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Posted on 14 March 2012

How to write a better manifesto.

Creatively speaking.

Stefanie Posavec, a Colorado-born designer living in London, has created a flow chart of interchangeable ideas based largely on artists’ manifestos from the twentieth century.

After studying the original texts, Posavec realised that recurrent themes were common to many, and her chart represents a compression of the most commonly used.

Any budding artist looking for a theme can pick and choose from the tried and tested suggestions in the hope of starting a new movement, whilst at the same time hoping that no-one notices the absence of originality.

A sample of advice for would-be movers and shakers in the art world: Write a list, Mention Revolution, Freedom, Violence, Destruction, War, or Poetry Reference the bourgeoisie Ask rhetorical questions Use ALL CAPS, repeat yourself for dramatic effect, use exclamation marks liberally!!!

Perhaps another tip should involve the use of double negatives. Andre Breton, Diego Rivera and Leon Trotsky, in their 1938 Manifesto: Towards a Free Revolutionary Art, declared that ‘True art is unable not to be revolutionary’.

As an artist friend of mine said recently, artists are not always the best people to explain their own work, as they sometimes struggle to put things into words. I suspect that, in the case of most artists, the work is best left to speak for itself.

With thanks to CB it’sbeenreal.co.uk for the article ‘A manifesto for your art manifesto’ in Wired magazine, 7/11, which provided the information for these thoughts.