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  Peace Object  

Destruction for Construction's sake is my message. Watch the fire of destruction transforming the mass media message of endless, infernal warfare into ashes of purity. The construction is carried out in the slow motion of a ritual dance. I fill the black powder of burnt war newspaper clippings, transforming it into shiny, opalescent rectangular containers of purity-ashes. The seal: Scotch tape; the super seal: green Day- Glo; the achieved Peace-Object: an icon of anti-war-belief - the reality of a thing.

When the Destruction-Scene of fire -- the smashing of the figurines which are the symbols of destroyed life -- stops, leaving ashes and destroyed plastic elements, the left-overs of CDC events, the construction of Peace Objects is the result of the event. Peace-Objects remain as a new kind of sculpture. Voodoo icons, magic anti-destruction things the Peace-Object is a thing of hope.

Construction-Destruction-Construction is based on positive thinking and hope, whereas the art of alienation, the . complete negation of emotion, has an inner hopelessness and basic frustration of feeling. Feeling and emotions are denied. Like science fiction, the destruction idea of minimal art deals with icy cold ideas and, even though they look aesthetically cool, they are nevertheless Destruction Art.

To quote from a story, - "Stone Place," from Science Fiction Magazine of March 1965, "Those who gathered in Stone Place were not men and they gave nothing a name; they hoped nothing, feared nothing, wondered at nothing. They had no pride and no regret, but they had plans - a billion subtleties, carved from electrical pressure and flow - and their built-in purpose toward which their planning circuits moved. As if by instinct, the berserker machines had formed themselves into a fleet, when the time was ripe, when this eternal enemy, "Life," had begun to mass its strength."

In Construction-Destruction-Construction, "Life" is neither destroyed nor feared. Hopelessness is denied, Peace is the goal, and destruction actions are only used as transformational means to create new forms of art.

White stands for purity & peace
And the flame for regeneration
And ashes remain in the end
To tell you of life & decay
In this simple morality play.
Plastics are like flowers & gay
They stand for peace & remian
In this simple morality play.

Diary- Notes for C-D-C Event.
In the Construction-Destruction-Construction Peace-Event I use symbolic actions , burning, stabbing, slashing, smashing to destroy the war. I use war- photos, newspaper & magazine clippings as well as glo-color, light, sound & pantomime activities . The action is called a "Morality Play", because I use the primitive performance methods : Reciting a song, a background display of props, pantomime actions of several happeners& act myself in the play in the way, as I experienced it in the late twenties and beginning thirties in Berlin Cabarets. ( Political Cabarets. ) The construction scene is acted out by myself & three happeners. I burn Photos and clippings. The Peacetransformation is performed as a ritual. I put the black ashes into small plastic bags & place the bags under clear plastic domes. Red & green lights symbolize war & peace, so do the red & green glo-colors. The backdrop of scene shows a large American flag (it is an old bed-quilt Present by Bob Liikala Group 212 Woodstock N. Y. ) & 2 30X40 enlargements of original war-photos from Vietnam. I use also whiteaggresic light ( handled by Jean Toche ) and a Strob light supplied by 11 RAT ". I use for the shooting a " Wasp " toygun. For the burning a frying pan, an electric grill & an electric iron. Display figures , ( I used them in my Cosmetic happening (1965) had been painted with glo-color are destroyed during the manipulation-event. I use plastics to symbolize colorful flowers. The two tapes playing during the 40 Minutes performance consist of War-sounds, and abstract peace-sounds. I used for the war sounds American, French, German, English , Russian National Anthem with sounds of sirens, battlefield noise, soldiers marching etc. For peace sounds - records by Stockhausen, Cage, Newhaus, Eimert Krenek . At the end of the performance I wash the quilt with clear water.

L. P.

In the original publication, the "peace object" was affixed here -- a plastic bag filled with black ashes from burned war-newspaper clippings.


Original format: Two sheets of legal-size paper, printed both sides, folded to make a four-page booklet.



Adapted for the web by Andrew Stafford.
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