Experimentalism from the rest of the world?
June 14, 2010 12:30 PM   Subscribe

Other than Butoh, what experimental or avant garde arts have originated outside of European culture.

I am counting English speaking US and Canada and Australia etc. as European culture.

I am aware that the very idea of experimentalism or an avant garde could be considered an European invention, but my hope is that it may have been invented independently elsewhere.

I also would be somewhat interested in examples of artists doing avant garde or conceptual projects from (not about) a non European perspective (that is, Cage's fascination with Zen would not count here, but some collective doing free improv in Ghana would).
posted by idiopath to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Jorge Luis Borges, a South American, wrote experimental fiction that contributed to the development of postmodern literature.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:34 PM on June 14, 2010

Best answer: I think its kind of unfair to treat jazz as "European culture", but that's not your question :)
Konono no.1 are from the Congo. They make their own instruments and amplify them, and then they trance out.
posted by quelindo at 1:18 PM on June 14, 2010

Best answer: Nam June Paik is generally credited with the invention of video art.
posted by Kattullus at 1:36 PM on June 14, 2010

posted by MuffinMan at 2:19 PM on June 14, 2010

Oh arse. Misread that. Outside Europe? Manga. Hip Hop. Rap. Pop art.
posted by MuffinMan at 2:22 PM on June 14, 2010

There's Superflat coming out of Japanese manga and anime
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:17 PM on June 14, 2010

Best answer: The 1999 exhibition at the Queens Museum of Art Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin (and excellent accompanying catalog) explores a number of avant-garde visual and performance art practices that were developed fairly independently around the world, especially during the 1960s and 1970s.
posted by LeeLanded at 6:21 PM on June 14, 2010

Best answer: There are lots of great examples from Brazil.

1960s visual art:
Hélio Oiticica (Tropicália, Parangolés)
Lygia Clark

1920s poetry and plays:
Oswald de Andrade (the manifesto of cultural cannibalism--very dada-influenced, but deeply Brazilianized)

1960s-1980s experimental (anti-)pop music
Walter Smetak (constructed crazy handmade instruments)
Tom Zé
Walter Franco
Caetano Veloso's record Araçá Azul
Arrigo Barnabé
Hermeto Pascoal

New experimental (anti-)pop music:
pexbaA (interesting atonal pop. the lead singer randomly pulls tiles from a bag to make his lyrics)
posted by umbú at 7:22 PM on June 14, 2010

Best answer: There are some interesting articles about Japanese noise music out there, like this one (the link just shows the abstract).

Also, I don't know any of the details, but I have an acquaintance who works with musicians in the Indonesian experimental music scene, so there must be something going on there as well.
posted by umbú at 7:29 PM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Frida Khalo, Diego, A. Jordorowski, Yoko Ono, those mentoned above.
posted by eccnineten at 6:56 AM on June 15, 2010

Response by poster: quelindo: "I think its kind of unfair to treat jazz as "European culture", but that's not your question :)"

I don't really think of free improv as jazz.
posted by idiopath at 11:56 AM on June 15, 2010

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