Intermedia  

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This page Intermedia is part of the medium specificity series.  Illustration: Laocoön and His Sons ("Clamores horrendos" detail), photo by Marie-Lan Nguyen.
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This page Intermedia is part of the medium specificity series.
Illustration: Laocoön and His Sons ("Clamores horrendos" detail), photo by Marie-Lan Nguyen.

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Intermedia was a concept employed in the mid-sixties by Fluxus artist Dick Higgins to describe the often confusing, interdisciplinary activities that occur between genres that became prevalent in the 1960s. Thus, the areas such as those between drawing and poetry, or between painting and theatre could be described as intermedia. With repeated occurrences, these new genres between genres could develop their own names (e.g. visual poetry or performance art).

Contents

Characteristics

Higgins described the tendency of the most interesting and best in the new art to cross the boundaries of recognized media or even to fuse the boundaries of art with media that had not previously been considered for art forms, including computers.

"Part of the reason that Duchamp's objects are fascinating while Picasso's voice is fading is that the Duchamp pieces are truly between media, between sculpture and something else, while a Picasso is readily classifiable as a painted ornament. Similarly, by invading the land between collage and photography, the German John Heartfield produced the what are probably the greatest graphics of our century..."--Higgins, Intermedia, 1966

With characteristic modesty, he often noted that Samuel Taylor Coleridge had first used the term.

Academia

In 1968, Hans Breder founded the first university program in the United States to offer an M.F.A. in intermedia. The Intermedia Area at The University of Iowa graduated artists such as Ana Mendieta and Charles Ray. In addition, the program developed a substantial visiting artist tradition, bringing artists such as Dick Higgins, Vito Acconci, Allan Kaprow, Karen Finley, Robert Wilson and others to work directly with Intermedia students.

Over the years, especially on the Iowa campus, "Intermedia" has been used interchangeably with "Multi-media". However, recently the latter term has become identified with electronic media in pop-culture. While Intermedia values both disciplines, the term "Intermedia" has become the preferred term for interdisciplinary practice.

References

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Intermedia" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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