Posts Tagged ‘fluxus’

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Remnants from one of my Fluxfest Chicago event scores (Fluxfest Chicago is an annual event organized by Keith Buchholz)- rearranged in various compositions on one of the glass block lights in the floor of the Rotunda Room at the Chicago Cultural Center, Friday May 27, 2016.

The original performance score happened in a gallery on Staten Island NY many years ago. I wore a fabric belt – same material as my shirt – took it off and swirled it into a spiral on the floor – then cut it up with grid-like cross cuts and offered the pieces to the audience. This was during NYC Fluxfest (2011), organized by Keith Buchholz, with additional Staten Island events organized by Mary Campbell and Viv Dey Dada.

At the Chicago Cultural Center event, I wore a long black scarf with gold metallic dots on it around my waste over a black T-shirt. Again, I swirled the material into a spiral then cut it up, but this time I wanted to incorporate the glass block floor light instead of sharing with the audience. I made one arrangement and called it the end of the event, and then a break was called. While everyone else went to an adjoining room, I took the opportunity to rearrange pieces into various compositions, documenting with a photo each time.


Fluxfest Chicago 2016 will be happening around and on Memorial Day weekend at the end of May. What sort of performance scores would one might experience there?  Well, here is a good definition I found today via a Facebook post that referenced this wordpress site:

fluxus street theater.jpg

Photo and Maciunas quote below are from the INTRODUCTION post at

“Art-amusement must be simple, amusing, unpretentious, concerned with insignificances, require no skill or countless rehearsals, have no commodity or institutional value.” George Maciunas, Fluxus Manifesto (1965).

Here is a link to download a publication of fluxus scores that came mostly from participants at the 2014 Chicago Fluxfest – kindly assembled, edited, and produced by Mary Campbell, with some contributions from the art community that gathers annually at this event.

For more information on Fluxfest Chicago as it becomes available, look for the Fluxfest Chicago page on Facebook.

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

Mark Bloch flux police badge

What is Fluxus
By Mark Bloch
July 9, 2012
Fluxus was an international group of thinkers, artists, composers, performers and designers that first networked themselves together in the late 1950s, then became a performance collective when they took their name in 1962, then a way of working with time and materials and eventually an art movement creating work in several dimensions and media that lasted from the early 60s through the late 70s and beyond on three continents, blazing the aesthetic trails that were to define the next half century of art history. They shattered old aesthetic boundaries and explored new ones, while grappling internally with their communal identity, under the guidance of their own conflicting, shifting, and morphing opinions of who they were and what they were up to as both a group and as individuals, without clear or firm parameters of what criteria might define their association. They ebbed and flowed as a collective, against the odds, disappearing and reemerging like a simple but mysterious prop in a magician’s routine, through schisms, chasms, reorganizations and excommunications. Many members are now gone, some deceased, some scurrying away quietly in the night under the radar with others lionized in enormous spotlights in life and in death, with the final few, more than a handful, still amongst us today, creating dynamic new senior citizen fluxworks or as in the case of the youngest members, now in very late middle age, finally enjoying their occasional newfound status as Old Masters, dog-tired “concept” artists who taught a very old art world a few new tricks. Fluxus has always defied traditions by establishing new ones, transcended geographical limitations by staking out unfamiliar territory, and most importantly by virtually fusing together in deceptively simple ways all the medium-based approaches of the middle 20th Century, creating entirely new genres that we take for granted today out of the old ones as a replacement status quo for a New Millenium. Fluxus participants were among the first to embrace a “do-it-yourself” mindset, exposing process as superior to end products while producing startling and surprising results, circumventing existing institutions by utilizing everyday objects, approaches and activities to successfully blur boundaries between art and life. George Maciunas, a made-to-order autocrat for his times and the group’s Lithuanian-born gatekeeper and visionary czar, instigated and organized art experiences as a collaborative social process, breathing new creativity into an established art world that slowly came to accept the group’s contributions not only as valid but as important and essential to the changing times. Maciunas and the other Fluxus artists he attempted to control, individually and en masse, created thought-provoking works that turned an elusive, ephemeral approach to shaping ethereal forces of anarchy into playful manifestations of art “product” existing in two and three dimensions or as events in time, captured and frozen by their instructions and posters or in beautiful photographs or by-products. They created art that resonated like poems for their times or like zen koans producing a series of aftershocks more akin to spiritual experiences or thrills had in any amusement park or both than to the conventional aesthetics and other familiar goings on in the staid commercial art world. They delivered work that goosed their audiences or tickled onlookers with subtle punch lines that forced their creative contemporaries and the public at large to approach life in the decades since, whether they knew it or not, with a freshly minted Fluxus attitude of their own that they themselves slyly assumed they had invented. But Fluxus had bubbled up from within and rendered an artworld constitutionally unprepared to assimilate it, defenseless against its playful reach. Fifty years ago, Fluxus began to prepare the fertile ground required for a completely transformed art world to emerge in another century and they did so elegantly, admirably and without much hype or fanfare.
(Note: Badge and essay published with the permission of Mark Bloch, “The Post-Flux Police”)

Note from this blog’s editor:
The use of the term “Post-Fluxus” when referring to today’s practitioners of fluxus influenced intra-media artists, and the academic use of the term “movement” when referring to historical fluxus activities, implies that Fluxus is dead, but as an ATTITUDE, Fluxus is still very much ALIVE.

Hello Ben here
I’m back
time flies
too fast
of current exhibitions,
I should be happy
But no they agonize me.

we are in 2015
I still have my newsletter
Like a tramp who says
I still have my blanket
and my dog
I am writing without rereading me
words which follow

I think my brother
it is in San Diego
it is in contact through the water
a world history
and particulate

Good Morning
I’m back in the confessional
I have a problem with the distribution
my newsletter
do follow
and for the latter comencer sapelle
“There is no good”
by sending it have unlocked the previous
some will therefore receive two
possible indigestion

Words do not come to
or there are too many who arrive simultaneously
I’m working on “Ben Poet Missed”
the story of a poet who could only speak to him
Gather my said poems
dating from 1960 to today
Occasionally occasionally naive idiots
Always egotistic
It is terrible to lose your memory
we do not take me seriously
in truth
I read a lot and forgotten
Foucault, Ibsen, Nietzsche, Freud
read everything and understood nothing
I have not read Marx
I do not know what paradigm means
or post modernism
I like to read the words that I write
I like the automatic correction
My dream last night
I shouted to my mother and Annie
“Stop writing everything”
Another breath of eroticism
still writing words
I imagine me naked
with my big belly
sitting on a chair Louis Philippe
in the middle of Piazza Garibaldi

My agony of the moment
the release of my book
“Foreign Minister Ben”
Favre in Lausanne
I have published several books
on the peoples and ethnicities
Absolutely no success
neither believes nor anything.
The only time the house of radio wanted to talk to Olivier Nantau,
during my exhibition on misinformation
the Zebra hotel in front of the house of the radio
Olivier Nanteau got fired
(I do not know if I’m not responsible or part)
That said, I have not stopped being interested in
Cultures and ethnic conflicts in the world.
So I decided
again, trying to prove that I’m right.
Sometimes I’m sure Ben painter
artist, poet will be forgotten and that we will remember
in 50 years of Ben ethnist
Do me a favor read it
I even inserted a nice text by Michel Onfray
against my theory on ethnicity

My book on ethnic groups
I do not stop to conclude
to contradict me want to add

I go back to basics EGO
The ego of the art, the ego of the people, the ego of the time,
ego slipping
in a spacecraft in hibernation
from one world to another
Containing millions of particles of ego
all competing

I do not believe in God
I understand those
which need explanation
who are we?
What life etc?
Which brings order?
Where the particles are
is this order?
posing these questions in me?

Ben your liver in ethnicity
and language is your ridiculous side
is like believing in God
or fairy tales
the world is a jungle

I have to lose my belly
Make fitness exercises
Go see an eye doctor for my glasses

I never liked obey
So it’s not today
start loving it

Final cut me crazy
I look forward to my film
At times I feel real
At times I am ashamed so it sucks

I pushed a new working meeting
my scraps of notes
pieces of paper, leaflets, letters
I did not want to throw
I’ll paste
as has

I risk nothing nobody reads me

Sartre, Nietzsche, Foucault, Levinas etc.
If I could summarize
Put them in a drawer
and close the drawer

4 boxes of books to sort
Before I was sorting the books in order
Alphabet in the tank
the archives of other in cartons
I have more cartons
and it requires too much work

The garden annie does not please me
not maintained
there is no lawn
I would like to change the

I do not pretend to be Alzheimer
But I admit sometimes I exaggerate
I pretend to forget
This helps me to breathe
make conversation

My exhibition at the Musée Brayer is called “whether to laugh”
Opening on April 1
Nietzche said
God is dead “laughing”
what did he mean by that?

The human species is navel gazing
whining or laughing?

Two cavemen, who come to burn
On a wall of the cave of Lascaux,
the image of a mammoth fall off before
the image of a humanoid standing
Whatever I do, ‘said one of them, I never shall succeed to taste this avant-garde style.

What we look on TV:
The moral is always the same
Predictable measurable
The wicked are
Drug dealers
The Germans
The Russians

The US say they are for the freedom of peoples
but are they agree
to make the Texas Mexico
and give Alabama in Senegal?

Everyone has a website
So if you want to “know everything”
You never know

How to spend
an artist that costs 10,000 euros
an artist who is worth a million euros
doing the same thing?

I am a liar
true or false?
Whoever GIVE the right answer
true or false
Receive a postcard with drawing and signing

The battleground between peoples
moved from the premises to a presence on the net
The Imperials will do anything to control the net

All these youngsters Fine Art
what will become?
I imagine a big meal anthropophagic
where everyone eats the other

I’m afraid I have put all my eggs
In one basket my computer
My site my mail my newsletters
my poetry everything is on the net
Besides the Web Cam remarche
and you can even see me scratch my nose

My question to me
Is he going to be for or against
The people?

Please stop to piss off the dead
With your whining
the dead do not care

I hate swallower tourism
panoramas and blue sky
Be creative tourist
Get out in the rain
Attending the dark streets

Fondazione Mudima Simone Turra
I love the word “erratic”
it makes me think of an erotic erratum.

Gaining ground

Onfray in Ruquier, he did not mince his words.
we are on about the same opinion about religions.
Religions kill.
By intolerance.

Insipid poem
we recognize an insipid poem
that it feels poetry

Four friends spend their afternoons
to visit a modern art museum.
Well, we are in agreement,
says one who organized this event.
The first laughs pays to drink

I always enjoy photos Sumkay
This is a great photographer
one of the greatest
and most prolific
I like to discover them on the net

The tail coats:
An international disgrace
According Nicole Esterolle
I give it almost right.

According Esterolle Nicole Catherine Millet
have said that in contemporary art
the beautiful does not exist
I am of the same opinion
if everything is fine nothing is beautiful
by against innovation exists
or trying to exist

Please stop your comedy
the “oh it’s beautiful”
oh I love life
Ah, the mountain is beautiful
Ah I love flowers
ah ah ah
oh ah
oh oh
All these excesses
Even if true
Leave them in you
otherwise we will believe that you do not believe
and that it is not only propaganda

French policy
The most beautiful skulls
French policy
which is the one that shines the most?

First thing you learn at the ENA and
Polytechnique is
be realistic and pragmatic
Learn to lie
The dead do not count
this is in fact the press account

Bertrand sells drawings Maxime Puglesi.
Finally Maxime decided to play the card of the artist and not that of the framer. In his last drawings he adds words (Ben influences gaining ground).
that is, at Bertrand
The small Italian Lisa who was DREAM

The expo Baptist in the beautiful Carine,
I liked the cactus but way overpriced
and I would not have known or place. The rollers
there are too many on the beach of Nice. Estrosi
should make the stamp reproduction prohibited
(Nice copyright)

The case Lesueur
What has happened? She is angry because they changed without asking his opinion the catalog and the invitation of his exhibition at the Marine It is true that it is not done
but I think that an expo organizer has the right to his personality and in the catalog and on the carton. Why have they removed the logo of the Villa Arson which nevertheless helped to make parts. Showdown against Martine Meunier Jean Pierre Simon. (Music of Star Wars or Lord of the Rings).

The exhibition of the atmosphere Station
workshops are superb and clean corridors
Congratulations Cédric
I liked the pictures of Lena Durr
and I would like her to do one or two of me naked
and dirty in front of my trailer
I also like drawing
I think I am Paranoid

The debate was good at Eva
Usually the debate is 90% of the blister,
full of people with nothing to say
the only philosopher that everyone
speak without reading
Having said
I wanted to say that although language specialist
it was passed by the political importance of languages.

There is a new gallery called “circumstance”
Cours Saleya gallery that exposed Ghelloussi. I should go see her.

The title ” Bricologie ” of the exhibition at the Villa Arson is found wrong.
They should have the name ‘Leroy Merlin’
Cartels are very poorly written, crooked and they
forgot to put the cartel Wim Delevoye.
too reheated ideas
1980 of 2015 No impact.

Net, TV, cable etc today
it’s super surveillance.
I dare not watch a porn movie
or Mediapart or even Russian TV
without telling me
if necessary there a guy sitting in a chair
who said “shit
did you see it’s still Ben
watching porn

The sale of the Ferrero Collection
is April 1 at Artcurial in Paris
the same day as my opening
“You have to laugh”
Les Baux (see below)
Ferrero I sincerely know what to think
I still do not understand
It was he who added the little man on the canvas
it was he who replaced my dirty panties
with clean underwear Ferrero
it is he who invents Bens for Ben
Nice without him would have missed the boat
a certain power and freedom.

Movie Idea
My theory of the ego on the beach in Nice
With rollers
I would like a pebble in the hand

I signed the Convention
I expect the keys
and above all they give me a hand to
transport etc furniture sofas tables
I hesitated a long time about the name
Doubt the Foundation is to Blois
then I suggest “all ego” “ego”
“The black hole of the ego” “ego lost”
“The whole ego” “the sewer of the ego”
It is not the ideas of exhibitions
I miss:
Find mat and make a area with sofa
Install a library
(I do not know where to put my books)
I would like to be remembered
Bo Breguet
Jean Pierre Bruno and Marie Pierre,
make a case “free take turn”
Organize a huge orgy
A large expo Support Surface
With anecdotes, catalog etc debate …
with “all egos”
– If Saïssi wants a 15-day expo
With pros and cons
Expose those
want to fight Jeff Koons
– Debate
Nice Occitane is it or not?
Is the Frenchman a language or dialect of Occitan?
Important Notice
another idea
make a formal request for
Francis Haulmes bring out for 24 hours
Featured as the opening of “whether to laugh”

The space will be open to members
if you give me the keys
I will use it as a workshop
To paint on the model naked women
if possible, beautiful bourgeois
it is not shortage of ideas
– A film projection screen,
with sofa and coffee table mats
– A beverage dispensers cabinet
– In a corner a real bathtub
to be able to take a bath to 6:33 p.m.
– A corner “Inventions”
to save France
– A stage performance
(Look at the eyes closed)
– A corner “flight of ideas”
I would like an old juke box and an old
pinball artwork
– A corner “Orsec plans”
– A corner “granny Gregory»
(For your heart problems)
– A live one corner or turn live movies
(Short films)
– A garage sale day
(With snake charmer)
– I would like a swinger party
(Each exchanging whatever he wants with whomever he wants
as it may be called “barter”
– A contemporary art science fiction evening
– A corner where the art critics of Nice:
Barbarin, Marot, Lola Gassin debate
the worst performers in Nice
We will discuss also
the existence of the black hole,
the Neanderthals.
On how to prevent Alzheimer’s
The limits of the truth
on dark energy in contemporary art
on-lose this memory is a work of art?
on the benefits of pastis on creativity
I would also like to expose Goiran Thupinier Lanneau
Remember the work we had done together
the same street.

I have to attack me in the symposium
the limits of truth in Blois;
i want to invite
while the inquisitors brains in the world
Scientific truth
Political truth
Truth Press

In my last newsletter I told you
I had
put radio programs on the net
it’s true. Go listen to
There are funny
Ben free radio

Annie looks all series on TV.
Even old Colombo.
HOUSE – BARNABY – Poirot – VERA etc.
Annie goes to snow.
It will you find her lover?
she is a very beautiful body of a young woman
waste if not fuck
however I am jealous
so I prefer that these lovers remain in my head
I may be published
“A” sex maniac ben ”
with a theory of ego sex.

The ERRÓ Expo:
ended Sunday.
She was seen by 84,883 visitors, placing in the top five Erró dating macLYON with Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, Ben and Robert Combas.
The public has shifted in number, often in family, sometimes from far away, and did not hesitate to schedule several visits to enjoy the 550 works on three floors of the museum.
School visits and workshops for children and teenagers were full.

It’s amazing how everything goes out of style,
we went from vinyl to cassette,
from tape to DVD,
the DVD to the USB drive,
and now returns to or vinyl.

Liliane Vincy prepares his odyssey
She wants to make the May 13, 2015
a kind of apotheosis
there will be a book of interviews
an exhibition
a meal for the initiated etc.
Liliane merit
I will tell you more in the next newsletter

The museums of contemporary art today
Pearl works of architectural art
the works that we put into it

The universe, it is easy to understand.
there are many invisible
and lots of it anywhere.

Hello BEN?
The truth is downhole
every man is a
some more than others are unfathomable,
This is why art is inexhaustible!
Sincerely RLG

Glad again from you.
Some assumed madness …
or suffered, it feels good in the sanitized world.
… Burn the invitation cards, quit
Nice and break your trip.

My only weapon
But watch
for that writing becomes reading
must be read me
so help me
READ ME me and even broadcast “to all winds”
I authorize without copyright
for my newsletters
a mine open pit words

for my new subscribers know
you can read my previous newsletter on my website
under “my newsletter”
and you can also
unsubscribe immediately by clicking footer
thank you

Note from CMB: Ben Vautier designed the labels for these wine bottles. CMB posed two of these wine bottles for the following photos:

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Flux On Flux Off posterThere is a FREE poetry reading & fluxus performance event called FLUX ON FLUX OFF that will happen on Sept. 13th, a Saturday, from 1-4pm in which John M. Bennett and I, along with Reid Wood from Oberlin, OH will perform; Jennifer Weigel and Jonathan Stangroom from MO & ME will perform; and hopefully Allen Bukoff from MI (plus or minus other unconfirmed pARTicipants) will perform.

Where? Blue Jacket Books in Xenia OH – A bit over an hour from Columbus OH (twenty minutes from Dayton OH) and for your GPS convenience: 30 S. Detroit St., Xenia OH, 45385

A bit of background info: Wikipedia defines “fluxus” as a movement which is still going on today, though it should be seen as an “attitude”, rather than in the historical context in which most people might think of an “art movement”. Today, we still perform historical scores (such as George Brecht’s “water music”) and often wear bowler hats and dress in black for group performance purposes, as we have great respect for the original bowler hatted members who created scores with the idea that they could be re-performed by ANYONE, and would take on a new life depending on the new performer’s interpretation and performance circumstances. The word “Fluxus” is a name taken from a Latin word meaning “flow, flux” (noun); “flowing, fluid” (adj.). But also, ANYONE with understanding of the fluxus attitude can create brief or durational scores and perform or publish them with or without an audience, anytime, in any place, and via any media.

See for more info about what BLUE JACKET BOOKS, our venue for Sept. 13th (2014), might have to offer for collecting or research or for your personal edification. They ship books for free if the order is $25 or over, and welcome inquiries via phone or email for specific interests.

Luna Bisonte Prods will have a few books out on display during and after the above event.


In June 2014 I visited The Fluxus Indian Museum which resides in an apartment over a garage in the building known as “The Carriage House”. It’s part of Garst Farm Resort and located within the Whiterock Conservancy, which is about 60 miles upstream from Des Moines, IA (click on the Whiterock website for specific directions). As this is a resort area (canoeing, hiking, excellent bird-watching, a beautiful old barn with three floors available for social events, a visitors center, etc.) the second floor apartment in the carriage house is available for a daily rental fee, and Allen Bukoff’s Fluxus Indian materials & placards – which belong to Elizabeth (Liz) Garst – can be viewed by appointment if no one is renting the place when you want to come by (current keeper of reservations is available at PH#712-790-3024). Click on the thumbnails to view large and to read the placards. Click on THE FLUXUS INDIAN MUSEUM, Allen Bukoff’s website, to learn more. There is a separate display in the apartment’s bathroom of items contributed to the museum by previous visitors. I did not photograph those items, but they are also really fun to see. Liz said the bathroom is one of her favorite parts of the museum. I left her with a gift* as well, though I’m not sure she’ll be able to work it into the bathroom display. (*A ceramic dino-dog made by Levent Isik.)

After seeing the museum I sat down with Liz Garst to chat about the museum and how she went to school with Allen in Coon Rapids and about her family’s endowment of Garst Farm to the conservancy. She’s only had one complaint about associating the idea of a fictional Indian tribe with articles in the museum, and will not feel compelled to end the display unless additional complaints are forth coming. I view the association as good, clean fluxus fun — much like the “Steam Punk” scene ripping off artifacts of the Victorian age and convoluting them to express something entirely new. The Fluxus Indians are a kind of fictional anthropology, much like fictional countries which mail artists create in order to design their own cinderella postage artistamps. The exhibit is getting old now, as seen by the fading placards and aging materials as they develop the patina of a “real historical museum”. In a couple small shelves placed at eye level between book shelves are collections of miniature artifacts which I caught in a few of the photos in this blog. Liz doesn’t remember if Allen arranged them or if she arranged them as she accumulated small items over the years. A few books associated with Fluxus are amid lots of other books displayed near the fluxus miniature paraphernalia, so it would be fun to go back someday and spend a night or two at the apartment perusing the books, and a day enjoying the stream and parkland areas, and perhaps check out the goings-ons in nearby Coon Rapids as well.