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Hanging Out In Art
Frieze Art Fair 2015
New York City
May 15/16 2015, Randall’s Island
Seen at Frieze 2015
Deborah Kass Black and Blue, 2015 Oil, acrylic and neon on canvas 60 × 60 in 152.4 × 152.4 cm.
“I like that blue is in the black and black is in the blue. Neon lights are a big trend online recently, a lot on Tumblr and also on Instagram. I was planning my own shot of a motorcycle store’s neon sign last week. I wanted it for my Tumblr account. By the time it was dark enough the store had closed. The neon sign was off. I’ll have to wait. This work reminds me of it and gave me a chance to work with a neon sign. I wonder if the artist knows about the online trend. Don’t worry, I didn’t post this to Tumblr. My phone died while I was still at Frieze.”
Hanging Out In Art
by correspondent, Clara Joy
May 18, 2015
My Weekend With Alison Knowles
Whenever I hang around with Alison Knowles, my “Oma,” I feel like I’m in some kind of Flux-Labyrinth. It’s a very familiar mood at this point, since she lives surrounded by her work and surrounded by lots of books and media by and about vintage Fluxus artists. We start by talking about everyday life and we usually end up at her work in art and Fluxus. My main interest this weekend was to be with Alison to see her get an award, but I knew there would be lots of surprises. She gets awards, interviewed, commissioned and celebrated every other week. There are always at least three things going on at the same time when we’re together.
I’ve decided to write this photo essay in the spirit of Alison’s world by running three threads together in my article for Artist Organized Art. I am contributing a photo essay, where most of my thoughts are in the photos and captions, which run through an interview with Alison. I invited Alison to include an interview she was working on with Joshua Selman. The theme of the interview is her work with art environments. I like the idea of my photo essay moving through it like a person through a space. I also enter into the interview at the end to answer a couple of questions. Last, but not least, is a video at the bottom of this article where I go through the Flux-Labyrinth with Alison. In that video I’ve also included some still pictures shared by Mark Bloch, but I’ve processed them into my little video labyrinth. The piece is silent until the last few minutes and then there’s plenty of sound.
At the end of April, Alison received the Francis Greenburger Award. I heard it was a great event at the New Museum, but I couldn’t go. I’m in 9th grade.. too much school work. Two weeks later Pratt Institute awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Art to Alison. Since I’m also interested in Brooklyn and Pratt Institute, I went along to the ceremony at Madison Square Garden with the idea of celebrating Alison’s award and meeting a few people who run that great institution. Shepard Fairey, Alison Knowles, James Turrell, Karen Brooks Hopkins and Holland Cotter received Honorary Doctorates and it was great to hear them speak. I’m probably working on this article because of something each one of them had to say.
It was a very exciting day with Pratt Institute, but by midnight we were very tired and had to turn in. The next day I went with Alison to the Frieze Art Fair to see her dealer, James Fuentes, at his space and to enjoy the art fair. Frieze was good enough to grant an official press pass, since I agreed to come up with something for Artist Organized Art. We also wanted to see a re-creation of the George Maciunas Flux-Labyrinth. Cecilia Alemani is the curator behind the re-creation. I first met her when I was part of the Make A Salad performance at The High Line, which I really liked. I thought I might see her at Frieze, but instead I met many other old and new friends.
Seen at Frieze 2015
Chewing gum and detritus collected from New York’s streets by Japanese Artist: Yuji Agematsu.
“I found this very interesting. It’s an idea where we think about someone collecting gum and wonder how the artist got all of it to end up on a platform at Frieze. Did the artist just have a bag of collected gum and bring it to Frieze to install it on the table. I’ve always wondered about New York City and gum. When I was around 3 years old I learned about all those black spots on the sidewalks. The black spots on the street are apparently all made from discarded chewing gum. I’ve never really gotten over that.”
For this article I’ve invited an interview with Alison, led by Joshua Selman, about environments and art fairs (my photo essay continues in captions):
Joshua Selman: Do you see a relationship between The Boat Book as an environment and the Flux Labyrinth as an environment, in the context of an art fair devoted to visual art?
Alison Knowles: I began to be disinterested in painting after a few shows and became much more engaged with what were called actions. Dick’s Press would publish small books about performance art and I liked that we engaged by performing with and playing for people, asking them to do unusual things to think of as art such as being in art not simply standing in front of a picture and looking at it, but getting down on all fours and going through a tunnel and up a ladder.
So putting the whole person in was the idea. The Big Book was the first walk through environment that I made. We could turn the pages and close ourselves off in a little room, or again it had tunnels and ladders. It’s the same direction for the viewer to be in the work. So there was the Big Book, The Book of Bean and recently at Art Basel, Miami, the Boat Book, here at Frieze we see the Flux-Labyrinth standing out from much of the fair.
Cigarette lighters: detritus collected from New York’s streets by Japanese Artist: Yuji Agematsu.
“Lighters in a line against the wall. Many, many lighters in a line.. many more than shown in this detail view. These are all cigarette lighters found on the ground. You can tell, because they look beat up. Lately I’ve seen a lot of images with cigarette lighters found on the sides of roads with weird images on them. They’re online, mainly on Instagram and a some on Tumblr.. actually a lot on Tumblr. The lighter shots are a definite trend. I wonder if the artist knows. They’re hot, because found cigarette lighters look very vintage.”
JS: What do you think of the Flux-Labyrinth as an environmental form containing a group show? By contrast to today’s thematic group exhibits, it’s refreshing to see artists engage through parallel play.
AK: To me it all signals a move away from Museum paintings. The work we did in Fluxus as performers helped to do that. I think it’s a good thing, because, in my view being an artist, or being in art, is a very positive experience in this world and in life. It doesn’t require any special training in my book, but it does involve commitment and an ability to engage the work with people.
JS: I usually find environmental works associated with a single artist, it’s rare that a group of artists each work on a component of an architecturally unified outcome.
AK: It shows a direction away from painting and into action and engagement. We had George Maciunas directing what locations we were each working with. He knew in advance what we were going to do and I think we accepted his leadership. For Frieze, I had nothing to do with designing the labyrinth itself or with the bean garden in it. I would have done some things differently, but I know what these people are faced with economically and especially in terms of time. I go with, I go with, I go with and it’s very different from the concept of being a printer, or painting, where you’re in charge of the whole deal. I enjoy going with interaction.
Seen at Frieze 2015
Kader Attia’s “Halam Tawaaf”, 2008, consisting of 2,978 tall beer cans.
“It’s interesting to think about how many cans there are. I mean to guess how many. Again, to think about how the artist might have collected them. I see a relationship to works where artists bring together a ton of the same stuff. This is not really trending online, but I think it’s cool. Once, I went to MASS MoCA and saw a work with piles of fresh cigarettes in rows arranged everywhere. It made an impression on me, because, you know, cigarettes are taboo. I think using quantities of the same stuff is a thing that artists do if they find the source interesting. I guess it is interesting, but it does depend on what we source and where it all ends up. This was also just a nice photo to take, but it ends up here.”
JS: In terms of scale, the Boat Book debuted at Art Basel in Miami last December at a scale equivalent to the Big Book and the Book of Bean. The Bean Garden for the Flux Labyrinth is a bit smaller, but fits into an extensive structure. How do you compare the projects?
AK: I enjoy putting people into an artwork. So, I very much go with the director who’s got to do all that negotiation and spatial organization and I accept.
JS: When you go to an environment like the Venice Biennale, that is already an environment for people to go through, how do you feel about inserting your own environment? Especially at the Biennale, imagine taking your passion for putting people through an artwork and they are already in one, how do you resolve that?
AK: We’ll see! We’ll see how it goes..
Seen at Frieze 2015
Alison Knowles stands outside the re-created Flux-Labyrinth in which there is a version of her original Bean Garden installation.
“This is my portrait of Alison Knowles at Frieze 2015. We went to Frieze together so I could meet her gallerist, James Fuentes, meet her friends, see the Flux-Labyrinth in which she has work and so I could work up a media project about going to Frieze. It’s a shot of her in front of the Flux-Labyrinth with her name in the list of participating artists on its wall. I wanted a photo of her next to the signage. People come up to Alison and say hi all the time. It’s exciting that she’s really famous wherever we go. It even rubs off on me when I’m around her. I love that and she’s a lot of fun.”
JS: Ah, so if you get a chance to do an environment in Venice, we will have to attend the Biennale to find out the answer to my question. Very nice, I’m buying my ticket.
AK: I arrive, put my foot in and do the best I can with it. It usually works out well enough, even for me.
JS: Would you need to go to Venice ahead of time to actually decide how you want to grapple with the issue of inserting an environment?
AK: The decisions, a lot of them, have already been made when I arrive at a biennale, by very good people, curators who have given me a space. My disposition is to work with the people who have done the hard work of getting me there, paying my ticket, housing me and giving me the prize money. I do enjoy being in the work, physically sitting in it, then people have a chance to talk with me a little as they come through a tunnel, over a ladder, look through a porthole and move through the rooms.
Seen at Pratt Institute Graduation 2015
Alison Knowles & James Turrell receiving Honorary Doctorates in Fine Art from Pratt Institute the day before we went to Frieze.
“Back in her 20’s Alison graduated from Pratt Institute with a Fine Arts degree. Years later, the day before we went to Frieze, Pratt Institute would award her an Honorary Doctorate. I loved going to the graduation. Also, one of my photos of Alison was used for the commencement catalogue and Pratt Institute was kind enough to credit me in print.
At the ceremony, which was in an auditorium at Madison Square Garden, they showed big projections on an interactive screen. It was great, because you could take a photo of anyone there, especially a graduate, or whatever picture you had in your phone, or write a text message.. anything you could make on your device.. and send it to the huge screen by texting it to the number in the upper right corner. This is a photo that I texted of Alison Knowles and the artist James Turrell, which i had just taken a few minutes before at the luncheon. We got it up on the big screen. It was really exciting. I texted it there myself and then took this picture of it on the screen. Obviously each graduate isn’t going to get specific recognition unless we can project their image somewhere.
This was a good way of letting the audience in on the big screen. I’d like to use this kind of thing myself in something I do in art. I think that major pop artists like Mac DeMarco should include this in their concerts. Hashtag #macdemarco and kids at the concert or anyone streaming it over the net could be included on the big screen while he’s performing. It’s really very cool.”
JS: How do you see the Boat Book and the Big Book in relation to the House of Dust beyond the computerized poem, but as the environment described by the poem, fully realized for people to move through?
AK: Well the House of Dust was realized in honor of James Tenney who programmed and ran the miles long output of the House of Dust poem onto continuous dot matrix printer paper using a FORTRAN routine. The House of Dust is possibly the first computer generated poem and it goes on and on describing where people live, what each house is made of, the type of light it’s in and who the inhabitants are. At Cal Arts we built one iteration. I was there teaching for a few years and took people through it, stayed overnight sometimes. In California it had a beehive shape. I think these kind of installations test the premise that visual art hangs on a wall simply to be viewed. We do honor the great American painters, but most of my students are into activities and actions rather than still work.
JS: That’s very interesting. I want to ask a last question about triangulating food, shelter and clothing in art-making.
AK: Of the food pieces, I’ve done Make a Salad, or Make a Soup, for large audiences. The clothing would be Shoes of Your Choice, that’s a big favorite. We made a lot of t-shirt artworks, t-shirts with art on them.
Seen at Frieze 2015
The tent at Frieze is one of the nicest features, because it lets in a lot of natural light.
“Everything looks great in natural light, especially the art works. This is a photo of Frieze itself. It wasn’t planned, I just wanted to take a random shot. I think that it came out nicely, because it frames the sunlight through the roof. That’s a very cool part of Frieze. The tent lights up everything. Frieze is one of my favorite exhibition venues, because they use the light in an excellent way. It’s not fluorescent lighting or anything gross. Screened sunlight is great for a nice fresh full spectrum result.
It’s not too hard to get to Frieze or too come back from there. You just take a ferry to Randall’s Island and the same to leave. It’s more difficult to get around at Frieze itself because it’s so big. But, it’s worth it because there’s such good art. Going to Frieze is expensive if you’re going as a spectator, but we didn’t experience that, because we got in as guests of James Fuentes, Alison’s dealer, and Frieze issued me a press pass.”
JS: You also made works on bedding and drapes, etc.
AK: Right! The whole housing thing..
JS: The clothing is where fiber takes off in your work isn’t it?
AK: Because I could print on it. I was trained as a printmaker and could make a silk screen of any size and print B-E-D on the bedding, or I could print it with a spoken text.
Seen at Frieze 2015
Jonathan Horowitz’s 700 Dots project at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise for Frieze New York 2015. I bumped into my friend Lilly, who’s friend Theodora introduced her Dad. He was spot on by dressing for the occasion.
“One of my Instagram followers met me in Chicago at The Bean a couple of years ago. Her name is Lilly and she’s great. I talk to her online a lot and messaged her about running around NYC the same weekend. We made loose plans to meet up. Then, it turned out we were both going to Frieze on the same day so we kept an eye open. By chance we bumped up in that huge crowd. She was with her friend Theodora, who I hadn’t met before.
This is a picture of Theodora’s Dad who was wearing a suit matching the installation. I had no idea her Dad was featured in the show. He’s pointing to the dot he made for the collection. It’s interesting that when we took the ferry to Frieze, he was on our boat. He knew Alison Knowles and they were chatting the whole way. No one could miss this remarkable suit. It was a big surprise when he reappeared connected to my own teenage friends and to this great social installation work. Connecting the dots makes for a small world online and again at Frieze.”
JS: By wearing, do each of us become part of a performance?
AK: It’s true! Off the wall, off the canvas.
JS: So you place people in an environment, move them through the environment, they wear the environment and you’re feeding them, as a major work. I wouldn’t mind being part of something like that in Venice. Please keep me on the short list, if and when.
AK: I remember at the Tate Modern, Make a Salad was very dramatic. We threw the greens over a balcony and four or five people tossed it with dressing in a tarp positioned beneath. Some artists have criticized this as art made from women’s work, but woman’s work was never considered performance worthy. When I make a salad for hundreds of people I also have men up there chopping. Because, I know many who do a lot of work in the kitchen. A lot of women go to the office. All the rolls are upside down today.
Seen at Frieze 2015
Pictured left to right: Leo Rubinfien, Alison Knowles and Juan Puentes.
“It seems so easy to meet old friends and make new friends at Frieze. I really like the atmosphere and was okay with taking a picture of these friends of the family. This is Alison with Leo Rubinfien, the award winning photographer/filmmaker, and Juan Puentes the Director of White Box, one of NYC’s most adventurous artist space galleries. Juan Puentes asked me to take the shot and send it to his cell phone right away. That can be fun, the smartphone is today’s Polaroid camera. It’s nice when patrons get the pic right away, if they pay a small fee. Just sayin’.”
JS: Food, shelter and clothing are basic to community.
AK: That’s right.
JS: “Women’s work” does that imply women are the basis of a community?
AK: Not so, not so. The House of Dust was an existing shelter in California. Earthway finally took it away, split it in half and the half that was left was put in a children’s park. It was about the size of that closet. You could go into it and crawl around. So an impermanent outdoor sculpture is transformed for play. It was great for little kids.
The Frieze Projects 2015 Tribute to the Flux-Labyrinth (1976/2015) organized by Cecilia Alemani. The original Flux-Labyrinth, organized by George Maciunas, was realized in 1976 at the Akademie der Kunste in Berlin.
“My favorite part of Frieze was going through the Flux-Labyrinth with Alison Knowles. This video is a combine of slides, with stills lent to me by Mark Bloch, and low resolution video that we took as we went through the Labyrinth. I wanted to include a video in this article, to cover the Flux-Labyrinth which, in my honest opinion, was the best part of Frieze. Alison Knowles was featured as a participating artist in the original Flux-Labyrinth and in this 2015 re-creation.
We went through a maze of crazy stuff. Just to get in we had to hack a trick door and stoop to cross a mirrored forest of low hanging material. There were a lot of obstacles made of tape and other strings. We were frequently contorted. Then we took our shoes off and walked over Alison’s garden of dried beans, which gave a welcome massage to our tired feet. That led to a hall of balloons.. more contortions in giant rubber bands. Next, we squashed by video monitors and hospital equipment in a dark room. Finally, a hallway of large, fat, half naked long haired men, screaming at us formed an exit. We actually had to squirm between their fat bellies to get out. It was kind of scary, but also really fun.
When we exited the labyrinth “Oma” had some fans waiting who were saying how much they loved her work. She mentioned her part was the bean garden where you take off your shoes and feel the dried beans as you step over them. In the video I have brown hair, a blue cap and sound like an excited 10 year old, but it was really fun.”
JS: Why are you doing so many environmental works recently?
AK: Well, I do what I’m invited to do. I’m not invited to make paintings. I’m invited to do Fluxus actions, or performances of my own, or more recently to build environmentally scaled works. Art changes around artists as they carry it along.
JS: Alison, thank you for your time and thoughts. Clara Joy, thank you for agreeing to photo journalize at Frieze for Artist Organized Art. As an Instagrammer with many thousands of followers you display your art works in public, globally, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and you’ve built your audience yourself from the ground up. How do you feel about the limited exposure an art fair such as Frieze provides to galleries and artists. One gallerist told me he paid $22,000.00 for a 100 square foot enclosure that lasts for 4 days. I’m not sure what if anything was sold, though I did like the display.
Clara Joy: It’s different because I post photography on Instagram and it has to do with the culture of Instagram. Frieze artists don’t really have to do directly with Instagram culture. They are trying to sell and promote their work in a different way. Work they’re showing at Frieze, and I think Frieze is great, but.. it is a lot of money for something that’s only for a very short time.
JS: You are photographing the work of other artists at the Frieze NY Art Fair. As a Teenage Instagram Photographer, do you see what you are producing as objective, or do you prefer to make new work out of the works you’re photographing? How does that work with you audiences?
CJ: It’s generally their art work, but it does have a sense of someone’s work or someone’s art when it’s posted.. like a photo of a photo at a museum. The way we take it can be our own work. If we take a photo of a painting at Frieze it is our art work, because we’re taking it in a way that’s different than the painting on the wall, but the work inside the photo is the original artist’s art work.
Alison Knowles (born 1933) in New York City is an American visual artist known for her soundworks, installations, performances, and publications. Knowles was very active in the Fluxus movement, and continues to create work inspired by her Fluxus experience. In the early 1960s, published by Something Else Press, Knowles composed the Notations book of experimental composition with John Cage and Coeurs Volants a print with Marcel Duchamp. She also traveled and performed throughout Europe, Asia and North America. In 1963, Knowles produced one of the earliest book objects, a can of texts and beans called the Bean Rolls. In 1967, Knowles and James Tenney produced the computer generated poem The House of Dust. A sound installation for a House of Dust public sculpture was produced by Max Neuhaus. The 1983 book Loose Pages, originally produced in collaboration with Coco Gordon, consisted of pages made for each part of the body. She is represented by James Fuentes Gallery, New York and recently appeared at Frieze NY Art Fair 2014/15. Since 1964, Knowles has made large and small experimental books: The Bean Rolls (1964) was a hand held, canned book of small scrolls of bean lore and information which has appeared in important artists’ books surveys alongside titles such as By Alison Knowles and More by Alison Knowles (1965/1979), Spoken Text (1993), Bread and Water and Indigo Island (both 1995). Passenger Books recently published a new collection of essays, transcribed interviews and articles and reviews related to The Big Book (1967), a walk-in book construction with 8-ft. tall pages, moving around a center spine. Knowles has continued her examination of books at various scales, from The Book of Bean (1983) to The Finger Book of Ancient Language, a table top book in Braille and other tactile languages (1987). The Boat Book (2014), commissioned by James Fuentes Gallery, appeared at Art Basel, Miami Beach, December 2014, in 2015 she received the Francis Greenburger Award. In May of 2015, Pratt Institute awarded Alison Knowles an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts. Her original Bean Garden is included at the Frieze Art Fair, 2015, Tribute to the Flux-Labyrinth.
Frieze Art Fair is an international contemporary art fair that takes place every October in London’s Regent’s Park. The fair is staged by Amanda Sharp and Matthew Slotover, the publishers of frieze magazine. Frieze Art Fair features more than 170 contemporary art galleries, and the fair also includes specially commissioned artists’ projects, a talks programme and an artist-led education schedule. Since 2014, the magazine has also been running a New York edition, on Randall’s Island.
James Fuentes, James Fuentes LLC, 55 Delancey Street, New York City, 10002, Phone (212) 577-1201, email:,, Description: Joshua Abelow, Jonathan Allmaier, Lizzi Bougatsos, Brian Degraw, Jessica Dickinson, Berta Fischer, Lonnie Holley, Alison Knowles, John Mcallister, Jonas Mekas, Noam Rappaport, Benjamin Senior, Willam Stone, Daniel Subkoff
Clara Joy is a member of Teenage Instagram Photographers with a following that has exeeded 21,000 daily spectators. She works under several aliases. Her most well known is “softoceans“. Clara Joy considers her work online to be a form of public art. She has also worked as an assistant to Alison Knowles and prepared photo shoots and video shoots of artists’s works for major curatorial venues. She is credited as the photographer for the Alison Knowles page in the Pratt Institute Commencement Catalogue 2015. Clara Joy is one of three granddaughters of Fluxus Founders Dick Higgins and Alison Knowles.
George Maciunas (November 8, 1931 – May 9, 1978) was a Lithuanian-born American artist. He was a founding member and the central coordinator of Fluxus, an international community of artists, architects, composers, and designers. Other leading members brought together by this movement included Ay-O, Joseph Beuys, George Brecht, Dick Higgins, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, and Wolf Vostell. He is most famous for organizing and performing early happenings and for assembling a series of highly influential artists’ multiples.
Pratt Institute is a private, nonsectarian, non-profit institution of higher learning located in the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, United States, with a satellite campus located at 14th Street in Manhattan. It originated in 1887 with programs primarily in engineering, architecture, and fine arts. Comprising five schools, the Institute is primarily known for its highly ranked programs in architecture, interior design, and industrial design, and offers both undergraduate and Master’s degree programs in a variety of fields with a strong focus on research. U.S. News & World Report lists Pratt as one of the top 20 colleges in the Regional Universities North category. Princeton Review recognizes Pratt as being one of the best colleges in the northeast, making it among the top 25% of all four-year colleges and universities in the United States.


#permalink posted by Artist Organized Art: 5/19/15 08:21:50 PM

Temporary Distortion:
Up close and impersonal with a mediatized lens
New York City
January 3, 2015
Upcoming: ‘My Voice Has an Echo in it’
PS122′s COIL FESTIVAL in New York City
Co-presented with Ideal Glass Gallery
22 East 2nd Street
Jan 07 – 6pm to 12am
Jan 08 – 6pm to 12am
Jan 09 – 6pm to 12am
Jan 10 – 6pm to 12am
Jan 11 – 12pm to 6pm
by Angie Eng
All photos courtesy of Temporary Distortion Music
on video by John Sulley from ‘My Voice Has an Echo in it’
Perception is being reconfigured by the mediatized lens thickened by television, microscopes, binoculars, 3-D goggles, the internet and other apparati that extend how we view the world. We communicate with loved ones through Skype and Facetime. Doctors perform surgery looking through an endoscopy camera screened on a computer. War machines are driven through video game interfaces. With social media we are able to maintain intimacy and have relationships at a distance. Individuals are isolated in their living rooms sharing the same experience through a screened box. To describe an experience we may refer to a film or a viral Youtube video rather than a book or play that everyone used to have seen or experienced. These changes in habits and perception by media are not only changing the way we view the world, but also how we recreate that world in performance. The hybrid digital performances of Temporary Distortion reflect this mediatized ontology in their televisual scenography, stunted dramaturgy and non-linear approach to narrative.
I will first talk about the concept of televisual imagination depicted in their style and approach of the acting and design of their earlier pieces. Televisual imagination is creativity through a mass media gaze. It is described by theorist Philip Auslander in his book, Liveness that analyzes the impact of a culture dominated by mass media on live performance. I will quickly present images of various productions to illustrate mediatization in the style of their set design. I will show excerpts of their trilogy series that deconstructs film tropes using actors as narrators underneath video. I will conclude with their most recent production, My Voice has an Echo in it as a example of a new form of performance arising out of the mediatized gaze.
The scenography evokes a large television. Cables are strewn in piles around the set that emphasize electrical connections. Instead of hiding the machine, we are reminded of it. Performers stand or sit on the same plane, mostly in one place with a frozen gaze looking straight in the direction of -nowhere.
They are housed in shallow boxes or sets that are no deeper than a few feet. It has an illusion of the television or computer monitor whereby light initially captivates the audience before the narrative. The drama of the spectacle mimics the television’s immediacy and intimacy felt as image and sound are being transported to the viewer’s lap. When interviewing Director Kenneth Collins he mentioned of his early work, ‘As an audience member you had the sense of proximity of it, it felt immersive even though it was really small.’ His description of his set design conjures up the act of sitting and watching in front of the television and that sensation of being immersed inside of a story that is projected out with a glass window dividng you from a virtual reality a few feet in front of you. As a painter, poet, set designer, visual artist and theatre director, Collins paints his sets with light. Spotlights directed at the audience or backlighting a static performer are devices to avoid the film over-dominating your attention.
Other scenographic tricks to ensure that all stage elements weigh in equally are: the use of monochrome primary colors such as deep blues and reds. Director Kenneth Collins describes his style of set design as ‘framed light’. Light comes alive, much like Richard Foreman’s use of blaring lights inside of a James Turrell room.
Light is warm and present. It shapes the scene in over-saturated primary color. It frames characters. It gives depth to shallowness. It manipulates your eye from one side of the motionless stage to another. Radio play comes to mind.
Theatre actor and Producer Robert Edmond Jones predicted in the 1940’s this new ontology of film in theatre, ‘slight and subtle indications of place and mood, -by ingenious arrangements of necessary properties, by the groupings of actors, by an evocation use of sound and light (Jones 145) Colored light almost become characters you can imagine being called Ruby, Sapphire, Forest or Ebony.
In his early productions, such as Someone in the Ghost Box Told Me it Was You, the video is presented on small portable monitors dispersed around the set much like in a Terry Gilliam film.
In Gilliam’s films, people have screens attached to their faces or have apparati that enable them to are look at one view through multiple perspectives. Gilliam’s style is also an example of the simulation of a mediatized gaze. In Temporary Distortion’s productions monitors are placed at eye level in relationship to the performers’ faces (on the ground, above heads, off to the side).
The inclusion of monitors with talking heads act as both object and subject technology to borrow from Jennifer Parker-Starbuck’s cyborg theatre taxonomy. As objects onstage, the video is assisting the action and representing apparatus” of the mise en scene. But these objects are activated to create a new cyborg subjectivity, a human/machine hybrid, as they stand in for the performers’ head while introducing a new digital gaze.
A quote from Auslander’s book Liveness sums up mediatized resonance that occurs between representation and re-representation in Temporary Distortion: the live and the mediatized is ‘an image of mirrors facing each other and bouncing an image back and forth between them. If the relationship between the live and the mediatized could be understood as the infinite regress this image suggests, then one would expect that after live performances had become more like mediatized ones, mediatized performances would start to resemble live performances that had internalized mediatization. Subsequent live performances would mirror those mediatized representations. And so on.’ (Auslander 187)
Here in this excerpt of Americana Kamakazi we witness the mediatization of the characters who are split between corporeal and virtual. With the use of screens the company highlights the idea that you are not looking at the actor in conflict with its virtual representation, but a corporeal body that is just one element of the stage to illustrate a story. The actor and the video representation of the Japanese female character do not seem displaced nor replaced, but actually split. She appears in a horror movie and at other moments of the performance she is in front of us narrating the movie or acting in front of us. Both serve as memory of events. Other actors appear on set as narrators as well as actors of the film that mimic the genre of the Japanese horror film.
In NewYorkLand a film is projected above the actors. We are not certain which is the signifier, the pointing finger, or signified, the concept, as they serve both simultaneously. The corporeal actor is sometimes performing to the virtual presence rather than film character supporting the spectacle narrative which we witness in the majority of employment of moving image in theatre. However, there are moments when ephemeral video describes the setting, daily habits and stereotypes of the material representation. The actor on stage represents both the cop in the film and the actuality of the cop profession. They illustrate how signified and signifier are constantly shifting roles. Traditional privileging of the material (corporeal) over the immaterial (film/video) is a less common occurrence in mediatized digital performance.
The distant gaze of the performers reminds one of side effects of the information media age. Billions of people in front of computers and televisions, absent in the room, very present on-line or transported inside media. We have all been there morphed in our chairs, only our pointer finger moves up and down like an insect antennae or the thumb on the remote moves like a lizard head. As we are immersed in front of our screen, someone enters the room and asks ‘Are you there?’ You respond, glazed-eyes wide open looking out into the world through a screen, not turning in their direction, half paying attention to your own utterance ‘uhhhh (pause) huhhh’. It’s this mood, the ‘here, but not quite present’ that Temporary Distortion captures so well in their delivery of body and voice and the feeling of absence in presence. All lines if any are delivered in a low whisper, slowly, methodically and disembodied. Yes, even creepy. Collins says of the tone, ‘ a lot of it is taking place in your mind when you are hearing sort of what they are speaking about.’ At times its even difficult to follow their non-linear narrative especially with the actors’ delivery lacks gesture and emotion.
However, video assists the narrative with the dramaturgy that is minimized on stage. In all of their work, the performers are almost petrified. In this excerpt Welcome to Nowhere a couple is recounting their thoughts and feelings without emotion as their video representations kiss above their heads. The film actors’ performances are more natural, more expressive than the performers on stage. The majority of the time the body and voice move at the same ultra slow motion pace as the video. This theatrical device taps into our ability to seamlessly jump back and forth between the video screen and corporeal actors. It is not a magical diversion. It is more like conducting in space. We are not hearing one instrument, but the whole symphony and come away with a phenomenological experience.
Imagine a pendulum tip dragging in the sand. Each time it moves from one end it pushes sand further away and then brings back sand toward the other end forming fissures and hills. With the pendulum, as the frequency increases, you see harmonics pop up even if it appears entirely random. The viewer is unable to gauge how much sand of one side was pushed over to the other. How much mediatization is in the gaze of the spectator of today and how much does the live reflect that mediatized gaze? We don’t really know. It’s probably more than we realize
But, what we do know is it’s inevitable that how we perceive the world is constantly being conditioned by media, media is formed by actuality that is then influenced by living through film, television and computers. German media theorists Norbert Bolz and William Van Reijen mention television, film and the computer are ‘frameworks that perform our perception of the world.’ The content, form and style of Temporary Distortion exemplifies what contemporary media theorist Matthew Causey described as a symbiosis of media in performance. He states in his writings on Theatre and Performance in Digital Culture: ‘Performance has taken on the ontology of the technological.’ As long as we are turning on and tuning into screens and virtual realities, we will witness more hybrid forms of performance like Temporary Distoration’s durational performative installation quasi cinematic theatre.
Angie Eng ( is a media artist who works in video, installation and time-based performance. Her work has been performed and exhibited at established venues such as, Whitney Museum at Philip Morris, Lincoln Center Video Festival, The Kitchen, New Museum of Contemporary Art, Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute, Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, Roulette Intermedium , Bronx Museum, Artists Space, Art in General , Anthology Film Archives, Experimental Intermedia and Cité de la Musique. Her videos have been included in digital art festivals in local and international venues in Cuba, France, Greece, Japan, Holland, Germany, Former Yugoslavia and Canada. For her multimedia and new media projects she has received grants and commissions : New Radio and Performing Arts, Harvestworks, Art In General, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York State Council on the Arts, Jerome Foundation, Alternative Museum, and Experimental TV Center Finishing Funds and Foundation for Contemporary Arts. She has worked with composers, dancers, theatre, sound and video artists including: Ron Anderson (Molecules), Rhys Chatham, Audrey Chen, Luke DuBois, Vincent Epplay, Yuko Fujiyama, Jon Giles, Andy Grayton, Sofi Hémon, Jason Kao Hwang, Simon Hostettler, Jessica Higgins, Hoppy Kamiyama, Zach Layton, Okkyung Lee, David Linton, Jarryd Lowder, Shoko Nagai, Matthew Ostrowski, Jean Jacques Palix, Zeena Parkins, Ludovic Poulet, Rémi Préchac, Liminal Projects, Kyoko Kitamura, David Linton, Thierry Madiot, Geoff Matters, Ikue Mori, Pauline Oliveros, Jane Scarpantoni, Peter Scherer, Kevin Shea (Talibam), David Simms (Jesus Lizards), Jim Staley, Satoshi Takeishi, Yumiko Tanaka,Keiko Uenishi, Elisabeth Valletti, Vire Volte Theatre, Nancy Meli Walker and David Weinstein. She is also a European correspondent for AOA (Artist Organized Art) to support a critical dialogue between artists, art practice and dissemination via public events. She lives between New York City and Paris.


#permalink posted by Artist Organized Art: 1/03/15 09:44:13 AM

MIND THE GAP in the age of the screen
Abacus | Early Morning Opera
Brooklyn Academy of Music
September 24, 2014
by Angie Eng
photos courtesy Max Gordon
In a country where both educational and religious institutions have been lost in the age of information and screenal technologies, something or someone will eventually, like in all nature, fill this Grand Canyon void. It is in this line between teacher and preacher where artist Lars Yan draws from forthe performance, Abacus. As long as organized religion remains exclusionary and multiple choice compliant questioning are the learning methods of choice, performances, such as this Early Morning Opera production will be considered art, rather than a spiritual awakening or a pedagogic rant. As a part of this digital age, I would rather have our children be taught in the form of a Paul Abacus presentation or, if in want/need, be religiously guided by a heightened audio-visual spectacle filled with irony and wit. But until there is an upgrade to our approach to education and spirituality that speaks more effectively to a techno-global-sophisticated audience, such audio-visual storytelling à la Early Morning Opera like Laurie Anderson will have a comfortable place in the arts.
At BAM this season, Early Morning Opera tells a story of the problematic direction humanity is heading and gives us the simple solution-humans without borders. Director/writer Lars Yan chooses to tell a story in a traditional fashion with one story teller speaking first person directly to his listeners. Hence, the press release likens Abacus to a Ted Talk. But one could equally refer to comedian George Carlin had he continued into the chapter of drones, smart phones and mega-oligarchic global unions. Better yet, Louis Farrakhan who replaced his choir with an algorithmic app. But like Ted Talk, EMO borrows techniques from the Preacher, the Comedian, the Professor and the Talk Show Host to deliver a simple message, ‘Mind the Gap’ or we are fucked and see the tactics they use to say it.
EMO’s mockery of the talk show host-preacher-teacher-statistician had me so convinced that I almost completely forgot Paul Abacus was fictional even if he has a Wikipedia page and was discussed as if he were a real person during a Ted Talk. We live in a time saturated with social-media when its possible that a 6-year old can invent an identity, such as a middle-aged man from Guatemala with a pet cobra that lives apart from her real self in real-time online. I forgot to add Second Life avatar to the list of Paul Abacus’ attributes. I wished they had gone one step further and taken the performance outside of the theatre and in front of the masses à la Reverend Billy, the artist who preaches against capitalist consumption in front of the Disney store and their partners in crime.Such faux hyper-reality performances can have more impact when context is taken into consideration. If the artist is committed to confining their work to an art space, then the concept of creating a character who appears in the real world as a real person has his limits within the black box theatre. This was less the case when Abacus was presented at Sundance’s New Frontiers Festival 2012 when credit of the performance was given to Paul Abacus instead of Lars Yan. It was equally disappointing when Da Ali G came out as Sasha Baron Cohen. Pee-Wee Herman was much more faithful to himself.
In this version, Paul Abacus does attempt to step off stage and into the real world, or rather he brings us to his world (view). He physically moves above and beyond us. Front center or in the audience he lets us know that the proscenium is the world. On screen he becomes a symbol like the starry display of the universe. He captivates our attention while keeping our heads spinning looking up, at and through the screen, behind us as he runs upstairs and offstage, to the left, to the right and even further out into virtual space.
Actor Sonny Valicenti embraces his role as Paul Abacus and smoothly switches gears from one subject to the next at a speed that correlates to the average attention span of the multi-tasking ADHD screenal being. Paul Abacus bounces between reminding us of the inequality in distribution of resources, the wars, inhabiting the moon, the sub-primes scandal, blah, blah, blah. Abacus is borderline Asperger’s. He gestures to his screen to make his point via 3-D data visualizations. Here EMO makes a comment on the negative consequence of the information age- disinformation. Like most statistical analysis, ridiculous conclusions and analogies are constantly generated to fulfill the propaganda machine. (the decrease of Catholic school attendance to the increase in consumption of Kashi cereal. )
There are short, albeit impressionable, poetic moments where EMO reminds us we are in the theatre. At one point, the two on-stage camera men escape their anonymity/invisibility and break out in Fred Astaire moves mimicking either floating satellites or mirroring the movement of statistical graphs. Paul Abacus recedes in the background while this little dance soon disappears as it appears.
The visual props are reminiscent of 1970’s experimental video with its low resolution contrasted with today’s design trend of 3D data maps and our fond memories of watching David Letterman running back stage. The live video and animations literally illustrate or echo the actor and his words. All of this staging- the black box, the camera men, the live video feed, the giant screen, the ranting voice, the data graphs, the charisma are props that point out the various forms screen-based humans practice to persuade, to sell, to reason in an age where we can no longer just speak words to tell a story.
Angie Eng ( is a media artist who works in video, installation and time-based performance. Her work has been performed and exhibited at established venues such as, Whitney Museum at Philip Morris, Lincoln Center Video Festival, The Kitchen, New Museum of Contemporary Art, Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute, Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, Roulette Intermedium , Bronx Museum, Artists Space, Art in General , Anthology Film Archives, Experimental Intermedia and Cité de la Musique. Her videos have been included in digital art festivals in local and international venues in Cuba, France, Greece, Japan, Holland, Germany, Former Yugoslavia and Canada. For her multimedia and new media projects she has received grants and commissions : New Radio and Performing Arts, Harvestworks, Art In General, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York State Council on the Arts, Jerome Foundation, Alternative Museum, and Experimental TV Center Finishing Funds and Foundation for Contemporary Arts. She has worked with composers, dancers, theatre, sound and video artists including: Ron Anderson (Molecules), Rhys Chatham, Audrey Chen, Luke DuBois, Vincent Epplay, Yuko Fujiyama, Jon Giles, Andy Grayton, Sofi Hémon, Jason Kao Hwang, Simon Hostettler, Jessica Higgins, Hoppy Kamiyama, Zach Layton, Okkyung Lee, David Linton, Jarryd Lowder, Shoko Nagai, Matthew Ostrowski, Jean Jacques Palix, Zeena Parkins, Ludovic Poulet, Rémi Préchac, Liminal Projects, Kyoko Kitamura, David Linton, Thierry Madiot, Geoff Matters, Ikue Mori, Pauline Oliveros, Jane Scarpantoni, Peter Scherer, Kevin Shea (Talibam), David Simms (Jesus Lizards), Jim Staley, Satoshi Takeishi, Yumiko Tanaka,Keiko Uenishi, Elisabeth Valletti, Vire Volte Theatre, Nancy Meli Walker and David Weinstein. She is also a European correspondent for AOA (Artist Organized Art) to support a critical dialogue between artists, art practice and dissemination via public events. She lives between New York City and Paris.


#permalink posted by Artist Organized Art: 9/24/14 09:58:24 AM

Alison Knowles At Frieze
New York Art Fair 2014
Interview With James Fuentes
April 20, 2014 – New York City
In front of her silk screen series “The Identical Lunch” at Frieze NY Art Fair 2014, Alison Knowles is a founding member of Fluxus and is represented by New York City dealer James Fuentes. The series is part of the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, where the artist was commissioned to serve ready-made meals to the public.
Interview By Jessica Higgins
Alison Knowles Is Represented By James Fuentes Gallery At Frieze Art Fair New York 2014
Artist Organized Art has me on assignment to cover Alison Knowles at The Frieze Art Fair on Randall’s Island in New York City. Alison is represented by James Fuentes Gallery. The Gallery has done an exceptional job with Alison’s work. I’m in a position to give and unusual view on this, because of my long and special standing with my Mother’s work as a collaborator and someone who has been in on many minute details behind each of her projects for years, and because of my long appreciation of my sister Hannah Higgins’s work as a Fluxus historian who co-organized with James Fuentes for Frieze NY 2014.
Once at Frieze, I turned the corner and there was The James Fuentes Gallery. The show thoughtfully curated and installed. I watched Alison Knowles (81 going on 21) interact with each work. Passers-by noticed an unusual event when the artist had the nerve to pick an art object, tilted “The Bean Turner”, off the wall and revolve it creating piercing sound from hundreds of beans resonating inside the object.
The following interview reveals something exceptional. It reveals a lack of pre-condition around the culture of this artist and I found this courage to embrace it inspiring. Four works sold within hours.
Jessica Higgins: I wanted to ask you about the origins of your gallery?
James Fuentes: My first gallery was out of Bard College in 1998, I was in SoHo at the time. I rented a store front to live in, I was going to use it as a studio to make films, and it turned out to have been a well known gallery before I moved in. So it instantly democratized my notion of what a gallery should look like, because it was a tiny 300 square feet. But, people kept knocking on the door looking for this gallery, which clearly had an international resonance. So, just to help pay the rent, I decided to put up an exhibition of friends in college. That’s basically when my career began. This is October 1998. I ran the space for a few years and realized that I was incredibly naïve and didn’t really know how to run a business. I then endeavored to curate independent exhibitions, worked for other galleries for several other years and really trained and learned the ropes of running a gallery before I re-entered the fold.
Alison Knowles discusses her journal in the form of a shirt with James Fuentes at Frieze Art Fair Booth C2 2014. Many of the pages come from her journal entries also published in Footnotes, Granary Books, 2000.
JH: You originally were studying film. Did you develop your aesthetic during those studies at Bard College?
JF: Yes. I studied Film and Anthropology at Bard. Seven years ago I opened the current iteration of the gallery and first worked with Alison in 2008 in a group exhibition. Then, in 2011 we staged a solo exhibition on Delancy Street.
JH: So you met Alison in the very beginning.
JF: I met her through Emily Harvey in 1998.
Demonstration of an Alison Knowles Bean Turner, by the artist herself. The Bean Turner is a sculptural object, which functions as a sound maker when lifted and turned. Made of organic paper pulp and hundreds of dried beans, both the paper and the beans can be seen on the outside of the work as well.
JH: How great! Emily was wonderful. She took me on as an artist. She was a great person to have met early on with a great vision around Fluxus.
JF: Emily was one of the people who “gave me the time of day,” right out of school. Yes, definitely! Through Emily, through Jonas Mekas, through a painter who taught at Bard named Amy Sillman, through Bill Stone (William Stone) who’s an artist that I’ve worked with often throughout the years, through these artists many doors started opening for me in the art world and I felt very compelled to continue in this field.
JH: You’re doing a very wonderful job in terms of your vision and it’s a unique vision. Can you define that?
JF: Thank you! I’m earnest and real about everything that I do and for the exhibitions I do I’m fully invested and believe in each one. I think that’s what tends to come across.
Works by Alison Knowles cause strongly relational experiences for art lovers. It is normal to see discussion, dialogue and brainstorming emerge during her openings. James Fuentes Gallery extends that to the Frieze Art Fair New York in 2014 at their Booth C2, devoted exclusively to works by the Fluxus Pioneer.
JH: It does, you have real substance behind your work. In terms of where James Fuentes Fine Art is now and why you chose Alison Knowles for Frieze NY 2014, is there anything that comes to mind?
JF: I think, on a formal level, the decision is quite compelling. Alison said lightly that her work is different from everything else that’s at Frieze NY Art Fair this year. She said “there’s nothing geometrical about this” and I said “Yes!” That makes it extremely distinct and strong. This is a strong point of departure from what we’ve seen in the context of this art fair. Also, I believe the youngest generation of artists that I am seeing come into New York, developing careers and projects, have a tremendous amount to gain and learn from Alison’s history and what she’s still doing today.
I think it’s as good a time as any to feature this work in the biggest and best possible platforms that we can find. In 2011 it was at our gallery. This year it’s at the Frieze New York Art Fair and I’m excited by the way artists, like Alison, opened doors for me when I was right out of school. I’m in a position, now, where I can open doors for Alison with private collections, with Museums that haven’t caught-on to the work yet and even expanding her presence in museums that already have an engagement with the work, like The Walker and The MoMA. It’s super exciting.
JH: You’ve done a very interesting job in how you’ve shown the work here at Frieze. Your use of space shows an understanding of the work. What else would you like to add?
JF: I think the work says it all. It’s very much a situation where this work demands real engagement. Whether it’s through seeing Alison Knowles perform, through seeing and activating a bean turner or by reading a text related to Alison Knowles or to the Something Else Press. These are the things I hope people start to do.
JH: I want to thank you for your wonderful show here!
JF: My Pleasure, yeah!
Alison Knowles (born 1933) in New York City is an American visual artist known for her soundworks, installations, performances, and publications. Knowles was very active in the Fluxus movement, and continues to create work inspired by her Fluxus experience. In the early 1960s, published by Something Else Press, Knowles composed the Notations book of experimental composition with John Cage and Coeurs Volants a print with Marcel Duchamp. She also traveled and performed throughout Europe, Asia and North America. In 1963, Knowles produced one of the earliest book objects, a can of texts and beans called the Bean Rolls. In 1967, Knowles and James Tenney produced the computerized poem The House of Dust. A sound installation for a House of Dust public sculpture was produced by Max Neuhaus. The 1983 book Loose Pages, originally produced in collaboration with Coco Gordon, consisted of pages made for each part of the body. She is represented by James Fuentes Gallery, New York and recently appeared at Frieze NY Art Fair 2014.
James Fuentes, James Fuentes LLC, 55 Delancey Street, New York City, 10002, Phone (212) 577-1201, email:,, Description: Joshua Abelow, Jonathan Allmaier, Lizzi Bougatsos, Brian Degraw, Jessica Dickinson, Berta Fischer, Lonnie Holley, Alison Knowles, John Mcallister, Jonas Mekas, Noam Rappaport, Benjamin Senior, Willam Stone, Daniel Subkoff
Jessica Higgins, American artist, lives and works in New York and Massachusetts. Formative dance studies at Juilliard and Joffrey. Daughter of Fluxus Founders Dick Higgins and Alison Knowles. She has direct experiential knowledge of Fluxus, having early formation in that culture by way of the original members and by participation in historic Fluxus events. She is a regular correspondent for Artist Organized Art and the former Creative Director of ‘Switch’ a local access television series of performance and intermedia out of Western Massachusetts. Her works and performances have exhibited in numerous countries, in museums, and in traditional and online media.
Emily Harvey, founder of Emily Harvey Gallery, 1985, showing Fluxus, concept art, mail art, and performance art. Olga Adorno, Eric Andersen, Ay-o, Brian Buczak, Philip Corner, Jean Dupuy, Henry Flynt, Robert Filliou, Ken Friedman, Albert Fine, Geoffrey Hendricks, Christer Hennix, Dick Higgins, Jessica Higgins, Ray Johnson, Joe Jones, Milan Knizak, Alison Knowles, George Maciunas, Jackson Mac Low, Larry Miller, Alain Arias-Misson, Charlotte Moorman, Nam June Paik, Ben Patterson, Takako Saito, Carolee Schneemann, Joshua Selman, Taketo Shimada, Joao Simoes, Daniel Spoerri, Berty Skuber, Anne Tardos, Ben Vautier, Yoshi Wada, Bob Watts, Emmett Williams, Christian Xatrec, LaMonte Young, Marian Zazeela, and many others exhibited there.


#permalink posted by Artist Organized Art: 4/20/14 03:20:37 PM

Armory Show NYC 2014
Shards Of The Armory Art Fair
March 16, 2014 New York City

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Gallery: Baró Galeria at The Armory Show, 2014
by correspondents Jessica Higgins & Suzy Sureck
The Hudson River, having recently shed its icy scales, sparkles in the early March light. Its swells and tides surround massive structures and lengthy lines that jut out past the outer rim of the West Side Highway. Works from 29 countries represented by 203 galleries, supported by 2 piers hover over the tidal estuary of the Hudson River. It is the Armory Show 2014 – an annual celebration and logistical quagmire.
As Jessica Higgins and I enter Pier 94, Sunday afternoon, we are overwhelmed by the scale and abundance of creative expression. Video, works on paper, mixed media of all kinds, suspended sculptures, digital projections, paintings…Unable to take in the vastness, my myopia kicks in – a physical condition of the eyes, and my defense against overwhelm. I lose sight of the overall and take pleasure instead in connecting with just a few details.
To follow is a short picture essay of shards of the Armory Art Fair 2014:

Elena del Rivero, The Armory Show 2014, Photo: Suzy Sureck
On Saturday the 8th I had the pleasure of going to the Armory show with Suzy Sureck, a long time friend and fellow artist. As an artist covering an event for Artist Organized Art I felt my POV was more reflective than based on the business side of an art fair. Though I went in inspired to see a collective of artists sharing their work, I quickly found my eyes lifted to the ceiling, the metal bars and utilitarian functionality of what lay above the cubicles of art.

Infrastructure, The Armory Show, 2014, Photo: Jessica Higgins
Once we were thrilled to get our press passes we continued to make our way through the crowds, we both found ourselves trying to start somewhere. We were moved by threaded papers collaged with ink letters, by Elena del Rivero ‘Letters for the Bride.’ Her mesmerizing typography mixed with patterns.

Nick Cave, Soundsuit, Jack Shainman Gallery, The Armory Show 2014
Nick Cave’s, ‘Soundsuit’ had me curious about how so many of us were being inundated by information in the 21st century, we both peered inside at the textural hair like orifice and the reflective buttons.

Tomás Saraceno, NGC 5457, Andersen’s Contemporary, The Armory Show 2014
Many artists, when going to the Armory Show, experience a sense of overwhelm, because of the amount of art show at once in the context of some kind of fair. The sense of subtlety and individuality that is often associated with art gets plowed over. You can’t help, but smell the money associated with the art market and wonder how it effects artists. It does seem that the big expensive pieces draw the curiosity of many of the viewers. I just think big and small are beautiful.

Andrew Ohanesian, Dollar Bill Acceptor (2014), Gallery: Pierogi, The Armory Show, 2014
We slid by Shahzia Sikander’s drawings and made our way to Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle’s reflective sculpture. We were moved by the ball and string piece toward the end by Fernanda Gomes which seemed so simple and refreshing and the humorous piece by Andrew Ohanesian ‘dollar bill acceptance’ seemed to resonate with the art market behind the fair, it was literally an automatic teller machine bill plaque out of plastic.

Leandro Erlich, The Cloud – Rabbit (2013), Gallery: Sean Kelly, The Armory Show 2014
We ended the show finding ourselves at a small sculpture of clouds, in which two artist faces reflected. We thoughtfully walked onward and decided in the end that subtle details coming back to us in light could be a point of view for the everyday pieces within the whole chaotic pile.
Jessica Higgins, (more articles) American artist, lives and works in New York and Massachusetts. Formative dance studies at Juilliard and Joffrey. Daughter of Fluxus Founders Dick Higgins and Alison Knowles. She has direct experiential knowledge of Fluxus, having early formation in that culture by way of the original members and by participation in historic Fluxus events. She is a regular correspondent for Artist Organized Art and was the Creative Director of ‘Switch’ a local access television series of performance and intermedia out of Western Massachusetts. Her works and performances have exhibited in numerous countries.
Suzy Sureck, ( Exhibits in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, Korea, Australia and India. Recent works include installations in the Nature Art Biennale in South Korea; Poznan Biennale, and fringe events at the Venice Biennale 2009. Public works include QuamaneQ for the Neuberger Museum Biennial, Fault Lines for the Darmstadt Forest in Germany, Alice and the Looking Glass for the Evergreen House in Baltimore, Taking in the Rain for the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, The Bubble Field for the Kingston Biennial, Aqua Lumina spanning 200 feet over the East River in Socrates Park, NY and Double Crossings suspended 1500 feet above the Ramon Crater in the Negev desert in Israel. She completed 2 underwater installations Many Moons for Bass in Omi, NY and Polka Dot Pond at the University of Maine in Augusta, and looks forward to creating more large-scale drawings in and around landscapes. Her works have been highlighted in The New York Times, World Art. Sculpture Magazine, NY Arts and Flash Art, and can be found in both public and private collections including The Museum of Installation in London, The Artists Museum in Poland and the Dr. Fischer Arts for Peace Collection in Tel Aviv. Suzy received a Masters Degree in Sculpture from Cranbrook Academy in Michigan and a BFA from the Cooper Union, as well as studying at The Slade School of Art in London, and recently took up bee keeping. Suzy Sureck has presented lectures on her work at several universities in the Northeast and teaches at Queens College. She lives and works in New York City and Gardiner, NY..


#permalink posted by Artist Organized Art: 3/16/14 12:42:00 PM

Pat Badani at CAA
In Conversation with Media-N
Journal of the New Media Caucus
College Art Association Conference
Chicago – February 2014
CAA Conference Edition, Los Angeles, 2012, Media-N Journal of the NMC, cover of the summer print edition, 2012, V.08, N.01.
Excerpts From The Interview
Chicago – February 2014
Preview & Download The Entire Document Below
Joshua Selman Interviews Pat Badani, Editor in Chief, Media-N Journal
While attending the College Art Association Conference at the Chicago Hilton, February 11th to 15th, I was embedded in a special community made up of scholars in art education, art history and art criticism. The annual conference itself aims to “cultivate the ongoing understanding of art as a fundamental form of human expression.” (“About CAA.” College Art Association. 11 Nov. 2004. CAA. 25 Oct. 2010: ) With over 13,000 members CAA’s influence is international in scope, and this year I engaged one of its most interesting affiliates: The New Media Caucus, a nonprofit, international membership organization that aims to advance the conceptual and artistic use of digital media ( ). It’s been gratifying to learn just how modest the organization’s online description of its mandate is. While The New Media Caucus does advance the conceptual and artistic use of digital media, its premise has evolved with very far reaching implications. For The New Media Caucus, the internal definition of new media practice is dialectic in that the NMC is prepared to re-define its scope as new media evolves throughout time.
Pat Badani, the Editor in Chief of the Media-N, Journal of the New Media Caucus, is working with me as a correspondent at CAA. Together we have launched a discussion – from within the conference – to examine what is happening at CAA this year as it applies to the New Media Caucus, to Media-N Journal and to CAA members. I am very pleased to present this conversation with Pat Badani, who is an arts practitioner, educator, curator and editor, with an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Pat is on the executive board of the New Media Caucus and is an ISEA International Advisory Committee affiliate. I have joined The New Media Caucus and personally attended each of their CAA Conference presentations onsite at the Hilton in Chicago, as well as each special NMC offsite event and exhibition concurrent with the conference.
The following excerpts from my conversation with Pat Badani give a hint of what is in the full interview. Please scan through it using the viewer below and download the PDF to save and view it for a full reading.
Sledgehammer-operated Keyboard, 2005 – ongoing, Taylor Hokanson, Human-Computer Interface, © Taylor Hokanson.
JS: Are the New Media Caucus members exclusively those teaching in college and university departments of new media and are the New Media Caucus members exclusively working with New Media Art?
PB: The membership is definitely a mix of digital media practitioners and academics. To the second part of your question, we have a constitution that defines new media as an experimental form that is always reinventing itself. We define it both in specific terms and as an open-ended idiom, because we know that new media will evolve five or ten years from now.
JS: The Media-N Journal, as it stands today, follows a familiar and very manageable presentation format in that it’s both in print and online. Everyone should make sure to download a copy, if they haven’t ordered one already, here. The experience of the print version is quite rich by comparison to the online version, which is mostly scripted html. How do you see where you are now with formatting the journal and where you might be in the future?
PB: Interestingly, this is something we discussed in a closed Media-N publication sub-committee meeting during CAA. The format we now use is WordPress online, and a print-on-demand edition designed by very talented graphic designers. Online, there is a way of extracting an Adobe pdf directly from WordPress, but we decided to work with our designers on beautiful, collectible, books. We’re perfectly aware that we have an online version that’s open access. Yet we also have a collectible, precious object, for purchase at a reasonable price. The more we talk about moving into other publication formats, we’re developing our philosophy beyond “pixel versus paper.” Why not have a series of publication formats and subjects within the Media-N Journal, with that branding? Some of them could be electronic publications that come out of our new media exhibitions; they could follow – or disrupt – the catalogue format with critical essays by artists and historians in addition to artists’ statements and the work itself. That could be one of many forms as added publication formats.
CAA Conference Edition, New York, 2013, Media-N Journal of the NMC, cover of the print summer edition, 2013 edition, V.09, N.02.
We are also looking into publishing through SCALAR, an open source platform created by a team at USC that allows for media rich investigations and publications. It supports a type of journal where users can chart non-linear paths through multi-modal, modular, Web-born content and media. We might also develop a publication that does not necessarily follow the strict academic format, which is what we have right now. It has to be said that we’ve been working for several years in order to perfect our current format. Why? Because it serves our constituency, made of large numbers of academics that can use our publication as a way to obtain tenure and promotion. The essays we currently publish meet the strict academic specifications for tenure and promotion packages. Beyond that, researchers, educators, students and artists use our publication as a reliable resource. So, we do serve a purpose by publishing a traditional academic journal. However, there are many other interesting directions for us to include. It’s not a matter of dropping what we’re doing, because it does serve a purpose, but rather, adding other forms of publications that allow various types of voices and representations.
JS: How do you see the strategic partnership between Artist Organized Art, the New Media Caucus and the Media-N Journal? What do you see on the horizon that could evolve through the two organizations, which have very different missions?
PB: It’s interesting to give new media an outward facing stance. With new media, as with photography in its day, with video in its day, and with performance, in the initial decade in which emerging practices and technologies are being experimented with, the artist faces a number of problems.
Number one: Access to the technology. This creates camaraderie between like-minded individuals who share technology, discuss and improve upon it. “I want to learn from you. Or, I want to borrow your device,” etc.
Number two: Our art practice imposes difficulty with showing and disseminating our work due to lack of technology support. In addition, there’s lack of interest on the part of institutions, and lack of a viewing or participating public. Contemporary art curators often lack interest because of a lack of familiarity with our language and with the technology. So they often opt out of showing us, or including electronically controlled art work in survey exhibitions. Ultimately, bodies such as journals, magazines and books, won’t touch us because they’re missing our reading public. So, new media artists are kept out of the “cultural market,” let alone the commercial market. The cultural market makes it possible to be seen – understood – mediated. Thus, the isolation of new media gives rise to particular platforms such as festivals, symposia and specialized publications. Things become grounded and formalized, typically in the second to third decade of practice, when the practitioners themselves have developed theory, developed programs within universities and designed courses of study, and validation platforms like exhibition and publication environments. There is a point when the “new” media joins mainstream art. The initial problems are eliminated for the most part; the language being used by these artists becomes part of the mainstream. Then, predictably, a newer media emerges, a newer technology, or a newer practice and a newer community of inquiry seeks its proper enclave.
This has been happening with electronic technologies for a number of years. I think now we can safely say we’re gradually becoming part of the mainstream, in that the mainstream is actually talking about us in both negative and positive terms, but while we’re being considered by critics, by curators, by directors, there is ambivalence.
I go to a lot of festivals, a lot of symposia where there is a conversation being held right now by individuals who are in significant editorial and curatorial positions of new electronic art, writing books and curating exhibitions, who are less practitioners, but work more in a theoretical realm. What I hear them saying is that the divide between media art histories and art history needs to be addressed. How do those two realms come together? I think we are at that moment in history where we will increasingly see a co-mingling, a cross-referencing of the art theories and histories. Artists are already doing it, and in my view, critical theory has to support practice.
Stack of Open Source Paper, 2009, Denise Bookwalter, Anna Child, Laurie Corral, Brooks Edwards, Cutler Edwards, Lyman Edwards, Bridget Elmer, Stacy Elmer, Andy Grace, Rashmi Grace, Mark Greeley, Emily Larned, Sam Nichols, Jessica Peterson and Emily Tipps, handmade paper, Copyleft Flatbed Splendor.
JS: Would you agree that a minimum benefit of submitting a paper for consideration, even if it’s not selected, is to receive valuable feedback, pertinent to the submission?
PB: Yes, very much so. We’ve been thanked over and over again for doing that; especially by certain authors who may need experience with publishing. One of Media-N Journal’s missions is to mentor young scholars. One method as Editor-in-Chief is to ask an associate editor to act as supporting editor for the guest editors. We consult on editing submitted essays, so that development is coherent and top quality. Scholars, particularly younger scholars, are usually delighted to work with us in this way, because of the learning process and the camaraderie that we establish in the process.
JS: You’ve described a balance of separate and mutually supporting selection processes between the CAA Conference presentations, the off-site presentations and the three editorial programs of Media-N. As the off-site presentations beyond the CAA Conference grow, what impact will they have on the Media-N Journal?
PB: That’s an area for experimentation, which we like to do. We’ve been talking about doing something very specific, centered on the New Media Caucus, with a regional location for exhibitions, or other related ways to share. For example, we could hold a workshop to share experience with emerging technologies; work with artists, scholars, organizations, directors and curators to measure the potential support for events at their regional institution. Chicago, for example, has a high density of New Media Caucus members. Regions, such as this one, might also call people from Wisconsin, Indiana and other adjoining States. The regional off-site events would be branded as the New Media Caucus, but they might generate their own formats…these ideas are still in the process of elaboration, and it is all very exciting to us! It’s in discussion.
JS: How did working with the multi-institutional hosts CAA, Columbia College and the Chicago Cultural Center benefit the New Media Caucus and Media-N during the CAA 2014 Conference and what role will multi-institutional support take in the future?
PB: It’s exciting to be hosted whether we are joining CAA in New York City, or CAA in Los Angeles, but we also partner with offsite institutions. Sometimes we team up with learning institutions such as Columbia College in Chicago. In Los Angeles we’ve worked with three digital media centers that host our events. It’s important that we present within the CAA context, which is usually in a conference setting in a hotel, but also to present offsite events and round tables. It’s how we round out our substantial program. We are only allowed two panels at CAA itself. That is a CAA rule and as a Caucus we must abide by this limit.
So the benefit, of course, is that it helps the New Media Caucus broaden its reach. It helps us present events and exhibitions that we wouldn’t be able to show at CAA, because we’re limited to two panels. Hosts benefit the New Media Caucus and we also benefit institutional hosts, because we are bringing very unusual material that draws quite a crowd from the community at large and our events are well attended by a community which benefits the hosting institution.
JS: What role can an organization like Artist Organized Art take to help remove the divide between media art histories and art history?
PB: What interests me about Artist Organized Art – the organization itself – is what its title refers to. The New Media Caucus is precisely that. We, as a group of artists, have organized ourselves into a Caucus in order to create a forum for the presentation and distribution of our voices, of our community, of our output as artists, and – for those who are academics – our output as academics as well. What interests me is the notion of artists organizing their position in culture without any supporting structure, without funding, as volunteers. We do this because somebody must. If Artist Organized Art has a similar mandate, and it also reaches a wider community, the affiliation or partnership is of mutual interest, because it allows us to interface contrasting, but aligned, communities.
JS: We focus on many different aspects of a critical jumping off point. How does an artist choose to engage the world. We inquire whether artists choose to address the question. It seems natural to members of the New Media Caucus to question parameters of engagement, but to those working on an MFA in a categorized art form, or for artists working in performance, preparing for a white box or stage is generally accepted right out of the gate. We prepare work around installing in a white box and accept this, letting specialists put out interpretations of our work, instead of conveying our own intentions as part of the work itself. Artist Organized Art supports including many parameters of engagement within the compositional paradigm around structured conditions of art-making. These conditions are conventionally alienated from art practitioners, who are constrained specifically because they don’t include these parameters, and it does effect their ability to develop works. This may not be obvious to New Media artists, because of, on the other hand, the difficulties of finally managing so many parameters.
PB: Actually, we are aware of that, because (..more)
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Pat Badani is an arts practitioner, educator, curator and editor, with an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Concerned with the relationship between art and social practice, over the last 30 years Badani has exhibited her work, participated in conferences and panels, and published widely in North and South America, Europe and Asia. She has received over twenty awards and commissions – notably a one-year Canada Council Media Arts research grant in 2001 for her transnational project “Where are you from? Stories dealing with human migration, and a 2012 “Robert Heinecken Trust Fund” for her project “AI Grano” focusing on biodiversity issues related to maize agriculture. Badani has lived in 7 countries in the Americas and Europe and has held academic positions in Canada, France and in the USA. Recent curatorial projects include a partnership with Lanfranco Aceti in a series of panels and an exhibition on the rhetoric and realities of artistic interventions in public space, from performance to Augmented Reality art. Badani is currently Editor-in-Chief of Media-N Journal, executive board officer with the New Media Caucus, and an ISEA International Advisory Committee affiliate.
Media-N was established in 2005 to provide a forum for New Media Caucus members and non-members alike, featuring their scholarly research, artworks and projects. The New Media Caucus is a nonprofit, international membership organization that advances the conceptual and artistic use of digital media. Additionally, the NMC is a College Art Association Affiliate Society.
The College Art Association of America (CAA) is the principal professional association in the United States for practitioners and scholars of art, art history, and art criticism. Founded in 1911, it aims to “cultivate the ongoing understanding of art as a fundamental form of human expression.” CAA currently has 13,000 members, primarily academics, professors, and graduate students in art practice, history, or theory, including visual arts, visual culture, and aesthetics. Its membership, concerns, reputation, and influence are international in scope.
Artist Organized Art non-profit works with artists & institutions to support artist organized media, events & cultural education by strategic, collaborative & financial means. As a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization it provides strategic support to artists and organizations working in & benefiting communities everywhere in the world. Its current following has an all time high of over 150,000 subscribers. Email announcements reach 75,000+ global arts professionals & their followers: 44% North America, 33% Europe, 23% Asia and beyond. Artist Organized Art is advised by, followed by & supported by some of the most prestigious independent artists, organizers, curators, historians and institutions in the world, including founding members of Fluxus, members of the International Artists Museum and the publishers of New Observations Magazine.
Joshua Selman is an artist, composer and graduate of Yale University with a Master of Music Composition whose intermedia practice combines public space intervention, large-scale installation, cultural-strategy and critical journalism. His sound work is included on Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Cologne, Germany. He’s also known for performance works and objects with unique virality. Some were included in a Whitney Museum Ray Johnson retrospective. Other collaborations are with Fluxus founders Alison Knowles and late intermedia theorist Dick Higgins. He first exhibited as An intermedia artist at New York Fluxus venue, the Emily Harvey Gallery. His participation in several artist organized Biennials known as Construction in Process led to a post as Executive Director of The International Artists Museum, New York Center. He’s also documented as a commercial innovator in social networks, by Wired Online in 2004, and referenced in a Facebook patent. In 2003, he launched the online space Artist Organized Art. In 2007, as President, he established Artist Organized Art, a new media based arts organization, as a tax-exempt 501(c)3. In late 2008 he guided Artist Organized Art to acquire New Observations LTD, publisher of New Observations Magazine, with a mandate to relaunch the seminal arts publication. He has gained long term support for the organization from Google Inc. His networked activities now include thousands of artists in the Americas, Europe, Asia and beyond. Residencies include South Korea, Germany, Australia, Canada, the USA and China. His works in Performa, on the High Line, other appearances and interviews are documented in print, on the we band on television.


#permalink posted by Artist Organized Art: 2/27/14 10:00:22 AM

Ben Patterson At Museum Wiesbaden
Fluxus Turns 50 With Historic Concert


Ben Patterson is a founding member of Fluxus and has organized the
2012 Celebration, Fluxus 50, in collaboration with Museum Wiesbaden

The city of Wiesbaden, Germany is considered the birthplace of a revolutionary art form which began with the 1962 Fluxus concert in its Festspiele Neuester Musik in the Museum lecture theater. One of the founding Fluxus artists, Dick Higgins, observed that its characteristics are: “Internationalism, experimentalism, iconoclasm, intermedia, impact, playfulness and wit, transience and uniqueness.” Since 1962, Fluxus has made a radical impact on world culture, music, the visual arts, film and theater. From June 2 to September 23, 2012 the Museum Wiesbaden is organizing a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the world’s first Fluxus concert, in collaboration with founding Fluxus artist, and still resident of Wiesbaden, Ben Patterson. While attending the festival as an invited performer I had a chance to meet up with Ben for a brief, but illuminating, interview:

Jessica Higgins

Jessica Higgins: Hello! I’m with Ben Patterson here at Fluxus 50 Wiesbaden (, at the Museum Wiesbaden, and he is going to answer some questions about Fluxus. We’re so happy that he’s willing to do this interview for us for Artist Organized Art.

JH: Ben, In 1962 Fluxus presented itself in an historic concert, here in Wiesbaden, Germany, as a form of “New Music.” We are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the concert with this festival, which you have organized with Dr. Klar and the Museum Wiesbaden. As such, and as one of the participants in the original 1962 concert, what are your thoughts of this originating categorization of Fluxus as “New Music” looking back on 50 years of Fluxus?

Ben Patterson: It’s clearly become something other than what we thought of as new music then. But the core of what I still consider Fluxus is performative, time based, immaterial, so that it’s still.. “music expanded” I guess you could call it?

JH: Yes. That is an excellent way of putting it.

Dr. Alexander Klar, Director of the Museum Wiesbaden, brings to the Museum, years of experience in exhibition design and organization culminating in the
anarchic and successful celebration of 50 years of Fluxus

JH: How do you feel about Mary Bauermeister’s salon in Köln as an alternate to the Darmstadt Festival.

BP: That’s slightly “bending” a bit of history, because the material which was presented there, the artists and so forth, except for Cage, were primarily from the Darmstadt School. Younger composers and so forth.. of course her eventual relationship with Karlheinz Stockhausen comes all from there.

BP: I’ve known Mary many years, I like her and all, but I think that to now suggest that, Mary’s.. even though it was listed as a counter festival to the original International Society Of Contemporary Music Festival .. it was closer to that than to a Fluxus festival. Mary’s boyfriend, at the time that I met her and when she was producing this “counter festival” .. eventually broke up .. and Haro Lauhus moved down the street and opened his own gallery .. which was exactly the opposite of Mary’s .. which was pristine .. pure white. Haro’s was an old building which hadn’t been cleaned since the war and was still black and dusty .. and for my taste that’s where the material that began to look like Fluxus developed .. and so he made the first exhibition with Spoerri .. and the first exhibition with Christo, Mimmo Rotella and Vostell and so forth .. so he was actually I think .. more revolutionary there than Mary.

Founding Fluxus Artist, Alison Knowles (right) performs her work “Loose Pages”
with Jessica Higgins at Museum Wiesbaden’s Fluxus 50,
organized with Ben Patterson

JH: Very interesting.. thank you! The last question is, in terms of your work with the New York Department of Cultural Affairs do you find any points of comparison between New York City and  the experience organizing in Wiesbaden?

BP: Yes and no, there’s bureaucracy to deal with .. but the German bureaucracy is much more detailed and specific than the New York bureaucracy at that point .. but the experience of working there .. of course you learn things which can be used in many places.

JH: Do you see similarities?

BP: No, not really, I mean yes and no. Organizations are organizations, they have to have somebody to talk .. and lots of workers, but that’s the same practically everywhere. This experience here is perhaps somewhat different than other situations in Germany because the director, Alexander (Alexander Klar), has moved around a lot. He’s worked in New York and in Venice and so forth .. London. So he’s a more open person than a typical born-raised-never-left-Germany-person.

JH: Well, thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions and I hope that you’ll go to Artist Organized Art to see this interview.

BP: Okay, thank you.

In Memoriam to Adriano Olivetti, George Maciunas, 1962. The performance uses
an old adding machine tape as a score and consists of actions
(raising and replacing hat, shaking fist, making faces, etc.)
or sounds (tongue clicks, pops, smacks, lip farts, etc.)
From left to right: Ben Patterson, Geoffery Hendricks,
Philip Corner, Willem de Ridder, Eric Andersen,
Alison Knowles. Performed in 2012 in
Wiesbaden, Germany for Fluxus 50

George Maciunas (8 November 1931- 9 May 1978) a Lithuanian-born American artist. He was a founding member and the central coordinator of Fluxus, an international community of artists, architects, composers, and designers. Other leading members brought together by this movement included Yoko Ono, Joseph Beuys, George Brecht, Nam June Paik, Wolf Vostell, and Dick Higgins. He is most famous for organising and performing in early Fluxus projects and for assembling a series of highly influential artists’ multiples. To avoid debt collectors, Maciunas took a job as a civilian graphic designer at a U.S. Air Force base in Wiesbaden, Germany in late 1961. It was there that he organized the first Fluxus Festival in September 1962. The festival then travelled to Cologne, Paris, Düsseldorf, Amsterdam, The Hague and Nice. These concerts and events were to become integral to the legacy of Fluxus.

Dr. Alexander Klar, Director of the Museum Wiesbaden, brings to the Museum, years of experience in exhibition design and organization culminating in the anarchic and successful celebration of 50 years of Fluxus. With a thesis on the life and work of the architect Friedrich Bürklein (1813-1872), he received his doctorate in 2000 in Erlangen. His museum career includes posts with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Institute in Braubach on the Rhine, Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice and the Kunsthalle in Emden, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Emil Schumacher Museum in Hagen and finally the Museum Wiesbaden in Germany.

Performances at Fluxus 50 Wiesbaden, Museum Wiesbaden, September 2012. One of the most
notorious events performed at Wiesbaden in 1962 was Philip Corner’s Piano Activities,
the score of which asked a group of people to ‘play’, ’scratch or rub’
and ’strike soundboard, pins, lid or drag
various objects across them.’

Eric Andersen
Born in Antwerp 1940 is an artist associated with the Fluxus art movement. He lives in Copenhagen, Denmark. In 1962 Andersen first took part in one of the early concerts given by Fluxus held during the Festum Fluxorum in the Nikolai Kirke (Nicolas Church) in Copenhagen. He soon took an early interest in intermedial art. In his Opus works from the early 1960s, Andersen explored the open interaction between performer and public, developing open self-transforming works, such as arte strumentale. In 1996, the year in which Copenhagen was Europe’s cultural capital, Andersen arranged a three-day inter-media event involving parachute-jumping, helicopters, mountaineering, live sheep and 500 singers walking on water.

Philip Lionel Corner (born April 10, 1933; name sometimes given as Phil Corner) is an American Composer, Trombonist, Alphornist, Vocalist, Pianist, Music Theorist, Music Educator, and Visual Artist. He was a founding participant of Fluxus since 1961, was a resident composer and musician with the Judson Dance Theatre from 1962-1964 and later with the Experimental Intermedia Foundation. He co-founded with Malcolm Goldstein and James Tenney the Tone Roads Chamber Ensemble in 1963, with Julie Winter Sounds Out of Silent Spaces in 1972 and with Barbara Benary and Daniel Goode, Gamelan Son of Lion in 1976. His principle gallery is UnimediaModern in Genova, whose director Caterina Gualco maintains a large collection. Other important collectors are Hermann Braun in Germany (deceased 2009) and Luigi Bonotto in Bassano who maintains an extensive documentation.

Geoffrey Hendricks (born in 1931 in Littleton, New Hampshire) is an American artist associated with Fluxus since the mid 1960s, and has styled himself as “cloudsmith” for his extensive work with sky imagery in paintings, on objects, in installations and performances. He is professor emeritus of art at Rutgers University, where he taught from 1956 to 2003, and where he was associated with Allan Kaprow, Roy Lichtenstein, and Lucas Samaras during their time there in the 1960s. In 2002, he edited Critical Mass: Happenings, Fluxus, Performance, Intermedia and Rutgers University, 1958-1972 documenting seminal creative activity and experimental work developed by university faculty members of the 1960s such as Bob Watts, Allan Kaprow, George Brecht, Hendricks, and others. He recently performed “Headstands for Peace,” in Washington Square Park, an event organized by Julie Evanoff

Alison Knowles (born 1933) in New York City is an American visual artist known for her soundworks, installations, performances, and publications. Knowles was very active in the Fluxus movement, and continues to create work inspired by her Fluxus experience. In the early 1960s, published by Something Else Press, Knowles composed the Notations book of experimental composition with John Cage and Coeurs Volants and a print with Marcel Duchamp. She also traveled and performed throughout Europe, Asia and North America. In 1963, Knowles produced one of the earliest book objects, a can of texts and beans called the Bean Rolls. In 1967, Knowles and James Tenney produced the computerized poem The House of Dust. A sound installation for a House of Dust public sculpture was produced by Max Neuhaus. The 1983 book Loose Pages, originally produced in collaboration with Coco Gordon, consisted of pages made for each part of the body.

Benjamin Patterson was born in Pittsburgh on May 29, 1934. From 1956 to 1960, he worked as a double bassist at the Halifax Symphony Orchestra (1956–57), the US Army 7th Army Symphony Orchestra (1957–59) and the Ottawa Philharmonic Orchestra (1959–60). In 1960 he moved to Cologne, Germany where he became active on the contemporary music scene of the most radical, focusing its activities at the studio of Mary Bauermeister and “against the festival.” Between 1960 and 1962 he played in Cologne, Paris, Venice, Vienna and other places still participating in the first Fluxus Festival in Wiesbaden (1962). He worked as General Manager in the Symphony of the New World (1970–72) as Assistant Director of the Department of Cultural Affairs for New York City (1972–74) as director of development for the Negro Ensemble Company (1982–84) and as National Director for Pro Musica Foundation Inc. (1984–86). In 1988 he had a solo exhibition of new assemblages and installations at Emily Harvey Gallery in New York and participated in several Fluxus Festivals and exhibitions of the group. Most recently he is the organizer of Fluxus 50 Wiesbaden 2012.

Willem Cornelius de Ridder (14 October 1939 ) is a Dutch radio maker, storyteller, magazine maker, and internationally known Fluxus artist. George Maciunas appointed him chairman of Fluxus (Department of Northern Europe ). In this capacity he organized several concerts and Fluxus Festivals. In the 60s he had a Fluxus mail order company in Amsterdam. Willem de Ridder stands at the cradle of numerous developments in the field of art, culture and recreation. He was closely involved in the creation of alternative youth clubs like Paradiso, Fantasio and the Milky Way. He collaborated with Nam June Paik and Paik presented “Piano For All Senses” in his gallery, Amstel 47, in Amsterdam. Willem de Ridder achieved national fame with famous radio broadcasts in which listeners were invited to participate, taking guided instructions over the radio. Every first Tuesday of the month he tells ancient stories in the auditorium of the Melkweg in Amsterdam.

Dick Higgins (March 15, 1938 – October 25, 1998) was a founding member of Fluxus. He studied composition with John Cage at the New School of Social Research in New York and took part in the Wiesbaden, Germany Fluxus festival in 1962. He founded Something Else Press in 1963, which published many important texts including Gertrude Stein, Marshall McLuhan, artists John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Claes Oldenburg, Ray Johnson, Bern Porter, leading Fluxus members George Brecht, Wolf Vostell, Daniel Spoerri, Emmett Williams, Ken Friedman, and others. He coined the word intermedia to describe his artistic activities, defining it in a 1965 essay by the same name, published in the first number of the Something Else Newsletter.

John Cage (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992) was an American composer, music theorist, writer, and artist. A pioneer of indeterminacy in music, electroacoustic music, and non-standard use of musical instruments. In October 1960, Mary Bauermeister’s Cologne studio hosted a joint concert by Cage and the video artist Nam June Paik, who in the course of his Etude for Piano cut off Cage’s tie. Cage’s “Experimental Composition” classes at The New School have become legendary as an American source of Fluxus, an international network of artists, composers, and designers. The majority of his students had little or no background in music. Most were artists. They included Jackson Mac Low, Allan Kaprow, Al Hansen, George Brecht, and Dick Higgins.

Haro Lauhus, gallerist, Cologne, specializing in Pre-Fluxus. According to one Cologne newspaper in 1961 the Gallery Haro Lauhus had the most controversial exhibition Cologne had ever seen. The reference is to the first solo show by now famous art duo Christo and Jeanne-Claude. In 1961 it was also the site of Wolf Vostell’s Dé-coll/age Solo and a group show: Der Koffer, Organized by Daniel Spoerri. Other artists: Arman, César, Gérard Deschamps, François Dufrêne, Raymond Hains, Robert Rauschenberg, Daniel Spoerri, Jean Tinguely, and Jacques de la Villeglé. Haro Lauhus was an early organizer of performances at the studio of Mary Bauermeister.

Mary Hilde Ruth Bauermeister (7 September 1934) German artist: Circa 1960, she hosted gatherings with future members of Fluxus in her Cologne studio. She invited artists such as Hans G Helms, David Tudor, John Cage, Christo, Wolf Vostell, George Brecht, and Nam June Paik to concerts of “the newest music,” readings, exhibits, and actions in which non-hierarchical exchanges of information across national, disciplinary and age boundaries contributed to the character of the Fluxus movement. In 1961, she took part in Karlheinz Stockhausen’s composition course at the Internationalen Ferienkursen für Neue Musik in Darmstadt. Later that same year she collaborated with Stockhausen in a theatre piece titled Originale.

Karlheinz Stockhausen (2 August 1928 – 5 December 2007) was a German composer, widely acknowledged by critics as one of the most important and controversial of the 20th and early 21st centuries. After lecturing at the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik at Darmstadt (1953 -) Stockhausen gave lectures and concerts in Europe, North America, and Asia. He founded and directed the Cologne Courses for New Music from 1963 to 1968, and was appointed Professor of Composition at the Hochschule für Musik Köln in 1971, where he taught until 1977. In 1998, he founded the Stockhausen Courses, which are held annually in Kürten. In the early 1990s, Stockhausen reacquired the licenses to most of the recordings of his music and started his own record company to make this music permanently available on Compact Disc.

Nam June Paik (July 20, 1932 – January 29, 2006) was a Korean American artist. He worked with a variety of media and is considered to be the first video artist. In the late 1950’s he contacted Dr. Steinecke of the International Music Institute, Darmstadt with two attempts at presenting his “action music” in the context of the yearly summer courses. Though unsuccessful at placing his compositions in the context of the The Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Darmstadt, in October 1960, Mary Bauermeister’s Cologne studio hosted a joint concert presenting his works with performances by John Cage and Paik himself. While in Germany, he met the composers Karlheinz Stockhausen, John Cage and contemporary artists Joseph Beuys and Wolf Vostell. He then permanently entered the field of electronic art.

Christo (born Christo Vladimirov Javacheff, June 13, 1935) and Jeanne-Claude (born Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon, June 13, 1935 – November 18, 2009) were a married couple who created environmental works of art. Their works include the wrapping of the Reichstag in Berlin and the Pont-Neuf bridge in Paris, the 24-mile (39 km)-long artwork called Running Fence in Sonoma and Marin counties in California, and The Gates in New York City’s Central Park. Christo is quoted saying “I am an artist, and I have to have courage … Do you know that I don’t have any artworks that exist? They all go away when they’re finished. Only the preparatory drawings, and collages are left, giving my works an almost legendary character. I think it takes much greater courage to create things to be gone than to create things that will remain. The first Solo Exhibition of Christo and Jean-Claude was at gallery Haro Lauhus in Cologne, 1961″

Daniel Spoerri (born 27 March 1930) is a Swiss artist and writer known for his “snare-pictures,” a type of assemblage in which he captures a group of objects, such as the remains of meals eaten by individuals, including the plates, silverware and glasses, all of which are fixed to the table or board, which is then displayed on a wall. In the 1950s he he met a number of Surrealist artists, including Jean Tinguely, Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray, and also a number of artists associated with the Fluxus movement, including Robert Filliou, Dieter Roth and Emmett Williams. Spoerri is closely associated with Fluxus whose sensibility is based in spontaneity and humor. It has been said that his Anecdoted Topography of Chance embodies aspects of this spirit.

Domenico “Mimmo” Rotella, (7 October 1918 – 8 January 2006), was an Italian artist and poet best known for his works of décollage and psychogeographics, made from torn advertising posters. He was associated to the Ultra-Lettrists an offshoot of Lettrism and later was a member of the Nouveau Réalisme group, founded by Pierre Restany in 1960, whose other members included Yves Klein, Arman and Jean Tinguely. He exhibited at the I.C.A., London 1957 and at Gallery Haro Lauhus in the early 1960’s. 1961 actions at the gallery Haro Lauhus included Rotella, Cardew, Wewerka, Ben Patterson, Nam June Paik and Vostell.

Wolf Vostell (14 October 1932 – 3 April 1998) was a German painter and sculptor of the second half of the 20th century. He is considered one of the early adopters of Video art, Environment, Installation, Happening and the Fluxus Movement. Techniques such as blurring and Dé-collage are characteristic of his work, as is embedding objects in concrete. He was behind Happenings, in New York, Berlin, Cologne, Wuppertal and Ulm among others. In 1962, he participated in the planning of the Festum Fluxorum, an international event in Wiesbaden together with Nam June Paik, and George Maciunas.

Fluxus is an international network of artists, composers and designers noted for blending different artistic media and disciplines in the 1960s. It can be conceived as a school within intermedia. The origins of Fluxus lie in John Cage’s series of Experimental Composition classes, run between 1957 and 1959 at the New School for Social Research in New York City which explored notions of indeterminacy in art. Origins also are found in the work of, Marcel Duchamp, orginally active within Dada, and a resident in New York at the time. Also, a number of other contemporary happenings are credited as either anticipating Fluxus, or as proto-fluxus events. The most commonly cited include a series of concerts held in Mary Bauermeister’s studio, Cologne, 1960-61 featuring Nam June Paik and John Cage among others.

The Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, initiated in 1946 by Wolfgang Steinecke, held annually in Darmstadt, Germany, until 1970 and subsequently every two years, encompass both the teaching of composition and interpretation and include premières of new works in Darmstadt, itself a major centre of modern music for German composers. Many distinguished lecturers appeared at Darmstadt including: Theodor W. Adorno, Milton Babbitt, Luciano Berio, Pierre Boulez, John Cage, Morton Feldman, Hans Werner Henze, Lejaren Hiller, Ernst Krenek, György Ligeti, Bruno Maderna, Olivier Messiaen, Luigi Nono, Henri Pousseur, Karlheinz Stockhausen, David Tudor, Edgard Varèse and Iannis Xenakis. During the late 1950s and early 1960s the courses only followed music matching the views of Pierre Boulez in a clique of orthodoxy. This led to the use of the phrase ‘Darmstadt School’ to describe the serial music being written at that time.

The International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) festival includes cutting edge productions of contemporary classical music. The World Music Days include a congress that serves as a meeting place between members of the organization. Membership in the ISCM is organized through national sections that promote contemporary music in each country. These sections are usually organizations independent from the ISCM that send delegates to the ISCM General Assembly. Each member of the national section is also a member of ISCM. National organizations that promote contemporary music, but have not been designated as the nation section of ISCM, are sometimes given an associate membership status. This status also applies to the members of these organizations. Some individual music professionals receive the “honorary membership” status. ISCM publishes the World New Music Magazine.

Wiesbaden is a city in southwest Germany and the capital of the federal state of Hesse. It has about 280,000 inhabitants. It has long been famous for its thermal springs and spa. Famous visitors to the springs included Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Richard Wagner, and Johannes Brahms. At one time there were more millionaires living in Wiesbaden than in any other city in Germany. In late 1961, while working there, George Maciunas organized the original Wiesbaden 1962 Fluxus Festival.

Darmstadt is a city in the federal state of Hesse in Germany, it was chartered as a city by the Holy Roman Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian in 1330. Darmstadt’s old city centre was largely destroyed in a British bombing raid on 11 September 1944. The ‘Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt,’ Initiated in 1946, harboring one of the world’s largest collections of post-war sheet music, also hosts the biennial Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, a summer school in contemporary classical music founded by Wolfgang Steinecke.


#permalink posted by Artist Organized Art: 9/09/12 01:23:19 PM

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