Activating Fluxus: In and Out of the Archive

This event brings together eminent speakers to engage with the notion of the archive and consider the archival space as a site for activating works created since the 1960s with a particular focus on Fluxus.

05.05.2023, 10am–6.30pm – online

Black and white photo of a man sitting on a chair in the open, bending over a violin on his knees. The man is wrapped in strings; an open suitcase lies in the left foreground, a poster with the inscription "Fluxus Street Theater Free" hangs in the left background.

The activities of Fluxus (from the Latin word meaning ‘flow’) fluctuated across a dense international network of artists in the 1960s–70s. Indicating a state of mind rather than an art movement, Fluxus is inherently difficult to define – in this vein, the creative outputs of Fluxus reject any stable, material form. As something transitory, ephemeral or imagined, at times based on foodstuffs, organic debris, actions or three-dimensional notation, Fluxus artworks continue to complicate the concept of a timeless art that is supposedly created to last forever. The identities of Fluxus artworks thus cannot be attributed to any one physical manifestation but materialize processually through an open totality of indeterminate forms and relations.

Caring for the legacy of Fluxus, therefore, not only requires accepting change as integral to the ongoing life of Fluxus artworks but also as a positive value: an invitation to creatively engage with the porosity of a given work’s boundaries. As a result, while historical iterations of Fluxus works from the 1960s–70s can be safeguarded as important documents of the recent past, our project aims to explore different modalities for engaging with the Fluxus spirit, beyond questions of physical preservation and towards the more imaginative horizon of activation.

Speakers include:

  • Elke Allgaier, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Archiv Sohm
  • Lionel Bovier, MAMCO and Ecart Archives, Genève
  • Elke Gruhn, Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden
  • Hanna B. Hölling, Aga Wielocha, Josephine Ellis, SNSF Activating Fluxus, Berne
  • Laura Montanari and Alessandro Gazzoti, Pari&Dispari Archivio, Reggio Emilia
  • Patrizio Peterlini, Fondazione Bonotto, Colceresa
  • Hubertus von Amelunxen, Archivio Conz, Berlin

This event is free, but you will need to register in order to attend. A Zoom link will be sent to registrants a day before the event.