“I would like to declare why I feel that it’s now necessary to establish a new kind of art, able to show the problems of the whole society, of every living being – and how this new discipline – which I call social sculpture – can realize the future of humankind. It could be a guarantee for the evolution of the earth as a planet, establish conditions for other planetarians too, and you can control it with your own thinking… …Here my idea is to declare that art is the ‘only’ possibility for evolution, the only possibility to change the situation in the world. But then you have to enlarge the idea of art to include the whole creativity. And if you do that, it follows logically that every living being is an artist – an artist in the sense that he can develop his own capacity… … And therefore, in short, I’m saying, all work that’s done has to have the quality of art. We can see later about developing a proof for this by thinking about these problems. Here is a general structure to show what I mean by a social sculpture” (Beuys goes to the blackboard and points out symbols for archetypical elements, plants, animals, minerals, soul which he had drawn before the discussion started)

‘A public Dialogue’, in New York City, 1974 and quoted in “Energy Plan for the Western man – Joseph Beuys in America –”, ed. by Carin Kuoni, Four Walls Eight Windows, New York, 1993, pp. 25-27