Owen Smith, an artist and professor, died on October 14, 2021 due to complications from a brain tumour. Owen was the author of, “Fluxus: The History of an Attitude“, a 1998 book that was very influential on my own journey to, and through the Fluxus (non)Movement. More recently he was once again very actively creating new art work in the Fluxus tradition.
Smith was an internationally respected scholar of Fluxus, and was instrumental in the creation of the University of Maine’s Innovative Media Research and Commercialization Center. He was also the founder of University’s Intermedia Master of Fine Arts program, an important contribution to keeping the history, theory and practice of Fluxus linked art alive. Founded in 2003, in 2009 the Intermedia program began granting degrees. The program now offers an MFA, a Master of Arts degree, an interdisciplinary Ph.D., and a graduate certificate in arts and humanities in medicine. In 2013, the Innovative Media Research and Commercialization Center opened in the university’s Stewart Commons, offering faculty, students and community members access to A/V production facilities, 3D printing and laser technology, and a state-of-the-art multimedia performance space. Owen was the director of the Center until September 2020.
Those of us in the contemporary Fluxus artists’ community will miss Owen greatly. We offer our sincere condolences to his wife, Krista, and to his family, friends, students, and colleagues.