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The Book's Undoing: Dieter Roth's Artist's Books - YouTube
[via:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BVvjLT2H3p8/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BVvjG29Hiu_/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BVvjAaJn-YX/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BVvjnzVHe5w/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BVvjSrInD9U/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BVvjdJzHxvT/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BVvl6tNHHor/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BVvlnfqH3XL/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BVwf9BEnyaE/
https://twitter.com/soulellis/status/878787775641911297 ]

[See also:

"Wait, Later This Will Be Nothing: Editions by Dieter Roth"
https://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2013/dieter_roth/index.html

"Dieter Roth - Wikipedia"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dieter_Roth

"There would be no way to translate a Dieter Roth book into another medium-the idea of the works is inseparable from their form as books and they realise themselves as works through their exploration of the conceptual and structural features of a book. —Johanna Drucker"



"In 1960 he won the William and Norma Copley Award, which included Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst and Herbert Read on the jury.[3] As well as a substantial monetary prize, the award included the chance to print a monograph; Roth declined, asking instead for funding to pay for a new work. The end result was his most ambitious book to date, the Copley Book, 1965, a semi-autobiographical deconstruction of the process of book making. In the same year he exhibited at Arthur Köpcke’s gallery in Copenhagen and at the Festival d’Art d’Avant-garde, Paris in 1960, and began an itinerant lifestyle, exhibiting and working throughout Europe, Iceland and America, a pattern he would continue for the rest of his life.

A key breakthrough in his attitude to art was witnessing the performance of Tinguely's Homage to Modern Art in Basel, 1961. The work profoundly impressed Roth, leading to a decisive break with constructivism into post-modern avant-garde practices associated with the Nouveaux Réalistes such as Tinguely and Arman, and the group of artists that were about to become known as Fluxus, including Joseph Beuys and Nam June Paik."
It [Tinguely's Homage to Modern Art] was simply a completely different world from my Constructivism, it was something like a paradise that I'd lost.[15]

Fluxus

Whilst Roth was close friends with many members of early Fluxus,[16] the avant-garde art movement centred around George Maciunas in New York City, he deliberately kept his distance from Maciunas;[17] when asked to add his memories of Maciunas to a biography being compiled by Emmett Williams, he contributed a less-than-complimentary summary;[18] He later told an interviewer;
It was the club of the untalented who made a verbal virtue of their lack of talent so that nobody could say they had no talent. The modesty that they ascribed to themselves was actually a good insight in that sense. Because they had to be modest because they were so incapable." [19]



"Roth would collaborate with his children-especially Björn-for the rest of his life.[27][28][29] In 2010 Hauser & Wirth showed one such collaboration, a selection of collage-assemblages, made from the cardboard mats Roth would place on the worktables in his studios to collect the "traces of domestic activities," such as coffee stains and Björn's childish doodles."



"In his later years Dieter Roth spoke of his typically innovative idea of an academy – an institution unbound to any one place or building or curriculum. As a passionate traveller, he realised that the best experience a young artist can have is travelling and encountering new people and situations. Consequently the Dieter Roth Academy lives there where its members live and work – on several continents. And is always on the move, having convened now in at least eight countries."

"Dieter Roth: Diaries at The Fruitmarket Gallery
2 August -- 14 October 2012"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjnDdvqR2VU

"Dieter Roth Museum"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g19k0t8e7rc

"Dieter Roth: Staying Fresh"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpUtsUnuDIQ

"Dieter Roth: Selves (Retrospective)"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIfO5UYVq0k

"Dieter Roth Film - Trailer"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEJZMC21YSI

"Dieter Roth. Balle Balle Knalle (english)"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYuDtncXdpY

"Dieter Roth: Reykjavik Slides"
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/photography/8386314/Dieter-Roth-Reykjavik-Slides.html

"Dieter Roth Foundation"
http://www.dieter-roth-foundation.com/en

"Dieter Roth, words by Birgitta Jónsdóttir"
https://grapevine.is/culture/art/2005/05/27/dieter-roth/

"Taking the Dieter Roth train is a trip through the essence of art. All is art, everything Dieter did was an expression of art and the train trip takes you on an unforgettable trip, giving the viewer a whole new perspective on art in our every day lives. The redundant gains new life and meaning as he tilts the angle of infinite possibilities of mundane experience becoming something amazing.

The thing that impressed me the most was how one could feel the creative joy in so many of this work. He obviously didn’t take himself to seriously, an undertone of playfulness can be found in all his work, as if he must have had terrible fun within the whirlwind of his creative process."

"Loosening Up: Dieter Roth's Tragedy, by Donald Kuspit"
http://www.artnet.com/Magazine/features/kuspit/kuspit3-22-04.asp

"Dieter Roth, A film by Hilmar Oddsson"
http://www.seventeengallery.com/exhibitions/dieter-roth/ ]
dieterroth  books  artistsbooks  art  artbooks  björnroth  lcproject  openstudioproject  sfsh  classideas  ephemerality  travel  materials  iceland  birgittajónsdóttir  reykjavík  hilmaroddsson  johannadrucker  fluxus  marcelduchamp  maxernst  herbertread  jeantinguely  josephbueys  namjunepaik  georgemaciunas  ephemeral 
june 2017 by robertogreco
Yoko Ono and the Myth That Deserves to Die -- Vulture
"In Tokyo, in 1964, the 31-year-old conceptual artist Yoko Ono organized a happening in which she screened a Hollywood film and gave the audience a simple instruction: Do not look at Rock Hudson, look only at Doris Day.

Like most of the countercultural riddles that appear in Grapefruit, Ono’s book from the same year, the instruction — titled Film Script 5 — was at once facile and mischievously impossible. (Other variations on the piece include asking the audience not to look at any round objects in a film, or to see only red.) It was also, in its way, autobiographical: As one of the few women associated with New York’s avant-garde music scene and the “neo-Dada” Fluxus movement, Ono was by then used to being overshadowed by the more powerful and self-serious men around her. (“I wonder why men can get serious at all,” she mused in Grapefruit. “They have this delicate long thing hanging outside their bodies, which goes up and down by its own will.”) The year she first staged Film Script 5, she’d already extricated herself from one failed marriage and her second was unraveling. She was still two years away from meeting the man with whom she would realize her dream of a completely egalitarian partnership — to symbolize this, they both wore white during their wedding ceremony — but the rest of the world wouldn’t see it that way. They would, of course, see only the towering, superior Him — what could he have possibly seen in Her?"



"Here is the tricky and brilliantly fearless thing about Yoko Ono’s art: It inherently makes peace with that teenage boy’s irreverent response. It invites it, even. Drawn to words like “incomplete,” Ono has always trusted the viewer to finish her work."



"When she was 13, her father — a failed classical pianist turned successful banker — advised her to give up playing the piano because her hands were too small. Yoko blurted out that she would rather be a composer than a pianist anyway, and he told her this was even less likely: Could she name a single female composer? She couldn’t, but even back then her idea of the profession was a tad unconventional. The homework assignment that most sparked her imagination had been one in which she was asked to translate a bird’s song into musical notation."



"Like that of her contemporaries in the conceptual-art world, Ono’s early work was all about blurring the line between art and everyday life. Every image is a painting; every sound is a song. More than the work of anybody she actually hung out with, Ono’s early art reminds me of Yves Klein, the impish French artist whose first piece was — in his imagination — to sign his name in the sky. It’s true that some of Ono’s ideas inspired George Maciunas to start Fluxus, but she never felt entirely included in this — or any — group. Accordingly, there’s a loneliness to the pieces from early in the period covered by the MoMA show: One subtitled Painting for Cowards instructs the artist performing the work to cut a hole in a canvas and shake people’s hands through it. Ono felt alienated by a certain stuffiness and elitism in the scene. “The avant-garde guys ... were all just so cool, right?” she recalled years later. “There was also this very asexual kind of atmosphere in the music. And I wanted to throw blood.”"



"In 1964, Ono began staging Cut Piece, still probably her best-known work, the tone of which depends entirely on the energy in the room. When she debuted it in Tokyo that year, the audience was polite, but in Kyoto, a man “took the pair of scissors and made a motion to stab [her].” Conversely, when the artist Charlotte Moorman performed Cut Piece in a convent, Ono says, “they bypassed the sexual connotation totally and just understood the philosophical connotation and the positive side, which was to be giving.”

Ono encourages other people to stage her pieces. As the film scholar Scott MacDonald writes of her Unfinished Film scripts: “For Ono, the concept of a film is, essentially, the film; once the concept exists, anyone who wants to can produce a version of that concept.” This is one of the aspects of her ’60s work that feel strikingly contemporary — in line with how we think of crowdsourced creativity in the YouTube era. Ono eventually helped Lennon translate this kind of openness into his post-Beatles identity too. Think of that famous motto: “You are the Plastic Ono Band.”

Yoko and John met when he swung by a preview of her show at London’s Indica Gallery in November 1966. He took a bite out of the apple she’d staged like a Duchamp readymade — at last, she’d found her Eve. After connecting with Lennon, it was easy for other artists to dismiss her as a sellout or a gold digger, but really Lennon completed her vision, gave her the populist audience she’d long desired. Ono’s art came alive when it broke out beyond the avant-garde, because her mission was to awaken the artist in everybody — not just those who were cool enough to know about the latest goings-on in that Chambers Street loft. “She came to think that the loss of the 4/4 beat by the art-music composers had set them up at the top of a building,” writes her biographer Barb Jungr in Woman: The Incredible Life of Yoko Ono. “Whereas for her the beat gave back the heart to the music, brought it down into the ground of human experience.” Maybe rock and roll was the birdsong she’d been chasing all along."



"The 2014 Grammys were the night I began to wonder whether millennials would be the ones to finally reject the Yoko Myth. Ono, then 81, strutted out in a jaunty top hat, presented the Album of the Year award to Daft Punk, and danced gleefully to “Get Lucky” from her seat. The internet approved, loudly. My Twitter feed was full of people freaking out about #Yoko; the Huffington Post declared, “Sorry Taylor, Yoko Ono’s the Grammys’ Real Dancing Queen.” Here, at last, she seemed liberated from the hate and punch lines that had plagued her entire public life. Look not at John Lennon; look only at Yoko Ono. It felt triumphant, but I also found myself wondering an inconvenient question: Is Ono’s art less subversive when we’re living in a world that loves her?

The MoMA show prompts that question, too: There is something a little dispiriting about an artist who once staged a protest against the museum being warmly welcomed within its ranks. (And it’s easy to be cynical about that embrace, given the institution’s celebrity-chasing — see the Björk debacle.) But whatever its reason, the show arrives at a moment that is, for once, in step with Ono’s vision. Her meditative instruction pieces feel perfectly aligned with our mania for so-called mindfulness. Her work is being lauded by people correcting a history of female erasure — looking anew at the Doris Days instead of the Rock Hudsons. Many of Grapefruit’s pieces have a sub-140-character brevity. They feel, now, like the 1960s version of a tweet.

“Last year,” Ono wrote in 1968, “I said I’d like to make a ‘smile film,’ which included a smiling face snap of every single human being in the world. But that had obvious technical difficulties and was very likely that the plan would have remained as one of my beautiful never-nevers.” Back then, the idea sounded like a whimsical lark; today, in the age of the selfie, it sounds almost banal in its achievability. Maybe she’s not a radical — or a martyr — anymore. Maybe we’re just beginning to inhabit the world that Yoko Ono always imagined."
yokoono  lindsayzoladz  art  moma  2015  selfies  gender  subversion  internet  online  remixculture  remixing  everyday  yvesklein  democratization  fluxus  georgemaciunas  unfinished  incomplete  lisacarver  internetasliterature 
may 2015 by robertogreco
‘Not Nothing’ Tries to Capture the Artist Ray Johnson - NYTimes.com
"The Siglio book, edited by the poet Elizabeth Zuba, spans most of this history. The first entries, from the mid-1950s, are pure text, blocks of single-space typed prose. Gertrude Stein’s cut-and-paste approach to language is an obvious influence, jazzed up by Johnson’s penchant, verging on compulsion, for associative wordplay and puns.

Even when his work was text-intensive, though, he had an eye alert to shaping it visually. In a second 1950s piece composed of lists of isolated phrases — “Virginia gets tomahawk,” “regards têtes” — he slanted the lists diagonally across the page and turned half the phrases upside down, a graphic that could have been realized only by a radical reimagining of what a typewriter could do.

Johnson had his art heroes — Joseph Cornell, Kurt Schwitters, Allan Kaprow, the Fluxus founder George Maciunas — whom he acknowledged in his correspondence work, placing their names alongside those of pop stars, art world potentates and personal friends. Name-dropping, if that’s what this was, is a recurrent feature of Johnson’s art, but it’s different than Warhol’s celebrity chasing.

Like Warhol, Johnson had an appetite for glamour and the politics of who-knows-who. But he was impatient with hierarchy. Warhol was a worshiper, Johnson a collector, a cataloger. In his work the same plane of importance is occupied by Marcel Duchamp, Anita O’Day and Toby Spiselman, a Long Island friend. It’s hard to imagine Warhol heading up an Anna May Wong fan club, but Johnson did. There’s a sense that for him all names are equivalent in value, are all collage elements, all “nothings,” or rather somethings, equally useful and even soothing in their sameness.

This is not to say that Johnson’s correspondences are embracing and warm. “Every letter I write is not a love letter,” he once wrote, and he wasn’t kidding. Wary distance was Johnson’s default position. When writing to people he didn’t know — Jacques Derrida, say — he could sound jumpy and twisty or haughty. Even in letters to close friends, like the historian William S. Wilson, his most astute biographer, Johnson tended to dance around difficult, intimate subjects.

He would almost certainly have leveled a cool stare at the 21st-century interest — amounting to a faith — in collectivity, collaboration and social practice as utopian models. Mail art, on the surface, looked democratic, nonelitist, even populist; theoretically, anyone could join in. Yet Johnson’s reports from New York Correspondence School meetings speak of members who were summarily banished from the roster for some infraction or other. Johnson himself, in what feels like a punitive spirit, dropped people from his mailing list. Was such policing meant to be tongue-in-cheek, mocking how the real world operated? Impossible to say. Johnson wore ambiguity like a shield.

Occasionally, though, we see him let down his guard, as in a 1975 letter: “I just can’t take it. Overload. My history is too much for me. By the way, the big emotional event of the year is the departure of Richard Lippold with a young Italian.”

For all the zany exuberance surrounding Johnson’s role as mail-art webmaster, there’s a lot of darkness in the book. Death is a running theme, in Johnson’s tight-lipped bulletins on the demise of artists (Albers, Eva Hesse) and weirdly repeated mentions of dead cats. He describes, with gusto, crushing insects in his apartment, and recounts, with bizarre hilarity, the killing of a rooster he witnessed at a boozy art party. His attitude in the telling is beyond irreverence, close to delight.

But was it really? Any conclusions drawn about Johnson’s psychology from his writing must be provisional. He was a master at covering his tracks. Even friends like Mr. Wilson, a frequent presence in his correspondence, felt they barely knew him. He might as well have been the E. T. that he sometimes looked like. We read the correspondences of artists and writers in search of some truth beyond what they give us in their work. But the only sure truth about Johnson is the work: pioneering, stimulating, witty, angry, exasperating and like no other. If there’s a lot we can’t know, that’s O.K. Mystery is part of his beauty and his lastingness."

[See also: https://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/b:31e2f33614a6
http://kaleidoscope-press.com/2014/06/readray-johnsons-bookspublished-by-siglio-press/
http://sigliopress.com/book/not-nothing/
http://sigliopress.com/book/the-paper-snake/ ]
rayjohnson  collection  catalogs  lists  namedropping  hollandcotter  104  elizabethzuba  blackmountaincollege  bmc  mailart  art  overload  nothings  happenings  concretepoetry  poetry  writing  letters  fluxus  georgemaciunas  allankaprow  josephcornell  kurtschwitters  hierarchy  horizontality  death  irreverence  newyorkcorrespndenceschool  collectivity  collaboration  socialpracticeart  collectivism  ambiguity  2014  books 
august 2014 by robertogreco
George Maciunas (ed.): Flux Year Box 2 (1965-68) — Monoskop Log
"Flux Year Box 2, a signature Fluxus production, is a boxed anthology of works that was edited and assembled by Fluxus “chairman” George Maciunas beginning in about 1965. Like all Fluxus editions, the contents of each box varies depending on what Maciunas had available at the time.

“With this project, the assembled works nestle inside a partitioned wooden box designed by Maciunas and printed with a matrix of mismatched fonts on its hinged cover. In his request for ideas, Maciunas indicates the edition will be “limited to book events only, i.e. events that are enacted by the reader automatically as he inspects the book or box.” Scores for performances requiring additional props or instruments—for example, Albert M. Fine’s Fluxus Piece for G.M.—do not factor among this criteria. Rather, immediate sensation and contained experience are accentuated. A sort of tool kit or supply chest, Flux Year Box 2 contains materials for actions, such as corresponding using Ben Vautier’s The Postman’s Choice postcard, medicating oneself with capsules from Shigeko Kubota’s Flux Medicine, or burning down all libraries and museums using Ben Vautier’s Total Art Match-Box. In addition, during this period Maciunas produced film programs called Fluxfilms, and incorporated this audiovisual dimension into Flux Year Box 2, including numerous short loops and a hand-crank viewer with which to watch them.”"
fluxus  flux  georgemaciunas  art  objects  mailart  events  situationist  1965  1968  benvautier  shigekokubota  fluxfilms 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Jonas Mekas
[via: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/12/this-90-year-old-lithuanian-filmmaker-has-the-best-website/282171/

"Everyone agrees: there is so much crap on the Internet.

There's smarm. There's snark. There's faux outrage. And faux outrage about faux outrage. And so on.

But there is also filmmaker Jonas Mekas.

Born on Christmas Eve, 1922 in a village in Lithuania, Mekas had a typically awful experience of World War II in Europe, before eventually making his way to New York City. He became part of the art and film scenes of the 1950s and 1960s, most notably in the Fluxus movement with people like Yoko Ono. He co-founded the Anthology Film Archives, and made many films (some of which I've been lucky enough to see).

Now, as Mekas steams towards his 91st birthday, I found my way, via a sidelong reference in the New York Times, to his website, JonasMekas.com.

And it is a delight. From the introductory video, in which Mekas welcomes his friends to the site and plays the bugle, to the videos of Alan Ginsberg or Mekas playing with his first Sony Camcorder, the site exudes the joy of creation.

The mystery and beauty of (just) being form the spine of Mekas' work. This website is like what would happen if you'd given Pablo Neruda a digital video recorder and some HTML skills during his Odas period.

In a video from Thursday, perhaps the greatest video selfie ever made, he presents us with out-of-focus, shaky video of a bowl of apples, riffing about their importance, a hierarchy of ontology, the evils of scientific improvement, and the apples he ate as a child in Lithuania. Then he turns the camera, says, "My friends," and laughs like this: ha ha ha. "I dream about those apples. But I love this apples, too. They're not destroying us. It's we who are destroying them," he says. The camera lingers on his aged face.

He looks as if he might begin speaking again, saying softly, "My friends." Then he plunges the camera down towards the apples in a Wayne's-World-style extreme closeup.

Fin.

Mekas is a voice from another time who has embraced the tools of the present moment. The random, decontextualized Internet is a perfect place to meet and enjoy Mekas' work. His style—direct, non-linear, narrated—exists everywhere on YouTube and Vimeo now.

But the spirit that informs his work is not so easy to find. Maybe it exists in the work of a poet like Steve Roggenbuck or Robin Sloan's media thingy Fish with its exhortation, "Look at your fish!" and its question, "What does it mean to love something on the Internet today?"

It's rare, though, to find a person who wants you to look at beautiful things because they are beautiful.

Looking at Mekas' work, the temptation might be to say: this work lacks coherence. It's not that easy to say what he's trying to do or "say" or create. But he offers us what I'd think of as a viewing guide to his work in this excerpt from his 2000 film, "As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty." (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhmZ7C-oXDY)"

Mekas says:
I have never been able, really, to figure out where my life begins and where it ends. I have never, never been able to figure it all out, what it's all about, what it all means. So when I began now to put all these rolls of film together, to string them together, the first idea was to keep them chronological. But then I gave up and I just began splicing them together by chance the way that I found them on the shelf.

Because I really don't know where any piece of my life really belongs, so let it be. Let it go. Just by pure chance, disorder.

There is some current, some kind of order in it, order of its own, which I do not really understand same as I never understood life around me.

The real life, as they say. Or the real people. I never understood them. I still do not understand them. And I do not really want to understand them.
Let it go. I do not really want to understand them.

It reminds me of what the poet John Keats said Shakespeare's great quality was: "when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason."

Keats called this, "negative capability."]

[See also his Vimeo account:
https://vimeo.com/jonasmekas/videos

Wikipedia entry:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonas_Mekas

Poetry:
http://members.efn.org/~valdas/mekas.html

"At Home with Jonas Mekas"
https://vimeo.com/55519339
http://www.frieze.com/issue/article/questionnaire-jonas-mekas/

"Jonas Mekas : In Praise of the Ordinary"
https://vimeo.com/77245018

"Jonas Mekas, 28 minute biography from The Lower East Side Biography Project"
(Great rant starting around 9:30, and remembering George Maciunas of Fluxus) about artists, creatives, ideas, designers, workers, retirement)
https://vimeo.com/78459128

"Jonas Mekas, Walden, 1969 (excerpt)"
https://vimeo.com/2601707

""A Happy Man" by Jonas Mekas" (NOWNESS)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGUt_4F2SRM
http://www.nowness.com/day/2012/12/5

"MOCAtv Presents 'In Focus' - Jonas Mekas - The Artist's Studio"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtIQCxypAFM ]
jonasmekas  filmmakers  film  internet  beauty  everyday  art  life  living  web  steveroggenbuck  robinsloan  poetry  2013  alexismadrigaljohnkets  shakespear  uncertainty  doubt  fact  reason  wonder  mystery  negativecapability  retirement  workers  fluxus  georgemaciunas  creatives  creativity  artists  designers  design  ideas  work  labor  artleisure  leisurearts  artlabor 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Manifesto on Art – Fluxus Art Amusement – George Maciunas, 1965. | Lebenskünstler
"ART
To justify artist’s professional, parasitic and elite status in society,
he must demonstrate artist’s indispensability and exclusiveness,
he must demonstrate the dependability of audience upon him,
he must demonstrate that no one but the artist can do art.

Therefore, art must appear to be complex, pretentious, profound,
serious, intellectual, inspired, skillful, significant, theatrical,
It must appear to be caluable as commodity so as to provide the
artist with an income.

To raise its value (artist’s income and patrons profit), art is made
to appear rare, limited in quantity and therefore obtainable and
accessible only to the social elite and institutions.

 

FLUXUS ART-AMUSEMENT
To establish artist’s nonprofessional status in society,
he must demonstrate artist’s dispensability and inclusiveness,
he must demonstrate the selfsufficiency of the audience,
he must demonstrate that anything can be art and anyone can do it.

Therefore, art-amusement must be simple, amusing, upretentious,

concerned with insignificances, require no skill or countless
rehersals, have no commodity or institutional value.
The value of art-amusement must be lowered by making it unlimited,
massproduced, obtainable by all and eventually produced by all.

Fluxus art-amusement is the rear-guard without any pretention
or urge to participate in the competition of “one-upmanship” with
the avant-garde. It strives for the monostructural and nontheatrical
qualities of simple natural event, a game or a gag. It is the fusion
of Spikes Jones Vaudeville, gag, children’s games and Duchamp."
1965  art  leisurearts  randallszott  georgemaciunas  dispensibility  society  artwork  work  labor  demystification  fluxus  manifestos  artamusement  amateurs  everyday  artleisure 
march 2013 by robertogreco

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