If you’re an artist, chances are you’ve heard of Fluxus. But what is it exactly? Simply put, Fluxus was an international, interdisciplinary community of artists, composers, designers, and poets during the 1960s and 1970s who engaged in experimental art. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the history of Fluxus and some of its key players.
The Origins of Fluxus
Fluxus is notoriously difficult to define due to its fluid and ever-changing nature. As such, it’s perhaps more accurate to think of Fluxus as a loose affiliation of artists rather than a specific movement or style. That said, there are certain characteristics that are generally associated with Fluxus art, such as a focus on simplicity, humor, and the use of everyday objects.
The origins of Fluxus can be traced back to two main sources: Dada and John Cage. Dada was an art movement that emerged in Zurich in the early 20th century in response to the horror of World War I. The Dadaists sought to subvert traditional art forms and norms by creating works that were intentionally outrageous or nonsensical. Meanwhile, John Cage was an avant-garde composer who challenged conventional ideas about music composition with his use of chance operations and found sounds.
George Maciunas & The First Fluxus Festival
While there is no one founder of Fluxus, George Maciunas is widely considered to be the person who brought the disparate strains of Dada and John Cage together into what we now know as Fluxus. A Lithuanian-American artist, Maciunas was interested in bringing about radical social change through art. To that end, he organized the first-ever Fluxus festival in 1962 which featured performances by avant-garde luminaries such as Yoko Ono, Henry Flynt, and Robert Filliou.
Fluxus Grows & Evolves
During the 1960s and 1970s, the community of artists associated with Fluxus continued to grow and evolve. New members included Joseph Beuys, Nam June Paik, Dick Higgins, and Ben Vautier—to name just a few. This influx of new talent helped expand the boundaries of what was considered “Fluxus” art even further. By the time the last major Fluxus festival was held in 1973, the movement had truly come into its own as a major force in the world of experimental art.
In conclusion, Fluxus was a groundbreaking experimental art community that spanned several decades and produced some truly innovative works. While it may be difficult to define precisely what “Fluxus” is, there’s no doubt that this facet of avant-garde culture has left a lasting mark on the world of art.