Beuys Don’t Cry: From Social Sculptures to Social Media

Alexander Von Lunen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper looks at the art and philosophy of German fluxus artist Joseph Beuys (1921–1986) and relates this to current debates in the Digital Arts and Humanities. Beuys coined a number of grassroots concepts, such as the 'social sculpture.' With this he referred to (a) the potential of art to transform society, (b) art as a social product, i.e., sculptures in which the onlookers are part of the artwork, and (c) the potential of every person to be an artist. His often misconstrued punchline of 'everyone is an artist' is an extension of Marcel Duchamps' 'Ready Made' art, in which anything can be art; i.e., what Beuys proposed was rather that 'anyone can be an artist.' This chapter looks at the similarities between Beuys' work and Social Media and Digital Humanities, in how far his concept of the 'Social Sculpture' can inform the two.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Digital Arts and Humanities
Subtitle of host publicationNeogeography, Social Media and Big Data Integrations and Applications
EditorsCharles Travis, Alexander Von Lünen
PublisherSpringer, Cham
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9783319409535
ISBN (Print)9783319409511, 9783319822259
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2016

Publication series

NameSpringer Geography
PublisherSpringer Cham
ISSN (Print)2194-315X
ISSN (Electronic)2194-3168


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