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The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest Form of Art
July 12, 2011, 4pm

The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest Form of Art (ongoing) is a parenthetical circumstance for people to drink beer, get a nice good mental ring tone going, lower their guards and less mind their manners until errors are made. I was not present, but I was told there was jazz music.

In his memoir Beer, Art and Philosophy, Marioni brings up the dialectic pickle, “What is art for?…for beauty…for decorating apartments…for imitating nature…for seeing in a new way?”

Marioni first presented The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest Form of Art in 1970 at the Oakland Museum, CA, and continued the action as a weekly event in various incarnations held at Marioni’s own Museum of Conceptual Art, San Francisco. Since 1973, he has hosted friends on Wednesday nights at the bar in his studio.

A critic comes to the artist’s studio and the artist asks him for an opinion of his art. “It’s worthless,” the critic said. “I know, but I’d like to hear it anyway.” Two cannibals finish eating a clown. One of them turns to the other: “Did that taste funny to you?” The zen student goes to a hotdog stand and gives the vendor five dollars. “Make me one with everything.” He gets his dog and waits for some money back. “What about my change,” he asks. The vendor looks at him: “Change comes from within.” —excerpts from Tom Marioni’s stand-up comedy