During the 1960s and 1970s, Fluxus was a worldwide, multidisciplinary group of artists, musicians, designers, and poets that participated in experimental art performances emphasizing the creative process above the completed result.
Fluxus is renowned for its experimental contributions to a variety of creative mediums and fields, as well as for pioneering the development of new art forms.
Numerous artists from the 1960s were involved in Fluxus activities; they were not only a broad group of collaborators who impacted one another, but they were also, for the most part, friends.
They shared extreme views on art and the function of art in society at the time. Due of the overlapping groups inside Fluxus and the fact that Fluxus grew in phases, individuals had wildly divergent opinions about what Fluxus was.
1. Yoko Ono
Yoko Ono was born on February 18, 1933, in Tokyo, Japan. She is a multidisciplinary artist, singer, composer, and peace campaigner. Additionally, her work incorporates performance art in both English and Japanese, as well as filming.
Ono was born in Tokyo and relocated to New York with her family in 1953. She got active with the downtown artists scene in New York City, which included the Fluxus group.
She gained notoriety in 1969 when she married English musician John Lennon of the Beatles, with the pair utilizing their honeymoon as a platform for anti-Vietnam War rallies. She and Lennon were married until December 1980, when he was assassinated in front of the couple’s apartment building.
2. Nam June Paik
Nam June Paik (July 20, 1932 – January 29, 2006) was a Korean American artist who lived in the United States. He experimented with a number of mediums and is widely regarded as the father of video art. He is credited with coining the phrase “electronic super highway” for the future of telecommunications in 1974.
Paik met composers Karlheinz Stockhausen and John Cage while studying in Germany, as well as conceptual artists Sharon Grace, George Maciunas, Joseph Beuys, and Wolf Vostell, and became a member of the experimental art movement Fluxus in 1962.
Nam June Paik then joined the Neo-Dada art movement known as Fluxus, which was influenced by John Cage’s use of common sounds and noises in his music. He made his major debut in 1963 at the Galerie Parnass in Wuppertal with an installation titled Exposition of Music-Electronic Television, in which he placed TVs across the gallery and employed magnets to change or distort their appearances.
He played Chopin at a 1960 piano concert in Cologne, hurled himself on the keyboard, and raced into the crowd, hitting Cage and pianist David Tudor with scissors and poured shampoo on their heads.
3. George Maciunas
George Maciunas was born in Kaunas on November 8, 1931 and died on May 9, 1978. He is most known for organizing and performing early occurrences and for compiling a succession of extremely significant artists’ multiples.
Though Maciunas coined the term “Fluxus” to refer to a periodical covering Lithuanian culture that he envisioned at a conference of Lithuanian émigrés, Fluxus quickly expanded to include much more.
Fluxus developed into an avant-garde movement defined by its playful subversion of previous art traditions (including those of previous avant-garde movements), Dick Higgins’ famously coined term intermedia, a belief that art should not be rarefied or commercial, and a steadfast commitment to blurring the lines between art and life.
Maciunas’ lifelong fascination with diagrams led him to document the political, cultural, and social history of Fluxus, as well as its art history and chronology.
4. Joseph Beuys
Joseph Heinrich Beuys (12 May 1921 – 23 January 1986) was a German artist, educator, performer, and art theorist whose work expressed humanistic, sociological, and anthroposophical principles.
He co-founded Fluxus and had a pivotal role in the creation of Happenings.
Beuys is most recognized for his “expanded definition of art,” which asserts that social sculpture’s concepts have the capacity to transform society and politics.
He often convened open public discussions on a variety of topics, including politics, the environment, social difficulties, and long-term cultural challenges.
Beuys died of heart failure in Düsseldorf on 23 January 1986.
Beuys’ vast collection of work is divided into four categories: conventional works of art (painting, drawing, sculpture, and installations), performance, contributions to art theory and academic education, and social and political actions.
5. Ben Vautier
Ben Vautier, often known as Ben, is a French artist born on July 18, 1935, in Naples, Italy. Vautier lives and works in Nice, where he operated the Magazin record store from 1958 until 1973.
Benjamin Vautier was born in Naples, Italy, on July 18, 1935, to a French family. He is the great-grandson of Marc Louis Benjamin Vautier, a Swiss painter (1829-1898).
In the 1950s, he encountered Yves Klein and the Nouveau Réalisme, but he rapidly got interested in French dada artist Marcel Duchamp and John Cage’s music. Vautier started the periodical Ben Dieu in 1959. He debuted his one-man act, Rien et tout, in 1960 at Laboratoire 32.
In October 1962, Ben joined George Maciunas’s Fluxus creative movement.
In 1981, he developed the term Figuration Libre to refer to the French art movement of the 1980s.
6. Mary Bauermeister
Mary Hilde Ruth Bauermeister (born 7 September 1934) is a German sculptor, illustrator, installation artist, performer, and musician.
Influenced by Fluxus artists and Nouveau Réalisme, her work explores the esoteric nature of information transit in society. “I was just following an inner need to communicate something that was not yet there, in actuality or thinking,” she said of her technique. “Creating art was more of a discovering, seeking process than it was a knowing.”
Since the 1970s, her work has focused on New Age spirituality-related subjects, particularly geomancy, the divine interpretation of lines on the ground.
7. George Brecht
George Brecht (August 27, 1926 – December 5, 2008), born George Ellis MacDiarmid, was an American conceptual artist and avant-garde composer who also worked as a professional chemist for firms such as Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Mobil Oil.
He was a pivotal member of and influence on Fluxus, having been a part of the group from its inception in Wiesbaden in 1962 until Maciunas’ death in 1978.
He is well known for his Event Scores such as Drip Music 1962, which are often regarded as a predecessor to conceptual art.
He defined his own painting as a technique of “ensuring that the minutiae of daily existence, the random constellations of items that surround us, cease to go undetected.”
8. Wolf Vostell
9. Allan Kaprow
Wolf Vostell (14 October 1932 – 3 April 1998) was a German painter and sculptor who is widely regarded as a pioneer of video art and installation art, as well as a proponent of Happenings and Fluxus.
His work is characterized by techniques such as blurring and Dé-coll/age, as well as the embedding of items in concrete and the incorporation of television sets. Wolf Vostell is the father of two kids, David Vostell and Rafael Vostell. He was married to the Spanish writer Mercedes Vostell.
Vostell started implementing his first creative ideas in 1950; in 1953, he began an apprenticeship as a lithographer and enrolled in Ernst Oberhoff’s Werkkunstschule at the Bergische Universität in Wuppertal.
On September 6, 1954, in Paris, he discovered the term décollage (i.e. to remove, loosen, unglue, separate) on the top page of Le Figaro, which was referring to the crash of a Lockheed Super Constellation into the Shannon.
Vostell respelled the phrase Dé-coll/age and used it to describe his poster tear-offs and events. For Wolf Vostell, Dé-coll/age evolved into a design philosophy and an all-encompassing artistic idea.
10. Dick Higgins
Dick Higgins (1938–1998) was an American painter, musician, art theorist, poet, publisher, and printmaker. He was also a co-founder of the worldwide creative movement Fluxus (and community).
Higgins was an early pioneer of electronic communication, inspired by John Cage. Higgins created the term “intermedia” to refer to his creative endeavors, describing it in a 1965 article of the same name that appeared in the first issue of the Something Else Newsletter.
Among his most significant audio contributions are the Danger Music compositions and the Intermedia idea, which he coined to define the unfathomable cross-disciplinary activities that were popular in the 1960s.
He married Alison Knowles, a fellow artist, in 1960, and the couple had two daughters, Hannah Higgins and Jessica Higgins, four years later. They both grew up to carry on the Fluxus dynasty in their families. Hannah Higgins, one of Higgins and Knowles’s daughters, is the author of Fluxus Experience, a seminal work on the Fluxus movement.
Jessica, her twin sister, is an intermedia artist located in New York who works closely with renowned curator Lance Fung. After ten years of marriage, Higgins and Knowles divorced in 1970 and remarried in 1984.
Higgins passed away as a result of a heart attack during a concert in Quebec, Canada.
11. Robert Filliou
Robert Filliou (17 January 1926 – 2 December 1987) was a Fluxus artist who worked as a filmmaker, “action poet,” sculptor, and maestro of occurrences.
Filliou created his first visual work, Le Collage de l’immortelle mort du monde (Collage of the Immortal Death of the World), in 1960. The work is a reproduction of a random theatrical performance like to a chessboard on which individual experiences are conveyed.
Filliou presented “Art’s Birthday” for the first time in 1963. He said that art did not exist 1,000,000 years ago. However, on January 17, Art was born. According to Filliou, it occurred when a dry sponge was placed into a pail of water.
Additionally, he suggested a national holiday to commemorate the importance of art in our lives. Art’s Birthday was first commemorated publicly in 1973 in Aachen, Germany, and simultaneously in Paris, France.