Fluxus

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Fluxus—a name taken from a Latin word meaning “to flow”—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 visual art and music as well as literature, urban planning, architecture, and design. Fluxus is often described as intermedia, a term coined by Fluxus artist Dick Higgins in a famous 1966 essay.

The origins of Fluxus lie in many of the concepts explored by composer John Cage in his experimental music of the 1950s. Cage explored notions of chance in art, through works such as 4′ 33″, which influenced Lithuanian-born artist George Maciunas.[1] Maciunas (1931–1978) organized the first Fluxus event in 1961 at the AG Gallery in New York City and the first Fluxus festivals in Europe in 1962.

While Fluxus was named and loosely organized by Maciunas, the Fluxus community began in a small but global network of artists and composers who were already at work when Maciunas met them through poet Jackson Mac Low in the early 1960s. Cage’s 1957 to 1959 Experimental Composition classes at the New School for Social Research in New York City were attended by Fluxus founding members Jackson Mac Low, Al Hansen, George Brecht and Dick Higgins, many of whom were working in other media with little or no background in music. Many other artists were invited by Cage to attend his classes unofficially at the New School. Marcel Duchamp and Allan Kaprow (who is credited as the creator of the first “happenings”) were also influential to Fluxus. In its early days Fluxus artists were active in Europe (especially in Germany), and Japan as well as in the United States.

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.

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. While Maciunas assembled many objects by hand, he designed and intended them for mass production. Where many multiple publishers produced signed, numbered objects in limited editions intended for sale at high prices, Maciunas produced open editions at low prices. Several other Fluxus publishers produced different kinds of Fluxus editions. The best known of these was Something Else Press, a book publishing company established by Fluxus artist Dick Higgins. Something Else Press was 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.

Fluxus artists:

maciunas

  • George Maciunas
  • Eric Andersen
  • Ay-O
  • Joseph Beuys
  • George Brecht
  • Don Boyd
  • Allen Bukoff
  • Joseph Byrd
  • John Cage
  • Giuseppe Chiari
  • Philip Corner
  • Gautam Dasgupta
  • Jean Dupuy
  • Oyvind Fahlstrom
  • Robert Filliou
  • Henry Flynt
  • Ken Friedman
  • Jacques Halbert
  • Al Hansen
  • Beck Hansen
  • Geoffrey Hendricks
  • Dick Higgins
  • Ruud Janssen
  • Ray Johnson
  • Joe Jones
  • Bengt-af Klintberg
  • Alison Knowles
  • Takehisa Kosugi
  • Philip Krumm
  • Shigeko Kubota
  • George Landow
  • Vytautas Landsbergis
  • György Ligeti
  • Jackson Mac Low
  • Jurgis Mačiūnas
  • Barry McCallion
  • Jadis Mercado
  • Gustav Metzger
  • Larry Miller
  • Charlotte Moorman
  • Yoko Ono
  • Genesis P-Orridge
  • Nam June Paik
  • Ben Patterson
  • Terry Riley
  • Dieter Roth
  • Carolee Schneemann
  • Litsa Spathi
  • Daniel Spoerri
  • Yasunao Tone
  • Cecil Touchon
  • Ben Vautier
  • Natasha Vita-More
  • Cynthia Von Buhler
  • Wolf Vostell
  • Yoshi Wada
  • Emmett Williams
  • La Monte Young
  • Christian Xatrec

Fluxus critics and curators:

  • Thomas Albright
  • Simon Anderson
  • Philip Auslander
  • Marianne Bech
  • Mark Bloch
  • Ina Blom
  • Walter Cianciusi
  • Bertrand Clavez
  • Ina Conzen
  • David Doris
  • Stephen C Foster
  • Peter Frank
  • Adrian Glew
  • Emily Harvey
  • Jon Hendricks
  • Hannah Higgins
  • Judith Hoffberg
  • Sidney Huttner
  • Jill Johnston
  • Thomas Kellein
  • Henry Martin
  • Jonas Mekas
  • Estera Milman
  • Barbara Moore
  • Karen Moss
  • Harry Ruhé
  • Craig Saper
  • Jean Sellem
  • Kristine Stiles
  • Owen Smith
  • Nicholas Zurbrugg

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