Fluxus

DEFINITION

An international art movement of loosely affiliated American, Asian and European artists, it was the precursor of Performance and Conceptual Art. Fluxus began in Germany and spread to New York as well as California, Japan and other European countries. The word Fluxus first appeared in 1961 on a New York Gallery A/G lecture series invitation written by George Maciunas. Fluxus, in several languages, means flow or change, and is a state of mind rather than a style. Participating artists have mutual social goals of changing middle-class values about art, music and literature that are more important to them than shared aesthetics. Pioneering Fluxus artists staged mixed-media simultaneous, often cacophonous, aggressively loud events or 'happenings' that were "demonstrations of the libidinal energy and anarchy generally associated with the '60s". Included were street spectacles, guerrilla theatre, Haiku-length poems and electronic music performances. Prominent Fluxus artists were Maciunas, Geoffrey Hendricks, Nam June Paik, Allan Kaprow, George Brecht, Joseph Beuys, Dick Higgins, Alison Knowles, Ben Vautier and Yoko Ono. Sources: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"; Ken Johnson, "NY Times" obituary of George Brecht, 12/15/2008, A29.

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