Henry Flynt on WKCR

Recorded Wednesday, June 20th at WKCR 89.9FM NY, philosopher, artist, and avant-garde composer Henry Flynt joins Tommy McCutchon and ISSUE Project Room artistic director Lawrence Kumpf to discuss and listen to rare and never before heard selections from his diverse body of work, as well as his participation in PAN_ACT.

Henry Flynt was born in 1940 in Greensboro, NC. He is a philosopher, musician, anti-art activist and exhibited artist. Flynt’s work devolves from what he calls “cognitive nihilism,” first announced in the 1960 and 1961 drafts of Philosophy Proper. (The 1961 draft was published with other early work in his book Blueprint for a Higher Civilization, Milan, 1975.) He refined these dispensations in the “Is there language?” trap, published as “Primary Study” in 1964. In 1961, Flynt coined the term concept art. Concept art’s first appearance in a book was in An Anthology, release date 1963. In 1962, Flynt began to campaign for an anti-art position. He demonstrated against cultural institutions in New York in 1963 with Tony Conrad and Jack Smith, and against Stockhausen twice in 1964. He wanted art to be superseded by “veramusement” and “brend,” neologisms meaning approximately pure recreation.

From about 1980, Flynt has given a great deal of time to two endeavors which did not achieve the notoriety of the early actions—"meta-technology" and "personhood theory." In 1987, he revived concept art for tactical reasons; he spent seven years in the art world. After that, Flynt began to publish recorded but unreleased musical compositions; over a dozen CDs have appeared as of 2007. Because of his friendship and collaboration with George Maciunas, Flynt sometimes gets linked to Fluxus by unsympathetic reviewers.