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The Fluxus Attitude

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.

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Published on Categories Fluxus

About Allan Revich

Allan Revich is a Toronto artist and writer. His work has appeared in numerous publications, in international exhibitions, and on many websites. He is active in the international Fluxus community. He currently writes poetry, creates visual poems, and works with photography. His work includes Web-based art, mixed media art, and mail art. His books, Headline Haiku 2006, Headline Haiku 2007, and Fluxus Vision are available internationally on Amazon.com and its affiliates, as his most recent collection of poems, "Flux You!".

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