• Dada meets fluxus dolls and false teeth
    Commentary,  Fluxus History

    Defeating the Demons of Decoration

    This would look perfect above our sofa! It might be true that most of the visual art being purchased, is bought purely for its utility as wall decoration. It may also be true that a majority of visual artists are content creating an oeuvre of pretty pictures. But good art, real art, serious art, transcends decoration. The best art is analogous to the best literature—it makes us think. It causes us to question. It induces wonderment. Artists attempting to create work that is capable of defeating the demon of decor are faced with considerable challenges. Historically, even in non-Western, or ancient cultures, the most culturally important artists would have their…

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  • Commentary,  Fluxus,  Fluxus History

    Fluxus in 2016: Is it Relevant?

    Is Fluxus still relevant in 2016? Let me make it easy for you dear reader. The (short) answer to this question is an unequivocal, “YES!“ If you’re still reading, I’ll assume that you have some interest in knowing why Fluxus, a “movement” from the early 1960s remains relevant (and dare I say important?) in the early years of the twenty-first century. Let me answer this in three parts. What Fluxus was. What Fluxus is. Why Fluxus is still important. What Fluxus Was: This question has been answered many times, by many people, so I’ll provide an answer here, but won’t dwell upon it. Fluxus grew out of the art and…

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  • Commentary,  Fluxus

    What is Fluxus? What is not?

    There have never been really solid lines demarking where Fluxus starts and stops. To my mind there are some things that are clearly Fluxus and others that are clearly not Fluxus, but there is a heck of a lot of grey in between. For example, I am not currently aware of any pure audio art (sound art without a background event score or visible performers) that was made or exhibited during the first Fluxus era. But I think that sound art is the ultimate expression of Intermedia, and Intermedia is/was fundamental to understanding Fluxus. The writing of event scores, performance of event scores, fluxboxes, fluxkits, and the type of work…

  • Commentary

    Ralph Waldo Emerson and Fluxus?

    I ask not for the great, the remote, the romantic … I embrace the common, I explore and sit at the feet of the familiar, the low. Give me insight into today, and you may have the antique and future worlds. The quote above is from Ralph Waldo Emerson, as found in Ken Friedman‘s essay, Fluxus: A Laboratory of Ideas, in the exhibition catalog for Fluxus and the Essential Questions of Life, currently on view at the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College. While I am far from certain about how Ralph Waldo would react in the presence of Fluxus activity, he does seem to foreshadow and important element…

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  • Commentary,  Fluxus History

    Fluxus dead or alive (again)

    The Fluxus dead or alive argument is simpler than many people on both sides make it out to be. Fluxus was a group of artists in the 60s and 70s. The group largely disbanded after Maciunas died. Ergo Fluxus is dead. BUT… That group of artists set an idea in motion. That idea (or attitude) is Fluxus. The Fluxus idea, attitude and way of being and artmaking is as relevant today as it was then. Ergo Fluxus lives. I can see the attraction of the first statement for those whose primary objective is to profit from Fluxus, but  ss a living, breathing, Fluxus practioner, it seems pretty obvious to me…

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  • Commentary,  Fluxus

    What is Fluxus? What is not?

    There have never been really solid lines demarking where Fluxus starts and stops. To my mind there are some things that are clearly Fluxus and others that are clearly not Fluxus, but there is a heck of a lot of grey in between. For example, I am not currently aware of any pure audio art (sound art without a background event score or visible performers) that was made or exhibited during the first Fluxus era. But I think that sound art is the ultimate expression of Intermedia, and Intermedia is/was fundamental to understanding Fluxus. The writing of event scores, performance of event scores, fluxboxes, fluxkits, and the type of work…

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  • Commentary,  Fluxus,  Fluxus History

    Fluxus has a new manifesto: What changes?

    Fluxus has a new manifesto, (FLUXUS MANIFESTO FOR THE 21st CENTURY). What does this change? The New Manifesto Changes nothing: George Maciuanas, Dick Higgins, and Ken Friedman did a very good job of defining Fluxus and describing what it is. Fluxus does not need anybody to do redo the excellent work already done in this regard. The Four Principles that I enumerated much later are NOT a new definition. I wrote them as a response to a need that I identified for a a quick and simple description of what Fluxus is, for those (frequent) occasions when people without previous experience or exposure to Fluxus request an explanation. I think…

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  • Artists,  Commentary

    Who is a Fluxus Artist?

    Fluxfest New York 2011 is coming soon to New York City. April 11 through April 17, 2011. Some venues have been secured, some are being negotiated, and one appears to have backed out. It’s hard for me to understand why a venue that has a strong history of supporting Fluxus would withdraw support from a Fluxfest, but from what I understand, this particular space was more comfortable hosting reproductions of old historical Fluxs works than in supporting the work of newer and emerging Fluxus artists. Why would this be? As new artists see the possibilities of working within the Fluxus milieu there has been an incredible renaissance of Fluxus works…

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  • Commentary,  Fluxus

    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…

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