So, where is Fluxus at the beginning of the 21st century?
Well, it’s not dead. Fluxus and the Fluxus attitude are alive and well and living in a town near you. Yes really. Even George Maciuanas, who many people in the “Fluxus is dead” camp associate with Fluxus, had this to say,
[Fluxus is] a way of doing things, very informal, sort of like a joke group. You know if you ask people like George Brecht, ‘Are you Fluxus?’ then he will just laugh at you. Its [sic] more like Zen than Dada in that sense.
~ G. Maciuanas in Fluxus: The History of an Attitude, p. 226, Smith, O. 1998
Owen Smith goes on to say that,
It will never be possible, or even desirable, to specify the full meaning of Fluxus, for like chance events in general (themselves a key element of many Fluxus activities), when defined they become part of a means-to-an-end rationality and thus are no longer truly indeterminate. It is this very quality in Fluxus, though that gives it its attitudunal strength.
~ Fluxus: The History of an Attitude, p. 227, Smith, O. 1998
While the original group of Fluxus associates may have broken up, Fluxus continues to live on as an attitude with many contemporary artists and writers. Fluxus also continues to thrive in several vibrant online communities. The best example of one of these communities is the Fluxlist, but there are others as well, including the Fluxnexus and the Fluxlist Blog. The artists associated with these communities continue to create work in the Fluxus vein. Some of these artists prefer to call themselves “Fluxus influenced”, while others are comfortable applying the Fluxus label to themselves and to their work. There have also been groups of artists who have continued to perform old Fluxus event scores (Secret Fluxus in the UK), and other local groups who have continued as small Fluxus collectives, including one in New York city that I read about recently but have been unable to find references to for this article (if you know who they are, please send me an e-mail!).
The Fluxlist was founded in 1996 by a group of Fluxus artists that include Dick Higgins and Ken Friedman, two artists who have been associated with Fluxus since its early days. Over the years many new artists have become associated with the list and Fluxus continues unabated to this day. Writers like John M. Bennett and Jukka-Pekka Kervinen continue creating Fluxpoems. The painter Cecil Touchon creates paintings that are Fluxus. Artists like Allen Bukoff, Allan Revich, and Alan Bowman create visually oriented Fluxus. And a significant group of artists continue to create mixed media, multimedia and intermedia work, including Walter Cianciusi who maintains an up-to-date Podcast, Ruud Janssen who maintains a mail-art museum and stamp art gallery, and many others who continue to keep Fluxus alive in thier own ways.
Some Fluxus Artist Sites and Blogs: