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Carolee Schneeman, Meat Joy

Kristine Stiles reveals that Carolee Schneemann, whose art is full of the paranormal, along with the work of Fluxus artists Yoko Ono and Larry Miller. Schneeman feared being considered “too crazy” and “nuts” if she acknowledged the paranormal in her art.11 Schneemann’s Meat Joy (1964) worked with group telepathy in the sense that the collaborators went into a trancelike state of body/mind and individual subjectivities fused into one ‘big meat joy’ and ‘spirit joy’. Movements became synchronized with the chain of sausages and dead animals circulating in and around between the bodies like telepathic umbilical cords. The bodies of individuals were blurred into an ecstatic, erotic and occult-like bond with live and dead meat. Like Schneemann, members of the activist terrorist group Weather Underground, in operation from the 1960s to the 1980s, also famously engaged in self-liberating and group bonding sexual orgies. The orgies of both Schneemann and the activist/terrorists worked to shatter individualism and monogamy, and to create a new group-based countercultural identity in which the boundaries of bodies and minds are violated, overlapped and synchronized. Social theories of telepathy/telekinesis and crowds is found in the work of Gabriel Tarde, Gustave Le Bon, Mikkel Borch-Jacobson, Maurizio Lazzarato and Tiziana Terranova, to name a few.

 

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