Interview 4 Peoples – no. 511 (c. late 1970s)


  • Interviewer – “Perhaps even the notion of quality will eventually become obsolete… Do you feel any responsibility?”
    • Kaprow:  “I don’t see it as more than a false problem – it’s a pseudo problem.  Since problems of valuation… once they are framed in real situations – confranted by real problems of whether this or that act is of value to somebody.”
    • “What happens to almost any novelty in the arts, is that it’s quickly followed by pundits… Everybody rushes to try to clarify… It’s almost instantaneous now that what’s new hat today is old hat next week.  That quickly things are laid to rest and given a place.
    • “So I wasn’t terribly much concerned with the lack of value or the lack of clarity or the lack of discrimination.  I was concerned with fomenting a situation in which there would be the most prolonged confusion possible… where for a little while suspension of this awful game called ‘giving mark’s’ could take place.”
  • Interviewer – “What has happened to the quality of art in the meantime?”
    • “Well it continues to be really good, and mostly uninteresting.”
  • Interviewer – “What i’m saying is that you’ve got to have a limit to what is art – or there is no art”
    • “I don’t care whether its art or not – that’s the big point.  I do feel a responsibility but not for art.”


  • The repercussions of Happenings gave Chicago radicalism a feeling that “Ordinary life is a theatrical effort”
  • AG quoting Abbie Hoffman – “We have the right to shout theatre at a crowded fire!”:
  • Carlos Williams’ poetry – sensory data – lose something of the artistry – it becomes unartistic
  • Howl – “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness”
  • Karmic misunderstanding that was wrought by my own poetry
  • “no ideas but in things” – Williams
  • “the first thought that hits the mind when looking at an object”
  • “The 80s will be boring”

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