Over the course of fifteen years, Nicholas Zurbrugg interviewed the avant-garde poets, filmmakers, dancers, writers, composers, and performance artists who were defying tradition, crossing genres, and forever changing how art would be created, performed, and interpreted. These conversations with thirty-one of the leading multimedia artists in the United States now form a comprehensive record, from the insiders perspectives, of the most vital component of the postmodern American art world.
Passionate about postmodernism and committed to innovative creativity, Zurbrugg asks these artists probing and insightful questions. How did their work evolve? Who most influenced them? How did they assess changes in contemporary art, and what did they think of each others work? Which of their experiences had the most powerful effects on their creative development? What could lie ahead for American art? As these questions are answered by individual artists, the interviews also cumulatively address larger issues of artistic expression, including the idea of the avant-garde itself.
The book features interviews with Kathy Acker, Charles Amirkhanian, Laurie Anderson, Robert Ashley, Beth B, David Blair, William S. Burroughs, Warren Burt, John Cage, Richard Foreman, Kenneth Gaburo, Diamanda Galás, John Giorno, Philip Glass, Brion Gysin, Dick Higgins, Jenny Holzer, Mike Kuchar, Robert Lax, Jackson Mac Low, Meredith Monk, Nam June Paik, Yvonne Rainer, Steve Reich, Rachel Rosenthal, Bill Viola, Larry Wendt, Emmett Williams, Robert Wilson, Nick Zedd, and Ellen Zweig. Introductory notes to each interview provide context and connect the work and experiences of various artists, and photographs of these artists contribute a significant visual element to the book.