The Artmutt Manifesto

Confusion (2007)

Confusion (2007)

Purity is a mistake. This is especially true when it comes to the arts. The idea of seeking what is “pure” to one discipline is the classic error of Modernism. Again and again, in seeking what is “pure” and avoiding what is “dirty,” (as Mary Douglas has shown) we do ourselves more damage than we do good.

I am a believer in hybrids, in mutts, in miscegenation. The purebreds of the world suffer from their inbreeding. They develop weak bones, bad ears, chronic eye problems, and early hair loss. The healthiest animals in the world are mutts, the result of sometimes purposeful, sometimes accidental, cross-breeding.

As an artist, as a composer, as a performer, I have always sought that “in-between” space along the accepted boundaries of disciplines. I knew at an early age, when work I made was rejected by both theater practitioners and music practitioners, that I had achieved a successful hybrid. I celebrate the mongrel aesthetic, that refuses to lie down with followers of either camp, and sleeps instead along the borders.