World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0000286918
Reproduction Date:

Title: Intermedia  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Fluxus, Dick Higgins, Conceptual art, Milan Knížák, Modernism
Collection: American Art, Conceptual Art, Contemporary Art, Visual Music
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Intermedia was a term used in the mid-sixties by Fluxus artist Dick Higgins to describe various inter-disciplinary art activities that occurred between genres in the 1960s.[1][2] Thus, the areas such as those between drawing and poetry, or between painting and theatre could be described as intermedia. With repeated occurrences, these new genres between genres could develop their own names (e.g. visual poetry or performance art).


  • Characteristics 1
  • Academia 2
  • References 3
  • References 4


Higgins described the tendency of what he thought was the most interesting and best in the new art to cross boundaries of recognized media or even to fuse the boundaries of art with media that had not previously been considered for art forms, including computers.

"Part of the reason that Duchamp's objects are fascinating while Picasso's voice is fading is that the Duchamp pieces are truly between media, between sculpture and something else, while a Picasso is readily classifiable as a painted ornament. Similarly, by invading the land between collage and photography, the German John Heartfield produced the what are probably the greatest graphics of our century..."
— Higgins, Intermedia, 1966, Leonardo, vol 34, p 49)

With characteristic modesty, he often noted that Samuel Taylor Coleridge had first used the term.

Gene Youngblood also described intermedia, beginning in his "Intermedia" column for the Los Angeles Free Press beginning in 1967 as a part of a global network of multiple media that was "expanding consciousness"—the intermedia network—that would turn all people into artists by proxy. He gathered and expanded ideas from this series of columns in his 1970 book Expanded Cinema, with an introduction by Buckminster Fuller.


In 1968, Hans Breder founded the first university program in the United States to offer an M.F.A. in intermedia. The Intermedia Area at The University of Iowa graduated artists such as Ana Mendieta and Charles Ray. In addition, the program developed a substantial visiting artist tradition, bringing artists such as Dick Higgins, Vito Acconci, Allan Kaprow, Karen Finley, Robert Wilson and others to work directly with Intermedia students.

Over the years, especially on the Iowa campus, intermedia has been used interchangeably with Multi-media. However, recently the latter term has become identified with electronic media in pop-culture. While Intermedia values both disciplines, the term "Intermedia" has become the preferred term for interdisciplinary practice.

Two other prominent University programs that focus on intermedia are the Intermedia program at Arizona State University and the Intermedia M.F.A. at the University of Maine, founded and directed by Fluxus scholar and author Owen Smith. Additionally, the Roski School of Fine Arts at the University of Southern California features Intermedia as an area of emphasis in their B.A. and B.F.A. programs. Concordia University in Montreal, QC offers a B.F.A. in Intermedia/Cyberarts. Herron School of Art and Design, Indiana University, Purdue University, Indianapolis, has a M.F.A. Program Photography and Intermedia degree. [1] The University of Oregon offers a Master of Music degree in Intermedia Music Technology.[2]

In the UK, Edinburgh College of Art [within University of Edinburgh] introduced a BA (Hons) Degree in Intermedia Arts, and intermedia can be a focus of study in Masters programmes. Edinburgh College of Art, Intermedia Art


  • Dick Higgins, Intermedia, Something Else Newsletter 1, 1966
  • Owen Smith (1998) Fluxus: The History of an Attitude,[3] San Diego State University Press
  • Hannah B Higgins, "The Computational Word Works of Eric Andersen and Dick Higgins" in H. Higgins, & D. Kahn (Eds.), Mainframe experimentalism: Early digital computing in the experimental arts. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press (2013).
  • Ina Blom, "The Intermedia Dynamic: An Aspect of Fluxus" (PhD diss., University of Oslo, 1993).
  • Natilee Harren, “The Crux of Fluxus: Intermedia, Rear-guard,” in Art Expanded, 1958-1978, edited by Eric Crosby with Liz Glass. Vol. 2 of Living Collections Catalogue. Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 2015.


  1. ^ Dick Hggins, "Intermedia", re-published in Leonardo, vol 34, 2001, p49 - 54, with an Appendix by Hannah Higgins
  2. ^ Hannah B Higgins, "The Computational Word Works of Eric Andersen and Dick Higgins" in H. Higgins, & D. Kahn (Eds.), Mainframe experimentalism: Early digital computing in the experimental arts, p.283
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.