DIM TIM's First Memory
The Dimensionist Manifesto
Charles Sirato, Paris, 1936
Dimensionism is one of the living and leading examples of the Kunstwollen of our age. Its unconscious origins reach back to Cubism and Futurism. Nearly every cultured nation of civilization has been working on its development since that time.
It is the essence and theory of this great, universal and synoptic artistic movement which is made conscious in our manifesto.
It is, on the one hand, the modern spirit's completely new conception of space and time (the development of which, in geometry, mathematics and physics -- from Bólyai through Einstein -- is ongoing in our days), and on the other, the technical givens of our age, that have called Dimensionism to life.
Evolution, the instinct that breaks through all barriers, has sent the pioneers of creative art on their way towards completely new realms, leaving older forms and exhausted essences as prey for less demanding artists!
We must accept the fact that space and time are not separate categories -- absolutes in opposition to one another -- as was earlier believed and taken for granted, but rather that they are related dimensions in the sense of the non-Euclidean conception. By intuiting this fact, or by making it our own through conscious means, all the old borders and barriers of the arts suddenly disappear.
This new ideology has elicited a veritable earthquake, a landslide, in the old artistic system. We designate the totality of relevant artistic phenomena by the term "Dimensionism." (The formula "N + 1" expresses the Dimensionist development of the arts. It was through Planism, the theory of two-dimensional literature, that we noted its relevance to the arts. We generalized its application in order that we might attribute -- in the most natural way possible -- the seemingly chaotic, unsystematic and inexplicable artistic phenomena of our age to one single common law .)
ANIMATED BY A NEW FEELING FOR THE WORLD, THE ARTS -- IN COLLECTIVE FERMENTATION (Their Interpenetration) -- HAVE BEEN SET INTO MOTION, AND EACH HAS ABSORBED A NEW DIMENSION, EACH HAS FOUND A NEW FORM OF EXPRESSION INHERENT IN THE NEXT DIMENSION (N + 1), opening the way to the weighty spiritual/intellectual consequence of this fundamental change.
The Dimensionist tendency has led to:
I. Literature leaving the line and entering the plane : Calligrammes , Typograms, Planism, Electric Poems.
II. Painting leaving the plane and entering space : Peinture dans l'espace . Compositions Poly-matérielles , Constructivism. Spatial constructions. Surrealist objects.
III. Sculpture stepping out of closed, immobile forms (i.e. out of forms conceived of in Euclidean space), in order that it appropriate for artistic expression Minkowski's four-dimensional space .
It has been, above all, "solid sculpture" that has opened itself up, first to inner space, and then to movement; this is the sequence of developments: Perforated sculpture; sculpture-ouverte , Mobile sculpture; Kinetic sculpture.
IV. And after this a completely new art form will develop: Cosmic Art. The Vaporisation of Sculpture: "matter-music." The artistic conquest of four-dimensional space, which to date has been completely art-free. The human being, rather than regarding the art object from the exterior, becomes the centre and five-sensed [öt-érzékszervü] subject of the artwork, which operates within a closed and completely controlled cosmic space.
This is how one would most concisely summarize the essence of Dimensionism: Deductive with respect to the past. Inductive with respect to the future. Alive in the present.
The following artists signed the DIMENSIONIST MANIFESTO in Paris in 1936:
HANS ARP; FRANCIS PICABIA; KANDINSKY; ROBERT DELAUNAY; MARCEL DUCHAMP; PRAMPOLINI; CÉSAR DOMELA; CAMILLE BRYEN; SONIA DELAUNAY-TERK; SOPHIE TAUBER-ARP; ERVAND KOTCHAR; PIERRE ALBERT-BIROT; FREDERICK KANN; PRINNER; MARIO NISSIM; NINA NEGRI; SIRI RATHSMAN; CHARLES SIRATÓ
The following foreign endorsements appeared in the first(movemental) edition of the manifesto:
BEN NICHOLSON (London); ALEXANDER CALDER (New York); VINCENTE HUIDOBRO (Santiago de Chile); KAKABADZE (Tbilisi) ; KOBRO (Warsaw); JOAN MIRÓ (Barcelona); LÁSZLÓ MOHOLY-NAGY (London); ANTONIO PEDRO (Lisbon).
* Translated from the Hungarian by Oliver Botar.
As the French version of the Manifeste Dimensioniste is available in plastique no. 2 (Summer 1937): insert; in its third edition (Paris: Morphème, 1965); and in Waldemar George's Kotchar et la peinture dans l'espace (Paris: Galerie Percier, 1966), I have translated from the Hungarian version published by Sirató in A Vízöntő-kor hajnalán, 209-211. Though dated “Paris 1936" by Tamkó Sirató, this version differs slightly from the French original, perhaps reflecting Sirató's wording in the original Hungarian-language basis for the manifesto, the Album Dimensioniste (1936-66). This version probably also incorporates Sirató's thinking on the subject in the mid-60s, when he returned to the question of “Dimensionism”. Note, e.g., the addition of Alois Riegl's term Kunstwollen (müvészet-akarat); the replacement of “Western civilization” with the less Euro-centric “cultured nation of civilization” in the introductory paragraph, and the addition of Bólyai's name to that of Einstein, particularly important in a Hungarian context, in paragraph three. Sirató's elaboration of the section on “Cosmic Art” is garbled in the Hungarian version, and is presented here in a slightly simplified form close to the French version. Riegl first employed the term Kunstwollen in his Die spätrömische Kunstindustrie, volume 1, published in 1901.