How to Make a Happening – Allan Kaprow (1966)


“… Simple in construction, yet profound in context, How to Make a Happening is Allan Kaprow delivering 11 rules on how, and how not, to make a Happening, an movement begun by Kaprow in the late fifties that is known for its unpredictability, open scores, and constantly-evolving form. On the first track, Kaprow speaks plainly into a microphone, delivering a private cut-to-the-chase style instruction on Happenings that is both informative and contradictory. Kaprow, known as a great teacher of the avant-garde (from Rutgers to Cal Arts to finally University of California, San Diego), delivers both a practical and theoretical how-to with an oftentimes dead-pan humor. On the second track, which is constructed like the first, Kaprow reads the program and notes of three recent Happenings (Soap, Calling, and Raining), which serve as loose instruction, as they involve improvisation and forces beyond human control, such as acts of nature and other uncontrolled environmental forces. These elucidations further provide a clear, if somewhat circumstantial, distinction of what does and does not constitute a Happening. …”
UbuWeb (Audio)
Allan Kaprow’s Seminal 1966 Essay on Art and “Happenings,” Translated into American
allan kaprow’s how to make a happening (Audio)
YouTube: How to Make a Happening 24:51

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