George Maciunas – Fluxus

George Maciunas (November 8, 1931 – May 9, 1978) was a Lithuanian American artist, born in Kaunas. A founding member and the central coordinator of Fluxus, an international community of artists, architects, composers, and designers, he is most famous for organising and performing early happenings and for assembling a series of highly influential artists’ multiples. … Like the definition of ‘Flux’, which means ‘to flow’, Fluxus artists sought to reorder the temples of production and reveal ‘the extraordinary that remains latent in the undisclosed ordinary’ during the midst of the dramatic modernist epoch. Primarily influenced by John Cage‘s Experimental Music Composition classes at the New School for Social Research and an emerging interest in eastern philosophy, a number of avant-garde artists in New York were beginning to run parallel and competing happenings at the beginning of the 1960s. As well as Maciunas’ concerts at the AG Gallery in March 1961 featuring music and events by Maciunas himself, Toshi Ichiyanagi, Mac Low and Dick Higgins, the two other most important precursors to fluxus were La Monte Young’s influential series of performances in the Chambers Street loft of Yoko Ono and Toshi Ichiyanagi in 1961 involving Henry Flynt, La Monte Young, Joseph Byrd & Robert Morris amongst others; and Robert Watts and George Brecht‘s Yam Festival, spring 1963 at Rutgers University and New York, which included a series of mail art event scores and performances by John Cage, Allan Kaprow, Alison Knowles, Ay-O and Dick Higgins. Fluxus became an avant-garde movement characterized by playful subversion of previous art traditions (even including those of previous avant-garde movements), Dick Higgins‘ famously coined term intermedia, a view that art should not-be something rarefied or commercial, and a firm commitment to blurring the distinctions between art and life. Maciunas’ lifelong interest in diagrams made him chart the political, cultural and social history as well as art history and the chronology of Fluxus. In 1963, Maciunas composed the first Fluxus Manifesto, (see above), which called upon its readers to: …purge the world of bourgeois sickness, ‘intellectual’, professional & commercialized culture … PROMOTE A REVOLUTIONARY FLOOD AND TIDE IN ART, … promote NON ART REALITY to be grasped by all peoples, not only critics, dilettantes and professionals … FUSE the cadres of cultural, social & political revolutionaries into united front & action. …”
What Is Fluxus?
NY Times: ‘George,’ Like Its Fluxus Subject, Is Playful and Prankish
Fluxus is just beginning
amazon: George: The Story of George Maciunas and Fluxus
YouTube: George: The Story of George Maciunas and Fluxus – Official Trailer

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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