Fluxus 1


Fluxus 1 is an artists’ book edited and produced by the Lithuanian-American artist George Maciunas, containing works by a series of artists associated with Fluxus, the international collective of avant-garde artists primarily active in the 1960s and 1970s. Originally published in New York, 1964, the contents vary from edition to edition, but usually contain work by Ay-O, George Brecht, Alison Knowles, György Ligeti, Yoko Ono, Robert Watts and La Monte Young amongst many others. The work has become famous as an early example of conceptual art, and as one of the defining products of the Fluxus collective. Maciunas had originally set up the AG Gallery, 925 Madison Avenue, New York City, to exhibit abstract art and to sell ancient musical instruments; upon meeting La Monte Young and Richard Maxfield in late 1960, however, he ‘was suddenly confronted with the most radical ideas in art.’ Overnight, the gallery was transformed into a greenhouse for ‘the germination of Fluxus’, hosting events by Dick Higgins, Jackson Mac Low, Yoko Ono, La Monte Young and others. All of these artists would be included in the forthcoming Fluxus 1; the first known mention of the name Fluxus came on the invitation cards to 3 events held at the gallery, Spring 1961, in which guests were asked to contribute $3 to ‘help publish Fluxus magazine’. The gallery had gone bankrupt by mid 1961; to avoid his creditors, Maciunas took a job working for the US Army as a freelance designer in Wiesbaden, West Germany. He took many of the scores collected by La Monte Young for AN ANTHOLOGY, and whilst working on the design and printing for that, also began work on his own anthology Fluxus 1. … Amongst many other influences, Maciunas was directly inspired by LEF, the communist journal founded by Mayakovsky and Ossip Brik; an artistic organisation aimed at unifying left-wing artists to help build the newly emerging communist state in Russia. Fluxus 1 was Maciunas’ first attempt at creating a coherent collective voice, an attempt to erode the artist’s status as heroic individual & his first attempt to ‘communicate the concept of the self-sufficiency of the audience, an art where anything can substitute for an art work and anyone can produce it.’ …”
Wikipedia
art21: Ink | The Birth of the Underground: Fluxus Editions
Art Forum: A Finger In Fluxus
MoMA
YouTube: The Fluxus Project, Alison Knowles discusses the Fluxkit

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