For The Manifesto Alone


How I am enjoying the revelation that is recognizing the influence Instant Coffee has had on Even More Legendary. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The first revelation – the impetus to post – was that Instant Coffee is more than its email list. Not to get too windy, but…I was reading about Micah Lexier’s multiples book I’m Thinking Of A Number on the Art Metropole site, and just below its listing was one for an Instant Coffee poster. As a longtime fancier of the seemingly arbitrary IC email subject lines (the only one still in my inbox serves just fine as an example: “peak everything!”), this made instant sense (no matter that the actual posters may not be, in fact, what I’d imagined in that instant).

Subsequent clicks revealed the secret life of IC as an artist collective. This also made instant sense, although I would not want to have to explain that to anyone. The Coffees make things and happenings, like Light Bar, pictured above, and Make Out Parties (and their documentation, Year of Love).

The Coffee spirit enjoyed by email subscribers across this fair land is evident in their manifesto, and forgive me for reproducing that entirely here, I know how you like your internet bite-sized, but then if you come here you would probably reject an apology for including the full manifesto. It’s only short anyhow.

With wavering clarity we understand that what we do is confined to the limitations of representation and we’re okay with that. As a product and service Instant Coffee is an effective substitute: It mimics the real thing without the pretense of being better. It isn’t that much easier to make, which is reason enough to justify it. Taste is a factor, taste being an important way to designate quality and define preference. But quality is too particular and preferences change. They are superfluous really, misnomers that distract from the basic reasons for ingesting either the real thing or its substitute. Value is in their effect. In its taste, Instant Coffee barely resembles the real thing, but its effect is the same. Regardless of taste, it still works. Quality is beside the point. In this disregard Instant Coffee becomes a medium to be used. This is Instant Coffee. : Instant Coffee : no better than you.

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