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Fluxus (from "to flow") is an art movement noted for the blending of different artistic disciplines, primarily visual art but also music and literature.

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Presentation on theme: "Fluxus (from "to flow") is an art movement noted for the blending of different artistic disciplines, primarily visual art but also music and literature."— Presentation transcript:

1 Fluxus (from "to flow") is an art movement noted for the blending of different artistic disciplines, primarily visual art but also music and literature. Fluxus was founded in 1961 by George Maciunas ( ), an American artist who had moved to Germany to escape his creditors. Throughout the 1960s and '70s (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 the performance art of Joseph Beuys. The often playful style of Fluxus artists led to them being considered by some little more than a group of pranksters in their early years. Fluxus has also been compared to Dada and is seen as the starting point of mail art an early forerunner to Most notorious are the Fluxus performance pieces or "happenings". These pieces were meant to blur the lines between performer and audience, performance and reality. Yves Klein: Leap into the Void

2 Fluxus The Lithuanian-born Goerge Maciunas launched the Fluxus movement in 1961. What Fluxus was is a matter of some debate. Was it an art movement, an anti=art movement. a sociopolitical movement, or as the artists themselves tended to protest not a movement at all?

3 Macunias studied with John Cage at the New School in New York who studied classical music but quickly realized that his musical interests lay elsewhere. At Black Mountain College, Cage and his early collaborators Merce Cunningham and Robert Rauschenberg began to create sound pieces for performance. At the same time he became fascinated by the idea of investigating ways to compose music through chance procedures. Like Duchamp, he was interested in the idea of a kind of “found art,” and thus made music from the sounds around him in the world. His first experiments involved altering instruments, putting objects (plates and screws between the piano strings. He moved on to reimaging what constituted an instrument; in one piece he used 12 radios played at once and tuned in to random broadcasts. time of the performance for its actual sound. In “Water Music” (1952), he used shells and water to create another piece that was motivated by the desire to reproduce the operations that form the world of sound we find around us each day. Later, he consulted the “I Ching,” or Book of Changes, to decide how he would cut up a tape of a recording and put it back together. “In the nature of the use of chance operations is the belief that all answers answer all questions.”

4 John Cage: Four Minutes, 33 Seconds
They missed the point. There’s no such thing as silence. What they thought was silence, because they didn’t know how to listen, was full of accidental sounds. You could hear the wind stirring outside during the first movement. During the second, raindrops began patterning the roof, and during the third the people themselves made all kinds of interesting sounds as they talked or walked out. John Cage: Four Minutes, 33 Seconds

5 The happening can be interpreted as an art event where the participation of the viewer is required as opposed to just viewing. The body is central in creation of the work of art, and at times, the body is the work of art. Allan Kaprow coined the term Happening in the late 1950s. Like Fluxus – to which they are closely related, they emphasize viewer participation and a blurring of life and art. Also like Fluxus, happenings are notoriously difficult to describe, in part because each was a unique event shaped by the actions of the audience that participated on any given performance. Simply put, Happenings were held in physical environments – loft spaces, abandoned factories, buses, parks, etc. – and brought people, objects, and events in surprising juxtaposition to one another. Kaprow views art as a vehicle for expanding our awareness of life by prompting unexpected, provocative interactions. For Kaprow, art is a continual work-in-progress, with an unfolding narrative that is realized through the active participation of the audience. Allan Kaprow: 18 Happenings in 6 Parts, 1959

6 Happenings, while relying on audience participation, worked from a loose ‘script” and while they are often associated with Fluxus, that movement took an even more radical stance, aiming at a DIY art that broke down the division between audience and artist altogether. Allan Kaprow movement score for 18 Happenings in 6 parts 1959 Allan Kaprow score for 18 Happenings in 6 parts 1959

7 George Macunias: Fluxus Manifesto, 1963 “Promote living art, anti-art, promote non-art reality to be fully grasped by all peoples, not only critics, dilettantes and professionals.” To the extent that Fluxus can be defined, it seems to have had a more international scope than Happenings and picked up the anti-art stance characteristic of Dada. This marked a continuation of the blurring and dissolution of conventional forms of art that had .begun early in the century with such movements as Futurism, Dada, and Russian Constructivism and that had reemerged at mid-century in a diversity of movements, groups, chance operations, Happenings, object music, concept art, and Fluxus.

8 ART To justify artist's professional, parasitic and elite status in society, he must demonstrate artist's indispensability and exclusiveness, he must demonstrate the dependability of audience upon him, he must demonstrate that no one but the artist an do art.
 Therefore, art must appear to be complex, pretentious, profound, serious, intellectual, inspired, skillful, significant, theatrical, It must appear to be valuable as commodity so as to provide the artist with an income. To raise its value (artist's income and patrons profit), art is made to appear rare, limited in quantity and therefore obtainable and accessible only to the social elite and institutions. FLUXUS ART-AMUSEMENT To establish artist's nonprofessional status in society, he must demonstrate artist's dispensability and inclusiveness, he must demonstrate the self-sufficiency of the audience, he must demonstrate that anything can be art and anyone can do it.
 Therefore, art-amusement must be simple, amusing, unpretentious, concerned with insignificances, require no skill or countless rehearsals, have no commodity or institutional value. The value of art-amusement must be lowered by making it unlimited, mass-produced, obtainable by all and eventually produced by all. Fluxus art-amusement is the rear-guard without any pretention or urge to participate in the competition of "one-upmanship" with the avant-garde. It strives for the monostructural and nontheatrical qualities of simple natural event, a game or a gag. It is the fusion of Spikes Jones Vaudeville, gag, children's games and Duchamp.

9 Macunias set up a Fluxshop and mail order business where he sold “Fluxkits” composed of items made by various Fluxus participants. Ken Johnson: “You could think of Fluxus as an international, utopian conspiracy to alter the world’s collective consciousness in favor of noncompetitive fun and games and other peaceable and pleasurable pursuits. Their weapons of choice were feeble jokes, verbal and visual puns, satiric publications and instructions for absurd performances. Bypassing the commercial gallery system, Fluxus novelties were meant to be sold cheaply by mail and in artist-run stores.”

10 Ben Vautier: Total Art Match-Box, 1968; Flux Mystery Food (unopened, contents unknown), 1966

11 Ray Johnson ( ) was a seminal Pop Art figure in the 1950s, an early conceptualist, and a pioneer of mail art. His preferred medium was collage, as a means of addressing the bombardment of visual and verbal information characteristic of contemporary life. Integrating texts and images drawn from a multiplicity of sources — from mass media to telephone conversations — Johnson’s work extended beyond the purely visual. He is credited with creating “mail art.” Early on, he turned to the postal system as a kind of artistic medium: By 1958, he sent mailings to friends and strangers alike, asking them to add to the object and pass it along to someone else or return it directly. By 1962, it had morphed into the “New York Correspondance School,” which served as a network for a web of communication by mail that eventually spread across the nation and around the globe. Johnson not only operated in what Rauschenberg famously called "the gap between art and life," but he also erased the distinction between them. His entire being – a reflection of his obsessively creative mind – was actually one continuous "work of art.”

12 On January 13, 1995, Johnson was seen dressed in black diving off a bridge in Sag Harbor, Long Island and backstroking out to sea. Many aspects of his death involved the number "13": the date, his age, 67 (6+7=13), as well as the room number of a motel he had checked into earlier that day, 247 (2+4+7=13). There was much speculation amongst critics, scholars, admirers, and law-enforcement officials about a “last performance” aspect of Johnson’s drowning. After his death, hundreds of collages were found carefully arranged in his Long Island home.

13 Fluxus staged events and performances: Here Maciunas created this "mutlicycle" for the Fluxus Game Fest in It was a set of 4 bicycles that he joined together using wires across and through the bicycles.

14 Photograph of Ben Vautier wrapped in string from Takehisa Kosgui's Anima 1. He is playing a violin piece by George Maciunas. The photo was taken on May 23, 1964 at 359 Canal Street, New York City during the "Street Events" segment of the Flux Festival at Fluxhall Ben Vautier: Wrapped in string and playing a violin piece by George Maciunas. The photo was taken on May 23, 1964 at 359 Canal Street, New York City during the "Street Events" segment of theFlux Festival at Fluxhall. Various artists: Fluxus Street-Cleaning Event

15 Art historian Uwe Schneede considers this performance pivotal for the reception of German avantgarde art in the U.S.A., it paved the way for the recognition of Beuys' own work, but also that of contemporaries such as Lüpertz, Baselitz, Kiefer and many others in the 1980s.[15] In May 1974 Beuys flew to New York and was taken by ambulance to the site of the performance, a room in the René Block Gallery on East Broadway. He shared this room with a wild coyote, for eight hours over three days. At times he stood, wrapped in a thick, grey blanket of felt, leaning on a large shepherd's staff. At times he lay on the straw, at times he watched the coyote as the coyote watched him and cautiously circled the man, or shredded the blanket to pieces, and at times he engaged in symbolic gestures, such as striking a large triangle or tossing his leather gloves to the animal; the performance continuously shifted between elements that were required by the realities of the situation, and elements that had purely symbolic character. At the end of the three days, Beuys hugged the coyote that had grown quite tolerant of him, and was taken to the airport. Again he rode in a veiled ambulance, leaving America without having set foot on its ground Yoko Ono: Cut Piece (1965); Joseph Beuys: I Like America, America Likes Me (

16 Paik was a pioneer in early video art
Paik was a pioneer in early video art. His work was sculptural, highly technical and commented on our attraction and obsession with media. Nam June Paik Nam June Paik


18 Fluxus remains the most complex and therefore widely underestimated art movement (or non-movement, as it called itself) of the early to mid-sixties. Fluxus saw no distinction between art and life, and believed that routine, banal, and everyday actions could be regarded as artistic events, declaring that “everything is art and everyone can do it.” -- Hal Foster Many artists have associated themselves with Fluxus over the years, including: • Joseph Beuys • George Brecht • Henry Flynt • Ken Friedman • Al Hansen • Geoffrey Hendricks • Robert Filliou • Dick Higgins • Alison Knowles • George Maciunas • Gustav Metzger • Larry Miller • Yoko Ono • Litsa Spathi • Ruud Janssen • Ray Johnson • Nam June Paik • Ben Patterson • Yasunao Tone • Ben Vautier • Emmett Williams • Wolf Vostell • La Monte Young

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