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Artivation #1: Zen for Internet, 2014
Com&Com’s Zen for Internet (2014) references Nam June Paik’s canonical Zen for Film (1962-64). Using the iconography of the internet and computer, the work features an endlessly rotating “loading wheel” on a white background. Typically, the “loading wheel” would be a temporary, in-between state before seeing the fully loaded image. Zen for Internet, however, indefinitely freezes…
Activating Fluxus now on YouTube
We have just launched our project’s YouTube channel! The channel has been designed to feature recorded lectures and research seminars organized within our project, Activating Fluxus. The channel will also feature video interviews and stories illustrating the Radio Fluxus episodes and other products of our research activities.
Can We Talk Post-Preservation? A Letter to Nam June Paik
This is an excerpt from an invited lecture delivered on November 15 at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul, South Korea, which addresses the positive value of obsolescence and posits post-preservation as an alternative to traditional conservation not only in Nam June Paik’s work but in artworks in general.
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.
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.