Something Else Press Newsletters 1966-83
Between February, 1966 and April, 1973, the Something Else Newsletter functioned as an all-purpose bulletin for Dick Higgins’ Something Else Press, under whose aegis some of the most radical art of that period flourished. The newsletter developed out of the briefer Something Else “newscards:” miniature broadsheet-style dispatches on developing projects and upcoming events and publications (often leavened with a bit of non-news), published beginning in early 1965.
Roughly a year later, the tenth of the newscards was accompanied by the first of the newsletters, a tabloid-format publication of several pages with a single headline: “Intermedia,” by Dick Higgins. This was the first publication of Higgins’ influential essay, and it established the form of many of the newsletters to come. Most of these consist of a theoretical missive from Higgins—“Boredom and Danger;” “Against Movements;” “Distributing Books,” etc.—accompanied by partial catalogs, brief announcements, and advertisements for new and upcoming publications. Other newsletters essentially extended the purview of the informational newscards: miscellaneous musings and gossip accompanied semi-regular reportage on the activities of Higgins, Alison Knowles, John Cage, Dieter Roth, Claes Oldenburg, Emmett Williams, Wolf Vostell, Nam June Paik, Allan Kaprow, Charlotte Moorman, Robert Filliou, Philip Corner, and a host of others.
The Something Else Newsletter—which briefly resurfaced for three final issues in 1983—is an unparalleled window onto the universe of Something Else Press. Included here are all twenty-three issues, as well as all ten newscards and the related “Camille’s Reports.”
Dick Higgins (1938-1998) was a publisher, poet, composer, artist, and critic. After moving from England as a child, Higgins studied under John Cage and Henry Cowell at New School, where he met fellow classmates George Brecht, Al Hansen, and Allan Kaprow—all artists whom Higgins would later work with. In 1963, Higgins founded the now-legendary Something Else Press. Active through 1973, Something Else Press was responsible for promoting and publishing the work of an innumerable number of influential artists, including John Cage, Jackson Mac Low, Dieter Roth, Claes Oldenburg, Merce Cunningham, Nam June Paik, and Ray Johnson. At this time, Higgins was also deeply involved in the various New York Happenings and participated as a core member of Fluxus. He is also known for coining the term intermedia in the influential essay of the same name which takes interest in a new breed of artists who sought to blur the traditional boundaries of artistic media.