Artscum is an art movement that originated in the late 20th century. It focuses mainly on the idealization of ugliness. Its exact origin and aims are mostly unknown.
The most famous representatives of Artscum are Seth Siro Anton, Chris Mars, John Santerineros, H. R. Giger, R.S. Connett, Trevor Brown and Absumaniac.
Key organ is the Germany based print magazine INSIDE artzine – International Artscum Magazine.
Artscum primarily manifests itself in digital collages and sculptures but also in paintings, photographs, and drawings.
Apart from the arts branch, a writing movement of Artscum has arisen at the beginning of the early 21st century. Its most famous representatives are Urs Böke, Roland Adelmann, Jan Off, Sybille Lengauer, and Jan Schleevogt.
The key organ and most important international medium of Artscum is the magazine INSIDE artzine which was founded in the early 1990s in Germany as a photocopied fanzine. The distribution of this print magazine, which is published in English, can be described as global. Up to now, various internationally known artists are being published there, primarily from Europe and the US, but also from Japan, Australia, Brazil, Indonesia, and China.
Furthermore, since 2010 there has been some kind of blog called artscum.org where picture galleries (mainly with pictures by the artists being published in INSIDE artzine), interviews, book and magazine reviews as well as a comprehensive link collection give an overview of the otherwise extensively unorganized scene.
Due to the fact that the movement has got no structure or organization at all, collective exhibitions take place very seldom. They are mostly spontaneous and take place in underground galleries. There have only been but a few exhibitions in Germany, Switzerland, and Japan yet.
– June 4th to 25th, 2008: Knark Art – Dresden – Germany
– August 3rd to 31st, 2012: Museum of Porn in Art – Zurich – Switzerland
– February 3rd to 15th, 2014: Vanilla Gallery – Tokyo – Japan
– July 17th to 29th July 2018: Vanilla Gallery – Tokyo – Japan
A very characteristic feature of Artscum is its pronounced tendency of extreme ugliness without at the same time ignoring the basic beauty of things. The art-historical question “Is there beauty in the ugly, can one exist without the other?” has been discussed in many different art movements before, but the radicality of Artscum occupies a special position here for sure.
Artscum does not accept any laws or rules, no capricious morality, no predefined taboos. No nations, no races, no classes, no education, no self-display, and / or no other vanities. But this doesn’t mean that Artscum was settled in a legal vacuum of the mind.
Claimed values like reason and respect apparently refer to humanism.
In Artscum, art is no science one has to study. No religion one has to believe in. No enlightenment one has to search for. No sanctuary on white walls one has to worship. Neither is Artscum subject to the various discussions about taste. This art movement does not deal with food but with thought.
The name of the movement is to be understood as a verbalized impudence.
Despite unformed “manifests” appearing there and then in the internet, there have been only rudimentarily successful attempts to define a concrete aim of Artscum. There are no related or similar art movements to be found; comparisons with Art Brut or Dada are scientifically not correct.
Ministry of Scum / Summer 2374