Maybe you think Fluxus still lives and you would like to textualise its progress and historical relevance - should you be obliged to read everything written and also look at each and every one of Peter Moore's 350,000 photographs?
~ Larry Miller
...there are some points in common among most Fluxworks:
1 internationalism, 2 experimentalism and iconoclasm, 3 intermedia, 4 minimalism or concentration, 5 an attempted resolution of the art/life dichotomy, 6 implicativeness, 7 play or gags, 8 ephemerality, and 9 specificity.
Every so often there is a new upsurge of interest in Fluxus. At such times those who were not in the original Fluxus group will present themselves as Fluxartists. The best way of verifying their claims is, of course, to match them against the criteria. The more criteria they match, the more right they have to be included as Fluxartists in projects.
~ Dick Higgins
Free Digital Edition of the Fluxus Reader, edited by Ken Friedman
Or, What I Learned That Fluxus Was/Is/Isn't/Might be/Should be/Could be
We could start with Dada. Some people have called Fluxus "neodada". Some have called contemporary Fluxus neodada. Those people are wrong. So we won't start with Dada.
Let's start instead with John Cage. John Cage was not a Fluxus artist, and he had nothing directly to do with the founding of Fluxus. But he had one really cool idea that made Fluxus (and most art of every kind after his idea) possible. Cage realized that music (he was a composer) was all just sound waves in air. It wasn't flutes, or pianos, or violins, or treble clefs and bass clefs, or 4/4 time or 3/4 time. It was just waves moving through the atmosphere at frequencies audible to the human ear. Most music was composed so that the composer or musician's organization of the sound waves would bring pleasure to most of the composer/musician's cultural contemporaries. But it didn't have to. A composer, or musician, or artist could organize sound waves in whatever way they wanted, and they could use whatever tools they wanted to, to organize those sound waves. It wasn't a great leap from there to the idea that visual art was subject to the same thinking. All visual art consisted of marks and forms, organized on surfaces or in space, and any artist could choose how to organize their marks and forms, and what tools to use to do so.
In the early 1960s a group of artists, led mostly by George Maciunas and Dick Higgins coalesced around the idea of Intermedia. The idea that art created in the spaces in which different media intersect would be more interesting than art confined to any single medium. George organized the first ever Fluxus Festival in Wiesbaden, Germany in 1962. For more than a decade after that ,the core group of artists were bound together by a relatively held-in-common artistic vision. The first manifesto was published by Maciunas, and subsequent manifestos of varying degrees of influence were published subsequently. The salient point is that, at least until the death of Maciunas in 1978, the IDEA of Fluxus and the PEOPLE of Fluxus were one and the same.
Then things get complicated...
As long as the idea and the people were one and the same, nobody had to think much about what would happen to the idea, once the people moved on to other things, places, or states-of-being. But Fluxus turned out to be a pretty darned good idea, and it was an especially good idea for artists that were either interested in working in intermedia, and artists who were not particularly interested in participating in the machinations of the Art World and its hyperactive commercialism, power politics, and money games.
Inevitably, a new cohort of artists emerged who had either loose affiliations, or no affiliation with the original group of Fluxus artists, but were deeply committed to the Fluxus ideas and ideals. Many of these artists consider their association to the Fluxus ideas to be deep enough to refer to themselves as "Fluxus artists". These artists often point to statements by the original Fluxus artists, that make it very clear that they never considered Fluxus to be an art movement in the traditional art-historical sense, or as a "closed group" of artists whose participation in Fluxus required consent. In the words of Fluxus artist and historian, Ken Friedman,
"Dick [Higgins] explicitly rejected a notion that limited Fluxus to a specific group of people who came together at a specific time and place. Dick wrote, “Fluxus is not a moment in history, or an art movement. Fluxus is a way of doing things, a tradition, and a way of life and death.” " http://www.iade.pt/designist/issues/001_07.html
Sadly, with the passage of time, it seems that some of the early Fluxus artists, perhaps feeling insecure about their own art-historical legacies, have taken to rewriting history: Doing so in a way that is simultaneously more favourable to the seriously moneyed art collector class, and to their perceived legacies. Seems, it turns out, that being part of an important art history movement pays higher dividends, than being an artist in the dwindling dusk of a lifetime, with nothing of consequence to show besides those spring days. In turn, this has led to a rather pathetic withdraw of support for the very artists most interested in preserving and honoring the legacy and work of the founding group of Fluxus artists.
Personally, I believe that the work and ideas of the leading Fluxus artists of the 1960s will easily withstand the tests of time. The artists who were footnotes then, will still be footnotes later. I also believe that the best way to be more than a footnote, would be for the surviving early Fluxus artists to embrace and participate in the new Fluxfests with the current generation of Fluxus artists. And those of us in that current generation, what of our artistic legacy? Most of us are too busy creating interesting, new, Fluxus artworks to worry about it!
PS: A HUGE shoutout to Yoko Ono is due here. Not only was she one of the most interesting and influential original Fluxus artists but she continues to support Fluxus Art and artists past, present, and future.
THE CAVELLINI FESTIVAL IN NYC 3 day celebration of Guglielmo Achille Cavellini Nov. 14 to 16 to celebrate GAC's centennial 1914-2014 Friday night November 14 530 pm to 730 pm Reception at Museum of Modern Art library to see their mailings received from Cavellini and to celebrate him and to look at their current mail art historical show called "Analog Network." Museum of Modern Art, Cullman Education Building, 4 W 54 St., New York. Saturday November 15 10 am Meet and go to the various museums around town and unfurl a Cavellini 1914-2014 banner for the purposes of self-historification. Meet at Guggenheim Museum at 10 am. 12 to 2 pm Richard L. Feigen & Co. viewing of "Ray Johnson's Art World" exhibition with their archivist, Diana Bowers. 34 E 69th St, New York, NY. 3 to 5pm Lynch Tham, a gallery on the Lower East Side presents a centennial exhibition of works of Cavellini from his estate and some performances. 175 Rivington Street, New York, NY. 6-10 pm Whitebox Art Center Lower East Side for a mail art show in honor of GAC. Opening, performances and poetry readings. 329 Broome Street, New York, NY. Whitebox and Lynch Tham Performance Lineup: Performances by: Mark Bloch | Britta Wheeler as Belinda Powell | William Evertson from Easthampton, Connecticut Giovanni and Renatta Strada from Ravenna, Italy | Pasha Radetzki from the Republic of Belarus Poetry by Valery Oisteanu | Steve Dalachinsky | Yuko Otomo | Ron Kolm | Bonny Finberg Jeffrey Cyphers Wright | Allan Graubard Music by Antonello Parisi (piano rhodes) with Michael Gam (bass) and Julieta Eugenio (tenor sax) Video by Richard Kostelanetz | Galeazzo Nardini and the Italian Museum | Jennifer Weigel Guglielmo Achille Cavellini and others Sunday November 16 9:30 am New York Correspondence Brunch Meeting in honor of Cavellini and Ray Johnson and also Buster Cleveland, John Evans, Dick Higgins, David Cole, Fernand Barbot, Carlo Pittore and other late New York mail artists at Katz's Deli. 205 E. Houston St, New York, NY. 3 day celebration of Cavellini Nov. 14 to 16 to celebrate GAC 1914-2014. Organized by Mark Bloch
FEB 21 -24
Feb 21 - Thurs evening
Mail Art Exhibit
School of the Art Institute Library
Feb 22 -Friday
Performances @ The Defibulator
Feb 23 Saturday
Chicago Cultural Center
Michigan Ave between Washington & Randolph St
Mail Art 0- Film Fest
6PM Dinner at The Berghoff
Feb 24 Sunday
6018 N Kenmore
Mail Art Exhibit and Final Get together
Start making your plans for the works you want to perform
notify your friends and family and enemies
FLUXFEST CHICAGO IS HAPPENING!!!
ReSite is an assembling publication where pages have an element of audience participation or interaction. ReSite is part of the tradition of Fluxus editions where anyone can perform a Fluxus action or score. In addition to this performance-based approach, ReSite taps into the rich tradition of the avant-garde with contributions of manifestos and documentation of art actions.
Send 40 copies size 21cm x14.8cm (A5). Please leave 2cms on the left hand side for binding. Works can be double sided and can be more than one page. Copies should be flat and landscape format. Pages will be wire-bound. ReSite is an on going project. Each issue holds 20 contributions. Copy sent to all.
Send to: Field Study, P0 Box 1838 Geelong, VIC 3220 Australia
Museum of Contemporary
|Ay-O, "My 192 Friends," 2011.|
|Ay-O: Over the Rainbow Once More
Discover the vibrant world of Ay-O through this retrospective of his work, covering his entire career, from his early works to the present day.
Born in Ibaraki Prefecture in 1931, Ay-O, together with Masuo Ikeda and others, was active in the Demokrato Artists Association during the fifties, attracting notice for his brightly-colored oil paintings. In 1958 he moved to New York, where he used tangible objects to try to create dialogues with the world that can be perceived through the senses, resulting in his 'finger boxes', in which a finger is inserted into a hole in the side of a box to feel the material hidden inside, installation works that incorporate their surrounding environment, etc., going beyond the confines of the painting to produce works that appeal to the five senses. During the sixties, when everyday things or actions were translated into art, Ay-O received attention for his pioneering installations that he called 'environments'. As a member of the Fluxus movement, which went beyond the narrow divisions of genre to include musicians, poets and artists, its activities extending to performances and printed works to establish the foundations of today's diversity of art, he worked with such people as Yoko Ono and Nam June Paik. Finally, he rebelled against the concept of creating works consisting of lines, instead filling his motifs with the colors of the spectrum, from red to purple, giving birth to his 'rainbow' works, becoming famous throughout the world as the 'rainbow artist' subsequent to his exhibition at the 1966 Venice Biennale. Ay-O's struggle with the rainbow was expressed in a variety of genres including prints, paintings and installations, and still continues to the present day. This is the largest-ever exhibition to be held of his work, presenting numerous paintings from the rainbow series, an interactive installation that people are invited to appreciate through touch, a new work that is 30 meters in length and contains a rainbow consisting of 192 colors, a 300 meters long banner that was suspended from the Eiffel Tower in 1987 and recordings of his performance works. The gallery will overflow with Ay-O's optimistic world.
FLUXFEST CHICAGO 2012
February 9th – 12th, 2012
Feb 9th 5:00pm – 7:30pm
FROM THE ARCHIVE
Mailart and Fluxus from the archives of Fluxus/St. Louis.
Chicago Art Institute, Joan Flasch Artists Book Collection. 37 S. Wabash, 5th Floor.
Feb 10th 2:00pm – 5pm
FLUX IT YOURSELF
Scores and Performances by Contemporary Fluxus.
Publication Exposition and live performances Coordinated by Fluxpress.
Columbia College Center For Book and Paper Arts ,1104 S. Wabash Av.
Feb 10th 6:00pm
The Artist’s Cafe, 412 S. Michigan Av.
Feb 11th 11:00am-5:00pm
Fluxus Day at the Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., 2nd Floor.
Feb 11th 11:00am – 5:00pm
Mailart Creation Station
An ongoing space with supplies for making and sending Mailart, informing and interacting with the public.
Coordinated by Stampland, Neosho, and Adamandia Kapsalis.
Feb 11th 12:00pm – 5:00pm
small flux-works will travel from the Fluxmuseum Collection to be shown and shared for the day.
Coordinated by Cecil Touchon and the Fluxmuseum.
Feb 11th 12:00pm – 5:00pm
Flux Free For All
over 2000 small fluxworks from postcards to stamps and small objects to be given away … take what you wish.
Feb 11th 1:00pm –1:45pm
Women In Bowlers
a celebration of the women of Fluxus – from its beginnings till now, Coordinated by Picasso Gaglione with Dada Machine Fluxus.
Feb 11th 2:00pm – 2:45pm
Long Form Flux
Longer performance pieces happening throughout the hallways stairwells and niches of the Cultural Center .
Feb 11th 3:00pm – 3:45pm
Be Blank Consort
Avant poetry performance Coordinated by John M. Bennett.
Feb 11th 4:00pm – 5:00pm
One Ring Circus
Contemporary Fluxus scores performed under the G.A.R. dome.
ongoing (8:00am – 6:00pm)
Write Now – Artists And Letterforms
A major exhibition that showcases a diverse range of recent works by artists utilizing letters and text in a wide array of mediums.
ongoing (8:00am – 6:00pm)
The Fluxus, Mailart, and Visual Poetry Project
coordinated by Keith A. Buchholz, is located on and around a 30 ft. long wall as part of this exhibition, and will be open during the day.
Exhibition curated by Nathan Mason.
Feb 11th 6:30 pm
The New York Correspondence School of Chicago Dinner
The Berghoff 17 W. Adams
An extension of Ray Johnson’s historic New York Correspondence School Meetings,
The Berghoff once again welcomes us for a special meal … Bring Mail art Multiples to share and swap. Hosted by The New York Correspondence School of Chicago.
Feb 12th 12:00pm – 4:00pm
FLUX FILM FEST
6018 NORTH, 6018 N. Kenmore, in the Edgewater Neighborhood.
A matinee festival of New Fluxus Film
with a special screening of RE: MACIUNAS a new film by Jonas Mekas – Made for the Lithuanian Biennial. Also, an opportunity to explore 6018 NORTH – a new grassroots non-profit arts center for Performance, Sound, and Alternative Art.
Coordinated by Tricia Van Eck, 6018 North, Andrew Oleksiuk, and Fluxus STL Archive.
This FLUXFEST is Organized by Keith A. Buchholz, and The Contemporary Fluxus Community.
For Further info contact Keith at:
or phone 314-276-4802
February 9th - 12th, 2012
International Fluxus is gearing up for 4 days of performance and activity in Chicago this February, and are hoping that everyone who can, will join in the festival. If you can't make it in person, we'd still love to have you included. Please send a score that could be performed, or a simple multiple in an edition of 50 or more that we can give away. More details below ...
FLUXFEST CHICAGO 2012 February 9th - 12th, 2012
Feb 9th - Opening of FROM THE ARCHIVE - Mailart and Fluxus from the archives of Fluxus/St. Louis.
@ Chicago Art Institute, Joan Flasch Library.
An afternoon opening reception for an exhibit of works that have accumulated at the archive ( if you've never sent Mailart or anything to the archive ..send it now and Keith will make sure it's included in the show )
Feb. 10th . FLUX IT YOURSELF : Scores and Performances by Contemporary Fluxus
Tentative Location : Center For Book Arts, Chicago ( kind of a DIY free for all, where we can do whatever scores we like, plus a one day long exposition of publications ) either send publications to Keith Buchholz ahead of time, or bring them along.
Feb 10th 6:00pm "Flux Dinner" @ The Artist's Cafe, Chicago
An informal get together at a Chicago landmark .... also an opportunity to sign posters and catch up with each other.
Feb 11th 11-5pm Fluxus Day at the Chicago Cultural Center
an amazing performance space, and an event sponsored by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.
PLUS several events to participate in ...
- Mailart Creation Station - an ongoing space with supplies for making and sending Mailart, informing and interacting with the public.
- Women In Bowlers - a celebration of the women of Fluxus - from its beginnings till now, coordinated by Picasso Gaglione with Dada Machine Fluxus, and everyone who wants to perform.
- One Ring Circus - Contemporary Fluxus scores performed by taking turns ... I'll be there with a sign up sheet, and announce ( like we did last year at the MCA and at ABC No Rio ) ....
- Long Form Flux - Plenty of room for longer durational pieces to be ongoing .. Let me know what you want to do & we'll work it in ... we have lots of space to work with,
also hallways and stairwells ... Bring your Ideas
- Fluxhibition 5.4 - Cecil Touchon will once again transport valises filled with small flux-works from the Fluxmuseum Collection to show and share for the day.
- Free For All - Please either bring or send ahead a multiple, publication or postcard in an edition of 50 or more that can be given away to the public. Last year was amazing .. over 50 different pieces came in, and all were distributed ... that's 2500 works that went out in a day ....how cool is that! I'll be collecting 8 full sets to box and donate to archives. ( Last years boxes ended up in MOMA, Ohio State, The Sackner Collection, Chicago Art Institute, MCA Chicago, and more.... )
Feb. 11th ongoing ( 8am - 6pm ) Write Now - Artists And Letterforms
A major exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center that showcases a diverse range of recent works by artists utilizing letters and text in a wide array of mediums. * The " Fluxus, Mailart, and Visual Poetry Project " that many of us are in, is located on and around a 30 ft. long wall as part of this exhibition, and will be open during the day.
Feb 11th 6:30 pm - The New York Correspondence School of Chicago Dinner
The Berghoff, host restaurant of last year's Correspondence Dinner, once again
welcomes us for a special meal ... Bring Mail art and Multiples to share and swap.
Feb 12th " Flux Film Fest " @ 6018 NORTH.
A matinee festival of New Fluxus Film ( send me your film work now on DVD, so we can get the schedule set up. ) with a special screening of RE: MACIUNAS a new film by Jonas Mekas - Made for us for the Lithuanian Biennial. Also, an opportunity to explore 6018 NORTH - a new grassroots non-profit arts center for Performance, Sound, and Alternative Art .. this amazing space is in process, and will become the new Public Home of the Mailart / Fluxus archive that I've been accumulating ... (by next year our Archive Space will be completed, with a viewing room for Mailart / Fluxus works and publications, and walls to do special exhibitions from the archive.
* If you're sending works ahead of time please
Clearly Mark them as for Fluxfest / Chicago.
* send to this address:
c/o Keith A. Buchholz
3449 Hartford St.
St. Louis, Mo.