Activating Fluxus

This research project 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.


  • Lead-Departement Hochschule der Künste Bern
  • Institut Institut Materialität in Kunst und Kultur
  • Forschungseinheit Contemporary Art and Media
  • Förderorganisation SNF
  • Laufzeit (geplant) 01.04.2022 - 31.03.2026
  • Projektverantwortung Dr. Hanna Barbara Hölling
  • Projektleitung Dr. Hanna Barbara Hölling
  • Projektmitarbeitende Marcus Gossolt
    Josephine Lucy Ellis
    Aga Wielocha
  • Partner Bard Graduate Center
    University College London
    Universität Bern
    Hochschule Luzern HSLU


Activating Fluxus centres on the lives and afterlives of Fluxus objects events an ephemera created in the 1960s-70s in Switzerland, Europe, the UK and the USA. 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.


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.