A sad day. I found out ‘maximalism,’ as a word, has already existed and was used as a negative term for novels by Pynchon and David Foster Wallace by some tight assed English guy. Here I thought a friend of mine and I had invented the term years ago while we were bullshitting about an art exhibit where every sense of the visitor would be employed… i.e.: you would simultaneously smell a rotting carcass, look at a painting or photo or video, listen to someone pounding on a sheet of metal with a live cat as someone else beat you on the ass with a hairbrush as you ate gummy worms dipped in yoghurt and hot sauce — smell, touch, taste, sight and sound all rolled into one motherfucking brain beating experience. Add strobe lights and a fog machine. Guaranteed to turn your brain to shit from over stimulation. Turns out some writer beat us to the punch.

Let that be a lesson to me. Never hesitate to pull the trigger and get it documented as soon as possible.

I was going to use ‘maximalism’ as the title for a comic book I was working on — a tongue in cheek acknowledgement of art school pretensions and too many hours in art history lectures. Now I find out it is old hat.

5 Comments on “Maximalism”

  1. ClawCarver says:

    “Motherfucking brain beating experience … strobe lights and a fog machine … turn your brain to shit from overstimulation” – Sounds like the pitch for Hawkwind's “Space Ritual” tour!

    Anyway, don't be sad. An old hat can be a good hat. You just need to wear it at a jaunty new angle.

    P.S. Word verification: arkslap – a magical attack that melts the faces off Nazis.

  2. -C says:

    Yeah, there's a reason wiki has 'disambiguation' for each word. Use it however you want.

  3. ze bulette says:

    Just the other day I was drunk and out eating sushi with my wife, gesturing like a composer, singing The Grand Wazoo “bum bum bum” style, and trying to convince her to take maximalism seriously.


  4. Limpey says:

    Yeah, well, I'll probably use 'Maximalism' or 'Maximalist' anyway… and, honestly, once I learned about 'minimalism' where people get all excited over a single brushstroke in off-white on a white canvas, 'Maximalism' seems pretty much a given.
    But we live in pretty 'Maximal' times… so, ze bullette, your wife should pay more attention.
    I just followed Claw Carver's link where I discovered that Lemmy from Motorhead was once in Hawkwind. I did not see that coming, but I think both Hawkwind and Motorhead are fertilizing the field of 'Maximalism.'
    Well done!

  5. ClawCarver says:

    If you're interested, in the first couple of minutes here you get Lemmy, Michael Moorcock and others waxing maximal about the Space Ritual tour:

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