Dick Higgins (born Cambridge, England 1938, died Quebec, Canada 1998) was a composer, poet, printer, and early Fluxus artist. Like many of the other Fluxus artists, he studied composition with John Cage. He married artist Alison Knowles in 1960. He founded Something Else Press in 1963, which published many important texts by artists including Gertrude Stein, Marshall McLuhan, Emmett Williams, Claes Oldenburg, George Brecht, Daniel Spoerri, Bern Porter, Ray Johnson, Ken Friedman, and others.
Higgins coined the word “intermedia” to describe his artistic activities, defining it in a 1965 essay by the same name. His most notable contributions include “Danger Music” scores and the use of the term “intermedia” to describe the ineffable inter-disciplinary activities that became prevalent in the 1960s. He was an early and ardent proponent and user of computers, as a tool for art making, dating back to the mid 1960s. He published forty-seven books, including a translation of Giordano Bruno’s On the Composition of Signs and Images, which could be seen as an early text on multimedia. The Book of Love & War & Death, a book-length aleatory poem published in 1972 may have been one of the first computer-generated texts: in the introduction, he describes writing a FORTRAN IV program to randomize the lines in one of the poem’s cantos. A Dialectic of Centuries: Notes towards a Theory of the New Arts collected many of his essays and theoretical works in 1976.
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