FLUXHIBITION #3: Thinking Inside of the Box

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.

On Intermedia

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.

Fluxus Visions

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)