The Fluxus Reader
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The Fluxus Reader offers the first comprehensive overview on this challenging and controversial group. Fluxus began in the 1950s as a loose, international community of artists, architects, composers and designers. By the 1960s, Fluxus had become a laboratory of ideas and an arena for artistic experimentation in Europe, Asia and the United States. Described as 'the most radical and experimental art movement of the 1960s', Fluxus challenged conventional thinking on art and culture for over four decades. It had a central role in the birth of such key contemporary art forms as concept art, installation, performance art, intermedia and video. Despite this influence, the scope and scale of this unique phenomenon have made it difficult to explain Fluxus in normative historical and critical terms.
Richard Schechner, 'Happen ings', Tulane Drama Review, vol 10, no. 2 (Winter 1965), where he argues persuasively that happenings resemble scientific laboratory experiments. K e n Friedman, 'Getting into Events', Fluxus Performance Workbook, special issue. El Diarida, 1990, p 5. Mary E m m a Harris, The Arts at Black Mountain College, Cambridge, M A , M I T , 1987. Ray Johnson, founder of the N Y Correspondence School, attended Black Mountain College as a student that summer and is often
well-known Italian curator and historian of the avantgarde, curated the show. His curatorial statement in the catalogue suggests that an Italian heritage, namely, Futurism and the Italian Renaissance, was as essential for Fluxus as the more commonly evoked German Dadaism. 'The synthesis of the arts', he wrote, 'is an ancient aspiration of the modern avant-gardes, ranging from Futurism to Dadaism, but it was also included in the classical dimensions of the Italian Renaissance.'23 In contrast to
ambivalence and vagueness of formulation when he tries to m o v e around the art/anti-art dilemma. He invents alternative formulations, such as 'veramusement' and, later on, 'brend' (a contraction of the former), but he still depends on the word 'art' both for definitions and for marking his resistance. Flynt clearly sees this dilemma. A n d so it seems increasingly apparent that his work to deplete the meaning of 'concepts' and 'structures' in general has implications for the particular concept
could only see m y hand The opening in the door was very narrow, so I couldn't see the audience. So the outside space was so different; the hand was exposed to the audience, and this part, m y body, was behind the wall, so I was very isolated. Psychologically very strange. Window, door, the same thing. It is the passage between in and out, so one can shut the door, and make an inside and outside. Putting one part of the body through the window, it becomes part of the outside - but the body is the
piano compositions, compositions for instruments, compositions of concrete music, neo-Dada and happenings, and electronic music. B y the time of the Wiesbaden festival this number had been reduced to fourteen concerts, by Copenhagen, to four, and by the time of the Dusseldorf festival in 1963, to two. Although these changes are certainly in part related to the practicalities of performing, such as the availability of a performance space and performers, m u c h of this change in concert number and