Open Access Articles- Top Results for Fluxus


Not to be confused with Fluxus (programming environment).
Fluxus Manifesto, 1963, by George Maciunas.

Fluxus—a name taken from a Latin word meaning "flow, flux" (noun); "flowing, fluid" (adj.)[1]—is an international network of artists, composers and designers noted for blending different artistic media and disciplines in the 1960s. They have been active in Neo-Dada noise music and visual art as well as literature, urban planning, architecture, and design. Fluxus is sometimes described as intermedia.

The Fluxus movement... developed its 'anti-art', anti-commercial aesthetics under the leadership of George Maciunas. Fluxus staged a series of festivals in Paris, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, London and New York, with avant-garde performances often spilling out into the street. Most of the experimental artists of the period, including Joseph Beuys, Yoko Ono and Nam June Paik, took part in Fluxus events. The movement, which still continues, played an important role in the opening up of definitions of what art can be.[2]

History to 1965


Flux Year Box 2, c.1967, a Flux box edited and produced by George Maciunas, containing works by many early Fluxus artists.

The origins of Fluxus lie in many of the concepts explored by composer John Cage in his experimental music of the 1950s. Cage taught a series of Experimental Composition classes, run between 1957 and 1959 at the New School for Social Research in New York City which explored notions of indeterminacy in art. These classes—later taught by Richard Maxfield—were attended by many artists and musicians who would become involved in Fluxus, including Jackson Mac Low, La Monte Young, George Brecht, Al Hansen, Dick Higgins and George Maciunas.[3][4]

The other main influence, Marcel Duchamp,[5] was a French artist who had originally been active within Dada, and was by now resident in New York. He had created a series of artworks that used found objects, thereby negating any need for traditional artistic skill. Known as readymades, of which the most famous is Fountain, these artworks were to become a major influence on Fluxus and conceptual art in general.[5]

A number of other contemporary happenings are credited as either anticipating Fluxus, or as proto-fluxus events.[6] The most commonly cited include the series of Chambers Street loft concerts, New York, curated by Yoko Ono and La Monte Young in 1961 featuring pieces by Jackson Mac Low, Joseph Byrd, and Henry Flynt,[7] the month-long Yam festival held in upstate New York by George Brecht and Robert Watts in May 1963 with Ray Johnson and Allan Kaprow that was the culmination of a year's worth of Mail Art pieces,[8] and a series of concerts held in Mary Bauermeister's studio, Cologne, 1960–61 featuring Nam June Paik and John Cage amongst many others.[9]

Fluxus started with the work, and then came together, applying the name Fluxus to work which already existed. It was as if it started in the middle of the situation, rather than at the beginning.[10][11]

The American musician and artist La Monte Young had been asked to guest-edit an issue of a literary journal, Beatitude East, and asked George Maciunas, a trained graphic designer, for help with the layout; Maciunas supplied the paper, design, and some money for publishing of the anthology, which contained a more or less arbitrary association of New York avant-garde artists at that time. By the end of 1961 before An Anthology of Chance Operations[12] was completed (it was finally published in 1963 by Mac Low and Young), Maciunas had moved to Germany to escape his creditors.[citation needed] From there, he continued his contact with the New York artists and sent out announcements about a series of "yearbooks" of artists' works under the title of Fluxus.

Early Fluxus and Neo-Dada

Fluxus was conceived by Lithuanian-born George Maciunas as an attempt to 'fuse... cultural, social, & political revolutionaries into [a] united front and action'.[13] After having fled Lithuania at the end of World War II, his family had moved to New York, where Maciunas first came into contact with a group of avant-garde artists and musicians centered around John Cage and La Monte Young. Initially opening an art gallery on Madison Avenue which showed work by Higgins, Ono, Jonas Mekas, Ray Johnson, Flynt and Young, he moved to Wiesbaden, West Germany having taken a job as a graphic designer with the US Air Force in late 1961[14] after the gallery had gone bust. Maciunas first publically coined the term Fluxus (meaning 'to flow') in a 'brochure prospectus' that he distributed to the audience at a festival he had organized, called Aprés Cage; Kleinen Sommerfest (After Cage; a Small Summer Festival), in Wuppertal, West Germany, 9 June 1962.[15]

Maciunas was an avid art historian, and initially referred to fluxus as 'neo-dadaism' or 'renewed dadaism'.[16] He wrote a number of letters to Raoul Hausmann, an original dadaist, outlining his ideas. Hausmann discouraged the use of the term;

I note with much pleasure what you said about German neodadaists—but I think even the Americans should not use the term "neodadaism" because neo means nothing and -ism is old-fashioned. Why not simply "Fluxus"? It seems to me much better, because it's new, and dada is historic.[17]

As part of the festival, Maciunas wrote a lecture, entitled 'Neo-Dada in the United States'.[18] After an attempt to define 'Concretist Neo-Dada' art, he explained that Fluxus was opposed to the exclusion of the everyday from art. Using 'anti-art and artistic banalities', Fluxus would fight the 'traditional artificialities of art'.[19] The lecture ended with the declaration;

Anti-art is life, is nature, is true reality—it is one and all.[19]

European festivals and the Fluxkits

Piano Activities, by Philip Corner, as performed in Wiesbaden, 1962, by (l-r) Emmett Williams, Wolf Vostell, Nam June Paik, Dick Higgins, Benjamin Patterson and George Maciunas

With the help of a group of artists including Joseph Beuys and Wolf Vostell, Maciunas then organised a series of Fluxfests across Western Europe. Starting with 14 concerts between 1 and 23 September 1962, at Wiesbaden, these Fluxfests presented work by musicians such as John Cage, Ligeti, Penderecki, Terry Riley and Brion Gysin alongside performance pieces written by Dick Higgins, George Brecht and Nam June Paik amongst many others. One performance in particular became notorious; Piano Activities by Philip Corner.

The score—which asks for any number of performers to, among other things, "play", "pluck or tap", "scratch or rub", "drop objects" on, "act on strings with", "strike soundboard, pins, lid or drag various kinds of objects across them" and "act in any way on underside of piano"[20]—resulted in the total destruction of a piano when performed by Maciunas, Higgins and others at Wiesbaden. The performance was considered scandalous enough to be shown on German television four times, with the introduction "The lunatics have escaped!"[21]

At the end we did Corner's Piano Activities not according to his instructions since we systematically destroyed a piano which I bought for $5 and had to have it all cut up to throw it away, otherwise we would have had to pay movers, a very practical composition, but German sentiments about this "instrument of Chopin" were hurt and they made a row about it...[22]

At the same time, Maciunas used his connections at work to start printing cheap mass-produced books and multiples by some of the artists that were involved in the performances. The first three to be printed were Composition 1961 by La Monte Young see, An Anthology of Chance Operations edited by Young and Mac Low and Water Yam, by George Brecht. Water Yam, a series of event scores printed on small sheets of card and collected together in a cardboard box, was the first in a series of artworks that Maciunas printed that became known as Fluxkits. Cheap, mass-produced and easily distributed, Fluxkits were originally intended to form an ever-expanding library of modern performance art. Water Yam was published in an edition of 1000 and originally cost $4.[23] By April 1964, almost a year later, Maciunas still had 996 copies unsold.[24]

Maciunas' original plan had been to design, edit and pay for each edition himself, in exchange for the copyright to be held by the collective.[25][26] Profits were to be split 80/20 at first, in favor of the artist.[27] Since most of the composers already had publishing deals, Fluxus quickly moved away from music toward performance and visual art. John Cage, for instance, never published work under the Fluxus moniker due to his contract with the music publishers Edition Peters.[28]

Maciunas seemed to have a fantastic ability to get things done.... if you had things to be printed he could get them printed. It's pretty hard in East Brunswick to get good offset printing. It's not impossible, but it's not so easy, and since I'm very lazy it was a relief to find somebody who could take the burden off my hands. So there was this guy Maciunas, a Lithuanian or Bulgarian, or somehow a refugee or whatever—beautifully dressed—"astonishing looking" would be a better adjective. He was somehow able to carry the whole thing off, without my having to go 57 miles to find a printer.[29]

Since Maciunas was colorblind, Fluxus multiples were almost always black and white.[30]

New York and the FluxShops

Willem de Ridder's Mail Order FluxShop, Amsterdam, with Dorothea Meijer, winter 1964–65. Photo by Willem de Ridder

After his contract with the US Air Force was terminated due to ill health, Maciunas was forced to return to the US on 3 September 1963.[31] Once back in New York, he set about organizing a series of street concerts and opened a new shop, the 'Fluxhall', on Canal Street. 12 concerts, 'away from the beaten track of the New York art scene[32]' took place on Canal Street, 11 April to 23 May 1964. With photographs taken by Maciunas himself, pieces by Ben Vautier, Alison Knowles and Takehisha Kosugi were performed in the street for free, although in practice there was 'no audience to speak of'[32] anyway.

'The people in Fluxus had understood, as Brecht explained, that "concert halls, theaters, and art galleries" were "mummifying." Instead, these artists found themselves "preferring streets, homes, and railway stations...." Maciunas recognized a radical political potential in all this forthrightly anti-institutional production, which was an important source for his own deep commitment to it. Deploying his expertise as a professional graphic designer, Maciunas played an important role in projecting upon Fluxus whatever coherence it would later seem to have had.' Julia Robinson[33]

Along with the New York shop, Maciunas built up a distribution network for the new art across Europe and later outlets in California and Japan. Gallery and mail order outlets were established in Amsterdam, Villefranche-Sur-Mer, Milan and London, amongst others.[34] By 1965, the first anthology Fluxus 1 was available, consisting of manila envelopes bolted together containing work by numerous artists who would later become famous including LaMonte Young, Christo and Yoko Ono. Other pieces available included packs of altered playing cards by George Brecht, sensory boxes by Ay-O, a regular newsletter with contributions by artists and musicians such as Ray Johnson and John Cale, and tin cans filled with poems, songs and recipes about beans by Alison Knowles (see). A videotape of George and Billy Maciunas' wedding was produced by Dimitri Devyatkin.(see)

Stockhausen's Originale

Traitor, you left Fluxus!, a postcard sent by George Maciunas to Nam June Paik, c late 1964, after the latter's involvement with Stockhausen's Originale

After returning to New York, Maciunas became reacquainted with Henry Flynt,[35] who encouraged members of Fluxus to take a more overtly political stance. One of the results of these discussions was to set up a picket line at the American premiere of Originale, a recent work by the German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, 8 September 1964. Stockhausen was deemed a 'Cultural Imperialist' by Maciunas and Flynt, while other members vehemently disagreed. The result was members of Fluxus, such as Nam June Paik and Jackson Mac Low, crossing a picket line made up of other members, including Ben Vautier and Takako Saito[36] who handed out leaflets denouncing Stockhausen as "a characteristic European-North American ruling-class Artist".[37][38] Dick Higgins participated in the picket, and then coolly joined the other performers inside;[39]

Maciunas and his friend Henry Flynt tried to get the Fluxus people to march around outside the circus with white cards that said Originale was bad. And they tried to say that the Fluxus people who were in the circus weren't Fluxus any more. That was silly, because it made a split. I thought it was funny, and so first I walked around with Maciunas and with Henry with a card, then I went inside and joined the circus; so both groups got angry with me. Oh well. Some people say that Fluxus died that day—I once thought so myself—but it turned out I was wrong.[40]

The event, arranged by Charlotte Moorman as part of her 2nd Annual New York Avant Garde Festival, would cement animosities between Maciunas and her,[41] with Maciunas frequently demanding that artists associated with Fluxus have nothing to do with the annual festival, and would often expel artists who ignored his demands. This hostility continued throughout Maciunas' life—much to Moorman's bemusement—despite her continued championing of Fluxus art and artists.[42]

History, 1965–78

Yoko Ono and the Asiatic influence

Cut Piece, a performance piece by Yoko Ono in which the audience is invited to cut off her clothing. This version was staged at Carnegie Recital Hall, New York, 21 March 1965. Still taken from a film by Albert and David Maysles

The picketing of Originale marked the high point of Maciunas' agit prop approach,[43] an approach that estranged many of Fluxus' early proponents; Jackson Mac Low had resigned immediately after hearing 'antisocial' plans laid in April 1963, such as breaking down trucks under the Hudson River.[44] Brecht threatened to quit on the same issue, and then left New York in the spring of 1965. Dick Higgins fell out with Maciunas around the same time, ostensibly over his setting up the Something Else Press which printed many key Fluxus texts. Instead of folding, however, Fluxus practised becoming increasingly influenced by Japanese members of the group.[45]' Since returning to Japan in 1961, Yoko Ono had been recommending colleagues look Maciunas up if they moved to New York; by the time she had returned, in early 1965, Hi Red Center, Shigeko Kubota, Takako Saito, Mieko Shiomi and Ay-O had all started to make work for Fluxus, often of a contemplative nature.[46]

Blurring boundaries

As fluxus gradually became more famous, Maciunas' ambitions for the sale of cheap multiples grew. The second flux anthology, the Fluxkit (late 1964 see), collected together early 3D work made by the collective in a businessman's case, an idea borrowed directly from Duchamp's Boite en Valise[47](see). Within a year, plans for a new anthology, Fluxus 2, were in full swing to contain Flux films by John Cale and Yoko Ono (with hand held projectors provided), disrupted matchboxes and postcards by Ben Vautier, plastic food by Claes Oldenburg, FluxMedicine by Shigeko Kubota,[48] and artworks made of rocks, ink stamps, outdated travel tickets, undoable puzzles and a machine to facilitate humming.[49]

Maciunas' belief in the collective extended to authorship; a number of pieces from this period were anonymous, mis-attributed, or have had their authorship since questioned.[50] As a further complication, Maciunas was in the habit of dramatically changing ideas submitted by various artists before he put the works into production. Solid Plastic in Plastic Box, credited to Per Kirkeby 1967, for instance, had originally been realised by Kirkeby as a metal box, inscribed 'This Box Contains Wood'. When opened, the box would be found to contain sawdust. By the time the multiple had been manufactured by Maciunas, it was a block of solid plastic contained in a plastic box of the same colour.[51] Conversely, Maciunas assigned Degree Face Clock- in which a clock face is measured out in 360°- to Kirkeby despite being an idea by Robert Watts;[52]

Some years ago, when I spoke with Robert Watts about Degree Face Clock and Compass Face Clock, he had recalled thinking up the idea himself and was surprised that George Maciunas advertised them as Per Kirkeby's. Watts shrugged and said that was the way George worked. There would be ideas in the air and Maciunas would assign the piece to one artist or another.[53]

Other tactics from this time included Maciunas buying large amounts of plastic boxes wholesale, and handing them out to artists with the simple request to turn them into Fluxkits, and the use of the rapidly growing international network of artists to contribute items needed to complete works. Robert Watts' Fluxatlas, 1973, for instance, contains small rocks sent by members of the group from around the world.[54]

Utopian communities

A number of artists in the group were interested in setting up Flux communes, intending to 'bridge the gap between the artist community and the surrounding society'[55] The first of these, The Cedilla That Smiles,[56] was set up in Villefranche-sur-Mer, France, by Robert Filliou and George Brecht, 1965–1968.[57] Intended as an 'International Centre of Permanent Creation', the shop sold Fluxkits and other small wares as well as housing a 'non-school', boasting the motto "A carefree exchange of information and experience. No students, no teachers. Perfect licence, at times to listen at times to talk." [57][58] In 1966, Maciunas, Watts and others took advantage of new legislation drafted to regenerate the area of Manhattan known as 'Hell's Hundred Acres', soon to become rebranded as SoHo, allowing artists to buy live/work spaces in an area that had been blighted due to a proposed 18-lane expressway along Broome Street.[59] Led by Maciunas, plans were laid to start a series of real-estate developments in the area, designed to create an artists' community within a few streets of the FluxShop on Canal Street.

'Maciunas wanted to establish collective workshops, food-buying cooperatives and theaters to link the strengths of various media together and bridge the gap between the artist community and the surrounding society' [59]

The first warehouse, intended to house Maciunas, Watts, Christo & Jeanne-Claude, Jonas Mekas, LaMonte Young & others, was located on Greene Street. Likening these communities to the soviet Kolkhozs, Maciunas didn't hesitate to adopt the title 'Chairman of Bldg. Co-Op'[60] without first registering an office or becoming a member of the New York State Association of Realtors.[61] FluxHousing Co-Operatives continued to redevelop the area over the next decade, and were widened to include plans to set up a FluxIsland- a suitable island was located near Antigua, but the money to buy and develop it remained unforthcoming- and finally a performance arts centre called the FluxFarm established in New Marlborough, Massachusetts. The plans were continually dogged by financial problems, constant run-ins with the New York authorities, and eventually resulted, on 8 November 1975, in Maciunas being severely beaten by thugs sent by an unpaid electrical contractor.[62]

Since 1978

After the death of George Maciunas in 1978 a rift opened in the movement between a few collectors and curators who placed Fluxus in a specific time frame (1962 to 1978), and the artists themselves, many of whom continued to see Fluxus as a living entity held together by its core values and world view. Different theorists and historians adopted each of these views. Fluxus is therefore referred to variously in the past or the present tense. The question is now significantly more complex due to the fact that many of the original artists who were still living when the controversy arose are now dead.[63][64]

Some have argued that the unique control that curator Jon Hendricks holds over a major historical Fluxus collection (the Gilbert and Lila Silverman collection) has enabled him to influence, through the numerous books and catalogues subsidized by the collection, the view that Fluxus died with Maciunas. Hendricks argues that Fluxus was a historical movement that occurred at a particular time, asserting that such central Fluxus artists as Dick Higgins and Nam June Paik could no longer label themselves as active Fluxus artists after 1978, and that contemporary artists influenced by Fluxus cannot lay claim to be Fluxus artists.[65][66] The Museum of Modern Art makes the same claim dating the movement to the 1960s and 1970s.[67][68] However, the influence of Fluxus continues today in multi-media digital art performances. In September, 2011 Other Minds presented a performance at the SOMArts building in San Francisco to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Fluxus.[69] The performance was curated by Adam Fong who was also one of the performers along with Yoshi Wada, Alison Knowles, Hannah Higgins, Luciano Chessa and Adam Overton.

Others, including Hannah Higgins, daughter of fluxus artists Alison Knowles and Dick Higgins, assert that although Maciunas was a key participant, there were many more, including Fluxus co-founder Higgins, who continued to work within Fluxus after the death of Maciunas.[70] There are a number of post-1978 artists who remain associated with Fluxus. Some were contemporaries of Maciunas who became active in Fluxus after 1978. While there is not a large Fluxus artist community in any single urban center, the rise of the Internet in the 1990s has enabled a vibrant Fluxus community to thrive online. Some of the original artists from the 1960s and 1970s remain active in online communities such as the Fluxlist, and other artists, writers, musicians, and performers have joined them in cyberspace. Fluxus-oriented artists continue to meet in cities around the world to collaborate and communicate in "real-time" and physical spaces.

Fluxus art

Fluxus encouraged a "do-it-yourself" aesthetic, and valued simplicity over complexity. Like Dada before it, Fluxus included a strong current of anti-commercialism and an anti-art sensibility, disparaging the conventional market-driven art world in favor of an artist-centered creative practice. As Fluxus artist Robert Filliou wrote, however, Fluxus differed from Dada in its richer set of aspirations, and the positive social and communitarian aspirations of Fluxus far outweighed the anti-art tendency that also marked the group.[71]

In terms of an artistic approach, Fluxus artists preferred to work with whatever materials were at hand, and either created their own work or collaborated in the creation process with their colleagues. Outsourcing part of the creative process to commercial fabricators was not usually part of Fluxus practice. Maciunas personally hand-assembled many of the Fluxus multiples and editions.[72] While Maciunas assembled many objects by hand, he designed and intended them for mass production.[67][73] Where many multiple publishers produced signed, numbered objects in limited editions intended for sale at high prices, Maciunas produced open editions at low prices.[67][73] Several other Fluxus publishers produced different kinds of Fluxus editions. The best known of these was the Something Else Press, established by Dick Higgins, probably the largest and most extensive Fluxus publisher, producing books in editions that ran from 1,500 copies to as many as 5,000 copies, all available at standard bookstore prices.[74][75] Higgins created the term "intermedia" in a 1966 essay.

The art forms most closely associated with Fluxus are event scores and Fluxus boxes. Fluxus boxes (sometimes called Fluxkits or Fluxboxes) originated with George Maciunas who would gather collections of printed cards, games, and ideas, organizing them in small plastic or wooden boxes.[76] The idea of the event began in Henry Cowell's philosophy of music. Cowell, a teacher to John Cage and later to Dick Higgins, coined the term that Higgins and others later applied to short, terse descriptions of performable work. The term "score" is used in exactly the sense that one uses the term to describe a music score: a series of notes that allow anyone to perform the work, an idea linked both to what Nam June Paik labeled the "do it yourself" approach and to what Ken Friedman termed "musicality." While much is made of the do it yourself approach to art, it is vital to recognize that this idea emerges in music, and such important Fluxus artists as Paik, Higgins, or Corner began as composers, bringing to art the idea that each person can create the work by "doing it." This is what Friedman meant by musicality, extending the idea more radically to conclude that anyone can create work of any kind from a score, acknowledging the composer as the originator of the work while realizing the work freely and even interpreting it in far different ways from those the original composer might have done.

Event scores, such as George Brecht's "Drip Music", are essentially performance art scripts that are usually only a few lines long and consist of descriptions of actions to be performed rather than dialogue. Fluxus artists differentiate event scores from "happenings". Whereas happenings were sometimes complicated, lengthy performances meant to blur the lines between performer and audience, performance and reality, Fluxus performances were usually brief and simple. The Event performances sought to elevate the banal, to be mindful of the mundane, and to frustrate the high culture of academic and market-driven music and art. Other creative forms that have been adopted by Fluxus practitioners include collage, sound art, music, video, and poetry—especially visual poetry and concrete poetry.

Among its early associates were Joseph Beuys, Dick Higgins, Nam June Paik, Wolf Vostell, La Monte Young, Joseph Byrd, Al Hansen and Yoko Ono who explored media ranging from performance art to poetry to experimental music to film. Taking the stance of opposition to the ideas of tradition and professionalism in the arts of their time, the Fluxus group shifted the emphasis from what an artist makes to the artist's personality, actions, and opinions. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s (their most active period) they staged "action" events, engaged in politics and public speaking, and produced sculptural works featuring unconventional materials. Their radically untraditional works included, for example, the video art of Nam June Paik and Charlotte Moorman and the performance art of Joseph Beuys and Wolf Vostell. The often playful style of Fluxus artists led to their being considered by some little more than a group of pranksters in their early years. Fluxus has also been compared to Dada and aspects of Pop Art and is seen as the starting point of mail art and no wave artists. Artists from succeeding generations such as Mark Bloch do not try to characterize themselves as Fluxus but create spinoffs such as Fluxpan or Jung Fluxus as a way of continuing some of the Fluxus ideas in a 21st-century, post-mail art context.

Artistic philosophies

Fluxus is similar in spirit to the earlier art movement of Dada, emphasizing the concept of anti-art and taking jabs at the seriousness of modern art.[77] Fluxus artists used their minimal performances to highlight their perceived connections between everyday objects and art, similarly to Duchamp in pieces such as Fountain.[77] Fluxus art was often presented in "events", which Fluxus member George Brecht defined as "the smallest unit of a situation".[77][78] The events consisted of a minimal instruction, opening the events to accidents and other unintended effects.[79] Also contributing to the randomness of events was the integration of audience members into the performances, realizing Duchamp's notion of the viewer completing the art work.[79]

The Fluxus artistic philosophy has been defined as a synthesis of four key factors that define the majority of Fluxus work:

  1. Fluxus is an attitude. It is not a movement or a style.[80]
  2. Fluxus is intermedia.[81] Fluxus creators like to see what happens when different media intersect. They use found and everyday objects, sounds, images, and texts to create new combinations of objects, sounds, images, and texts.
  3. Fluxus works are simple. The art is small, the texts are short, and the performances are brief.
  4. Fluxus is fun. Humor has always been an important element in Fluxus.

Fluxus artists

Fluxus artists shared several characteristics including wit and "childlikeness", though they lacked a consistent identity as an artistic community.[82] This vague self-identification allowed the group to include a variety of artists, including a large number of women. The possibility that Fluxus had more female members than any Western art group up to that point in history is particularly significant because Fluxus came on the heels of the white male-dominated abstract expressionism movement.[82] However, despite the designed open-endedness of Fluxus, Maciunas insisted on maintaining unity in the collective. Because of this, Maciunas was accused of expelling certain members for deviating from what he perceived as the goals of Fluxus.[83]

Many artists, writers, and composers have been associated with Fluxus over the years, including:

Scholars, critics, and curators associated with Fluxus

Major collections and archives

  • Alternative Traditions in Contemporary Art, University Library and University of Iowa Museum of Art, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA
  • Archiv Sohm, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany
  • Archivio Conz, Verona, Italy
  • Artpool, Budapest, Hungary
  • Emily Harvey Foundation, New York City, and Venice, Italy
  • David Mayor/Fluxshoe/Beau Geste Press papers, Tate Gallery Archive, Tate Britain, London, England[85]
  • Fluxus Collection, Ken Friedman papers, Tate Gallery Archive, Tate Britain, London, England
  • Fluxus Collection, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
  • Franklin Furnace Archive, The Museum of Modern Art, New York City
  • George Maciunas Memorial Collection, The Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA
  • Gilbert and Lila Silverman, Fluxus Foundation, Detroit, Michigan, and New York City, USA
  • Museo Vostell Malpartida, Cáceres, Spain.
  • Jean Brown papers, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles[86]
  • Sammlung Maria und Walter Schnepel, Bremen, Germany
  • De Montfort University, Leicester, UK
  • TVF The Endless Story of FLUXUS, Gent, Belgium
  • Jonas Mekas Visual Arts Center, Vilnius, Lithuania
  • The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Gift from the Gilbert and Lila Silverman Collection, Detroit, to American Friends of the Israel Museum

Selected bibliography

  • Baas, Jacquelynn, et al.[full citation needed] Fluxus and the Essential Questions of Life. Chicago and Hanover, NH: University of Chicago Press and Hood Museum of Art, 2011.
  • Bernstein, Roslyn, and Shael Shapiro. Illegal Living: 80 Wooster Street and the Evolution of SoHo (Jonas Mekas Foundation), ISBN 978-609-95172-0-9, September 2010.
  • Block, René, ed. 1962 Wiesbaden Fluxus 1982. Wiesbaden: Harlekin Art, Museum Wiesbaden, and Nassauischer Kunstverein, 1982.
  • Fluxus und Freunde: Sammlung Maria und Walter Schnepel, Katalog zur Ausstellung Neues Museum Weserburg Bremen; Fondazione Morra, Napoli; Kunst Museum Bonn 2002.
  • Friedman, Ken, ed. The Fluxus Reader. Chicester, West Sussex and New York: Academy Editions, 1998.
  • Gray, John. Action Art. A Bibliography of Artists’ Performance from Futurism to Fluxus and Beyond. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1993.
  • Haskell, Barbara. BLAM! The Explosion of Pop, Minimalism and Performance 1958–1964. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. in association with the Whitney Museum of American Art, 1984.
  • Hansen, Al, and Beck Hansen. Playing with Matches. RAM USA, 1998.
  • Hapgood, Susan, and Cornelia Lauf. FluxAttitudes. Ghent: Imschoot Uitgevers, 1991.
  • Held, John Jr. Mail Art: an Annotated Bibliography. Metuchen, New Jersey and London: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1991.
  • Held, John Jr. Where the Secret is Hidden: Collected Essays Breda: TAM-Publications Netherlands, 2011.
  • Hendricks, Geoffrey, ed. Critical Mass, Happenings, Fluxus, Performance, Intermedia and Rutgers University 1958–1972. Mason Gross Art Galleries, Rutgers, and Mead Art Gallery, Amherst, 2003.
  • Hendricks, Jon, ed. Fluxus, etc.: The Gilbert and Lila Silverman Collection. Bloomfield Hills, Michigan: Cranbrook Museum of Art, 1982.
  • Higgins, Hannah. Fluxus Experience. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002.
  • Janssen, Ruud. Mail-Interviews Part-1 Interviews with Mail-Art and Fluxus Artists. Breda: TAM-Publications, Netherlands 2008.
  • Kellein, Thomas. Fluxus. London and New York: Thames and Hudson, 1995.
  • Milman, Estera, ed. Fluxus: A Conceptual Country, Visible Language [Special Issue], Vol. 26, Nos. 1/2, Providence: Rhode Island School of Design, 1992.
  • Moren, Lisa. Intermedia. Baltimore, Maryland: University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 2003.
  • Paull, Silke, and Hervé Würz, eds. "How We Met or a Microdemystification". AQ 16 [Special Issue], (1977)
  • Phillpot, Clive, and Jon Hendricks, eds. Fluxus: Selections from the Gilbert and Lila Silverman Collection. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1988.
  • Saper, Craig J. Networked Art. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001.
  • Schmidt-Burkhardt, Astrit. Maciunas’ Learning Machines: From Art History to a Chronology of Fluxus, with a foreword by Jon Hendricks. Second, revised and enlarged edition, Vienna and New York: Springer, 2011. ISBN 978-3-7091-0479-8.
  • Smith, Owen. Fluxus: The History of an Attitude. San Diego State University Press, San Diego, California, 1998.
  • Stegmann, Petra, ed. 'The lunatics are on the loose …' EUROPEAN FLUXUS FESTIVALS 1962–1977. DOWN WITH ART!, Berlin 2012. ISBN 978-3-9815579-0-9.
  • Stegmann, Petra, ed. Fluxus East. Fluxus-Netzwerke in Mittelosteuropa. Fluxus Networks in Central Eastern Europe. Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin 2007. ISBN 978-3932754876.
  • Würz, Fleurice Fluxus Nice. Saarbrücken (Germany): AQ-Verlag, 2011. ISBN 978-3-922441-11-3.

See also


  1. ^ Wiktionary,
  2. ^ Anon. "Nam June Paik: Section 2: Fluxus, Performance, Participation", Tate Online, n.d.
  3. ^ Maciunas himself joined the class in 1959–60, and was taught by Maxfield
  4. ^ George Brecht; A Heterospective, Walther König, p28.[full citation needed]
  5. ^ a b MOMA online,
  6. ^ Fluxus, MOMA,
  7. ^ Performances at Yoko Ono's Chambers Street Loft,
  8. ^ Fluxus, on Moma website,
  9. ^ It was at one of these events in 1960, during his Etude pour Piano, that Paik leapt into the audience and cut John Cage's tie off, ran out of the concert hall, and then phoned the hall's organisers to announce the piece had ended. see
  10. ^ Dick Higgins on Fluxus, interviewed 1986.
  11. ^ Amongst the earliest pieces that would later be published by Fluxus were Brecht's event scores, the earliest of which dated from around 1958/9, and works such as Valoche, which had originally been exhibited in Brecht's solo show 'Toward's Events' at 1959.
  12. ^ full title, 'AN ANTHOLOGY of chance operations concept art anti-art indeterminacy improvisation meaningless work natural disasters plans of action stories diagrams Music poetry essays dance constructions mathematics compositions'
  13. ^ Fluxus Manifesto, 1963, by George Maciunas
  14. ^ Fluxus Codex, Hendricks, p22
  15. ^ Fluxus Codex, Hendricks, p91
  16. ^ Maciunas, Fluxus Prospectus, quoted in Fluxus Codex, Hendricks, p23
  17. ^ Raoul Hausmann, quoted in Mr. Fluxus, Williams andNoel, p40. Letter dated 4 November 1962, according to The Dream of Fluxus, n.47, p65
  18. ^ The lecture was actually given, in German, by Artus C Caspari
  19. ^ a b The Dream of Fluxus, Kellein, p62
  20. ^ Marcus Boon,
  21. ^ "Die Irren Sind Los" quoted in The Dream Of Fluxus, Kellein, p65.
  22. ^ George Maciunas, letter to La Monte Young, 1962, quoted in Mr. Fluxus, Williams and Noël, p53
  23. ^ Price listed in the Fluxus Preview Review, July 1963, quoted in the Fluxus Codex, Hendricks, Abrams, 1989 p217
  24. ^ Maciunas, letter to Emmett Williams, quoted in Mr. Fluxus, Williams and Noelp106
  25. ^ Fluxus Codex, Hendricks, p24
  26. ^ The Dream of Fluxus, Kellein, p69
  27. ^ This was to go down to 50/50 within a year; Dream of Fluxus, Kellein, p88
  28. ^ Maciunas sent out letters to 20 international artists between late 62 and early 63, demanding each artist relinquish any publishing rights and have Fluxus as sole and exclusive publisher. Maciunas likened his agreement to Cage's arrangement with Peters Editions. Only two artists—Henry Flynt and Thomas Schmitt signed up. Cage was not asked, due at least on Maciunas' side, to the aforesaid contract with editions peters. Dream of Fluxus, Thomas Kellein, Thames And Hudson, p69-71
  29. ^ George Brecht, "An Interview with Robin Page for Carla Liss", In Art And Artists, London October 1972, p30-31 reprinted in Mr. Fluxus, Williams and Noel, Thames And Hudson, p109-10 ISBN 0-500-97461-6
  30. ^ Art in Review, NY TImes,
  31. ^ Mr. Fluxus, Willims and Noel, p340
  32. ^ a b The Dream of Fluxus, p93
  33. ^ Julia Robinson quoting George Brecht in George Brecht, Events; A Heterospective, Walther Konig, p118.
  34. ^ The Dream of Fluxus, p109
  35. ^ At the time, a member of the leftist set WWP, Mr Fluxus, p108
  36. ^ The Dream of Fluxus, p98
  37. ^ Picket Stockhausen Concert!! Flynt and Maciunas flyer, 1964. Reproduced
  38. ^ A particular bone of contention was Stockhausen's supposed referral to jazz as 'primitive... barbaric... beat and a few simple chords... garbage...' in a lecture given in 1958. see
  39. ^ for a film of the event, see UbuWeb,
  40. ^ Dick Higgins, "A Child's History of Fluxus", 1979.
  41. ^ The Dream of fluxus, note 104, p98
  42. ^ see
  43. ^ Stewart Home,
  44. ^ Jackson Mac Low quoted in Mr Fluxus, p94-95
  45. ^ The Dream of Fluxus, p101
  46. ^ Dream of Fluxus, p102
  47. ^ Fluxus Codex, p76
  48. ^ containing empty pill packages
  49. ^ fluxus codex, Hendricks, p124
  50. ^ Yoko Ono, for instance, has claimed authorship of Mieko Shiomi's Disappearing Music For Face (aka Smile) for instance.
  51. ^ see Fluxus Codex, p294
  52. ^ fluxus codex p290
  53. ^ Jon Hendricks, quoted in fluxus codex, p291.
  54. ^ 'All contributors will receive a box in return...' Codex, p542
  55. ^ The History of Artists and Art Production in SoHo, Danielle,
  56. ^ La Cédille qui sourit
  57. ^ a b
  58. ^ For the Fluxkit documenting the project, see
  59. ^ a b The History of Artists and Art Production in SoHo, Danielle,
  60. ^ Dream of Fluxus, p131
  61. ^ The Dream of Fluxus, p132
  62. ^ Dream of Fluxus, p147
  63. ^ [] Ken Johnson, Liberating Viewers, and the World, With Silliness, NY Times, exhibition Review
  64. ^ Fluxus at NYU
  65. ^ Hendricks, Jon. 1988. Fluxus codex. Detroit, Mich: Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection in association with H.N. Abrams, New York.
  66. ^ Robert Pincus-Witten on Fluxus, and Jon Hendricks's Codex
  67. ^ a b c Retrieved 5 September 2010
  68. ^ MoMA exhibitions, October 2009 – August 2010 Retrieved 5 September 2010
  69. ^ [1] Retrieved August 1, 2014
  70. ^ Interview with Hannah Higgins
  71. ^ Robert Filliou on Fluxus and art Retrieved 5 September 2010
  72. ^ Ken Friedman, 40 Years of Fluxus Retrieved 5 September 2010
  73. ^ a b Maciunas on Fluxus Retrieved 5 September 2010
  74. ^ Fluxus and Happening, the Something Else Press Retrieved 5 September 2010
  75. ^ UBUWeb Retrieved 5 September 2010
  76. ^ Kellein, Hendriks, and Hendricks 1995[page needed].
  77. ^ a b c Rush 2005, p. 24.
  78. ^ On George Brecht, Robert Filliou and others Retrieved 5 September 2010
  79. ^ a b Rush 2005, p. 25
  80. ^ Smith 1998,[page needed].
  81. ^ Higgins 1966,[page needed]
  82. ^ a b O'Dell, 1997, p. 43
  83. ^ Oren 1993, p. 8.
  84. ^ Baas, Jacquelynn, et al. Fluxus and the Essential Questions of Life, pp 80,86. Chicago and Hanover, NH: University of Chicago Press and Hood Museum of Art, 2011.
  85. ^'Mayor')
  86. ^ Getty Research Institute. Selected Special Collections Finding Aids. Jean Brown papers, 1916–1995, bulk 1958–1985.. Retrieved 28 August 2008.


  • Hendricks, Jon. Fluxus Codex. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 1989.
  • Higgins, Dick. 1966. "Intermedia." Something Else Newsletter. Vol. 1, No. 1.
  • Kellein, Thomas, and Jon Hendricks (1995). Fluxus. London: Thames & Hudson.
  • O'Dell, Kathy. 1997. "Fluxus Feminus." The Drama Review. Vol. 41, No. 1, pp. 43–60.
  • Oren, Michel. 1993. "Anti-Art as the End of Cultural History." Performing Arts Journal. Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 1–30.
  • Robinson, Julia. 2005. George Brecht Events: A Heterospective. Cologne: Museum Ludwig and Bucchandlung Walther Koenig.
  • Robinson, Julia. 2008. From Abstraction to Model: In the Event of George Brecht and the Conceptual Turn in the Art of the 1960s. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Princeton: Princeton University.
  • Rush, Michael. 2005. New Media in Art. London: Thames & Hudson.
  • Smith, Owen. 1998. Fluxus: The History of an Attitude. San Diego: San Diego State University Press.
  • Williams, Emmett, and Ann Noel, eds. Mr. Fluxus: A Collective Portrait of George Maciunas. London: Thames and Hudson, 1997.

External links

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