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Category: Commentary

Defeating the Demons of Decoration

Defeating the Demons of Decoration

This would look perfect above our sofa! It might be true that most of the visual art being purchased, is bought purely for its utility as wall decoration. It may also be true that a majority of visual artists are content creating an oeuvre of pretty pictures. But good art, real art, serious art, transcends decoration. The best art is analogous to the best literature—it makes us think. It causes us to question. It induces wonderment. Artists attempting to create…

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Fluxus in 2016: Is it Relevant?

Fluxus in 2016: Is it Relevant?

Is Fluxus still relevant in 2016? Let me make it easy for you dear reader. The (short) answer to this question is an unequivocal, “YES!“ If you’re still reading, I’ll assume that you have some interest in knowing why Fluxus, a “movement” from the early 1960s remains relevant (and dare I say important?) in the early years of the twenty-first century. Let me answer this in three parts. What Fluxus was. What Fluxus is. Why Fluxus is still important. What…

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What is Fluxus? What is not?

What is Fluxus? What is not?

There have never been really solid lines demarking where Fluxus starts and stops. To my mind there are some things that are clearly Fluxus and others that are clearly not Fluxus, but there is a heck of a lot of grey in between. For example, I am not currently aware of any pure audio art (sound art without a background event score or visible performers) that was made or exhibited during the first Fluxus era. But I think that sound…

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Ralph Waldo Emerson and Fluxus?

Ralph Waldo Emerson and Fluxus?

I ask not for the great, the remote, the romantic … I embrace the common, I explore and sit at the feet of the familiar, the low. Give me insight into today, and you may have the antique and future worlds. The quote above is from Ralph Waldo Emerson, as found in Ken Friedman‘s essay, Fluxus: A Laboratory of Ideas, in the exhibition catalog for Fluxus and the Essential Questions of Life, currently on view at the Hood Museum of…

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Fluxus dead or alive (again)

Fluxus dead or alive (again)

The Fluxus dead or alive argument is simpler than many people on both sides make it out to be. Fluxus was a group of artists in the 60s and 70s. The group largely disbanded after Maciunas died. Ergo Fluxus is dead. BUT… That group of artists set an idea in motion. That idea (or attitude) is Fluxus. The Fluxus idea, attitude and way of being and artmaking is as relevant today as it was then. Ergo Fluxus lives. I can…

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What is Fluxus? What is not?

What is Fluxus? What is not?

There have never been really solid lines demarking where Fluxus starts and stops. To my mind there are some things that are clearly Fluxus and others that are clearly not Fluxus, but there is a heck of a lot of grey in between. For example, I am not currently aware of any pure audio art (sound art without a background event score or visible performers) that was made or exhibited during the first Fluxus era. But I think that sound…

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Fluxus has a new manifesto: What changes?

Fluxus has a new manifesto: What changes?

Fluxus has a new manifesto, (FLUXUS MANIFESTO FOR THE 21st CENTURY). What does this change? The New Manifesto Changes nothing: George Maciuanas, Dick Higgins, and Ken Friedman did a very good job of defining Fluxus and describing what it is. Fluxus does not need anybody to do redo the excellent work already done in this regard. The Four Principles that I enumerated much later are NOT a new definition. I wrote them as a response to a need that I…

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Who is a Fluxus Artist?

Who is a Fluxus Artist?

Fluxfest New York 2011 is coming soon to New York City. April 11 through April 17, 2011. Some venues have been secured, some are being negotiated, and one appears to have backed out. It’s hard for me to understand why a venue that has a strong history of supporting Fluxus would withdraw support from a Fluxfest, but from what I understand, this particular space was more comfortable hosting reproductions of old historical Fluxs works than in supporting the work of…

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The Fluxus Community Today ©-Cecil Touchon

The Fluxus Community Today ©-Cecil Touchon

Fluxus, since many people still have never even heard of it, continues to have the ability to surprise. But the advantage is, most people have been influenced by the ideas or have experienced Fluxus even though they don’t realize it. There is more subconscious precedent in the back of people’s minds today than there used to be in the past which provides resonance and people have the ability to connect with it even if they are not sure why. So…

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