Manifesto Toward a Magical Art


This is an old manifesto from my manual typewriter.  This scan here is sort of an experiment.  Is the type too small to read?  I probably won’t do this very often.  It gives a sense of my old format.

It does save me the trouble of re-typing key statements.  What do you think?   Does it work for you?

Later: I decided to re-type it.  I resisted temptation to change it.  I did break it into a few more paragraphs.  When I did first did it I was trying to fit it all on one piece of paper.  As you can see , my old manifestos were often a bit dense and tightly packed.

The P.O. Box address is no longer used. 

It’s very surreal in its way.  It’s always been important to me, to have much of my work with a “magical content.”  You can “cast a spell” on the audience in ways.  The mysterious and unfathomable becomes a sort of a constant.

I still move “toward a magical art.”  This too, is one of the paths I take.


MANIFESTO TOWARD A MAGICAL ART        February 27, 1993

“The eye exists in its savage state.  The Marvels of the earth a hundred feet high, the Marvels of the sea a hundred feet deep, have as their sole witness the wild eye that traces all its colors back to the rainbow.  It presides over the conventional exchange of signals that the navigation of the wind would seem to demand.  But who is to draw up the scale of vision?”

Andre Breton;  from SURREALISM AND PAINTING  in book “What Is Surrealism?” (translated by David Gascoyne)

A silver sun of reflected flashes of choked-up moons pauses to gather its energies.  The slashed gold of misspent time shudders, then breaks into shards, which cut across the mirroring surfaces of flat water.  The sleeping bones (which had supposed to have been lost) suddenly arise up againshaking, crying, laughing and singing-in full glory.

The time of infinite nectar is upon us.  The lost jewels of the deepest possible night have resurfaced with a vengeance.  The phantom shadows of lies, deception and trickery appear to be befuddled, confused and in a panic.  Ageless mysteries call us and reach out to us.  A new day pulls at our hearts with desperate, invisible hands.  Drunk on the most extreme sort of truth, we walk the tightrope across a cruel and burning world.  Something so magical, so impossible seems to be urgent and undeniable.  A wild fierce, zany, delirious sense of absolute responsibility takes hold, takes control.  We live for humanity, for earth, for the dreaming heart in its full glory!

1. The dreaming heart: oh to be truly, absolutely, passionately aware of the world around us!  What we see on the surface is only part of the game.  scratch that surface and we find-intense and irrational feelings, a blind faith in certain forms of spontaneous intuition, surrender to hundreds of possible forms of true love, the breakdown of barriers between sleeping and waking life, boundaries between peoples and nations dissolving, a giddy and intoxicating sense of hope and possibility, a force of unexplainable magic and depth, a light at the end of the tunnel, a reprieve, amazing adventures, liberating humor, a roll of the dice, transformations, surprises, wonders, mysteries and much, much more.

The unfettered hear often feels with all its might.  This feeling can take on the form of a miniature sun or a mild-mannered bomb or merely an extremely passionate soul-unafraid to let go and follow its deepest feelings to wherever they may lead.

This heart is sometimes overcome by an irresistible urge to dream.  An overactive imagination takes hold.  Daydreams and nightdreams merge, dialogue and intermingle.  This dreaming/ feeling/ imagining takes in all the reality around it.  The dreaming heart is born and begins to grow.  Imagination has no master.  It freely refuses to be a servant or a slave.  Strong now, the dreaming heart can become a source of magic.  This magic can bring forth a different sort of art and even a whole different way to live.

2. Toward a magical art: oh to those of us who refuse to or are unable to be held down by the weary day-to-days.  Art is not merely an intellectual game, an occupation, a skill or a medicine (though it can have certain curative, healing, preventative, nurturing and restorative powers).

One person’s deeply felt dreams, enacted, can help another to see life differently-to retrace their steps.  Like a shaman or a medicine man, we can find ways to use our art work to help turn things a bit more “truly toward the better, the less cruel.”  It’s an instance of using art therapy upon a sick world.  We try to see what’s most wrong and dangerous and then try to influence that somehow.  Whether we know it or not-the dreaming heart grabs some of us and takes us to places we never would have gone otherwise.

When children create and play/ some pure and strong sparks can result.  Some of their dreams have never been ill or else are strong enough for some astounding recoveries.

The so-called “primitive people”/the natural peoples often create in order to change things or prevent things.  Their dreams are brought to life and made magic.

The ill or so-called “insane” often create toward health or to drive out their demons.

The healthy and somewhat lucid artist can also enter these worlds.  The irrational in art can seem a reasoned response to an irrational world.  The passion of magic can lift us up and take us to places we never expected to go.  Those of us who are brave and reckless enough to surrender to these forces should be ready  for anything.

This world needs more magic, more enchantment, more dreams made real, more passion, more surprises, more healing energy, more intensity, more shadows.

Things can happen now which can never happen again.  in painting, writing, poetry, art, theatre, cinema, photography, drawing, music, singing and in all life: Magic! Mysteries!

One Response to “Manifesto Toward a Magical Art”

  1. December 31, 2018 | for art and artists Says:

    […] […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: