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Kamarck, Edward (ed.) / Arts in society: the arts of activism

Warshaw, Laurence
Notes and discussion: intermedia workshop,   pp. 448-454 PDF (5.1 MB)

Page 448

by Laurence Warshaw
The dimensions of time and space have now been brought down to earth by the
efforts of the artist and the engineer. We can recognize the importance of
fourth and fifth dimension as a creative expression of man's mind and environment.
We can call this area of time sequence and spatial environment Intermedia.
This is a period of time that demands of each person that he enter into a
socio-biological community and attempt to reestablish the physical and spiritual
that have been warped and altered by the industrial commercialization of
society. Our lives are threatened physically and mentally, from the pollution
of the
air, waters, and landscape to the corruption of the senses by the printed
Our tools must be reshaped and created with this awareness. We can no longer
with a linear rationale; or passive acceptance. We must become involved within
the changing mechanisms of our time and space. This is a period of electronic
communications, turned-on environments and turned-off communities. We now
to the telephone ear and watch the traffic lights as a sunset on mainstreet.
read the newspapers to find out what is going on in life while we remain
to turn pages without comment. We follow the yellow brick road to an Oz of
fashion and sing along with the subway trains in the tunnels that shape our
We move along a playland of light, sounds, projections.transparencies, motorized
and plastics: the total electronic synthesized environment for our total
synthesized life.
448      The Intermedia artist is the space man of art news. We cannot allow
the sentimental
approach of self interest, ego uiber alles, to isolate the contemporary artist
longer. The idea that an artist needs isolation from his community sets his
apart from the interaction of the community of life. The belief in interrelationships
to produce a work of art, a collaboration of ideas and purpose must now begin
to produce a communal spiritual synthesis in which man can find a creative
to develop the full vision of his powers.
We have become saturated with rational critiques about the creative mind,
and the
quality of art. We are still so innocent that we remain emotionally illiterate.
We still relate to historical standards that create cast models to copy and
to follow. We now know how to make an impressionist painting, a realistic
and an abstract painting. Teachers can now dish out these recipes and award
best technician the gold star of talent. We can produce an acceptable art
from art reproductions. Painting courses continue to support the art school
teachers who no longer seek the challenge of this century. It is time
to expand the creative effort and recognize the need for new programs in
the arts
that will be attuned to the times we live in.
The introduction of science and technology into the Elysian Fields of painting
sculpture has frightened the educators because they fear an art which uses
instruments, electronics, and a language that has no precedent in their education.
The terminology of collaboration is an experiment in itself.
In an art program, the Intermedia artist can open a new vista to the interrelationships
of light, sound, film, space and time that involve the luxury of a total
vision which can
then become an awakening of man's creative mind and a guide.
This new medium involves a greater complexity. The more elementary the medium

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