Meaningless WorkConcise translation from Walter de Maria by Adem Genç(*)

Meaningless work is obviously the monst important and significant art form today.

The aesthetic feeling given by meaningless work cannot bedescribed exatly because it varies with each individual donig work. Meaningless work is honest.

Meaningless work will be enjoyed and hated by intellectuals -though they should understand it.

Meaningless work can not be sold in art galleries or win prizes in museums…

By meaninglss work I simply mean work that does not make you money or accomplis a conventional purpose. For instance putting wooden blocks from one box to another, then putting the blocks back to the original box, back and forth, back and forth and so on,is a fine example of meaningless work. Or digging a hole, then covering it is another example.

Meaningless work is potentially the most abstract, concrete, individual, foolish, indeterminate, exactly determined, varied, important artaction-experience one can undertake today. This concept is not a joke.

Try some meaningless work in the privacy of your own room. In fact, to be fully understood, meaningless work should be done alone or else it becomes entertainment for others.

Meaningless work can contain all of the best qualities of old art forms such as painting, writing and so on. It can make you feed and thik abaout yourself, the outside world, morality, unconsciousness, nature, history, time philosophy, nothing at all, politic, without the limitaitons of the old art forms.

Meaningless work is individual in nature and it can be done in any form and over any span of time-from one second up to the limits of exhaustion. It can be done anywhere in any weather conditionsÉ

Meaningless work is the new way to tell who is square. (March 1960 )

(*) Walter de Maria: “Meaningless Work”; Esthetics Contemporary, Derleyen richard Kostelanetz, Prometheus Books Buffalo, New York 1989,

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