Onomatopee 54: The Destructive Character

Onomatopee 54: Research project
The Destructive Character

by Dick Raaijmakers, replying to Walter Benjamin

“Creative clearing,” destructively discovering news paths, makes us understand that every destruction always implies a new beginning. By means of a series of telling examples, from Fluxus and Glenn Gould to Laurel & Hardy, John Cage, and his own work, electronics pioneer, multimedia artist and theorist Dick Raaijmakers (1930) discusses the characteristics and the peculiarities of the destructive character inside and outside the arts.
Considering the constant media coverage of destruction — whether ecological, military, or economical — this text is still highly contemporary, allowing us to view the concept of destruction from a new perspective.

The Destructive Character is a commentary on an essay form 1931 by the German cultural philosopher Walter Benjamin, which bears the same title and is included in this publication. In his reaction, Raaijmakers focuses on the fact that the destructive character knows of only one activity: clearing away.
Moreover, The Destructive Character is accompanied by the publication Etui of the American poet Adam Staley Groves, who reflects and reacts on both essays in general and Benjamin’s concept of the “étui-man” in particular.

The exhibition accompanying this book publication will feature work from ArtEZ design students, reacting to the publication, as well as a case presentation of Remco van Bladel’s book design. Remco van Bladel’s typography class have indeed been working with this content in a larger assignment troughout the past months as well creating all kinds of unique and more personal approaches to this matter in a variety of graphic items.

June 10 – July 10, 2011
Onomatopee project-space, Eindhoven

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