesto” (also see below). Although the project is substantially inspired by various writers, art movements and literary thought, it should be an enjoyable experience for you without knowing a lot about the theoretical background. Enjoy!

film version of “Happenings”

http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=sg6nsOYspAU

excerpt from

Critical Explanation of “Blank Manifesto” (jens kuestner, john maguire, thomas maccaldon)

The style of Blank Manifesto”, in a similar manner to Frank O’Hara’s mock manifesto, ‘Personsim’, a caricature of the high-serious tone of Charles Olson’s ‘Projective Verse’, satirises the overtly didactic tenor assumed by such Avant-Garde movements as Surrealism and Futurism. The literary references in “Blank Manifesto”, such as those to Kafka and Eliot, are juxtaposed with modern mediums of communication, particularly the online social network ‘Facebook’ and the distribution of business flyers, thus further parodying the self-involvement of such aforementioned movements. The convoluted diction and the repetition of ‘Blank’ suggest the absence of grounding in reality in such movements, echoed in our distribution of blank flyers devoid of any content. The manipulation of our manifesto’s ‘mise-en-page’ is a rejection of standardized presentation of the printed word. Similar to the ‘happenings’ by Allan Kaprow, which escaped the confinement of the stage, the manifesto strives to escape the limitations of the page […].

Blank Manifesto

BLANK

A REBELLION AGAINST MECHANICAL

EXISTENCE

WE COMMIT TO THE ACHIEVEMENT OF A PURE STATE OF

CONSCIOUSNESS (TRUE PSYCHIC AWARENESS)

THE REALISATION OF THE BLANKNESS AGAINST WHICH

OUR UNIQUE FACETS OF IDENTITY WILL BE FORCED INTO

RELIEF

BLANK AN UPRISING AGAINST THE TYRANNY OF

(the word is a virus) EXPRESSIONLESS LANGUAGE

SENSELESS

HALF-CONSCIOUS COMMUNICATION

IDENTITY

is expressed

VIA

As he logged into FACEBOOK one LANGUAGE

morning, he found himself trans-

Formed into a monstrous Ungeziefer

[EDIT YOUR PROFILE]

BLANK

AN

UPSURGE AGAINST THE

CHOKING TENTACLES

OF CONFORMITY (self-imposed irrelevance)

IDENTITY DEFINED BY WHAT I CHOOSE

BLANK

AN ADHERENCE TO THE ERADICATION OF EXTERNAL FALSE-SELVES

the achievement of the actual functioning of thought

REAWAKEN THE SLEEPWALKERS

MAKE ROOM FOR BLANKNESS!


“Blank Manifesto” was published by Route 57, the University of Sheffield’s School of English online writing magazine.

http://www.route57.group.shef.ac.uk/5experimental.html


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