Skip to content

Call for Works

INTERNATIONAL FLUXHIBITION #4
Deadline: April 30, 2010

Fluxus Amusements, Diversions, Games, Tricks and Puzzles

The Fluxmuseum will be organizing an exhibition for exhibit during 2010. This exhibition will focus on fun and games. Works including art, objects, boxes, instructions, performances, scores, ect. are sought that deal with any issue related to fun and games, tricks and puzzles, amusements and diversions.

Subjects might include: any sort of crazy game, trick, magic tricks, strange things to amuse one's self with, disfuntional diversions, perplexing puzzles, etc. Dream up something, send it to:

FLUXMUSEUM
FLUXHIBITION #4
6955 Pinon Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76116
817-944-4000
cecil_touchon@fluxmuseum.org

Be sure to include a filled in Deed of Gift Form

The Future is near! Prepare now.
Don't wait for the dealine, send soon.
All accepted, no returns.

Items become a part of the permanent collection of Fluxmuseum.
A full color catalog will be available when completed.

Did you think Fluxus was dead? A thing of the past? Think again.

All the big names from the contemporary Fluxus art community flex their communal muscle in this extraordinary exhibition focusing on box assemblage. The FluxMuseum in conjunction with the International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction has put together its third international exhibition focusing on specific aspects of Fluxus art practice. Works by artists from all over the world have been donated to the Fluxmuseum for this exhibition. Represented in this show are artists from the all parts of the USA, the UK, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Greece, Germany, Hungry, Italy, France and Cyprus.

The exhibition to be held during the Month of July (1-31) with a gathering from 6:00-8:00pm on Friday July 10th at The Gallery in the E.H. Hereford University Center at the University of Texas at Arlington in Arlington, Texas. This exhibition is sponsored by the Student Art Association at UTA, a student group that manages and promotes student funded, student managed art exhibitions.

This is the largest exhibition dedicated to contemporary Fluxus/Assemblage box artists ever assembled in the history of the Fluxus community. Box assemblage has been a significant art form within the Fluxus community since its early days. Inspired initially by Marcel Duchamp and Joseph Cornell, Fluxus box assemblage quickly became a staple in the Fluxus community to gather together small works and editions of works from many artists into group and individual box assemblages.

The call for this show got a big boost when Yoko Ono - who has taken an interest since the second Fluxhibition in 2008 - help spread the word this time through her website ImaginePeace.com and through her tweets. Even the New York Times picked up the story. In fact a number of works in the show are inspired by or dedicated to this seminal Fluxus artist.

The FluxMuseum is dedicated to documenting the contemporary global Fluxus art scene and assembling a significant collection of works by contemporary Fluxus artists. The International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction is dedicated to the collection, study and exhibition of collage, assemblage and all forms of constructive art.  A catalog will be available when completed. Details online.

Fluxus has always been notoriously difficult to pin down because it has never fit neatly into any category assigned by the art market or the art academy. I have summarized it as concisely as I think is possible into four parts:

  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 fun. Humour has always been an important element in Fluxus.

Previous articles here have explored the idea of Fluxus as an attitude. But, what is meant by "intermedia"?

The prevalence of digital communications technologies has tended to lead to some confusion between intermedia and multimedia. I would venture that in the minds of most people, including most artists, the two terms have become interchangable - or the term intermedia has disappeared altogether. This is unfortunate as intermedia is not at all interchangeable with multimedia.

Multimedia is most easily expressed and explained through the medium of video, or in the corporate world, through the application, PowerPoint. Intermedia does not necessarily require more than a single medium to be expressed. Intermedia is not concerned with the number of media that are combined to exhibit a work. An intermedia work can consist of multiple media (multimedia), but can also be expressed through a single medium. The important common denominator of all intermedia is the intersection of different media rather than the number of mediums used in the final product. 

One of the easiest to grasp examples of a single medium intermedia work is visual poetry. Visual poetry exists in its simplest finished form as marks on paper. But it is not just drawing since it generally relies heavily on text - but niether is it just poetry or prose, since it relies heavily on visuality too. Visual poetry is nether poetry nor drawing, but neither is it multimedia. It is intermedia. It is based on exploring the space in which poetry and visual art intersect. Cecil Touchon of Texas takes visual poetry to yet another level by creating visual poems on paper and the re-rendering them as paintings on canvas, which are made available through the mainstream art market.

Other examples of intermedia intersections are "sound art" in which elements of musicality and elements of visual art intersect, and result in work that is neither music nor visual. Sound art fills space like sculpture does, but it does not actually occupy space. It is appreciated through the sense of hearing, but it is not music or poetry. Video art can be multimedia, intermedia, or both. Video by its very nature is usually multimedia, combining audio, images, and time/motion. But to be intermedia there needs to be more than a combination of media - there needs to be an exploration of the space in which media intersect. Artists like my friend Nicolas Carras in France explore this through the video exploration of static images, and by exploring audio and visual elements simultaneously, but independantly of each other.

2

Fluxus Visions is a new collaborative Fluxus book project. Fluxus Vision (http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/fluxus-vision/619464) was published in 2007. It contains 50 visual poems by Allan Revich (me), with 50 brief Fluxus scores on the facing pages.The 2009 follow up publication will be a collaborative event. Fluxus inspired artists and writers are invited to submit up to 10 visual poems, and up to 10 brief Fluxus text pieces to accompany the visual poems on the facing pages. Visual poems should be sent as grayscale jpeg images, 7 inches in width by 10 inches tall, at 300 dpi.Anticipated publication date is October of 2009, so files should arrive by August 31st to be included. All participants will receive a pdf version of the book, and will be able to purchase a copy of the book at cost.

To participate, sign up on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=87665369758)

Ok... so Fluxus is special! But in some ways Fluxus should be nothing special, because the thing that makes Fluxus so special should not be so special. Confused yet? Let me elaborate...

For the past century or so, and especially in the past few decades, there have been only two kinds of "official art". Institutional art, and Outsider art. Institutional art includes all of the art that dominates the art market and the dominant art history. To be part of the institutional art machine requires artists to belong to a market driven, academy supported, and financially privileged elite. Artists can become privileged through personal connections with marketplace heavyweights like the major auction houses or through direct access to capital. The Amercian artist, Jeff Koons is perhaps the best example of an artist who used the proceeds from a wildly successful day-job on Wall Street to finance his initial entry into the equally lucrative world of so-called "major" artists.

A secondary route to privilege is through the educational academies. An MFA from a prestigious university and/or a PhD degree can lead to lifetime security along with nearly unlimited opportunity for exhibition and publication. Outsider artists are the polar opposites of the academic artists in some ways, but like them, can have their art deemed "important" by virtue of their ignorance of the market forces and theoretical underpinnings of their production.

Fluxus is outsider art made by insiders. Fluxus artists occupy an unprivileged middle territory. Fluxus artists tend to be educated (although not always in art schools) and knowledgeable about market forces, art history, and art theory. But becuase Fluxus artists take pride in producing powerful work that requires only limited resources to produce, often fail to penetrate either the art market or the academy. As someone who has been intimately involved with this community for many years I have observed that this state of affairs is not entirely welcomed by Fluxus artists - but neither is it completely unwelcome. Fluxus works is almost always do-it-yourself (or DIY in a small, close community) and the scale is usually small and intimate. These features of Fluxus automatically exclude most Fluxus works from the "blockbuster" super-sized, public exibitions/private sales extravaganzas. The artists that I know don't really mind being excluded from these spectacles; in fact, I think that most of them (myself included) would be decidedly uncomfortable if they were a part of them. On the other hand, Fluxus artists do not particulary enjoy being marginalized and excluded entirely from the market and the academy.

Fluxus is special. It is special because it exists not only in the spaces between media (intermedia), but also in the spaces between cultural practices and artistic theories. Fluxus needs to become something much less "special" (nothing special), while also gaining recognition and respect for its importance. If Fluxus were part of a living body it would be the fluid in the joints. The head is seldom aware of this silent fluid, but the joints sieze up and the body ceases to function without it. If Fluxus were a machine it would be the lubricating oil. Easy to forget until the engine runs dry.

A BOOK ABOUT DEATH : 1000 ARTISTS CONTRIBUTE 500 POST CARDS EACH TO CREATE AN UNBOUND BOOK ABOUT DEATH. EXHIBITION AT THE EMILY HARVEY FOUNDATION GALLERY IN NEW YORK CITY.

OPENING: THURSDAY 10 SEPTEMBER 2009. EXHIBITION: 10 - 22 SEPTEMBER 2009.

The Memento Mori is time-honored artistic tradition in visual art. This latest variation, A Book About Death, is being organized by Matthew Rose of Paris, France. As of this date (May 3, 2009) artists are still welcome to contribute. Memento mori is a Latin phrase, the translation of which means "Be mindful of death". Memento Mori projects and creations can vary widely, but they share a common purpose; to remind us of our own mortality.

Please check out the work posted on the Blog, and visit the project Web site. This promises to be a significant event, so don't miss out!

Collab Fest 17, organized and documented by Jim Leftwich, occurred on April 8, 2009. On the Flickr page for Collab Fest 17 there is a really good quote from Laurie Simmons taken from her project at ART : 21. I really like her comment because it explains so concisely the way that artists see the world around them, and are inspired by it.

Laurie Simmons: “I think that artists are always doing research on their own behalf and for their work. For some artists it’s reading. For some it’s shopping. For some it’s traveling. And I think that there’s always this kind of seeking quality that artists have where they’re looking for things that will jog them and move them in one direction or another. For me, movies and books have always been research. Finding objects will always stimulate a series or get my mind going in another direction. I might be wandering around and see a figure or a piece of furniture or a picture that just starts me thinking about a whole other direction that I can move in. And of course that has to intersect with what I’m thinking about, my state of mind, my feeling about current politics or some psychological issue that’s pressing. I see that all as research, just having all the threads of your life come together to tell you where you should go with your work.”

The Collab Fest 17 page has more comments from Art:21 by artists Lari Pittman, Judy Pfaff, and Pierre Huyghe too. There are also some great images on Jim Leftwich's Flickr page, along with the comment above from Laurie Simmons. There is only a single image from Collab Fest 17 on the site, but there are lots of great shots of Collab Fest 18 (April 22, 2009) there. Jim Leftwich has been pretty busy putting together these Collaboration Festivals over the past years, and has about two years worth of images on Flickr.com.

Web sites come, and Web sites go - now is probably a good time for an updated summary of what in webland relates to Fluxus.

Fluxlist
Fluxlist is an internet discussion list for all things Fluxus. Fluxlist was launched in 1996 by Allen Bukoff, Ken Friedman, Dick Higgins, Joe De Marco, Jon Van Oast. Currently maintained by Alan Bowman, Ross Priddle, and Allan Revich.

The Fluxlist Blog
Intermedia web log for Fluxlist members.

Fluxlist Europe
Eurocentric version of the Fluxlist Blog, open to artists outside of Europe too.

OPEN Fluxus
Fluxus social network

Fluxus on Wikipedia

Fluxus Heidelberg Center
Ruud Janssen and Litsa Spathi archives and current work

FLUX-USA
A blog primarily for American Fluxus artists, includes many international artists too.

Fluxus Portal
Art, archives, history, and information about all things Fluxus. Assembled and maintained by Allen Bukoff.

Fluxus Blog
You are reading it right now. The link will bring you to the main page.

FluxMuseum
Museum in Texas dedicated to Fluxus. Curated and managed by Cecil Touchon.

Fluxnexus
Contemporary Fluxus organization.

37 Fluxus Films on UBU WEB

The above links are primarily intended as resources. I will be posting an updated link list of artist currently producing fluxus work soon.

The Follow Fluxus - After Fluxus 2009 grant for young contemporary art called by the State Capital of Wiesbaden and the NKV Nassauischer kunstverein Wiesbaden worth 10.000 Eurohas been awarded to Jimmy Robert.

Jimmy Roberts (born 1975 in Guadeloupe) creates photographs, collages, objects, performances and films that focus on process and transition. While analyzing the relationship between image and object, he concentrates formally on the issue of the point at which a two-dimensional surface ceases to be an image and begins to expand both within our imagination and in reality into something similar to a three-dimensional object.

Each of his images displays an object that is then developed into a spatial sculpture. Here, Roberts systematically explores its relationship to the human body. In his performance, inspired by Yoko Ono's CUT PIECE, he quite literally translates the action of touch and being touched into action, including both himself and the viewer(s). As Jimmy Roberts interprets the action, his upper body is not covered with clothes but gradually surrounded with duct tape. With each piece of tape the audience pulls off him, the artist successively exposes himself while losing pieces that quite literally and figuratively he has been stuck with. At the same time, each stripped-off strip of tape describes sequences of the press reviews of Ono's performance 1966 in London.  

Follow Fluxus - After Fluxus supports young international artists whose work suggests ideas inherent to the Fluxus art movement in order to keep the art current alive. The establishment of the grant was inspired by the "Fluxus Festival of Very New Music" which took place in Wiesbaden in 1962. This Fluxus event provided the first real broad impact for the new art movement and started off what is now seen as the first international movement operating in a global network.

Follow Fluxus - After Fluxus
http://www.kunstverein-wiesbaden.de

ll\ NKV
nassauischer kunstverein wiesbaden
wilhelmstr 15
65185 wiesbaden
germany
info@kunstverein-wiesbaden.de

Fluxhibition #2 Classic and Contemporary Scores, Instructions and Artifacts by Fluxus Artists Selections from the Permanent Collection of the Fluxmuseum Catalog for the October 2008 Exhibition at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center in Fort Worth, Texas. 6" x 9", perfect binding, full-color
http://www.lulu.com/content/6222084
Works by Angelo Ricciardi, Antonio Picardi, Jamie Newton, Allan Revich, Lorraine Kwan, Gregory Steel, Walter Cianciusi, Yoko Ono, Luc Fierens, Jim Leftwich, Jeff Hogue, Rebecca Cunningham, Don Boyd, Neil Horsky, Larry Miller, Fluxdada, Karl Heinz Jeron, Marco Geovenale, Patrick Anderson-McQuoid and Tomas Schmit, George Brecht, Bibiana Padilla Maltos, Carol Starr, Cecil Touchon, Keith Buchholz, John M. Bennett, Reid Wood, Reed Altemus, Sheila Murphy

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

  1. Fluxus is an attitude. It is much more than an art history movement, or a style locked between a pair of dates.
  2. Fluxus is intermedia. Fluxus creators like to to see what happens when different media intersect.
  3. They use found & everyday objects, sounds, images, and texts to create new combinations of objects, sounds, images, and texts.

  4. Fluxus should be simple. The art is small, the texts are short, and the performances are brief.
  5. Fluxus should be fun. If it isn't fun, then it isn't Fluxus

What exactly is a Fluxus attitude? Part of the attitude can be extricated from the three points that follow, but if these three points were sufficient to fully describe the Fluxus attitude it would not be necessary to include the idea of Fluxus as an attitude in a description of Fluxus. There must be more to it - and there is.

The Fluxus attitude can most readily be described by looking through the lens of Modernism, and its precursor and postcursor. Just as Fluxus is intermedia, existing primarily in the spaces where media intersect, it is also "interphilosophical", existing in the metaphysical space between philosophical ideas about modernity. Fluxus begins in a premodern identity idea in which there are no boundaries between the self and the world. Fluxus is simultaneously in the world and of the world. The Fluxus attitude resembles Zen (which was a powerful influence on many early Fluxus practitioners) and certain aboriginal/anishnawabe philosophies that place human beings into nature rather than beings who must conquer nature. But the Fluxus Attitude is more complicated than that pre-modern idea because Fluxus practices this premodern idea from a philosophical place that is fully aware of its inseperability from its own time and place in the midst of a primarily modern world. ...And this self-awareness simultaneously forces Fluxus into a self-referential, reflective and relativistic stance that is completely Postmodern.

The Fluxus Attitude is simultaneously premodern, modern, and postmodern. It is an attitude that can somewhat fall into any one of these three philosophical stances, but can only be fully understood through the interphilosophical lenses of all three x-modernisms at the same time.

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.