“Projecting off the page into the world”: Dick Higgins publishes Ray Johnson

Affinities, Ray Johnson

June 30th, 2014

An update from Siglio publisher, Lisa Pearson, May 30, 2015:

Though we secured copyright permission from the Estate of Dick Higgins to republish Dick Higgins’s fantastic essay “The Hatching of The Paper Snake” on the occasion of our reprinting The Paper Snake by Ray Johnson, the editor of Lightworks magazine has vociferously requested that we take it down. We’re honoring that request not because we’re legally required to (since no evidence has been provided that anybody besides the Estate of Dick Higgins owns the copyright), but because we really have other work to accomplish and little time to devote to a dispute like this. It’s unfortunate that you’re not able to read the essay here which digs into the process of making The Paper Snake and illuminates Higgins’s particular genius in publishing it, but if you want to track down a copy of Lightworks #22 (which is truly an invaluable resource on Ray Johnson), good luck.


The original post:

On the occasion of Siglio’s reprint of The Paper Snake by Ray Johnson and the publication of Not Nothing: Selected Writings by Ray Johnson, 1954-1994, we have launched a series of blog posts (Ray Johnson: Affinities) that not only explore Ray Johnson and his work, his relationship with Dick Higgins and Something Else Press (which originally published The Paper Snake in 1965) but are also simply inspired by Ray Johnson work. In this post, insights into The Paper Snake come in two forms: “The Hatching of the Paper Snake,” an essay written in May of 1995 and published in 2000, and an unpublished letter from Higgins to Johnson, written in November of 1964. Both detail the publication history of The Paper Snake while also illustrating the relationship between the two men.

—Patrick Disselhorst





“The Hatching of The Paper Snake” by Dick Higgins

Originally published in Lightworks 22: The Ray Johnson Issue (2000)

Republished here with permission from Hannah Higgins and the Dick Higgins Estate.

But now no longer available. Sorry.


The_Paper_Snake-p32Image from The Paper Snake by Ray Johnson


The_Paper_Snake-p10Image from The Paper Snake by Ray Johnson


The_Paper_Snake-p50Image from The Paper Snake by Ray Johnson



 Letter from Dick Higgins to Ray Johnson, November 17th, 1964


From the Ray Johnson Estate archives. All rights reserved.







All images copyright the Ray Johnson Estate, courtesy of Richard L. Feigen & Co.