Joanie 4 Jackie - Archive - Laszlo Moholy-Nagy on Why We Are All Multi-Media Artists Current Joanie 4 Jackie



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Laszlo Moholy-Nagy on Why We Are All Multi-Media Artists

A Small Story Sent by Ms. Melissa Tveten on 6.27.00


Laszlo Moholy-Nagy on Why We Are All Multi-Media Artists

People are taught that the best way of living is to buy another person's energy, to use other people's skill. In other words, a dangerous metropolitan dogma developed that the different subject matters are best handled by experts and no one should violate the borders of his specialized work or profession. So through the division of labor and the mechanized methods not only the production of daily necessities and goods has passed into the hands of specialists, but almost every outlet for the emotional life as well. Today the artist-specialists have to provide for emotions. They are paid--if they are--for that. The sad consequence is that the biological interest in everything within the human spheres of existence becomes suffocated by the tinself of a seemingly easygoing life. People who have biologically the potential to comprehend the world with the entirety of his abilities, to conceive and express himself through different media, the word, tone, color, etc., agree voluntarily to the amputation of these most valuable potentialities. Nothing proves better the lost feeling for the fundamentals of human life than that it has to be emphasized today: Feeling and thinking and their expression in any media belong to the normal living standard of all people.

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy is a Hungarian-born teacher and "multi-media" aritist who lived in the first half of the 1900s. This excerpt is from his essay "The Contribution of the Arts to Social Reconstruction" (1943), from Moholy-Nagy: An Anthology edited by Richard Kostelanetz, Da Capo Press, 1970.