Die Brücke

  1. We invite the reader to turn their eyes onto the past and glimpse in it a landscape of the future. We look ahead towards an art which is not constrained by money nor governed by hierarchies, which sings as well as feels, which is pointed like an arrow towards the Real or the True or the Ultimate.
  2. In thinking about art, we take as our starting point the axiom of Spinoza: The more things an image is joined with, the more often it springs into life.
  3. In the beginning, there were language, movement and symbols. In art, all forward motion comes as someone, obsessed with a certain strand in a certain kind of art, takes that strand, lifts it out of its original situation and frees it from the ossified habits of previous eras, illuminates it, magnifies it and fashions of it the foundational pillars of a New Art.
  4. We respect the masters of the past and readily admit that we cannot reach their genius, but are conscious also of two advantages which we possess and they did not: (a) modern technology, and (b) the example of those same masters, who once touched the numinous and reported to us something of what it was like.
  5. On a leisurely walk along the streets of Helsinki, Sibelius once said to Mahler that what he admired in the symphony was its strictness and internal logic and interconnectedness, whereupon Mahler replied that, on the contrary, the symphony must be like the world: it must embrace everything. In this sense we are Sibelians not Mahlerians.
  6. We have no imagination, only obsessions, which we follow not knowing where they take us: we get our subject matter not from television or newspapers but from the inner chambers of our minds.
  7. Tools, techniques and methods are not incidental to our art, but on the contrary shape art and shape our way of thinking about it. When asked about them, we are not embarrassed to discuss them openly, for we can remember our having once searched like starved dogs for the smallest hint of a method, technique or tool used by one of our heroes.
  8. We believe that a true artist does not belong to their time or part of the world, neither of which they expect to reward them; and that true art is no more than an attempt of the artist to explain themself to the world. We do not want to impress, but want to be understood.
  9. The human race, unique in Earth’s history, has driven itself onto a rocky precipice and seems poised to cast itself into the dark waters below, or rather to stumble, hands over ears and eyes shut closed, out into a kind of nothingness. We see and tremble before this likeliest of futures: a world without wild animals, without untended forests, without glaciers, sea ice and coral reefs.
  10. All humans matter to us, as do all other animals, birds and fishes, as does indeed all organic matter, plants, amoebas, bacteria – every living, striving thing is an end in itself to us.

What you read above is the alpha version of the Brücke manifesto, which is published under the GNU Public License.