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John M. Bennett John M. Bennett has been (and continues to be) a prolific author and publisher of avant garde poetry and experimental writing. He is an active and inspirational member of the contemporary Fluxus community, and along with his wife, Cathy Mehrle Bennett, is also an active participant in the international network of mail artists.

Since 1974, Luna Bisonte Prods has published a wide variety of experimental, avant-garde, audio, and visual literature in a wide variety of formats by artists from all over the world. Among the authors and artists published are such major and emerging figures as Ivan Argüelles, Sheila E. Murphy, Jim Leftwich, Andrew Topel, Carlos M. Luis, Scott Helmes, Jake Berry, John M. Bennett, Susan Smith Nash, Al Ackerman, Bob Heman, Richard Kostelanetz, Charles Henri Ford, Dick Higgins, Robin Crozier, Peter Ganick, and many others.

LBP books are collected in major libraries and institutions, including The Museum of Modern Art, The Sackner Archive, Princeton University, SUNY Buffalo, The University of Wisconsin, Brown University, New York Public Library, Washington University, Ohio University, The Ohio State University, and many others.

Luna Bisonte books are available at Lulu.com

VIto Acconci, performance and video artist, who was hugely influential in the New York art world, and in the world at large, died on Thursday, April 28th in NYC.

Like many in my generation, I first became aware of his work in the early 70s through his piece, "Seedbed", in which he built a ramp in a Manhattan art gallery, and lay hidden underneath it - masturbating while visitors walked above him. I fell in love with the idea of pushing art to new limits, and the feeling of artistic freedom and liberation from the constraints of the canvas.

Seedbed by Vito Acconci

Obituary

Italian artist, Fulgo Silvi, features small artworks submitted from around the world, on his beard. That's right. His beard is an art gallery!

You too can be featured on Fulgor Silvi's beard! The most exclusive small gallery anywhere!

Beard Gallery Poster

Send 5 pieces, each one 5cm x 5cm to:

Fulgor Silvi
Via Pagino 1
61040 Frontone (PU)
ITALY

What characteristics of an artwork serve to identify a piece as belonging to, or related to, Fluxus?

Historically many artists working in different media have related their work to Fluxus. Some of these artists belonged to a group surrounding the Lithuanian-American artist, George Maciunas, and the American artist, Dick Higgins. After the death of Maciunas, Higgins continued to promote Fluxus, eventually attracting a new generation of artists to the (non) movement, through the co-founding of an Internet mailing list—the Fluxlist. This new group of artists has continued the artistic practice of the first generation, while working towards maintaining the relevance of all generations, into the 21st century.

So what is Fluxus, and how can you know it when you see it?

The Fluxus artistic philosophy can be defined as a synthesis of four key factors that define the majority of work:

  1. Fluxus is an attitude. It is not a movement or a style.
  2. Fluxus is Intermedia. Fluxus creators like to see what happens when different media intersect. They use found and everyday objects, sounds, images, and texts to create new combinations of objects, sounds, images, and texts.
  3. Fluxus works are simple. The art is small, the texts are short, and the performances are brief.
  4. Fluxus is (usually) fun. Humor has always been an important element in Fluxus.

Fluxus artwork almost always exists in one (or more) of these three forms:

  1. Event scores
  2. Fluxkits/Fluxboxes
  3. Intermedia

Event Scores:

Event scores are similar to short musical scores or theatrical setting descriptions. Some are designed to be performed, and some are written to be read and imagined without ever actually being performed. Of those that are written to be performed, some may be designed to be performed only once and recorded (through written, photo, or video) documentation, while others are written so that they can be performed repeatedly. Associated artists who have made extensive use of event scores in their work include Yoko Ono and George Brecht. The musical compositions of John Cage and the "Happenings" of Allan Kaprow are also closely related to Fluxus event scores.

Fluxkits:

Fluxkits, also sometimes call Fluxboxes, are smallish (usually no larger than a shoe box or briefcase) objects, that are collections of other objects that hold meaning to the artist, and can be interacted with by the audience. Fluxkits have been produced as multiples in editions, and as unique, one-of-a-kind objects. Interactivity can consist of examination of the contents, rearrangement of the objects, or games in which the rules often resemble event scores. Artists who have received attention in the art-oriented mass media for their fluxkits and fluxboxes include George Maciunas (who coined the word "Fluxus"), Ay-O, and George Brecht. The first Fluxkits probably resulted from fresh interpretations of the work of dada artist, Marcel Duchamp, and have continued to influence present day Fluxus and mail artists.

Intermedia:

A third indicator of relatedness is the concept of "Intermedia". The important Fluxus artist, Dick Higgins, described Intermedia as a myriad of emerging genres that spilled across the boundaries of traditional media. In the intersections between the arts, mixed-media forms coalesced: Happenings, performance art, kinetic sculpture, and electronic theater (Higgins). Higgins suggests that Fluxus artists explore the territory that lies between art media and life media. The difficulty in using Intermedia as a determinant to identifying a particular artists or artwork as Fluxus is that it is not easy to identify what kind of objects exist in "the territory between art media and life media". However, performance art, video art, installation art, mail art, and time-based artworks are closely related even if not identified as such by either the artist or art critics.

It is safe to say that any work that closely resembles an Event Score or a Fluxkit/Fluxbox, is either Fluxus, or is closely related. It can also be argued that the combination of artistic intent (the artist states that the work is "Fluxus") with an intermedia presentation, is Fluxus.

And while I am aware of artists that believe that their work is Fluxus because they say it is, that claim, without other evidence, should be considered spurious.

Poster made by Allen Bukoff of Fluxus Midwest, after Fluxfest Chicago 2016. Allen has generously made downloadable and printable copies available on his website at,
fluxfest.org/somefluxus/SOMEFLUXUSPOSTER30x35.jpg or
fluxfest.org/somefluxus/SOMEFLUXUSPOSTERtabloid.jpg

I decided it was time to make some of my smaller scale art works available for sale on the arts & crafts web marketplace, Etsy.com

I have drawings and paintings there, all of which stay pretty true to my Fluxus sensibilities. Check 'em out. Buy something! The prices are pretty darn low for original artwork from a famous artist like me.

My store is called (what else?) RED CIRCLE FLUXUS

go to the store now @ https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/RedCircleFluxus

Our favorite contemporary German Fluxus artists, Kommissar Hjuler and Mama Bär have done it again. They've just released LP Album number 299 in their Psych.KG series. Number 299 is especially special to me, because I'm included on it!

http://www.discogs.com/Various-FLUXUS/release/7880021

Fluxus Album Art cover2Hjuler Image Festival (Google Result)

Photo of Kommissar Hjuler and Mama Bear
Kommissar Hjuler and Mama Bear

Charlotte Moorman Performance
Charlotte Moorman Performance

Some Fluxus artists picketed the festival in 1964, others performed in it—a number did both.

Lecture Demonstration: Dear George...Love, Charlotte: Fluxus in the Annual Avant Garde Festivals Wednesday, February 10, 6:00pm Block Museum

"Dear George… Love Charlotte" will illuminate parts of a social and aesthetic network that connected Charlotte Moorman and the Annual Avant Garde Festivals to Fluxus, despite the protestations of Fluxus’ major-domo, George Maciunas. Originating Fluxus artists such as Alison Knowles, Dick Higgins and Jackson Mac Low were regular participants; Yoko Ono, Emmett Williams and George Brecht were represented in performance. Some Fluxus artists picketed the festival in 1964, others performed in it—a number did both. This international Fluxus family argued, celebrated, and created together or through the mail. Incorporating readings and events, Simon Anderson—Associate Professor of Art History, Theory and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Fluxus historian—will discuss their antics and perform some of their work, revealing a few of the elements that divided and conjoined these artists during this transformational period.

Block Museum of Art, Mary and Leigh
40 Arts Circle Drive
Evanston, IL 60208 map it

http://planitpurple.northwestern.edu/event/487568

Jackson Mac Low (September 12, 1922 – December 8, 2004), an early affiliate of the original group of Fluxus artists that surrounded George Maciunas, held distinction as being the first "poet of Fluxus". While many Fluxus artists incorporated (and incorporate) text and visual poetry into the work, Mac Low was the first whose primary creative output was based in poetics. He was one of the key progenitors of mid-century chance operations for artistic creation output.

In a 2014 exhibition at MoMA Mac Low was featured in The Poetry of Silence: Jackson Mac Low’s Drawing-Asymmetry

Jackson Mac Low. Drawing-Asymmetry #5. 1961. Ink and colored ink on paper, 8 9/16 x 11 7/8″ (21.7 x 30.2 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection Gift, 2008. © 2014 The Estate of Jackson Mac Low
Jackson Mac Low. Drawing-Asymmetry #5. 1961. Ink and colored ink on paper, 8 9/16 x 11 7/8″ (21.7 x 30.2 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection Gift, 2008. © 2014 The Estate of Jackson Mac Low

In an excerpt from the exhibition text, Jordan Carter writes,

In 1960, one year prior to beginning the Drawing-Asymmetry series, Jackson Mac Low collaborated with John Cage and Judith Malina to direct a chance-based theater piece for The Living Theatre. The play, A Marrying Maiden, was comprised of text sourced randomly from an existing classic. Mac Low added to the dynamism of the spectacle by distributing an “action pack” of 1,400 instruction cards among the performers. Like with the Drawing-Asymmetry series, the lines and commands that structured A Marrying Maiden deconstruct and reconstruct language, employing alternative syntaxes that are equally surprising for the director, performers, and listeners. In the early 1960s, Mac Low’s poems and theater pieces were performed at Malina’s the Living Theatre, Yoko Ono’s Chamber Street Loft, and Fluxus founder George Maciunas’s AG Gallery.

Mac Low lamented, however, that Maciunas never adequately integrated poetry into the scheme of the Fluxus oeuvre...

The complete article by Jordan Carter is available on the MoMa website here.

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