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A Fluxus Bibliography

Here lies a bibliography to be stepped on. It is composed of forty primarily English-language publications that take the form of exhibition catalogues, anthologies, artists’ books, and scholarly treatises. Together, these volumes give voice to and reflect on a movement with many histories, a movement propelled by artists living in New York, Eastern Europe, and Japan. Many of these artists are still actively pursuing work in the spirit of Fluxus; others are no longer with us, or claim that Fluxus ended 35 years ago, with the passing of George Maciunas, a central organizer and participant.

This is not a definitive bibliography. It does not tell the history of Fluxus, and, read in its entirety, it will not neatly define the movement. The selected texts do, however, provide firsthand records of events and works, and they offer provocative commentaries. The bibliography begins from a perspective that gives direct insight into The Museum of Modern Art’s holdings of Fluxus material, with seven publications edited by Jon Hendricks and published in collaboration with the Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection, Detroit, a collection comprised of nearly 10,000 works that the Museum acquired in 2008. The list fans out from there, with artists’ publications, books on mail art, Tokyo Fluxus, and Fluxus in Eastern Europe, to name a few. And, thanks to the internet, this list may easily grow. Suggestions for texts to add to the ones mentioned here, accompanied by commentary and links to the material, are most welcome. Make your mark!

Author

Tepper (bio photo)

Allie Tepper

Fluxus Project Cataloguer Department of Drawings and Prints, MoMA Allison Tepper is the former Fluxus Project Cataloguer in the Department of Drawings and Prints at The Museum of Modern Art and is currently the Program Manager of the... Read more »
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A Fluxus Bibliography

Here lies a bibliography to be stepped on. It is composed of forty primarily English-language publications that take the form of exhibition catalogues, anthologies, artists’ books, and scholarly treatises. Together, these volumes give voice to and reflect on a movement with many histories, a movement propelled by artists living in New York, Eastern Europe, and Japan. Many of these artists are still actively pursuing work in the spirit of Fluxus; others are no longer with us, or claim that Fluxus ended 35 years ago, with the passing of George Maciunas, a central organizer and participant.

This is not a definitive bibliography. It does not tell the history of Fluxus, and, read in its entirety, it will not neatly define the movement. The selected texts do, however, provide firsthand records of events and works, and they offer provocative commentaries. The bibliography begins from a perspective that gives direct insight into The Museum of Modern Art’s holdings of Fluxus material, with seven publications edited by Jon Hendricks and published in collaboration with the Gilbert and Lila...

Show More

Here lies a bibliography to be stepped on. It is composed of forty primarily English-language publications that take the form of exhibition catalogues, anthologies, artists’ books, and scholarly treatises. Together, these volumes give voice to and reflect on a movement with many histories, a movement propelled by artists living in New York, Eastern Europe, and Japan. Many of these artists are still actively pursuing work in the spirit of Fluxus; others are no longer with us, or claim that Fluxus ended 35 years ago, with the passing of George Maciunas, a central organizer and participant.

This is not a definitive bibliography. It does not tell the history of Fluxus, and, read in its entirety, it will not neatly define the movement. The selected texts do, however, provide firsthand records of events and works, and they offer provocative commentaries. The bibliography begins from a perspective that gives direct insight into The Museum of Modern Art’s holdings of Fluxus material, with seven publications edited by Jon Hendricks and published in collaboration with the Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection, Detroit, a collection comprised of nearly 10,000 works that the Museum acquired in 2008. The list fans out from there, with artists’ publications, books on mail art, Tokyo Fluxus, and Fluxus in Eastern Europe, to name a few. And, thanks to the internet, this list may easily grow. Suggestions for texts to add to the ones mentioned here, accompanied by commentary and links to the material, are most welcome. Make your mark!

Source contents

Fluxus etc.

This catalogue was produced on the occasion of a traveling exhibition of works from the Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection. Curated by Jon Hendricks, the exhibition opened at Cranbrook Academy of Art Museum in 1981. The catalogue begins with a section entitled “A Complete History of Fluxus,” comprised of Fluxus manifestos written by George Maciunas and a series of 10-word commissioned...

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Fluxus etc./Addenda I

The first of two volumes of addenda to Fluxus etc., this text was published on the occasion of an exhibition at the Neuberger Museum in 1983. It includes a transcript of an interview with George Maciunas by Larry Miller in 1978, shortly before the artist’s death, and full-page reproductions of Fluxus newsletters produced by Maciunas beginning in 1962. (The newsletters were mailed to Fluxus...

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Fluxus etc./Addenda II

The second volume of addenda to Fluxus etc., produced in conjunction with an exhibition at the Baxter Art Gallery, California Institute of Technology, in the fall of 1983, most notably includes full-page reproductions of “instruction drawings”—sketches, notations, and plans for Fluxus multiples, books, manifestos, and concerts, among other projects.

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Fluxus Codex

Produced several years after Fluxus etc. and its addenda, Fluxus Codex is the most comprehensive study of objects from the Silverman Collection as compiled by Jon Hendricks, then the curator of the collection. Organized alphabetically by artist, the publication offers a history of Fluxus Editions—cheap, portable publications and multiples—from the collection by linking them to citations from...

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Fluxus: Selections from the Gilbert and Lila Silverman Collection

An exhibition catalogue for the first presentation at MoMA of works from the Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection two decades before the collection was officially acquired by the Museum. Organized by Jon Hendricks and Clive Phillpot, then the director of the MoMA Library, the exhibition focused primarily on collective works. As stated by Phillpot in the preface, the exhibition and...

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Fluxus Scores and Instructions: The Transformative Years, “Make a Salad”

This is the only publication edited by Jon Hendricks that investigates the wealth of Fluxus scores and instructions for performances from the Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection. Hendricks regards these documents as “complete conceptual artworks” that are often overshadowed by the performances they inspired. Fluxus Scores and Instructions was issued in 2008 on the occasion of an...

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Maciunas' Learning Machines: From Art History to a Chronology of Fluxus

This book, produced on the occasion of an exhibition of the same name at Kunstbibliothek, Staaliche Museen zu Berlin in 2003, includes nearly three dozen images of diagrams made by George Maciunas, a central organizer and participant of Fluxus, during the period 1953–1973. The reproductions are accompanied by a text by Astrit Schmidt-Burkhardt that provides insight into Maciunas’s graphic...

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What’s Fluxus? What’s Not! Why. (O que é Fluxus? O que não é! O porquê)

This book ruminates on the definition of Fluxus through scholarly treatises by René Block and Tobias Berger, Ina Blom, Thomas Kellein, Joan Rothfuss, and Harry Ruhé; interviews with George Maciunas; and reproductions of seminal texts by Fluxus artists, including, in order of appearance, La Monte Young, George Brecht, Yoko Ono, George Maciunas, Ben Vautier, Nam June Paik, Robert Filliou, Robert...

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An Anthology [Second Edition]

This is the corrected, second edition of a seminal collection of performance scores, experimental poetry, music, and essays that La Monte Young began editing in 1961 and first published with Jackson Mac Low in 1963, with design and assembly assistance from George Maciunas. A proto-Fluxus publication, An Anthology features works by many Fluxus artists and is an early model for collective...

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Art, Anti-Art, Non-Art: Experimentations in the Public Sphere in Postwar Japan, 1950–1970

Created for the exhibition Art, Anti-Art, Non-Art: Experimentations in the Public Sphere in Postwar Japan, 1950–1970, held at the Getty Research Institute March 6–June 3, 2007, this catalogue is an excellent sourcebook on artistic production during a period of economic growth that revitalized Japan’s cultural landscape. The focus is on a number of prominent artists’ groups, including Tokyo...

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Correspondence Art: Source Book for the New Work of International Postal Art Activity

An in-depth, illustrated study of mail art with essays by artists and historians, including Fluxus artists Ken Friedman, Dick Higgins, and Ray Johnson.

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Critical Mass: Happenings, Fluxus, Performance, Intermedia, and Rutgers University, 1957–1972

Artist Geoffrey Hendricks taught at Rutgers University for nearly 50 years. In Critical Mass he chronicles the avant-garde activity—Happenings, Fluxus, performance, and intermedia—that defined the academic landscape between 1958 and 1972. Critical Mass extends a dialogue initiated in two earlier texts, both of which are included in this bibliography: Experiments in the Everyday: Allan Kaprow...

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The Dream of Fluxus: George Maciunas, An Artist's Biography

"The Dream of Fluxus is the story of George Maciunas’s life, a real-life legend on a grand scale. Thomas Kellein, Director of Kunsthalle Bielefeld, from 1982 to 1988, Curator of the extensive Hanns Sohm Intermedia Archive in the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, and writer on Fluxus, explores a very particular artist’s biography. While the art scene has developed into a global market at an astounding...

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Experiments in the Everyday: Allan Kaprow and Robert Watts, Events, Objects, Documents

This catalogue, produced in conjunction with the exhibition Experiments in the Everyday: Allan Kaprow and Robert Watts—Events, Objects, Documents, held in the autumn of 1999 at Columbia University’s Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, places the work of Allan Kaprow, the internationally acclaimed inventor of Happenings, in dialogue with that of Robert Watts, a lesser-known artist affiliated...

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The Four Suits

The Four Suits is a selection of work by Benjamin Patterson, Philip Corner, Alison Knowles, and Tomas Schmit—Fluxus artists who were brought together by Higgins in this publication to reveal their experiments in mediums in which they were not trained, and which they often devised on their own. The book was published by Something Else Press, Inc., founded by Higgins in 1963, and includes a...

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Fluxus at 50

From the publisher’s note:

Fifty years ago, in 1962, Lithuanian-born George Maciunas (1931–78) organized the first ever Fluxus festival, The International Fluxus Festival of the Newest Music, at Museum Wiesbaden in Germany. The festival presented musical and performance work by Joseph Beuys, George Brecht, John Cage, Alison Knowles, Nam June Paik, and La Monte Young, among others, and was the...

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Fluxus–Art into Life

This catalogue was produced on the occasion of the exhibition Fluxus–Art into Life at the Urawa Art Museum in 2004. The exhibition focused on Fluxus activities from the late 1950s to 1978, the year of Maciunas’s death, and presented approximately 500 objects culled exclusively from collections in Japan. The catalogue includes images of works from the exhibition and a reprint of “Fluxus...

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Fluxus East: Fluxus-Netzwerke in Mittelosteuropa (Fluxus East: Fluxus Networks in Central Eastern Europe)

Published in conjunction with a series of exhibitions held between 2007 and 2010 in Berlin, Vilnius, Cracow, Budapest, Tallinn, Copenhagen, and Høvikodden (Norway), this book marks the beginning of an ongoing project initiated and led by Petra Stegmann to document and interpret Fluxus networks in Central and Eastern Europe. The project has its own website, and the book’s 11 essays discuss the...

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Fluxus Experience

Art historian Hannah Higgins, the daughter of Fluxus artists Alison Knowles and Dick Higgins, mines the experiential nature of Fluxus works—what the author refers to as “the transactional, interpenetrative framework and its capacity to create a sense of continuity with the world.” Rather than interpret the meaning of a series of individual works, Higgins offers an analysis of the informational...

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The Fluxus Reader

A comprehensive investigation of Fluxus comprised primarily of historical and critical essays by scholars in the field such as Owen Smith, Hannah Higgins, Ina Blom, David Doris, Stephen Foster, Estera Millman, and Nicholas Zurbrugg. The text also includes transcripts of interviews with George Maciunas and his wife, Billie, and two theoretical texts on the movement by Dick Higgins and Ken...

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Fluxus: The History of an Attitude

A history of Fluxus that traces pre-Fluxus influences (1959–61), early Fluxus (1962–64), the middle years (1965–69), late Fluxus (1971–78), and the “Fluxus attitude” that pervaded all, this book attempts to make legible the diverse histories of the geographically and temporally dispersed movement.

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Games at the Cedilla; or the Cedilla Takes Off

A collection of writings, poems, plays, games, and correspondence culled from the notebooks of George Brecht and Robert Filliou, artists who, at the time of the book’s publication, lived in France, where they ran a storefront gallery and research space, La Cédille Qui Sourit (the Smiling Cedilla). Located in Villefranche-sur-Mer, near Nice, La Cédille Qui Sourit was a convivial collaborative...

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Happening & Fluxus: Materialien

Happening & Fluxus was published in conjunction with the exhibition of the same name curated by Hans Sohm and Harald Szeemann and held at the Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, in 1970. The catalogue provides a thorough chronology of Happenings and Fluxus performances and events that occurred from 1959 to the end of 1970, and is extensively illustrated with black-and-white reproductions of...

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Illegal Living: 80 Wooster Street and the Evolution of SoHo

Illegal Living: 80 Wooster Street and the Evolution of SoHo tells "the story of the building at 80 Wooster Street in New York and the people who lived and worked there [from the 1960s to the ’80s]. The first of 16 artists' coops started by George Maciunas, founder of the Fluxus art movement, Fluxhouse Coop II spurred the development of SoHo and the spread of worldwide loft conversions. [...]...

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In the Spirit of Fluxus

From the publisher’s note:

This major document provides the first comprehensive overview of Fluxus. Illustrated with more than 300 reproductions (many previously unpublished), as well as an important selection of artists' writings and documents, the book features seven groundbreaking essays by renowned scholars that explore the Fluxus movement in its various incarnations across a variety of...

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Into Performance: Japanese Women Artists in New York

A comparative examination of Japanese women artists Yayoi Kusama, Yoko Ono, Takako Saito, Mieko Shiomi, and Shigeko Kubota, all of whom, with the exception of Kusama, were involved in Fluxus and split their time in the 1960s between Tokyo and New York. The study begins by examining the five artists’ shared experiences as women in postwar Japan, their encounters with Happenings and Events in...

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Japanese Art after 1945: Scream against the Sky

An important illustrated survey of postwar Japanese art that critically examines the role and definition of Japanese identity in artistic production and the influence of Western aesthetics, as well as Japanese cultural heritage, on artists living in the country during this period of economic growth, with particular attention paid to Fluxus and Gutai.

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Jefferson's Birthday; Postface

Jefferson's Birthday; Postface contains two works by artist Dick Higgins, the seminal Fluxus artist who coined the term intermedia, bound back-to-back. Jefferson’s Birthday is a collection of Higgins’s writings, scores, and inventions produced between April 13, 1962, and April 13,1963. It includes everything he created that year, on the premise that the act of making is simply meaningful, and...

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Journal of the Identical Lunch

This journal documents Knowles’s signature Fluxus performance piece, The Identical Lunch: “a tunafish sandwich on wheat toast with lettuce and butter, no mayo and a large glass of buttermilk or a cup of soup […] eaten many days of each week at the same place and at about the same time." The journal includes reflections by participants Philip Corner, Dick Higgins, John Giorno, and Susan Hartung,...

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Klavierzerstörungen in Kunst und Popkultur (Piano Destruction in Art and Pop Culture)

This study of the destruction of pianos in art and pop culture in the 20th and 21st centuries includes an in-depth analysis of the legendary performance of Philip Corner’s Piano Activities at the first of many Fluxus festivals, the International Festival of the Newest Music in Wiesbaden in 1962. Schmidt’s essay provides a detailed history of the early Fluxus event, performed by George Maciunas,...

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Teaching and Learning as Performing Arts (Lehren und Lerne als Auffuehrungskuenste)

Teaching and Learning as Performing Arts is a study by the artist Robert Filliou of experimental pedagogy based on the principles of Fluxus and kindred, participatory art movements that prospered in Filliou’s era. In his introduction, Filliou writes: “The purpose of this study is to show how some of the problems inherent to teaching and learning can be solved–or at least eased–through an...

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The Lunatics Are on the Loose

From the publisher’s note:

Publication in English on the occasion of the exhibition "The lunatics are on the loose …" EUROPEAN FLUXUS FESTIVALS 1962–1977

Extensive documentation of 32 selected European Fluxus events in Aachen, Aberystwyth, Amsterdam, Berlin, Budapest, Copenhagen, Düsseldorf, London, Madrid, Nizza, Oslo, Paris, Prague, Poznan, Rotterdam, Scheveningen, Stockholm, Vilnius,...

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Mr. Fluxus: A Collective Portrait of George Maciunas, 1931–1978

A collective portrait of George Maciunas, the central, organizing figure and participant in Fluxus, based on personal anecdotes and reminiscences gathered by the artists Emmett Williams and Ay-O from more than 80 of Maciunas’s friends and Fluxus colleagues.

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Networked Art

Networked Art examines how Fluxus artists, along with concrete poets and Lettrists, working offline in analogue media, used “social situations or social networks as a canvas”—a form of “sociopoetic research” that crucially influences contemporary networked art.

From the publisher’s note:

The experimental art and poetry of the last half of the twentieth century offers a glimpse of the emerging...

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Off Limits: Rutgers University and the Avant-Garde, 1957–1963

Off Limits is the first publication to examine a group of artists who studied or worked as faculty at Rutgers University’s New Brunswick campus between 1957 and 1963, rejecting Abstract Expressionism to pursue work that responded directly to their everyday, urban experiences. The book was issued on the occasion of an exhibition of the same name at the Newark Museum in 1999 and traces the...

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Radicals and Realists in the Japanese Nonverbal Arts: The Avant-Garde Rejection of Modernism

Havens’s book is valuable as an introduction to artists across multiple disciplines and for its emphasis on the oral testimony of Japanese avant-garde artists—including many Fluxus artists—who were active in the 1950s and 1960s. Focusing on what the author calls “the most progressive” individuals involved in “the nonverbal arts” in postwar Japan, Havens offers a view of a changing terrain of...

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Hsin hsin ming

Hsin hsin ming (Faith in Mind) is a polyglot translation of Seng Ts’an’s seventh-century writings on Chinese Buddhism by George Brecht, Albrecht Fabri, and Robert Filliou, with calligraphy by Takako Saito in k’ai shu style. The publication, produced as a limited edition, reflects the shared interest of many Fluxus artists in Zen Buddhism.

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Spatial Poem

This artist’s book documents nine “global events,” called Spatial Poems, performed by Shiomi Mieko and her international network of friends and colleagues between 1965 and 1975. Shiomi began each event by sending through the post a simple, poetic instruction such as “open something which is closed” or “observe the natural phenomenon that something is going to disappear.” Spatial Poem records...

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What Is Fluxus? The People Who Connected Art and the Everyday (Furukusasu towa nanika: Nichijo to ato o musubitsuketa hitobito)

Shiomi Mieko’s history of Fluxus from the 1960s to the present recounts the artist’s personal encounters with the collective in the United States and Japan and the influence of George Maciunas on her artistic practice. The text includes chapters on Fluxus today, the artist’s pre-Fluxus experiences, her involvement in Fluxus, challenges in Japan, 1990s Fluxus Festivals in the West, Japanese...

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Women's Work

This collection, edited by Alison Knowles and composer Annea Lockwood, brings together textual scores exclusively by women. It includes work by Shiomi Mieko, Julie Winter, Sari Dienes, Mary Lucier, Bici Forbes, Simone Forti, Elaine Summers, Wendy Greenberg, Annea Lockwood, Jacki Apple, Pauline Oliveros, Alison Knowles, Marilyn Wood, Heidi Von Gunden, Beth Anderson, and Carole Weber.

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