The Fluxus artistic philosophy can be expressed as a synthesis of four key factors that define the majority of Fluxus work. The first of these points makes reference to the Fluxus Attitude.
Fluxus is an attitude. It is much more than an art history movement, or a style locked between a pair of dates.
Fluxus is intermedia. Fluxus creators like to to see what happens when different media intersect.
They use found & everyday objects, sounds, images, and texts to create new combinations of objects, sounds, images, and texts.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s artists were beginning to feel that western art was reaching a spiritual and philosophical dead end. Modern western art had exploded in the vibrancy of Abstract Expressionism in the late 1940s and through most of the 1950s. Then critics and artists became concerned with the concepts behind the art that artists of the time were making. Color Field painting and Minimalism were the mainstream manifestations of this conceptual shift. When combined with the machinations of the art market and its need for expensive commodity objects, art ended up being massive, meaningless, and expensive. What began as artists doing what artists have always done, creating art based on their ideas, ended up becoming a market-driven orgy of excess. Zen, Wabi Sabi, and the East-meets-West work of neo-missionaries like John Cage offered artists a way out. The Event Score happened to be one of the most direct ways for artists to hold on to their artistic integrity without abandoning the conceptual advances that art was making at the mid-century dawn of the postmodern era.
Event Scores have become one of the signature artworks that have come to define Fluxus. On the surface, Event Scores bear some similarities to the Happenings that were made famous by Allan Kaprow, but there are some important differences. Kaprow’s Happenings tended to be long and complicated affairs, sometimes taking entire days to complete. The typical Happening was also a tightly scripted affair. Event Scores are nearly always very brief, and the instructions often deliberately are meant to encourage the score’s performers to improvise and invent their own interpretations of the score. There is a certain irony to this difference given that the term “happening” has come to be associated with the freeform hippy-fests of the 1960s in popular culture, while the much more freeform Events never had the same impact on popular culture.