Here are some postcard sized drawings which could be classified caricature art. I began these in December 2020. It all started with little water-based paintings I did on yupo paper, which has a thin plastic surface so the paint doesn’t dry quickly. This makes it easy to push around the colors to revise what’s there. I like to paint with Derwent ink sticks rather than watercolor cakes because the colors are more intense. For these drawings, the base which I draw on is a scan of the original abstract paintings, blown up from 2.5″x3.75″ to 4″x6″ (printed image is a bit less than the 4×6″ card.) So many of these start with the same abstract painting but turn into completely different happenings. I call these ‘obsessive’ because I’m drawing caricatures of birds and other animals, intimating female breasts where eyes might be, and seeing new critters in the negative space, or even sharing body parts with another critter next to it. The lines of the drawing happen very quickly & intuitively as I look at the abstractions & see the shapes appear. __ C. Mehrl Bennett

https://halmcgee.bandcamp.com/album/ec-split-13

Click on above bandcamp link to listen to album, or search for EC SPLIT 13

EC Split 13
by C. Mehrl Bennett / Faserhaft
an Electronic Cottage release

Tracks 1 – 9 by C. Mehrl Bennett
In August Company

All tracks originally recorded in August 2020

Various instruments used include a harmonica, kalimba, windchimes, the flexing of stiff plastic packaging, a stick striking wood or bowl bell, and a Roland RD-500 keyboard. Sonic Pi software was coded for audio chords in Asemic Letters, and the tree frog audio in In Front of Him was freely provided by Dr. James P. Bennett of Madison WI, USA. Mixing software sold by NCH is MixPad/ WavePad which provided copyright-free cow moo, desk bell, and clock ticking samples, plus a voice synthesizer. Ambient sounds recorded from my home include an August rain storm, bluejays, a car driving over steel plates, and a land-line telephone.

Inspirations: environmental sounds, Hugo Ball’s dadaist sound poetry, asemic letters which synchronicity caused to arrive on the same August day from MaryAnne in the UK and from Rafael González in Spain. Many thanks to Hal McGee at Electronic Cottage for providing the opportunity & impetus to produce these tracks, and to Judith Pauly-Bender for being my “August Company”, and especially to John Also Bennett for his expertise in creating the final audio master.

/////////

Tracks 10 – 19 by Faserhaft (Judith Pauley-Bender)
Hausgeräusche: Loss of time 2020

“Loss of time 2020” is a critical sound on the lockdown situation, from my point of view a world social lumbago.
The story of raw sounds is on the one hand a parable with a preliminary certificate (Track No. 19). On the other hand the little audio sketch is a chapter of my (lifelong) notebook. It is kept without third persons and is not a beauty contest. Opportunity, coincidence and time budget determine the form. So it turned out that here some sounds to my visual notes were allowed to become a mosaic stone in the EC-Split-Project 2020!
I would like to thank the Electronic Cottage group, namely Hal McGee, the initiator of this inspiring audio project, for this quite unlikely opportunity to participate, Rafael González for pointing the way to this wonderful “EC experience space”, my split partner Catherine Bennett for her patience towards my pronounced obstinacy.
Instruments and techniques? Every verse is different, all spontaneously and intuitively created. The protagonist is a kitchen alarm clock that called me to my human-physiological lumbago gymnastics in August 2020! Otherwise: a microphone, a karaoke tool for children, breath and voice, a 40-year-old “Korg-Taktell” (which broke during the recording), an ether, a monotron, a pipe, a monoloque. Everything is homemade, produced alone and (!) without any ambition to be artificial. This also applies to the improvised recordings of the tracks (8 out of 10 tracks only with a cell phone).
Faserhaft Oktober 2020 

credits

released October 14, 2020 by Electronic Cottage, Gainesville FL USA

license

© all rights reserved by the artists/musicians: C. Mehrl Bennett / Faserhaft

MAINTENANT is an annual journal of contemporary Dada art & writing by THREE ROOMS PRESS, June 2020, co-edited by Peter Carlaftes & Kat Georges. The most recent issue was #14 which requested submissions on the theme of UN-SUSTAIN-A-BLE-SH*T (not my words; I would’ve suggesting SAVE OUR MOTHER EARTH, but that hasn’t worked in the past 50 decades so I guess they wanted to up it a notch?). I turned out to be the first to present, along with 13 other writers/poets/artists who were in that issue. We all did a 3 or 4 minute performance/reading based on our published work in issue #14 on Tuesday, Sept. 15th, 7 PM.. a bit over an hour total. YOU CAN SEE SEPT. 15 2020 performance here: https://youtu.be/OQRsUlMqfEo

ABOUT MAINTENANT: A Journal of Dada Art & Writing #14 it’s been said:

“A smorgasbord for those who are sick and tired of it.” “Though people expect Dada to be silly, and sometimes it is here, it is also often political and usually poignant…” —Seattle Book Review

“Timely and relevant.” —Tribe LA Magazine

“Excellent examples of collage and montage techniques . . . Interesting visual poems.” —Portland Book Review

“An interesting perspective.” —Manhattan Book Review

“Proof that Dada is not dead.” —Madjan Magazine (Serbia)

http://threeroomspress.com/product/maintenant-14-contemporary-dada-art-writing/

Especially if you catch parts of the Dada online festival, you may want to buy a copy of MAINTENANT #14 to read and see the art of the performers in the festival line up, plus much more from those who did not perform their works. You can order direct from the publisher at the above link, bypassing the money grabbing Amazon hub. Keep in mind that this book is over an inch thick (272 pp.) with FULL COLOR interior images and represents an international array of 258 contemporary Dada influenced artists and writers (art, poetry, visual poetry, prose) from 33 countries and 6 continents —so $25 is cheap! That’s my plug, plus I know quite a few of the contributors via the mailart network, flux list, fellow visual poets and experimental writers, etc. I was happy just to get a free copy of the book as a little fish in a big sea of contributors! This book is an obvious labor of Dada love for our Dada family but also for our ailing planet, Earth. Thank you, Peter & Kat.

S H E
 
She (Sheila E. Murphy) has acquired a basic purpose to
Become an adjective of “words” by in-beat brilliant lyricism
And through a prolonged psychic breath
Where previously defined words
E-luminate and E-ngage a Myriad of Strings
 
A lack of punctuation, especially her sensuous clasps,
Risks transparency and define touch with hands,
Tunes, and quiet thoughts, wings out,
Entirely somewhere else, yet here she goes…
Tuning the tune with fluidity
 
Arched phrases are stated with appropriate
Perfection whenever there is at least one syllable
To whisper formal definitions that
Point to an expanding vocabulary of time
Letting her chords breathe yet again
 
Measured with all the uncertainties (steeped as
They are by chastened ex-poets in this light where
Livestock live to maturity) she would have us
Consume gentlemanly acts of God, eat poets,
And move us deep into fluent possibilities
 
We learn her lines, diction, syntax, and the
Air through which she sheperds riverways
With “shadow artistry” into her desert realm
 
To a place you’d think the opposite of ‘continued’
But instead it opens the light to well plucked
Memories (different from reasoning) from
Discernibly sweet and haunting weather
Flowing through all the windows and doors
Of our world, its colors bled from within the
Confines of a monsoon of something “new”,
Something ineffable but truly ‘within’ as
It opens up to all discerning worldly rats and flies,
The ones hunkering down in empty lanes of leaves
Undoing the words, dis- or re-aligning each
Phrase like carved cheese melting in their mouths or
Like trees pruned fluently in their own language
So as to re-explore what is over their sofas,
Under their skin, and inside their heads

- C. Mehrl Bennett, July 2020

This is a MASHUP poem. It was assembled and inspired by cutup blurbs written by Charles Alexander and Eileen Tabios about (and including SEM phrases within) a new book of poems by Sheila E. Murphy titled GOLDEN MILK. Read most of the original blurbs listed in this book’s description in the link below.

GOLDEN MILK is available at the Luna Bisonte Prods page on Lulu and specifically linked here: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/sheila-e-murphy/golden-milk/paperback/product-9jm6r9.html

You can see more publications by LUNA BISONTE PRODS by scrolling down (and adding new pages) the titles (and covers) listed here: https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/lunabisonteprods

Since 1974, Luna Bisonte Prods (LBP) has published a wide variety of experimental, avant-garde, audio, and visual literature in a wide variety of formats by artists from all over the world. Among the authors and artists published are such major and emerging figures as Ivan Argüelles, Sheila E. Murphy & K.S. Ernst, Jim Leftwich, Andrew Topel, Carlos M. Luis, Scott Helmes, Jake Berry, John M. Bennett, Susan Smith Nash, Al Ackerman, Bob Heman, Richard Kostelanetz, Charles Henri Ford, Dick Higgins, Robin Crozier, Peter Ganick, steve dalachinsky & Yuko Otamo, Mark Young, Michael Peters, and many others. LBP books are collected in major libraries and institutions, including The Museum of Modern Art, The Sackner Archive, Princeton University, SUNY Buffalo, The University of Wisconsin, Brown University, New York Public Library, Washington University, Ohio University, The Ohio State University, and many others.

For additional LBP books by John M. Bennett and by other writers and artists, go to: http://www.johnmbennett.net/

                                                                                   The Art of Sub__Action­­­­

As a ruse of the COVID-19 heal merge, the 311 mer vice Center oral rally transit does

only ting ice quests by e-mail to 6:14  at unbus ebben sit, or by the Mo lumbar App,

or by rough ice at 6:14  6:14  6:14  or 6:14

For pubic safety issues, please act 911 (gency) or 6:14  6:14  6:14  (non-gency)

and for COVID-19 inq ease tack umbus lice or stealth at 6:14  6:14  6:14 

To sub an ode for cement emergence send ice request release to

6:14  6:14  6:14  Monday rough Friday om 6:14 am to 6:14 pm.

Ode or cement merges include pen ant structures, unsane

wells, sew in base, no hat in the wintertime, and

no ate ice. We ate our hate during COVID-19

Up art of Nice in 6:14  6:14  6:14  time. 

_hank_ou, C. Mehrl Bennett

[Click below (to open in new window) for audio reading of this poem]

Stefan Brandstifter of Mainz, Germany, suggested a collaborative project when he emailed digital scans of twenty-four collages he made in July 2019 when he was at The North Sea. C. Mehrl Bennett and John M. Bennett took turns working on them until they felt completed (March 2020). Enjoy the slideshow by clicking the arrows to scroll through these.

https://sketchbookproject.com/library

The above link is where you can search for a digitized sketchbook by entering a tag for subject matter or media, or enter the artist’s name (mine is C. Mehrl Bennett), or enter the number assigned to a specific sketchbook. My sketchbook is number S284636

I did my own scanning before mailing the book to Brooklyn NY, so I’m offering scans of it below since you’re already on this page. CLICK on UL image and you can page thru at full screen:

Fluxus, Name Dropping, and Related Publications – by C. Mehrl Bennett

Fluxus and a few Dada books in my collection. -CMB

Fluxus involves small gestures, perhaps an aura of insignificance or the ‘everyday’, and invites repeat performances of an event score by the original artist or others who will often give credit to the original artist for writing the score. Because of “flux”, the performance will always be a little or a lot different each time it is performed. As the ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus of Ephesus, once said, “ You could not step twice into the same rivers; for other waters are ever flowing on to you.”  (As quoted by Litsa Spathi at Facebook’s Fluxlist group.) He also said, “Nothing endures but change.” Thanks to Litsa Spathi for pointing out that this Greek philosopher recognized the Fluxus attitude very early on. (Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/heraclitus-quotes)

My spouse, John M. Bennett, and I were present in the audience when Dick Higgins did a reading at an art gallery in Cleveland. Our boys were toddlers at the time, and he seemed irritated that we brought them along, though we kept them quiet as we could. He and his wife, Alison Knowles, were original members of the historical art group known as Fluxus. Something Else Press was founded by Dick Higgins in 1963. It published many important texts and artworks by such Fluxus artists as Higgins, Ray Johnson, Alison Knowles, and Allan Kaprow, as well as publishing early Concrete Poetry and books by Bern Porter. Higgins emphasized the importance of inter-media, and created a chart to illustrate that important Fluxus concept.

The term FLUXUS came from the name of a magazine that Almus Salcius and George Maciunas planned to publish. The two friends opened a gallery in New York using the first initials of each of their names: The AG Gallery, in 1961. One of the first artists invited to exhibit there was Yoko Ono. Before the AG Gallery ever opened, Yoko and LaMonte Young had been hosting ‘salons’ at Yoko and Ichiyanagi’s artist loft on Chamber Street (in the lower Manhattan area now called SoHo). Among the writers/artists who gathered to perform at The Chamber Street Series were Dick Higgins, Jackson MacLow, and George Brecht. Maciunas was first introduced to these important Fluxus artists through that venue. Manifestations of Fluxus began simultaneously in Europe, at a time when Nam June Paik, Benjamin Patterson, and Emmett Williams were in Germany and got involved in Maciunas’ Fluxus productions in Cologne and Wiesbaden in the early 60’s. Wolf Vostell and Joseph Beuys are major Fluxus artists from Germany. As a freshman at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design in 1975, I was fortunate to witness Beuys perform one of his famous chalk board lectures in my foundation studies classroom! In 2017 we saw a Wolf Vostell exhibit at the University of Chicago, including one of his cars encased in cement which was displayed in the nearby parking garage. We were good friends with the experimental videographer, Jud Yalkut, an associate of Nam June Paik’s, after he left New York and moved to Dayton, Ohio.

Another important influence on the development of Fluxus was John Cage, first at the New School for Social Research in NYC with his course in ‘new music’ composition. George Brecht attended Cage’s class at The New School, and appreciated Cage’s idea of ambient sound and arranged silences as music. Brecht came up with the written ‘event’ score format for Fluxus performances (per an essay by Hannah Higgins in The Fluxus Reader, edited by Ken Friedman, where she further explains the ‘event’ performance on p. 32.) It’s important to note that Fluxus activities took place primarily outside the realms of official art institutions and utilized mass media directed to international audiences, but also to local communities. This was at a time when small press journals and newspapers of ‘the undergound press’ were forming. Friedman taught at the Experimental College of San Francisco State College in the 60’s. He edited THE FLUXUS READER, first published in 1998, and then released it in a digital edition in 2012 to commemorat the 50th anniversary of Fluxus. He made it available to the average Joe via this FREE PDF download at hdl.handle.net/1959.3/42234 

With his students at Black Mountain College in North Carolina, Cage staged his first musical ‘happening’. Ray Johnson, who went on to be considered as ‘the father of mail art’, was one of his students. Merce Cunningham and Cage incorporated chance and indeterminancy into their performance works, drawing on Oriental philosophies like Zen Buddhism and the I Ching. They also strove to connect ‘art’ and ‘life’ [an important Fluxus concept] by using everyday movements and objects in experimental dance and music and avant-garde performances.   In that new age of television, Cage appeared on the game show “I’ve Got A Secret” in 1960 and performed Water Walk – search “John Cage Water Walk” on YouTube to watch the video.

FLUXUS WEST was under the auspices Don Boyd (Mt. Vernon, OH) until he passed away in 2015 in a nursing home, where we visited him a couple times. (Not that Fluxus is pro-hierarchial.) The mantel of Director of Fluxus West had been passed to Don in 1975 by Ken Friedman, who first staged Fluxus events in the sixties in California (in San Diego and later in San Francisco)  and also in Illinois. (Friedman lives/works as Dean of the Faculty of Design at Swineburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia). The University of Iowa Alternative Traditions in the Contemporary Arts is the official repository of Friedman’s papers and research notes. The Silverman Fluxus Collection at the Museum of Modern Art, Archiv Sohm at Stadtsgalerie Stuttgart, and the Mandeville Department of Special Collections at the University of California also hold extensive archives on Friedman’s work of the 1960s and 1970s.

Around 1970 Dick Higgins brought Something Else Press to Newhall California to join the California Institutes of the Arts and Friedman became general manager of Something Else Press while continuing to direct Fluxus West, though Higgins moved Something Else Press back to the East Coast in 1971. Emmett Williams was Editor in Chief of Something Else Press from the mid-60’s to early 70’s. Around 1970, Fluxus West sent out feelers and established a presence in Cologne Germany. Al Hanson, a major performance artist specializing in ‘happenings’, was active on the Cologne art scene at the time. He was an excellent teacher and he explains a lot about the ‘alternative arts scenes’ and its evolution in this book, AL HANSON: AN INTROSPECTIVE  (see pp. 32 thru 36.)

Dr. Michael Weaver from the University of Exeter in England, at Friedman’s suggestion, launched a Fluxus West Centre in England. Emmett Williams, per Wikipedia, was the European coordinator of Fluxus in the 1960s, and he lived in Berlin but traveled to Paris, France, and associated with the fluxus artist, Robert Filliou. I don’t quite understand where the division between Fluxus West and Fluxus East lies, because Don Boyd was supposedly coordinator for Fluxus West in the USA as of 1975, but I know there is also a Fluxus South in Central and South America. We met Clemente Padín, a visual poet and performance artist, in Montevideo Uruguay, on two different occasions. My spouse and I were invited to present at his Experimental Writing Symposium, and returned a few years later for Mundial Poetico, where Clemente Padín was one of the performers at the Modern Art Museum event and I followed him with my own performance. Both performances involved the written word and the participation of others. Many other international writers and artists participated to these events, also. Josep Calleja of Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain, organized a parade of the alphabet through the streets of Montevideo, where we all wore T-shirts he designed to represent all the letters in the Spanish alphabet.

We were present in the audience when Alison Knowles did a multi-media performance in Miami FL about 10 years after we’d met her husband, Dick Higgins. We happened to be in Miami for the opening of a curated Visual Poetry exhibition. Then, another decade later we experienced her bean bath at North Western University’s Block Museum. It’s wired up to microphones so it amplifies noises made when people walk in the sandbox of dry beans. In 2017 (on my birthday) we traveled to the Carnegie in Pittsburgh to see The Allison Knowles Retrospective. Her bean bath was there, but also a huge book installation and copy machine art and many other interesting projects. Many were conceived around everyday items like shoes or beans. A braiding station was set up with simple instructions for one or two people to braid strands of yarn. That inspired my own braiding event at the 2019 Toronto Fluxfest  with two other performers, which I dedicated to Alison Knowles. Three performers each held a skein of yarn and took turns weaving in and out between each other to create a long braid. The same braid was continued at the annual  AfterMAF event in Roanoke, Virginia, a few weeks later. We’ve been attending both annual events for 10 years now. One of the performers who often came to Fluxfest, Jennifer Wiegel, came to AfterMAF (Roanoke, VA at Art Rat Studios) and performed there in 2019. Many of the performances at AfterMAF are literary, dance, music, poetry, puppet shows, artist performances, and often collaborative events with a neo-Dada absurdist bent to them, and usually a collage station and junk art installation are set up for public creative activity. Some famous Fluxus event pieces and some contemporary event pieces were performed in 2011 at the MAF (Marginal Arts Festival) when Fluxus artist Keith Buchholz (St. Louis, Missouri), and my spouse, John M. Bennett, and our two sons, Ben and John Also, were in attendance. A FluxMazz took place at a local church, where one of the activities was for everyone to bash each other with plastic bags of Wonder Bread, and other Fluxus ritualistic events took place. As part of the MAF parade, one of Philip Corner’s 1962 ‘piano activities’ was performed by a group after they pushed a piano on wheels down the street. Watch the action at this YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xefDbQshqkI John Also and another person were both wielding long handled axes right next to one another – glad no one got hurt! Note: Keith Buchholz has been a careful archivist of present day Fluxfests, of which he was the primary organizer for the first nine years in Chicago Illinois and once in New York City. He was handed the Fluxus West Director mantle by Donald E. Boyd not long before Don passed away in 2015, and was entrusted by the Boyd family to safely archive Don’s fluxus art, ephemera, and papers in his Mt. Vernon, Ohio, studio.

I learned quite a lot about the history of Fluxus when we visited Special Collections at the University of Iowa Library, where a wonderful collection of fluxus ephemera, objects, Fluxkits, and other documents reside. The Fluxus West Collection (1959 – 2003) began with an archive donation from Ken Friedman. The highlight of the visit was viewing editions of “Fluxkits” shown to us by Special Collections librarian Pete Balestrieri. 142 objects from the collection have been digitized and you can look at them online now via https://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/islandora/search?type=dismax&islandora_solr_search_navigation=0&f%5B0%5D=mods_relatedItem_host_titleInfo_title_ms%3AFluxus%5C%20West%5C%20Collection%2C%5C%201959%5C-2003

We met Pete Balestrieri again in Washington DC about five years later at a Smithsonian event held for archive librarians, as we were invited by west coast mailart scholar (mail artist, painter, and former librarian), John Held Jr., to participate in the workshop day by sharing some of our own mailart archives. I had only just donated 40 years of my archives to The Ohio State University Library the summer before, so I only had a few months of recent archives to share, but the experience of organizing those ten plus boxes for OSU Rare Books & Special Collections was foremost in my mind.

So far, I’ve not only mentioned Fluxus, but also neo-Dada and mail art (or correspondence art), and they are interconnected by similar attitudes and some of the same artists, writers or musicians have practiced in all of these fields. Example: Duchamp designed a set of chess piece rubber stamps with the idea of playing a game of chess via mail posts. Those fields are international in scope, and lived side by side with other avant-garde initiatives like visual poetry (important contributors from Latin American mail artists), Inism or Inismo (Gabrielle Bertozzi and Gabriella Giansante of Italy and the late Paul Thaddeus Lambert of Oregon), the Gutai artist group (the first radical post-war artistic group in Japan, example: Shozo Shimamoto from the Osaka area), conceptual art, minimalism, experimental music (John Cage), among others.

An important archive based in Budapest Hungary is called ARTPOOL (begun and maintained by György Galántai and Júlia Klaniczay, and along with artistamp and mailart archives, it includes artist’s books, visual and sound poetryconceptual art, and of course, Fluxus, especially Fluxus East, and installation and performance art.

George Maciunas was from Kuanas, Lithuania. RE: Wikipedia 1st paragraph:

George Maciunas (English: /məˈtʃuːnəs/LithuanianJurgis Mačiūnas; November 8, 1931 – May 9, 1978 d. of pancreatic cancer) was a Lithuanian American artist, born in Kaunas. He was a founding member and the central coordinator of Fluxus, an international community of artists, architects, composers, and designers. Other leading members brought together by this movement included Ay-OJoseph BeuysJonas MekasGeorge BrechtDick HigginsYoko OnoNam June Paik and Wolf Vostell.

Lithuania came out with an official postage stamp of Maciunas in 2016. George Maciunas migrated to the USA and died at the age of 47 from pancreatic cancer in 1978, in Massachusetts. He was educated in art and architecture, and was the original creator of artists’ multiples such as the Fluxkit, often with contributions from others members of Fluxus. He wrote three books about the history of the avant-garde, the first of which concentrated on Fluxus. In 1962 Raoul Hausmann, an original member of Berlin Dada, had suggested that he stop using the term ‘neo-dada’ and instead concentrate on the term ‘Fluxus’. (See p.40 in the book, MR. FLUXUS, by Emmett Williams and Ann Noël, 1997, Thames and Hudson, London). Other little oddities about Maciunas from Emmett William’s A Flexible History of Fluxus Facts & Fictions: He was color blind, he did not smoke or drink and prohibited people from smoking in his presence, he was often in debt due to real estate speculation (he wanted to buy and fix up properties in the area now called SoHo), he was a closeted cross-dresser for most of his life, and he was blind in one eye from an altercation with a “mafioso”.  Shortly before George died, he married Billie Maciunas and as part of the “Flux Wedding” rituals, they exchanged clothes (and thus genders). Billie Maciunas wrote and published The Eve of Fluxus, a fluxmemoire – published in 2010 by Arbiter Press, Orlando and New York. A black and white photo series of the clothing exchange, “Black and White Piece”, February 25, 1978, photographed by Hollis Melton, is included in the book. This was George Maciunas’ final public performance, accompanied by Claudio Monteverdi’s Zefiro torna, which he also requested to be played at his funeral.

Charlotte Moorman, and to some extent Carolee Schneemann, because they would perform in the nude, were at first excluded from historical associations with the Fluxus realm, but the feminist intent behind the focus on the naked body should be credited these days, and they are included more often than excluded in today’s fluxus histories. Nam June Paik collaborated with the cellist, Charlotte Moorman, and Paik was always listed as a fluxus member in most accounts, while Charlotte Moorman was often excluded.  

Charlotte Moorman died in 1991 and Nam June Paik died in 2006.

Dick Higgins died in 1998. Note: He had a fall-out with Maciunas concerning Higgins’ support of the music of Karlheinz Stockhausen. There was a European center of avant-gaarde ideas and performances at the atelier in Cologne, Germany, of Stockhausen’s artist wife, Mary Bauermeister, which attracted the participation of LaMonte Young, Nam June Paik, Emmett Williams, Wolf Vostell, John Cage, and Benjamin Patterson. Nam June Paik was a student of Stockhausen’s and lobbied Maciunas for inclusion of Stockhausen into the Fluxus fold (per FLUXUS EXPERIENCE, Hannah Higgins, University of California Press, 2002). Maciunas felt that Stockhausen’s music still clung to conventional European music traditions (twelve tones of the octave and regularity of beat) and labeled him as “elitist”, but George still made overtures to Bauermeister to contribute her space for Fluxus performances in Cologne. So really, it appears that Fluxus was an international development, and not ultimately beholden to one single individual. Whether Fluxus members found each other in Yoko Ono’s studio, or in Robert Filliou’s sphere of influence in Paris or in Berlin or in Cologne, it would seem that they could recognize the Fluxus attitude when they saw it.

Emmett Williams died in 2007 in Berlin. His book, A Flexible History of Fluxus Facts & Fictions, includes 70 ‘Kunstfibel’ collages, which were digitally remastered by Ann Nöel (a British artist who participated in Fluxus performances, had worked for edition hansjörg mayer and for Something Else Press, and was married to Emmett Williams) was published in 2006 by edition hansjörg mayer, London and Bangkok, and is distributed by Thames and Hudson. In 1991 edition hansjörg mayer had also published his book My Life in Fluxus – and Vice Versa.

Recently deceased: Carolee Schneemann (2019), Geoffrey Hendricks (2018), and Ben Patterson (2016).

Some living first generation fluxus artists as of winter 2019-2020:

Ben Vautier is 84 years old, and lives and works in Nice, France. The artist, Jon Hendricks, has curated important big Fluxus related exhibitions by both Ben Vautier and by Yoko Ono, and was a long time archivist for the Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus collection which ended up with MOMA NYC. Per Hannah Higgin’s book FLUXUS EXPERIENCE (Hannah is the daughter of Dick Higgins and Alison Knowles), “Jon Hendricks was a friend of Maciunas who sometimes collaborated with him, and was a vocal supporter of Fluxus since the mid-1960s..”

Yoko Ono is 86 years old, lives in Manhattan NY, and most recently had a retrospective of her art at MOMA NYC in 2015. Grapefruit, originally published in 1964 by Wunternaum press as a limited edition of 500 in Tokyo, was Yoko’s first publication of what she calls ‘conceptual instructions’. Acorn is a similar collection published nearly fifty years later in 2013 by Thomas Allen and Son Ltd. in the USA and in Canada. Another survivor is fellow NYC artist and musician, La Monte Young (remember that he helped curate salon programs at Yoko’s NYC studio.) Young and Jackson MacLow (d.2004) edited An Anthology of Chance Operations (designed by George Maciunas). The PDF is available for download at http://ubutext.memoryoftheworld.org/AnAnthologyOfChanceOperations.pdf

Alison Knowles, Larry Miller (both of NYC NY), Mieko Shiomi (Japan),  Eric Anderson (Denmark, and important part of Fluxus East), and Owen Smith (Director of the Intermedia MFA program at the University of Maine) are all still active fluxus artists from the first generation, and there must be others who were affiliated with Fluxus in the 60’s and 70’s who may or may not still be active artists, and many I’m just not aware of. Hannah Higgins has mentioned in one of her books that the number of original members was around 30. For instance, I’m not familiar with the Japanese artist, Takao Iijima, better known by his art name Ay-O, or the rainbow man because of his brightly colored graphic paintings, and his name is often mentioned in Fluxus histories online and in books. Wikipedia says he “has been associated with Fluxus since its international beginnings in the 1960s.”

There are critics and art historians who say that Fluxus was a ‘movement’ which died when George Maciunas passed away in 1947. Meantime, the fluxus attitude lives on in younger generations. Most of them hold deep respect and appreciation for their predecessors, and they help keep the old event scores alive by performing them again with due credit given at Fluxfest gatherings, along with new contemporary scores. I’ve often seen Yoko Ono’s Light A Match event performed, and at the 2019 Toronto Fluxfest a painted canvas was laid on the ground of the open doorway to the gallery for people to trod upon as they entered – an early event score by Yoko Ono from a series she wrote that utilized the traditional artist’s stretched canvas. Drip Music by George Brecht (1959 – 1961) is another popular score. Whenever I come across an old disposable violin (three times now!) I save it for a performance of Nam June Paik’s One for Violin Solo (1962).

* https://www.artandeducation.net/announcements/109558/fluxus-reader-free-digital-edition

More online info on Fluxus history here, via The Fluxus West Collection (1959 – 2003): https://thestudio.uiowa.edu/fluxus/history#movement

Understand more about the fluxus attitude and current events at Alan Revich’s blog here: https://www.digitalsalon.com/ where you can also download the Fluxus Performance Workbook, edited by Ken Friedman, Owen Smith, and Lauren Sawchyn as a FREE PDF via http://www.digitalsalon.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/fluxusworkbook.pdf

Alison Knowles’ BRAID piece is on p.70 of the Fluxus Performance Workbook.

George Maciunas Fluxus Manifesto

COW ART IS DEAD

LONG LIVE COW ART

Nonsense is an advocate for I N si G nificant art

I can READ a RED cow

I can RIDE a BLUE cow

As the sun sets the flies on the YELLOW cow stop fly – – –

I N G

c. mehrl bennett 10/30/2019

See the Feb.2020 issue of OTOLITHS, editor Mark Young, at this link to read my Ask A Cow poems… https://the-otolith.blogspot.com/2019/11/c-mehrl-bennett.html

“Ask A Cow” is a phrase I misheard that was part of a recorded telephone message which played while I was on hold, waiting to make a doctor appointment. The actual phrase was “Ask Us How”… I have called back to listen again to the message and it still sounds like “Ask A Cow”.  So the intersection between life and art is serendipitous, sometimes!

Below: The 1982 mailart cow graphic by Guglielmo Achille Cavellini (GAC, 11 September 1914 – 20 November 1990), an infamous Italian mailartist, famous for self-historification, was based on a 1978 (approximately) bull graphic by Carlo Battista The word “INFORMAZIONE” was one of many monikers which Battista had invented for himself. Battista’s original graphic (per a letter by Vittore Baroni to Chuck Welch, dated Feb. 1986) can be identified by deliberately misspelled famous painters’ names, and it was created to include Cavellini’s name among the well-known artists of the time. Another mailartist, Marlon Rockola, created a rubberstamp of the same image but left out Cavellini and “Informazion” and substituted the names of artists in his own mailart network. There have been an exponential number of versions ever since, with various names and different graphic versions, and using different sorts of animals as well.

Image by Guglielmo Achille Cavellini (b. 11 September 1914 / d. 20 November 1990)

Your Mail is a Treasure

Posted: January 21, 2020 in fluxus, mailart, performances, poetry

Your mail art is a treasured document, not an online treasure.

You have entered something virtual or unreal so please listen to the problem:

Understand your instrument first.

Adjust your violin for rate at which three metronomes tick in a modifiable arena

that changes every second.

You need to adjust the layering in order to reduce the value of each note.

Use Middle C as a default aggregation method.

Finally, take a long time to learn the chord life span of your instrument.

1.

You already solved the biggest problem, and with little resistance from me.

Repositioners is a good name. I advise you to reposition chairs faster.

1.25

In the past we played hockey using our son, Zrush, as the diver!

He danced on water in a crisis, then aimed for the 2021 Fish Hockey Olympics, after declaring a full manifesto on his appreciation of the chair.

Zrush and Maya studied for two weeks (4-5 hours in the morning for 5-6 days a week).

1.50

There are many manuals on reality, but we still need a bustling room for chairs.

What happens after three chairs?

2.

Why is an icebreaker useful?

Love Boat did not make a chair sausage in 1990.

In this case, icebreakers are very useful.

3.

Find the app through the app and right click on the app.

Desert your friends and instead stock up on visitors who will pay for each peek.

(We still have some issues: You may need personal resources to tweak the app.)

4.

Important Events:

Aging of the treasured document is based on fighting birds and dogs on the farm, assuming that we can build a robotic archive on our art farm.

Best RegARTs, C. Mehrl Bennett

P.S. Anna Bloom lives with her nose. My nose is half the size of this woman’s. She doesn’t look well if you focus on the nose. Did the order of the chairs process correctly?

Last week I carved a rubber stamp of my rondo design which is great for printing on the back of mail art envelopes, Add & Pass books and etc. Below is my rondo image – it shows a mother & child, but also other images from Mother Nature. It’s meant to be an abstracted, organic, fluid pattern. Today I took the vectorized design, which is just a smoother edged image, and applied it to products sold by a website called Red Bubble, where the image is repeated in a pattern on some of the available products. I earn a small percentage of the money they make selling these products with my design on them. You can view other designs for Red Bubble at that website as well.

Click here for my Red Bubble site, then on the rondo image for more.

Carved rubberstamp image with my hand lettered quote.