Introduction: The Camnitzer Issue

This is a brief introduction to a special issue of The Hoosac Institute Journal. I’m calling it The Camnitzer Issue, for simplicity’s sake.

You may be asking why this special edition. It’s a long story and I’ll tell it in a future essay in my weekly Substack, The Beyond Place. For now, the announcement:

Until today, artist, writer, and educator Luis Camnitzer’s 2005 essay “Towards a theory of boludo art” was only available in Spanish. 

I’d been intrigued by Camnitzer’s idea of arte boludo (dumbass art) for a long time. Over the years, I kept trying to wrap my mind around this theory. There wasn’t much to read about it in English except a few mentions in interviews and truncated texts. 

I decided to translate his essay myself. Hacia una teoría del arte boludo. I sent my rendition to Luis, made the corrections he requested, and now, for the first time, English-language readers can fully grasp dumbass art:

The Hoosac Institute is thrilled to publish the first complete translation of Luis Camnitzer’s 2005 essay “Towards a theory of boludo art.” 

In addition, Camnitzer has given The Hoosac Institute three more texts ranging from his 1979  Inspiration, to Manifesto (1982) and up to this January’s  Conversation with an A.I..

Finally, Camnitzer’s essay, On Time, is part of Hoosac Journal 1 (May 2018). And if you are looking to access the boludo essay in Spanish, you can find it here. 

I’m grateful to Luis Camnitzer for his generous, incisive writing that he’s entrusted to The Hoosac Institute and, as always, for the bottomless supply of dry & wry wit, support & friendship.

Jenny Perlin
The Hoosac Institute

Essays by Luis Camnitzer:
Towards a theory of boludo art (2005)
Inspiration (1979)
Manifesto (1982)
Conversation with an A.I. (2023)