Intermedia, Fluxus and the Something Else Press: Selected Writings by Dick Higgins
NYC Higgins book launch & conversation: November 8, 6–8pm
Conversation about Higgins’s legacy with Alice Centamore, Steve Clay, Lisa Pearson, and Christian Xatrec.
Printed Matter, 231 Eleventh Avenue, NYC 10001
Passwords: a tribute to Dick Higgins: December 4, 7pm
Panel with poets Joshua Beckman, Steve McCaffery, Tracie Morris and editor Steve Clay
Poets House, 10 River Terrace, NYC 10282
Higgins + Siglio 10th anniversary celebration: December 15, 5–8pm
Celebrate the release of Higgins’s selected writings and ten years of Siglio Press
The Brother in Elysium Books, 48 Broadway, Tivoli, NY 12583
There are few art-world figures as influential—and as little known—as Dick Higgins (1938-1998), co-founder of Fluxus, “polyartist,” poet, scholar, theorist, composer, performer and, not least, the publisher of the Something Else Press. In 1965 he restored the term “intermedia” to the English language, giving it new dimension to recognize the dissolution of boundaries, the expansion of liminal spaces between traditional modes of art making, and the open field for new forms that cannot be compartmentalized. His own contributions to intermedia are many—as a participant and instigator of Happenings, as writer and composer straddling traditional and vanguard forms, among others—but it was the Something Else Press (1963-1974) that redefined how “the book” could inhabit that energized, in-between space.
Something Else Press was as much a critical statement and radical experiment as it was a collection of books by some of the most luminary artists and writers of the twentieth century: Gertrude Stein, John Cage, Ray Johnson, Dieter Roth, Bern Porter, Emmett Williams, Robert Filliou, George Brecht, among many others. Along with his Great Bear pamphlet series and the Something Else Press newsletter, Higgins exploited and subverted conventional book production and marketing strategies to get unconventional and avant-garde works into the hands of new and often unsuspecting readers.
Edited by Steve Clay and Ken Friedman, Intermedia, Fluxus and the Something Else Press: Selected Writings by Dick Higgins is a judiciously curated and indispensable compendium of essays, theoretical writings and narrative prose by Higgins that dives deep into the ever-influential ideas that he explored in theory and practice. (It also includes a substantial, highly illustrated Something Else Press checklist including Higgins’ jacket and catalog copy about the books he published.) Clay and Friedman have chosen works that illuminate his voracious intellectual appetite, encyclopedic body of knowledge, and playful yet rigorous experimentation in a selection that includes many writings long out-of-print or difficult to find.
Pub. date: November 20, 364 pages, over 100 color and 100 b/w illustrations, 7.25 x 9.25, ISBN: 978-1-938221-20-0
Steve Clay is the publisher of Granary Books, as well as an editor, curator, and archivist specializing in literature and art of the 1960s, ‘70s, and ‘80s. He is the author or editor of several volumes including A Book of the Book: Some Works & Projections about the Book & Writing with Jerome Rothenberg and A Secret Location on the Lower East Side: Adventures in Writing 1960-1980, with Rodney Phillips.
Ken Friedman is the youngest member of the Fluxus group, the former manager of the Something Else Press, and editor of The Fluxus Reader, the first comprehensive scholarly overview of Fluxus. He is Chair Professor of Design Innovation Studies at the College of Design and Innovation at Tongji University in Shanghai and also Professor Emeritus and former Dean of the Faculty of Design at Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia as well as co-editor of the MIT Press series Design Thinking, Design Theory.
2018 marks Siglio’s tenth year of of fiercely independent publishing, driven by its feminist ethos and its commitment to artists and writers who obey no boundaries, pay no fealty to trends and invite readers to see the world anew by reading word and image in provocative, unfamiliar ways. Siglio books—authored by Joe Brainard, Marcel Broodthaers, John Cage, Sophie Calle, Karen Green, Dorothy Iannone, Ray Johnson, Jess, Nancy Spero, Cecilia Vicuña, among many others—have earned devoted readerships as well as critical accolades from New York Times, the New Yorker, New York Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement, London Review of Books, Los Angeles Times, and Bookforum among many others.