cont. from page 6
necessary tools in the liberation of the imagination; perhaps more so now than ever in this oppresive period of critical/rational late-postmodernism (not to mention Global Capitalism and corporate rule!). We have a certain amount of skepticism however in regards to the idea of revolution which has always been an integral facet of the language and ideas of Surrealism. Certainly we are in support of any thought and action directed towards the betterment of life on this planet (so long as it is in consideration of "life" in the most inclusive terms possible!). But our feeling is that revolution in the socio-political sense is unlikely to have any lasting, positive effects without a fundamental change in the way humans think, behave, and relate to the world. This fundamental change can only be an evolutionary one (keep in mind, we are referring to an evolution of ideas, not genetics) and it is this evolutionary process we see our work contributing to. If Surrealism is in the service of revolution then Recordism is in the service of evolution. But Recordism may just be Surrealism under a different name. This is an area of uncertainty for us. One of many. If there is anything we can say with a fair degree of certainty in regards to how Recordism is distinct from Surrealism, it is that Recordism is a narrowing of focus on certain aspects of Surrealism. Our principle interest (to the virtual exclusion of all else) is in how chance and automatic processes can be used to effect a change in the subtle, unseen, and most basic aspects of human existence. This we define as "magick".
We certainly do not wish to set ourselves up in opposition to Surrealism and its current practitioners (within or without the International Surrealist Network). In fact, we couldn't be more thrilled with our (quite recent) discovery that Surrealism as a movement is alive and well! We feel much less alone. Quite possibly any differences we may see between Recordism and Surrealism are no greater than the differences between individual Surrealists or the various Surrealist groups. But, does the fact that we do not call ourselves Surrealists automatically exclude us from involvement in official Surrealist events, such as this proposed International Surrealist exhibition? Certainly there is fertile ground for debate here. Perhaps, since you have put forward as part of your program for this exhibition a questioning of Surrealist priciples, a Recordist contribution coudn't be more appropriate! In that vein of thought, you might consider this letter, and any resulting dialogue it may generate, to be our contribution to the International Surrealist exhibition. Therefore, publish or post this as you see fit, we welcome any response.
- William A. Davison, Toronto, April 14, 1999
(as yet, there has been naught but silence from the Prague Surrealists)
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