Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Fluxus Digital Collection

Last week the University of Iowa announced the launch of the The Fluxus Digital
Collection, an online archive of Fluxus works, many of which are Artists' Editions. The site features multiple views of classic Fluxkits such as Flux Snow by George Maciunas, Events and Games by Mieko Chiomi, Deck and Games and Puzzles by George Brecht,  Flux Time Kit by Robert Watts, Instruction No.2 by Ben Patterson, Flux Dust by Robert Filliou and the Flux Year Box 2.

The archive also includes bookworks, drawings, objects, correspondence, sculptures, invitations and posters by John Cage, Dick Higgins, Ken Friedman, Yoko Ono, Joseph Beuys, Milan Knížák, Nam June Paik, Shigeko Kubota, James Riddle, Alison Knowles, Dieter Roth, Eric Andersen, Takehisa Kosugi, Ay-O and many others. These range from the well-known (Ben Vautier's Postman's Choice card) to works that I was not familiar with at all, such as American Flag Samurai Hood by George Maciunas (here).

The collection is not beholden to any (apparent) strict criteria, so in addition to Fluxus works, there are multiples published by Vice-Versand and Hundertmark Editions by artists not involved with the group, such as Andre Thompkins, Mauricio Kagel and Gaybor Altorjay.

The works are part of the University's Special Collections, and were donated by artist Ken Friedman, who noted: “Video pioneer Nam June Paik organized the first art exhibition on the World Wide Web in 1994. Since then, Fluxus artists and composers have had a durable presence of event scores, images, documents, web sites, exhibitions, publications, and more. Some vanished when links broke and web sites disappeared. Others continue to overcome the limits of fragile artifacts that museums preserve by protecting them from people. The Fluxus Digital Collection brings works back to life, returning them to the world where they belong with a future as lively as the past.”

In addition to well-documented editions, the site includes PDF downloads and a bibliography of publications about Fluxus. The press release also promises that the site will continue to grow, with more artworks, writings and correspondence to come.

Perhaps the most intriguing inclusions are the works (or objects) not attributed to an artist, but listed as 'unknown'. Examples of these items are pictured above.

Visit the site, here.

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