Dick Higgins

Dick Higgins (1938 – 1998)

Dick Higgins was an American artist, composer, art theorist and poet and another co-founder of Fluxus. Like many Fluxus members, Higgins was heavily influenced by John Cage under whom he trained, participating Cage’s music composition course. Higgins coined the neologism ‘intermedia’, which he used to define his artistic works:

“Much of the best work being produced today seems to fall between media. This is no accident. The concept of the separation between media arose in the renaissance. The idea that a painting is made of paint on canvas or that a sculpture should not be painted seems characteristic of the kind of social thought—categorizing and dividing society into nobility with its various subdivisions, untitled gentry, artisans, serfs and landless workers—which we call the feudal conception of the Great Chain of Being.”

Dick Higgins, 1966 essay published as the first Something Else Newsletter

Higgins was married to fellow Fluxus member, Alison Knowles, between 1960-1970; they both took part in the inaugural Fluxus festival in Wiesbaden in 1962.

In 1963, Higgins founded the Something Else Press (https://primaryinformation.org/product/popular-entertainmentsphilip-corner/), which was an early publisher of Concrete Poetry and texts. George Maciunas reportedly saw this as ‘competition’ and excluded Higgins from Fluxus. Higgins was a pioneer in using the computer for art-making.


Obituary in New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/1998/10/31/arts/dick-higgins-60-innovator-in-the-1960-s-avant-garde.html 

Personal obituaries: http://colophon.com/umbrella/higgins_21.3_4.html


Biography: https://library.umbc.edu/speccoll/findingaids/coll043.php

Timeline of Higgins’ life events: https://library.umbc.edu/speccoll/findingaids/coll043.php 

Biography: http://archivioconz.com/artist/dick-higgins/

Biography: http://www.fluxus-east.eu/index.php?item=exhib&sub=higgins&lang=en


MoMA profile with 43 works online: https://www.moma.org/artists/2637 

Higgins & Knowles’ presentations at Artpool: https://www.artpool.hu/1993/930410_e.html 

209 works, comprising physical objects, documents, video: https://www.fondazionebonotto.org/en/collection/fluxus/higginsdick

The Thousand Symphonies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXX7H_hR0x0&t=1479s&ab_channel=Celestialrailroad 

Poems and Metapoems: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfinEY4b7C4&t=1s&ab_channel=ArtBooks 

Danger Music No. 17: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HS5ZkPXkto0&ab_channel=AustralianInstituteofMusic 

The Thousand Symphonies: https://www.forcedexposure.com/Catalog/higgins-dick-the-thousand-symphonies-cd/NMN.077CD.html


Intermedia, Fluxus & the Something Else Press by Nicola Reim: ​https://www.theartsection.com/dick-higgins 

On Danger Music: https://fluxuslaphil.tumblr.com/post/179827099964/dangerous-music-in-dangerous-times-the 

Article on Intermedia, Fluxus and The Something Else Press: Selected Writing by Dick Higgins: https://whitehotmagazine.com/articles/selected-writings-by-dick-higgins/4157

Dick Higgins: Avant Garde Provocateur and Philosopher: https://hyperallergic.com/476535/intermedia-fluxus-and-the-something-else-press-selected-writings-by-dick-higgins-siglio-press-2018-steve-clay-ken-friedman/

‘Celebrating the Life of Dick Higgins’: http://www.fluxus.org/higgins/

Danger Music: https://blogthehum.com/2016/04/30/danger-music-the-scores-of-dick-higgins/ 


Higgins talking about ‘Something Else Press’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKAhRlsbawc&ab_channel=artpool1993 

General & Essays:

On Something Else Press & the term ‘intermedia’: https://www.bookforum.com/print/2601/the-unclassifiable-writings-of-dick-higgins-20842

Excerpt from the Preface to Intermedia, Fluxus and the Something Else Press: Selected Writings by Dick Higgins, edited by Steve Clay and Ken Friedman, Siglio, 2018: https://fluxuslaphil.tumblr.com/post/179523715449/thinking-about-dick-higgins-excerpt-by-ken 

Something Else Press Newsletters 1966-83:https://primaryinformation.org/product/something-else-press-newsletters-1966-83/

Intermedia essay by Dick Higgins with an appendix by Hannah Higgins: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/19618/pdf

Statement on intermedia (1966): https://artpool.hu/Fluxus/Higgins/intermedia2.html 

Quotes from Dick Higgins: https://quotepark.com/authors/dick-higgins/ 

Dick Higgins films: https://film-makerscoop.com/filmmakers/dick-higgins