Allan Revich on Fluxus December 26, 2014

Posted: November 24, 2015 in fluxus, Uncategorized
Tags: ,

This article by Allan Revich [AR] was originally published on the Digital Salon Fluxus Blog at

Please go to the Digital Salon blog to read the full article.

Here are a few AR out takes with my comments as [CMB] and an excerpt from Wikipedia:

AR……”John Cage was not a Fluxus artist, and he had nothing directly to do with the founding of Fluxus. But he had one really cool idea that made Fluxus (and most art of every kind after his idea) possible. Cage realized that music (he was a composer) was all just sound waves in air.”…….. “A composer, or musician, or artist could organize sound waves in whatever way they wanted, and they could use whatever tools they wanted to, to organize those sound waves. It wasn’t a great leap from there to the idea that visual art was subject to the same thinking.”

[CMB] For my own take on the above out take about Cage from Revich’s essay, first watch this YouTube video of John Cage as he performs his WATER WALK score for a studio audience on national television: Water Walk  -So even though Allan Revich does not call Cage one of the founders of Fluxus, it is obvious that Cage was influenced by the artists performing what were called “happenings” and events during the milieu of the New School where Cage was teaching, and some of his students DID identify themselves as fluxus artists.

From Wikipedia article about Fluxus artist, Dick Higgins: “With the poet Jackson Mac Low, another soon-to-be Fluxus artist George Brecht, and the two innovators of Happenings, Allan Kaprow and Al Hansen, Higgins studied composition with John Cage at the New School of Social Research in New York in the late 1950s. During this time Higgins began to produce the first scores for events that rework everyday activities into performances that may or may not incorporate music.[“] 

[CMB] Cage’s ideas about music having to do with “being present in the everyday moments of time” and the beginnings of INTER-media (opening up to cross-practices, cross-media pollination, experimental collaborations that explode boundaries between the traditional artistic fields) are NEW TOOLS of composition that Cage was using and, as Allan points out, “..made Fluxus (and most art of every kind after his idea) possible.”

AR……”In the early 1960s a group of artists, led mostly by George Maciunas and Dick Higgins coalesced around the idea of Intermedia. The idea that art created in the spaces in which different media intersect would be more interesting than art confined to any single medium. George organized the first ever Fluxus Festival in Wiesbaden, Germany in 1962.” …… “The salient point is that, at least until the death of Maciunas in 1978, the IDEA of Fluxus and the PEOPLE of Fluxus were one and the same.
Then things get complicated.”…………

AR……”Dick [Higgins] explicitly rejected a notion that limited Fluxus to a specific group of people who came together at a specific time and place. Dick wrote, “Fluxus is not a moment in history, or an art movement. Fluxus is a way of doing things, a tradition, and a way of life and death.” ” ….. …

AR……”Personally, I believe that the work and ideas of the leading Fluxus artists of the 1960s will easily withstand the tests of time.” ………….
PS: A HUGE shoutout to Yoko Ono is due here. Not only was she one of the most interesting and influential original Fluxus artists but she continues to support Fluxus Art and artists past, present, and future.”

Revich and Buchholz

Allan Revich and Keith Buchholz


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