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Henry Flynt

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Henry Flynt was born in 1940 in Greensboro, NC. He is a philosopher, musician, anti-art activist and exhibited artist, whom unsympathetic reviewers often link to Fluxus. In 1960, with the first draft of “Philosophy Proper,” he arrived at what he would later call cognitive nihilism, the basis of his contributions. The work proposed to refute analytic philosophy and logical positivism with their own means. In 1961, he coined the term concept art to refer to “an art of which the material is concepts, as the material of for ex. music is sound.” Concept art’s first appearance in a book was in An Anthology, ed. La Monte Young. In 1962, Flynt announced his anti-art position in connnection with “general acognitive culture,” later “veramusement,” finally “brend.” Flynt’s early texts achieved only scattered publication unitl they were collected in his book Blueprint for a Higher Civilization (Milan, 1975) .

Flynt launched a unique critique of the fine arts as a phase of his critique of art. In February 1963, he picketed two museums and Lincoln Center with Tony Conrad and Jack Smith. In conjunction with his indictment of classical music as a Eurosupremacist objectivist ideology, he and George Maciunas picketed Stockhausen twice in 1964. Much later, when his friend La Monte Young brought Pandit Pran Nath to New York, Flynt took classes and private lessons from him. Flynt’s “new American ethnic music” is documented by numerous CDs published by Recorded and Locust.

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