MinXus mail bag: Rebecca Guyver (Suffolk, UK) asks “What is Holism?”

Miss Becca, now safely re-established on her poultry farm and enjoying a brisk autumn, sent an urgent query concerning Holism. Before embarking upon such a weighty subject, we pause to enjoy a lovely bit of visual poetry she included on the reverse side:

How lovely – like the vision of a peony field while contemplating the sentiments of a well-made Sunday sermon about the necessity of wisdom. If only peony fields were inside churches and sermons writ across the azure sky like Miss Becca’s lovely art. Now on to the subject at hand.

We have explicated Holism many times and probably, by now, should have an instructional video. First, we have a Holism Manifesto:

This should explain the pataphysics. Yet our dear friend History often provides the most comprehensive explanations.

Holism commenced, it is generally agreed, with De Villo Sloan’s contribution to The Crimson Giant, a collaborative book that includes work by Miss Cheryl Penn and Empress Marie Antonette that appeared in the year of our Lord 2010. Indeed, the Empress documented the good doctor’s highly theoretical effort:


While this work indeed does provide a prototype for what today is widely known as Holism, we must acknowledge its crudity. The work expresses a temporary but what was nevertheless a heartfelt annoyance with Miss Cheryl brought on by the pressures of that particular endeavour. Hardly a work for the Ages.

It was our own Empress Marie Antonette who brought aesthetics to Holism then mounted it as if it were a stallion and rode it to the pinnacle of refinement and taste where it now contentedly resides.

Shortly after the publication of The Crimson Giant, Empress Marie began to display her holes publicly. Their elegance and refinement, coupled with her artistic control of the form, the play of firmness yet curious elasticity, caused an immediate sensation. Many have sought to and even more have investigated them for their vital properties. While many excellent works of Holism have been produced since, it is widely acknowledges that Empress Marie’s holes are unparalleled.

Here is one oft-cited example of her early work:

You will note this work appears in the Holism Manifesto and has already generated a vast commentary. Many have pondered what motivated her choice of size for this seminal piece.

The study of Holism is called Hology, and there is a visual poetry book dedicated to the subject:


We regret that this post can only be a gloss of a movement with a fascinating history. We sincerely hope others can add their knowledge in the comments to provide Miss Becca with a greater perspective.

A recent statement by De Villo Sloan might contribute something to our understanding of the current status of Holism: “The artist is encouraged to include holes in any work that is created. It is hoped that as the artist progresses on the path of Holism, the holes will grow larger & become the dominant element. Eventually, the hole – emptiness – will replace the art itself.”


12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. minxuslynxus
    Sep 25, 2012 @ 23:28:01

    That’s a very nice blog, Rancher, I’m sure miss Becca will find all the necessary information in there. The “hole to build a story on” was made in-response-to-De-Villo’-response-to the Crimson Giant because he thought the story was flawed.
    Believe it or not, 3D holes are now being made at the Manoir aux Visons. True story.


  2. minkrancher
    Sep 26, 2012 @ 00:27:38

    Empress. I am might pleased you could add what you knowd o’ olism for Miss Becca.

    I ‘membered there was them books done on the science a ology so I had Dw add that too. One o’ yours is in there.

    I reckon everyone ill want to be lookin at your 3-d holes.


  3. minxuslinxus
    Sep 26, 2012 @ 08:22:21

    MinXus wi(l)dely encourages public displays of holes. As for what motivated the choice of size for that piece, well, you know, holes come in various sizes. This one is highly modulable (this word sounds much better in french) and interactive and will fit your mood of the day. It might get really big when it rains though, you have to be careful with that.
    Eventually the hole will replace the art it self. Hmm. I like that. I have to think about this a bit more.


  4. suffolkrebecca
    Sep 26, 2012 @ 16:53:23

    Mink Rancher, I am very appreciative for your beginners guide to holism. I believe I can begin practicing the art, although large holes could be beyond my expertise. I can’t help thinking that there is something Alice in Wonderland about the whole, hole thing.


  5. minxususa
    Sep 27, 2012 @ 11:42:45

    Holy Mink Ranch, Batman! It’s Miss Becca!

    Thank you for giving us the opportunity to provide a quick over view of Holism.

    Many are called; few are chosen. Holism just comes effortlessly to some – look at the Empress.


  6. minkrancher
    Sep 27, 2012 @ 11:49:32

    Miss Becca, iffen you ever should produce any Holistic art, we would sure prreciate the opportunity to acquire it for the MinXus USA collection.


  7. minkrancher
    Sep 27, 2012 @ 12:05:38

    Miss Becca, Empress & all other Holism fans:

    Back in the days when the Neo gang rode on the dusty trail, Monty Cantsin always wore a red bandana on his arm so’s youd knowd it was him. (I don’t figur there was nothin specially political about his color choice, cept to thumb his nose at the Old School Russkies maybe. Ain’t litical, jus po.)

    Now up in Toronto that Fluxus gang fella Allan Ravich is sayin to put red circles in yer visual poyms as to show some solidarity with FLuXus & Neo even though they is just “back in the day” stuff anyways & who gives a rat’s ass? Worse than Don Corleone & them family types down roun the Big Apple aint it?

    I figure Holism can make an allowance for them representational red holes, even if they aint real holes. for them that wants to use ’em.


  8. minxususa
    Sep 27, 2012 @ 23:24:59

    Back in the day stuff, eh Rancher? I seen you break into a cold sweat and cringe when you sawed The 14 Secret Masters of the Universe might still be mindin’ things – such as who’s pokin’ around askin’ questions about David Zack.


  9. minxususa
    Sep 27, 2012 @ 23:31:54

    Dw, I never wanted or expected M-L to be an Investigative Poetry outfit like Mr. Ed Sanders run out there in Boulder, Colorado, but we is going to disclose what we know about David Zack.


  10. minxuslinxus
    Sep 28, 2012 @ 00:13:25

    No answer to my question.
    Is Dark wall a Neoist?


  11. Minkoo
    Sep 28, 2012 @ 00:22:00

    Empress, trust me, you better stick to your vispho. Investigations aren’t your cuppa. Come on, let’s go buy more pink paint.


  12. minkrancher
    Sep 28, 2012 @ 02:23:13

    Empress, you will find no Neoists in the Order of the Tangerine Mink. To the best of our knowledge, they were gone and forgotten. Who knew?


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