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 there is often an almost guilty recognition among some that they ‘love this kind of stuff’ even if there is something of a disconnect. For artists this disconnect comes from the belief that Fluxus is a historical event – a closed circle – that is long over and do not realize that it continues to live and grow through the present generation of practitioners and that they could be a part of it in the present if they feel the connection.

Regardless of what Fluxus ever was or is now or shall be in the future, it is first and foremost a community of people who communicate and work with each other in the context of Fluxus – of Fluxus as an attitude, as a tradition, as a trajectory, as a point of view. Fluxus has always been experimental and has always challenged boundaries – famously, the boundaries between high and low art or the boundaries between one medium and another and ultimately the perceived boundaries between art and life.

Therefore, it should be no surprise that Fluxus artists do not recognize any boundary between the past and the present or between insiders and outsiders. The Fluxus community today is a self organizing, porous organization. Membership in this community is based on interacting with other members of the community and participating in group projects. The more one participates, the more of a core member one becomes. It is that simple. It is a matter of interconnectedness. That is what makes any community.

If virtually anyone could become a part of the Fluxus community, and anyone can, then the question might then arise, “But is what all of these people are doing really Fluxus?” That seems like a good question. It could be suggested that the recognition of what is Fluxus would need to emerge from the activities of the members of this community and the ensuing dialog around those activities. As a group dedicated to Fluxus, it is inevitable that certain things will come to be regarded as Fluxus and many other things will not. It is really a matter of consensus within the group. If the group remains open and experimental then what is Fluxus amid what they are doing will be recognized and favored as such – everything else will not be. Since Fluxus is open by nature, new ideas can and will emerge, these new ideas will find their way into the canon of Fluxus if they are in accord with the general nature of Fluxus as accepted by the community thus allowing for change and transformation which are, in themselves inherently Fluxus.

During the founder’s time, George Maciunas was the ‘chairman’, the man in charge of deciding what was Fluxus and what wasn’t and he often changed his mind. In his absence, the Fluxus community is not restricted by the limitations of a single individual’s vision. As an experimental idea Fluxus at its core, is democratic by nature rather than hierarchical. When looking at the definition for hierarchy there is a relevant quote: “it has been said that only a hierarchical society with a leisure class at the top can produce works of art”. It could be said that Fluxus challenges that view in that works of art can be made by anyone in any society depending on how one defines what constitutes works of art.

In Fluxus, power is no longer invested in a single individual or small group of insiders deciding what or who is or isn’t Fluxus. The power is, rather, invested in the community. Each individual in the community is in charge of his own domain and responsible for his own place in the network without approval from any ‘superior’. This is cleverly alluded to in a recent work by Keith Buchholz who, using a well known Maciunas work: NO SMOKING, removed the ‘S’ making a new work: NO MO KING meaning ‘no more king’.

Fluxus today, equipped with the examples set by Maciunas and the other seminal members, has the capacity to grow and expand according to the ‘Laws of Fluxus’ established through precedence rather than the decrees and judgments of an individual authority. Are you a member of the Fluxus community? You ought to be.

Cecil Touchon, Director
The Ontological Museum


Copyright © 2011 Cecil Touchon
reposted with permission

FLUXFEST CHICAGO Flux-Reminder (Next Week)

FLUXFEST CHICAGO Organized by Keith A. Buchholz and Picasso Gaglione. PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE –
MCA – Chicago, week of Feb. 15th – 20th, 2011.
A week long exploration of Fluxus activity, from it’s earliest scores and actions,
to Contemporary re-interpretations of classic scores, and Recent works by
Contemporary Fluxus Artists.

Tuesday, 2/15 12:31 P.M.
The New Fake Picabia Brothers Picasso Gaglione / Keith A. Buchholz
Guitar Kick ( Robin Page ) Performers kick a guitar throughout galleries, until guitar is completely dismembered. – Classic performance score by an anchor artist of 70’s Fluxus, group performance led by Picasso Gaglione and Keith A. Buchholz.

Tuesday, 2/15 6: 35 P.M.
The Chicago Fluxus Ensemble – Classic Scores and Interventions
Founded in 2009 by Hannah Higgins, Simon Anderson and Alison Knowles, The Chicago Fluxus Ensemble has performed multiple times with Fulcrum Point’s New Music Series. ( Simon Anderson, Picasso Gaglione, Jeff Abell, Sally Alatalo, Keith A. Buchholz, Joshua Rutherford, Jessica Feinstein, Kyle White, Darlene Domel , and others. ) * Direction by Simon Anderson.

Wednesday, 2/16 12:03 p.m.
” Eternal Networking ”
Guided by artists Picasso Gaglione, Darlene Domel, Keith A. Buchholz, Andy Oleksiuk, Adamandia Kapsalis, Neosho, and others, Visitors will have the ability to interact with the Postal Art Network.
Supplies for Collage, Stamping, and Postal Mail Making will be provided, along with insights, and guidance into making works which will be sent into the “Eternal Network”. * Postage sponsored by the Chicago Philatelic Society.

Thursday, 2/17 12:15 p.m.
Durational Works
1. Plastic Oh-No Band , 4″33 –
Allan Revich The dean of Canadian Fluxus proposes a new work which incorporates homages to both Cage and Ono. Duration : 10 Minutes

2. Premiere of ” Time / Space Ritual ” a New work by Keith A. Buchholz, involving the layering of sound and manipulation of found sources through 4 turntables, influenced by Nam June Paik’s Turntable manipulations and Steve Reich’s Tape Loop work. Duration : 60 Min
3. Premiere of ” Magic Mushrooms” a New work by Andrew Oleksiuk, Utilizing Live telepresence, Virtual FLUXUS Performance in Second Life, with special guest performers. Duration 60 min
4. Two Works in Second Life – Patrick Lichty Car Bibbe 2 – Al Hansen, Second Front *Directed by Patrick Lichty Duration 7:50 min
Some Virtual Fluxus – Patrick Lichty, Larry Miller, Bibbe Hansen, Liz Solo, yael Gilks Duration 25:20 min
5. ” STEPS” – Reid Wood
Using a floor plan of the MCA, Wood will walk through all public spaces of the museum. ( Audience may follow) Duration 15 min
6. “Jungflux Finger Storàge Box for Ay-O” – Mark Bloch Premier of a new work.
(This will be a 15 minute window into an otherwise undetectable longer duration piece performed 2/15 to 2/20 and will take the form of a short lecture with props.
7. Gregory Fitzsimmons – Merzwalk
A Coordinated walk moving outside the museum, and through public space. Participants will be urged to find objects and document their experience. Duration 30 min
8. Dragging Suite – Nam June Paik
Performed by an Open Group of FLUXERS, Paik’s Suite calls for the dragging of multiple dolls throughout the space. Comical and Irreverent, this is a Paik work not often seen. Duration 30 – 45min

Friday, 2/18 12:36 p.m.

TZARA IN OBLIVION – mIEKAL aND , Camille Bacos. Duration 30 Min Video, Sound, and live performance exploring the legacy of Tristin Tzara in his home country.
A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO FLUXFILM – Jean Kusina Duration 10 min
Artist and Historian Kusina leads us into the world of Fluxus Films .
NO PARKING – Tulio Restrepo Duration 15 Min. Performance footage documenting guerrilla performances in the streets of Medellin, Columbia.
SHORT FILMS – “The Kinsinas” Duration 7 -10 Min Experimental Filmmakers the Kinsinas ( aka Jean Kusina and Tammy Kinsey) present new work being made for the festival.
REVISITING CHOPIN – Matthew Lee Knowles Duration 3 Min.
London based artist / musician Knowles cuts up and re-assembles a Chopin Score.

TRAVEL FLUX – Keith A. Buchholz Duration 2 Min
Filmed in Chicago’s Union Station in 2009, this Fluxfilm explores the day to day routine of the daily commute.

BROKEN Resealed and Remembered – Julian Grant. Duration 4 Min.
Chicago filmmaker Julian Grant presents a short film overview of his works in Mail Art.

FLUXUS PERFORMANCE : FLYING MAIL – Litsa Spathi Duration 3 Min. Spathi, a director of Fluxus Heidelberg, documents a found performance in this Fluxfilm .

THE CHESTNUT PERFORMANCE – Ruud Janssen / Litsa Spathi Duration 2min
Fluxus Heidelberg short film of performance with chestnuts found in Ziegelhausen.

DADA machine FLUXUS Duration 60 – 90 Min.
Manic Re – Interpretations of Classic Fluxus Scores, as seen through the direction of Picasso Gaglione. (Picasso Gaglione, Darlene Domel, Keith A. Buchholz, Andy Oleksiuk, Adamandia Kapsalis, and others.) * Expected guest performers include Melissa McCarthy (Flux- New Hampshire), Reed Altemus ( Fluxus Maine), Jennifer Kosharek ( Fluxus South), Cecil Touchon ( Flux-Texas), Allan Revich (Fluxus Toronto ), as well as other incoming Flux-Folk.

Saturday, 2/19 12:34 p.m.
BE BLANK CONSORT Duration 45 Min.
Formed in 2001 during a residency assembled by critic Richard Kostelanetz, Be Blank Consort is an experimental poetry ensemble that writes, scores, and performs avant garde textual arrangements.

A selection of small works from the holdings of the FluxMuseum, Ft. Worth, Tx. Will be shown in and around their carrying valise, and may be handled, and explored by visitors. Cecil Touchon, Director of the FluxMuseum will guide visitors through the objects. ( a rare opportunity to handle and explore Fluxus multiples, as they will arrive and depart with their guardian.)

Contemporary Fluxus Scores interpreted by their authors and members of their circle. A sampling of recent work, performed by contemporary artists from the Fluxus community, many of whom are coming to Chicago specifically to perform at these events. Artists from throughout the U.S., (and Mexico and Canada as well), will converge to perform their recent scores.

* A commemorative Zine of scores will be published by FLUXPRESS in conjunction with this event, and will be distributed free to MCA visitors during these performances.

Saturday, 2/19 7:13 p.m. ( OFFSITE )
The New York Correspondance School of Chicago Dinner
In Keeping with the traditions of Ray Johnson’s New York Correspondance School, it’s Chicago Affiliates will host an informal dinner gathering at FEED, 2803 W. Chicago Ave. one of the more creative restaurants in the Ukranian Village neighborhood. Members of the Chicago Fluxus and Mail Art communities as well as incoming performers and guests will be in attendance. The public will be notified of time and place, by flyers distributed throughout the week at the MCA.

Saturday, 2/19 9:30 p.m. (OFFSITE)
Reed Altemus – Artistamps and Stamp Imprints
The Stamp Art Gallery, 2708 W. Chicago ave. hosts a Post Dinner Opening for a new show of stamp work by Reed Altemus ( Fluxus Maine).

Sunday, 2/20 12:33 p.m.
A variety of Classic and Contemporary Fluxus scores, interpreted by Contemporary Fluxus artists.
This performance gives Contemporary performers the opportunity to present works from the 50 year canon of scores, that personally resonate with them. Performances will undoubtedly be insightful, and will run the gamut from irreverent to introspective. ( discussion with the artists to follow. ) Artists will include all involved during the “Fluxweek” and will conclude the weeks activities.

* As part of the weeks activities, Posters, Flyers, Stampsheets, and Booklets will be printed and distributed freely to visitors at the museum. ( Ephemera is an integral part of the Fluxus practice).
***** Please bring Some type of multiple, in an edition of 100 or so ……. Scoresheets, Flyers, Booklets, Stampsheets, Media, Emphemera, cards, objects, etc to be given away during the week from our info table.
*****We will meet at the museum lobby at 11:00 A.M. each day to Finalize the lineup for the day’s performances. Please be prompt, as we will be printing the daily program based on who shows up, and in what order they will perform. All performances are open to everyone participating.
If you are planning to perform with the Chicago Fluxus Ensemble, or DADA machine FLUXUS, Please wear BLACK, and bring a Bowler Hat if you have one ( we will provide as many as we can ), also wear flat shoes, as we will be “Shuffling” as part of the performance.
THE HOTEL SENECA is a partner hotel to the MCA and has graciously given us a special room rate of $99.00 per night. They are located 1 block north of the museum, in the heart of downtown Chicago. All rooms have kitchenettes, and it’s a beautiful hotel. Please call Reservation Manager Mike Foster direct to book your room. 312-988-4400 ( I spoke with him yesterday, and he’s handling our group. Just tell him Fluxus, and MCA. )
The # 66 Westbound bus picks up at the corner of E. Chicago Avenue, ( at the museum ) and is a direct route to the restaurant and Stamp Art Gallery. Fare is $2.25 each way.

PARTICIPATING ARTIST LIST ( so far ) : Picasso Gaglione, Darlene Domel, Keith A. Buchholz, Adamandia Kapsalis, Jeff Abell, Simon Anderson, Sally Alatalo, James Scalfani, John M. Bennett, C. Mehrl Bennett, Neosho, Jennifer Kosharek, Bibiana Padilla Maltos, Joshua Rutherford, Jessica Feinstein, Kyle White, Scott Helmes, Michael Peters, mIEKAL aND, Camille Bacos, Bibbe Hansen, Ginny Lloyd, Tom Cassidy, Joel Lipman, Allan Revich, Melissa McCarthy, Reid Wood, Jennifer Kosharek, Vivian Vassar, Don Boyd, Julie Jeffries, Cecil Touchon, Andy Oleksiuk, Patrick Lichty, Tulio Restrepo, Mark Bloch (Fluxpan), Seamas Cain, Gregory Fitzsimmons, Mary Campbell, Tammy Kinsey, Matthew Lee Knowles, Ruud Janssen, Litsa Spathi, Larry Miller, Jean Kusina, Shiela Murphy, K.S. Ernst, Carol Starr, Julian Grant, Michael Harford, and others to be added …