06 September 2016

{M}anifesto: introduction to {M}

a system for making art based on ideas about the mind

I have copied this {M}anifesto to a new blog: {M} em-art-project. This will show the most recent version of this {M}anifesto. If you wish to comment, please follow the link to the blog. The texts below are gradually becoming obsolete, and will probably be removed before long.

A little over a year ago I became more conscious that I wasn’t going to live forever and I wondered how I should use these last few years as an artist. I had too many projects going and wasn’t finishing many of them. At the same time, because my work is in so many different media and genres, with many themes and basic ideas, I have always found it challenging to describe what I do when someone asks me “What kind of art do you make?” (Typical answer: "I do performances, or make art with computers, or write texts to be read out loud…" ) It became clear that I needed more focus so I looked at the current projects, as well as older works that I had done, to try to find a set that had something in common and that I felt passionate about. 
I saw that many of my text-sound performances, as well as my collaborations with fellow Mobius artists in various John Cage works and also some other performance pieces I have done, had a special effect on the viewer or listener or performer: they created conditions in which one could see something of the workings of one’s mind and the interface between consciousness and the unconscious. This has now become my focus, and I was able to discard projects that didn’t follow this program.
I began to identify the ideas that were the basis of this—mostly from psychology and neuroscience, philosophy, and spiritual systems, mainly Buddhism and other mystical traditions, and decided on some definitions, which outline a way to make art. For a long while I struggled to come up with a name for this way, and finally settled on {M}, which imitates the notation used in set theory in mathematics. It is pronounced “em”. The letter ‘M’ is just a letter, perhaps symbolizing “mind”. 
I did this work for myself, to help me make more and better art. In the massively populated world of the internet, there must be a few people who would find this interesting and maybe even helpful so I am going to share it.

{M} is a system for making of works in various media that helps viewers to experience directly the workings of their minds. 

{M} is based on three fundamental documents:
  • the Enigmas of {M} are fundamental ideas that outline the philosophical and psychological ideas from which {M} is derived.
  • the Dogmas of {M} are definitions that determine which works of art can be included in it.
  • the Pragmas of {M} are practical suggestions to artists who wish to make works in {M}.

Other documents of {M} include commentaries on these three fundamental documents, lists of works in {M}, commentaries on these works, and various technical notes.

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