[Air-l] The Fluxus Home Page

George Lessard (s) media at web.net
Sun Jul 27 05:33:53 PDT 2003

The Fluxus Home Page


The Companion Web Site to the FLUXLIST Email Discussion Group

The purpose of FLUXLIST is to promote an exchange of ideas
  about the past, present, and future of Fluxus.

The list can include a wide range of members,
  ranging from those who have recently read or heard about Fluxus
  to experts.

New Beginnings (Aug, 1999):  Guidelines for FLUXLIST participation

  "Fluxus has been able to grow because it's had room for dialogue and 
transformation.  It's been able to be born and reborn several times in 
different ways.  The fluid understanding of its own history and 
meaning, the central insistence on dialogue and social creativity 
rather than on objects and artifacts have enabled Fluxus to remain 
alive on the several occasions that Fluxus has been declared 
dead."--Ken Friedman, A FLUXUS IDEA 1/2.

Subscribing to FLUXLIST http://www.fluxus.org/FLUXLIST/subscrib.htm

The Fluxus Email Discussion Group

You can subscribe to FLUXLIST by sending the following command in the 
body of an email:

subscribe FLUXLIST

to majordomo at scribble.com

Note:  It doesn't matter what you type in the "Subject:" line of your 
email message.

After you have successfully subscribed, you will begin receiving each 
new message as it is posted to the FLUXLIST discussion group.  You will 
also receive instructions about how you can post messages to FLUXLIST.

FLUXLIST-DIGEST:  An Alternative Way to Subscribe
If you would prefer to receive your FLUXLIST messages in batches, then 
please subscribe to FLUXLIST-DIGEST.  You can do so, by sending the 
following command in the body of an email:


to majordomo at scribble.com

Note:  It doesn't matter what you type in the "Subject:" line of your 
email message.

After you have successfully subscribed to FLUXLIST-DIGEST, you will 
begin receiving a new digest approximately every 6 to 10 emails.  You 
will also receive instructions about how you can post messages to 

If you need assistance in subscribing, please contact fluxus at rust.net

Before deciding to subscribe to FLUXLIST you may want to sample 
previous messages and discussions at:
the Fluxus Mail Archive http://king.dom.de/fluxus/

--the "art" movement

What is Fluxus?  Some definitions, history, and resources.

  Geroge Maciunas

"...a fusion of  Spike Jones, vaudeville, gag, children's games and 

  Martha Wilson

"Fluxus...holds that change is the only constant.  This movement  
contributed the term 'intermedia,' and popularized time-based 
performance, video, film,  installation and published multiple forms 
that artists and the public take for granted today."

  Ken Friedman

"Fluxus is (or was) an international community of artists, architects, 
designers and composers sometimes described as "the most radical and 
experimental art movement of the 1960s." In the aftermath of the 30th 
anniversary exhibitions, Fluxus has been celebrated as a leading force 
in the development of post-modern culture and dismissed as a group of 
charlatans. Variously described in terms of architecture, design, 
music, poetry, criticism, social sculpture, mathematics, politics, 
dance, film, visual art and many more, Fluxus can be thought of as a 
community of people engaged in all these disciplines. What they had (or 
have) in common is their engagement in evanescent forms that expanded 
the boundaries of art. When Fluxus emerged, it was radically distinct. 
It was not an art form or a way of making art, but a way of viewing 
society and life, a way of creating social action and life activity.

"Fluxus occupied ecological border zones between existing forms and 
media, only some of which were art forms. Fluxus successfully and 
somewhat problematically erased all distinctions between art, 
philosophy, design and daily life. What distinguished Fluxus from 
everything else was the fact that we were in love with experimentation, 
really in love.

"Often controversial, willing to argue with each other and with the 
common view of art, Fluxus participants were diverse in goals and 
divergent in viewpoint. The work was rooted in science and social 
practice as well as in art, resolutely experimental, profoundly 
theoretical and often didactic. These factors made Fluxus difficult to 
describe. Lacking a common sensibility or a trademark style, Fluxus was 
overlooked by an art market that defined the art history of recent 
decades. This situation has changed. Historical studies now locate 
Fluxus as a primary source of conceptual art, intermedia and 
performance art and Fluxus includes founding figures of video art, 
installation, mail art and Internet. Neglected by the market-oriented 
art world, Fluxus became a source of ideas and practices adopted by 
fields ranging from architecture and industrial design to culture 
theory and psychology."

  Fluxus Online

"Fluxus is the wry, post-Dada art movement that flourished in New York 
and  Germany in the 1950s and 60s, and influences many contemporary 
artists.  The rest you have to figure out yourself."

  Ken Friedman (from a 4 October, 1996, post to FLUXLIST)

"Heiko asks, 'Pop/Flux, I think the difference is the still unclear 
role of Maciunas, unclear to me. Why did people follow him?? What was 
so convincing in his concept, personality?'

"It's not clear that anyone "followed" George in the normal sense of 
the word. I was close to him in the mid-60s and in those years worked 
more closely with him than many of the other Fluxus people, but you 
couldn't say I "followed" him.

"George's role is quite clear. It's there in the history if you wish to 
read it. Four scholars have addressed different aspects of the issue, 
each from different views. Owen Smith's doctoral dissertation looks 
most specifically at George and at his relations with the rest of us.

Smith, Owen. George Maciunas and a History of Fluxus (or) the Art 
Movement that Never Was. Seattle: University of Washington, Department 
of Art History, 1991. [doctoral dissertation]

"What's a key here, is that much of what is said and written about 
George is the repetitive recycling of a few dramatic inventions that 
distort and mistake his role. He played an important role as one among 
several key figures, but the historical fact is that George was 
actually a late-comer to the circle of people who formed Fluxus. This 
circle began to form in the mid-50s in New York and in Europe among 
people who met and contacted each and who stayed in good touch during 
the formative years and after. In New York, this included the circle of 
Cage's students and friends such as Higgins, Knowles, Hansen, and 
others. In Europe, it included Paik, Vostell, Williams, Patterson and 
others. George met these people and brought them into the framework of 
his plan for a magazine called Fluxus. He had a name and an idea: the 
artists eventually adopted the name but they did not adopt George's 
ideas and he didn't lead them. Rather, there was -- after some fuss and 
bother -- a merging of ideas and expectations. If anything, you can say 
it was George who changed rather than the others, but it was all of 
them together who became Fluxus.

"Fluxus was the name that George Maciunas created for a magazine. He 
used the name for a festival where some of the artists who became the 
group known as Fluxus met and performed together publicly for the first 
time under the name Fluxus. The name stuck, describing an existing 
complex of phenomena and a meeting ground of multiple concepts. To the 
degree that George brought the name with him that came to be applied to 
Fluxus, you can say that Fluxus was George's name. Even so, you can not 
say that Fluxus was "his concept."

"Three other theses and dissertations discuss the several aspects of 
this in a brilliant way:

Blom, Ina. 1993. The Intermedia Dynamic: An Aspect of Fluxus. Oslo, 
Norway: Institutt for Arkeologi, Kunsthistorie og Numismatikk, 
Universitet i Oslo. [magister thesis]

Doris, David T. 1993. Zen Vaudeville: A Medi(t)ation in the Margins of 
Fluxus. New York, New York: Department of Art History, Hunter College. 
[master's thesis]

Higgins, Hannah. 1994. Enversioning Fluxus: A Venture into Whose 
Fluxus, Where and When. Chicago: University of Chicago, Department of 
Art History. [doctoral dissertation]

In addition, two magazine special issues shed great light on these 

Sellem, Jean, ed. 1991. Fluxus Research. Lund Art Press, Vol. 2, No. 2, 
1991: School of Architecture, University of Lund.

This special issue of Lund Art Press is especially notable because it 
contains the first widely published version of Dick Higgins's key 
article, "Fluxus: Theory and Reception."

Milman, Estera, ed. 1992. Fluxus: A Conceptual Country. [Visible 
Language, vol. 26, nos. 1/2.] Providence: Rhode Island School of 


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