Activating Fluxus

Simultaneous performance of Anima 1, Attache de Ben, and Solo for Violin, performed during Fully Guaranteed 12 Fluxus Concerts, New York, May 23, 1964
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  • We are hiring a PhD candidate

    We are hiring a PhD candidate

    Come work with us as a Ph.D. candidate at the University of the Arts Bern/University Bern and become an embedded researcher in the project Activating Fluxus.

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  • Anna Schäffler: The Art of Preservation

    Anna Schäffler: The Art of Preservation

    Wednesday, December 21, 2022, 17:00-18:30 CEST | Join us for a talk by Dr. Anna Schäffler, who will discuss her recent book, Die Kunst der Erhaltung. Anna Oppermanns Ensembles, zeitgenössische Restaurierung und Nachlasspraxis im Wandel (München: edition metzel, 2021, in German).

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  • Natilee Harren: Fluxus Forms of Activation

    Natilee Harren: Fluxus Forms of Activation

    Wednesday, November 16, 2022, 17:00-18:30 CEST | Within the Wednesday Lecture research series Institute Materiality in Art and Culture and SNSF Activating Fluxus welcomes Fluxus scholar Natilee Herren for a discussion of her book Fluxus Forms: Scores, Multiples, and the Eternal Network (University of Chicago Press, 2020).

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ABOUT OUR PROJECT, IN BRIEF

This research project, which has been funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation at Bern University of the Arts, investigates the objects, events, scores, and ephemera that emerged in the spirit of Fluxus in the 1960s–70s in Switzerland, Europe, the UK, and the USA. Inherently fluctuating by definition, Fluxus rejects any stable, material form. Considering the transitory aspects of Fluxus forms not destined for preservation, and looking through a multidisciplinary lens of conservation, art history, performance studies, heritage studies and museology, our project will advance novel strategies for activating Fluxus through the reconstruction, adaptation and artistic reinterpretation of Fluxus forms.

AIMS AND MEANS

The project has three principal aims : (I) Using examples of collections and individual artworks held in Switzerland and abroad, the project reviews, catalogues, evaluates and systematises the current strategies for exhibiting, conserving and documenting Fluxus. (II) By means of a theoretical investigation of the notions of authenticity, changeability and intentionality and the role they play in the continuing life of Fluxus intermedia, (III) the project advances new strategies for activating Fluxus works through (a) the reconstruction, (b) the adaptation and (c) the artistic reinterpretation of Fluxus forms.

Fluxus cc V TRE Fluxus, Fluxus newspaper, March 1964

IN DETAIL

Activating Fluxus centers on the lives and afterlives of Fluxus objects, events, and ephemera created in the 1960s–70s in Switzerland, Europe, the UK, and the US. Fluxus transformed creative practice for good, not least by questioning the dominant preconception of the artwork as something that endures unchanged. Inherently fluctuating by definition, the creative outputs of Fluxus reject any stable, material form. While many histories of the post-war avant-garde focus on the implications of nascent conceptualism and performativity for other artistic genres, the proposed project considers the fundamentally transitory aspects of Fluxus forms not destined for preservation. By seeking new ways to engage with the legacy of Fluxus through the lens of conservation, art history, performance studies, heritage studies and museology, this project examines the possibility of activating Fluxus, challenged as it is by its paradoxical coexistence of ephemerality and materiality, with implications for how we conceive of changeable artworks that emerged after the 1960s.