Episode 2:  ‘Thursday’ (1963) by George Brecht

'Thursday' (1963) by George Brecht Radio Fluxus: Stories from the Fluxus Archives

This episode features George Brecht’s event score titled, Thursday. The work, which exists in various instantiations, approximates the tradition of musical notations rather than the object-oriented realm of visual arts. In museum collections, it appears either as a note scribbled down on a piece of creased, white sheet of paper or as one of the cards in the collection of George Brecht’s Water Yam (1963) assembled and designed by George Maciunas. In this episode, Jules Pelta Feldman examines both the material and conceptual dimensions of Thursday. Drawing comparisons between Thursday and other related Fluxus works, Feldman contemplates what it means to perform a Fluxus event score and muses on its potential activation.

Jules Pelta Feldman performing George Brecht’s Thursday.

Jules Pelta Feldman is an art historian, curator, archivist, and salonnière. They are postdoctoral fellow for the project “Performance: Conservation, Materiality, Knowledge” at the Institute Materiality in Art and Culture at Bern University of the Arts. Focused on art since 1945, their research interests include conservation history and theory, the periodization of recent art, performance and ephemeral media, modern and contemporary craft, and social justice in the art world. They received their doctorate from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Jules has worked at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Grey Art Gallery. They regularly publish articles on diverse topics in both English and German.

Various editions of Brecht’s Water Yam. Source: Hendricks, J. (1988). Fluxus Codex. The Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection. p. 157.

George Brecht was an American conceptual artist and avant-garde composer, as well as a professional chemist who worked as a consultant for companies such as Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Mobil Oil. He was one of the founding members of Fluxus, having been involved with the group from the first performances in Wiesbaden in 1962 until Maciunas’ death in 1978. One of the originators of participatory art, in which the artwork can only be experienced by the active involvement of the viewer, he is most famous for his event scores and is widely seen as an important precursor to conceptual art.

  • Robinson, J. (2019). From Abstraction to Model: George Brecht’s Events and the Conceptual Turn in Art of the 1960s. October, 127, 77–108.
  • Harren, N. (2016). The provisional work of art: George Brecht’s footnotes at LACMA, 1969. Getty Research Journal, 8(8), 177–197. https://doi.org/10.1086/685922
  • Hölling, H. B. (2016). Transitional media: Duration, recursion and the paradigm of conservation. Studies in Conservation: Saving the Now, Preprints of the International Committee of Conservation (IIC) 2016 Los Angeles Congress, 61, 79–83.

Featured photo: George Brecht, Thursday as a card from Water Yam, designed by George Maciunas. Photo by Jules Pelta Feldman.


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