It sometimes seems to me that photography has been the forgotten child of Fluxus over the years. I suppose it is not hard to understand why… there has not been a lot of photographic work that has been identified as being explicitly “Fluxus”. Unlike video, which lemds itself so readily to Fluxus interpretations, the lines between Intermedia and multimedia are ill-defined and lurry at best, static photographs find their place most often as either “documentation” or “fine art”.
However, there are Fluxus practitioners that do integrate Fluxus very directly into their work. Perhaps the best example is the artist, Brad Brace. Brad has been working on a photo (and photocopier) based project for many, many years. His 12 hour ISBN Project began back in 1994 and continues online to this day. Brad describes the project as
Pointless Hypermodern Imagery… posted/mailed every 12 hours… a spectral, trajective alignment for the 00`s! A continuum of minimalist masks in the face of catastrophe; conjuring up transformative metaphors for the everyday… A poetic reversibility of exclusive events…
Recently Brad has published a massive collection of “thousands of enlarged and enhanced photographs, mostly low-res cellphone-camera self-portraits, culled from dating websites…”, a 2 gigabyte (plus) pdf book. It’s available to collectors for $250 and can be purchasd directly from Brad Brace (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Photographs have also been used by Reid Wood (State of Being) who has been photographing street signs and and similar odd bits of street text and posting his work to the Fluxlist Blog. Also on the Fluxlist Blog are photographs by Litsa Spathi. Her partner Ruud Jansen, has many flux-like photograps on Flickr and on his Facebook page.
Another artist who has recently made direct use of photography is Allan Revich (yes, me) who incorporates reflected text from storefronts and street scenes into his Urban Reflections series of photographs. Found photographs are also a part of his visual poetry.
In fact, “found” photographs are the most common use of photography in the Fluxus milieu… being quite common in collage work. I’ll address collage in another blog post though. Another realted upcoming post will cover photocopier and Xerox imaging, in which my friend and flux-colleague Reed Altemus has been especially active.