In these days of hyper-capitalism it becomes more and more apparent that, if no action is taken, in the near future art will only be discussed and dealt with in economic terms. In the view of economists and managers who increasingly dominate the artistic field the work of art is a mere 'product', and the interaction between the artist and the spectator a question of 'supply and demand'. These views, of course, are not new but never before has the scale on which they are put into practice been so large or met with so little resistance.
The Bugger project, to which you have fallen victim, invites people active in the artistic and cultural domain to determine their position towards the economic annexation of art, and imperialistic capitalism in general. We will bugger you, and we invite you to bugger us.
Our first proposition is that, in reaction to the economic context in which art is being defined, art should behave as anti-capital. That is, as a waste of effort and means, or, if you prefer a more religious or philosophical definition, as a sacrifice.
We consider Gustav Metzger's first manifesto of auto-destructive art from 1959* the perfect starting-position for our buggery:
Auto-destructive art is primarily a form of public art for industrial
Self-destructive painting, sculpture and construction is a total unity of idea, site, form, colour, method and timing of the disintegrative process.
Auto-destructive art can be created with natural forces, traditional art techniques and technological techniques.
The amplified sound of the auto-destructive process can be an element of the total conception.
The artist may collaborate with scientists, engineers.
Self-destructive art can be machine produced and factory assembled.
Auto-destructive paintings, sculptures and constructions have a life time varying from a few moments to twenty years. When the disintegrative process is complete the work is to be removed from the site and scrapped.
Gustav Metzger. London, 4th November 1959.
*Published in Gustav Metzger - Damaged nature, Auto-destructive art. Coracle Press.