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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Fluxus – a name taken from a Latin word meaning "to flow" – is an international network of artists, composers and designers noted for blending different artistic media and disciplines. They have been active in visual art and music as well as literature, urban planning, architecture, and design. Fluxus is often described as intermedia, a term coined by Fluxus artist Dick Higgins in a famous 1966 essay. For example, poetry and visual art intersect in visual poetry.


Fluxus artists

Fluxus artists shared several characteristics including wit and "childlikeness", though they lacked a consistent identity as an artistic community. This vague self-identification allowed the group to include a variety of artists, including a large number of women. The possibility that Fluxus had more female members than any Western art group up to that point in history is particularly significant because Fluxus came on the heels of the white male-dominated abstract expressionism movement. However, despite the designed open-endedness of Fluxus, Maciunas insisted on maintaining unity in the collective. Because of this, Maciunas was accused of expelling certain members for deviating from what he perceived as the goals of Fluxus.

Many artists, writers, and composers have been associated with Fluxus over the years, including:

Scholars, critics, and curators associated with Fluxus

Major collections and archives

  • Alternative Traditions in Contemporary Art, University Library and University Art Museum, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA
  • Archiv Sohm, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany
  • Archivio Conz, Verona, Italy
  • Artpool, Budapest, Hungary
  • Emily Harvey Foundation, New York, New York, and Venice, Italy
  • David Mayor/Fluxshoe/Beau Geste Press papers, Tate Gallery Archive, Tate Britain, London, England
  • Fluxus Collection, Ken Friedman papers, Tate Gallery Archive, Tate Britain, London, England
  • Fluxus Collection, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
  • Franklin Furnace Archive, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
  • George Maciunas Memorial Collection, The Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA
  • Gilbert and Lila Silverman, Fluxus Foundation, Detroit, Michigan, and New York, New York, USA
  • Museo Vostell Malpartida, Cáceres, Spain.
  • Jean Brown papers, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, California, USA
  • Sammlung Maria und Walter Schnepel, Bremen, Germany
  • TVF The Endless Story of FLUXUS, Gent, Belgium
  • Jonas Mekas Visual Arts Center, Vilnius, Lithuania
  • The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Gift from the Gilbert and Lila Silverman Collection, Detroit, to American Friends of the Israel Museum

Selected bibliography

  • Baas, Jacquelynn, et al. Fluxus and the Essential Questions of Life. Chicago and Hanover, NH: University of Chicago Press and Hood Museum of Art, 2011.
  • Bernstein, Roslyn and Shael Shapiro. Illegal Living: 80 Wooster Street and the Evolution of SoHo (Jonas Mekas Foundation), www.illegalliving.com ISBN 978-609-95172-0-9, September 2010.
  • Block, René, ed. 1962 Wiesbaden Fluxus 1982. Wiesbaden: Harlekin Art, Museum Wiesbaden, and Nassauischer Kunstverein, 1982.
  • Fluxus und Freunde: Sammlung Maria und Walter Schnepel, Katalog zur Ausstellung Neues Museum Weserburg Bremen; Fondazione Morra, Napoli; Kunst Museum Bonn 2002.
  • Friedman, Ken, ed. The Fluxus Reader. Chicester, West Sussex and New York: Academy Editions, 1998.
  • Gray, John. Action Art. A Bibliography of Artists’ Performance from Futurism to Fluxus and Beyond. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1993.
  • Haskell, Barbara. BLAM! The Explosion of Pop, Minimalism and Performance 1958-1964. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. in association with the Whitney Museum of American Art, 1984.
  • Hansen, Al, and Hansen, Beck. Playing with Matches. RAM USA, 1998.
  • Hapgood, Susan, and Lauf, Cornelia. FluxAttitudes. Ghent: Imschoot Uitgevers, 1991.
  • Held, John Jr. Mail Art: an Annotated Bibliography. Metuchen, New Jersey and London: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1991.
  • Held, John Jr. Where the secret is hidden - collected essays Breda: TAM-Publications Netherlands, 2011.
  • Hendricks, Geoffrey, ed. Critical Mass, Happenings, Fluxus, Performance, Intermedia and Rutgers University 1958–1972. Mason Gross Art Galleries, Rutgers, and Mead Art Gallery, Amherst, 2003.
  • Hendricks, Jon, ed. Fluxus, etc.: The Gilbert and Lila Silverman Collection. Bloomfield Hills, Michigan: Cranbrook Museum of Art, 1982.
  • Hendricks, Jon. Fluxus Codex. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 1989.
  • Higgins, Hannah. Fluxus Experience. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002.
  • Janssen, Ruud. Mail-Interviews Part-1 Interviews with mail-art and fluxus artists. Breda: TAM-Publications, Netherlands 2008.
  • Kellein, Thomas. Fluxus. London and New York: Thames and Hudson, 1995.
  • Milman, Estera, ed. Fluxus: A Conceptual Country, Visible Language [Special Issue], Vol. 26, Nos. 1/2, Providence: Rhode Island School of Design, 1992.
  • Moren, Lisa. Intermedia. Baltimore, Maryland: University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 2003.
  • Paull, Silke, and Hervé Würz, eds. "How We Met or a Microdemystification". AQ 16 [Special Issue], (1977)
  • Phillpot, Clive, and Jon Hendricks, eds. Fluxus: Selections from the Gilbert and Lila Silverman Collection. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1988.
  • Saper, Craig J. Networked Art. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001.
  • Schmidt-Burkhardt, Astrit. Maciunas’ Learning Machine from Art History to a Chronology of Fluxus. Detroit, Michigan: Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection, 2005.
  • Smith, Owen. Fluxus: The History of an Attitude. San Diego State University Press, San Diego, California, 1998.
  • Williams, Emmett, and Ann Noel, eds. Mr. Fluxus: A Collective Portrait of George Maciunas. London: Thames and Hudson, 1997.

See also

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