* *



Although this text has been an attempt to take an objective view of a dissident tradition, the author has not entirely shed his subjective biases. He has failed to make any proper distinction between an 'ism', a 'movement', a 'sensibility' and a 'tradition'. In this Afterword, he will attempt to define these terms. He has chosen not to apply the resulting definitions back onto the main body of the text; preferring to view it as a record of a specific stage in the development of his thought, rather than something which can be definitively completed.

"Movement" has military connotations and implies a mass of adherents.
For something to merit the title 'movement' it would seem to require several thousand participants at the very least. The majority of the dissident clusters described in this text can more accurately be labelled 'groups' than 'movements'. Among the tendencies described, only the Sixties Underground taken as a whole, Mail Art and Punk, can objectively be viewed as constituting 'movements' in their own right The appellation of the term 'movement' to what - in reality - are only 'groups', serves to lend them an appearance of importance which they do not actually possess.
An 'ism' is an indistinct body of beliefs which are consciously ascribed as belonging to a particular group of individuals, by persons who may or may not belong to the group in question. Whether or not the individuals identified as being clustered around an 'ism' like their belief systems being categorised in such a manner is irrelevant. 'Isms' are emotional categorisations and close examination often reveals them to be intellectually incoherent.

A 'sensibility' is the conscious attribution of an open and indefinable set of beliefs to an individual or group of individuals. It is an emotional categorisation, in some ways similar to an 'ism', but with far more positive connotations.

A 'tradition' is a set of beliefs or customs handed down from generation to generation, usually in the form of specific practices and/or an oral discourse. The set of beliefs dealt with in this text are on the borderline between being a contemporary practice and emerging as a newly founded tradition. The practices labelled as Samizdat in this text are no more than a hundred years old and so to describe them as a 'tradition' is to fall prey to romanticism, if not inaccuracy.


ADA Auto-Destructive Art
APT International Neoist Apartment Festival
CP Communist Party
DIAS Destruction In Art Symposium
IMIB International Movement For An lmaginist Bauhaus
IP Industrial Painting
IS Internationale Situationiste (journal)
LI Lettriste International
LM Lettriste Movement
LPA London Psycheogeographical Association
MA Mail Art
NYCS New York Correspondence School
PP Principle Player
SI Situationist International (group)
SOUB Socialisme ou Barbarie


Gabrielle Quinn for translating research material from Italian. Simon Anderson, D.C., A.D., Mick Gaffney, Rene Gimpel, P.G., Pete Horobin, John Nicholson, Steve Perkins, Paul Sieveking, Stefan SzczeIkun, Jayne Taylor, F.T., Michael Tolson, Andrew Wilson, & Tom Vague for making available material I would not otherwise have seen. Ed Baxter, Peter Kravitz & M.S.P.W., for reading the typescript and making numerous suggestions for improvement. Professor Guy Atkins, Vittore Baroni & Ralph Rumney for enthusiastically answering research enquiries. John Berndt, Graf Haufen & Mark Pawson for their general advice and encouragement. The staff of the British Library and the Tate Gallery Library for their invaluable assistance during the course of my research. Several of the authors listed in the bibliography from whom I have shamelessly plagiarised passages and ideas.

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