[Mi piace pensare a Fluxus, con le sue provocazioni e i suoi paradossi, come al movimento esattamente opposto all’estetismo. Non si tratta qui infatti di fare della propria vita un’opera d’arte ma, al contrario, di “rendere l’arte vita” abbattendo, post-duchampianamente, le barriere tra le due. Come auspicava John Cage, tra i padri putativi di Fluxus: “L’arte è in procinto di diventare se stessa: vita”. E ciò non potè esser fatto che riflettendo criticamente, e in modo assolutemente radicale, sui modi di produzione dell’arte e sui concetti di canone, di istituzione e di sistema; denunciando, anche attraverso soluzioni ironiche, il tentativo di tutta l’estetica precedente di riscattare la vita e il reale attraverso un qualsiasi ordine formale.
Fluxus, facendo aderire l’arte alla vita, volle piuttosto far prevalere la prosa bruta del mondo sulla poesia. La sua strategia consisteva nello sviluppo di processi di esperienza e di conoscenza che non passassero attraverso uno stile o un lavoro artistico, non innescassero rimandi metaforici e, propriamente, non portassero alla realizzazione di oggetti-opere. La costellazione eterogenea di artisti che a partire dagli anni’60 aderì a questa avanguardia sui generis, amava per lo più esprimersi con gli “eventi”, sorta di giocosi spartiti performativi, a metà tra il teatro e la micro-installazione prosastica dell’enunciato imperativo, che, grazie alla brusca eliminazione di ogni convenzione di genere e di ogni genealogia stilistica, problematizzando a vari livelli i segnali di artisticità e le stesse cornici finzionali che istituiscono la distinzione tra produzione, opera e fruizione, intendevano perseguire l’utopia di un’esperienza non mediata. Ho qui raccolto alcuni eventi storici di Fluxus, come interessante documento di una stagione artistica radicale. Alessandro Broggi]
Events by Dick Higgins
Danger Music Number One
Spontaneously catch hold of a hoist hook and be raised up at least three stories.
Danger Music Number Two
Hat. Rags. Paper. Heave. Shave.
Danger Music Number Nine
(for Nam June Paik)
Volunteer to have your spine removed.
Danger Music Number Eleven (for George)
Change your mind repeatedly in a lyrical manner about Roman Catholicism
Danger Music Number Twelve
Write a thousand symphonies.
Danger Music Number Fourteen
From a magnetic tape with anything on it, remove a predetermined length of tape. Splice the ends of this length together to form a loop, then insert one side of the loop into a tape recorder, and hook the other side over an insulated nail, hook, pencil or other similar object, to hold the tape and to provide the minimum of slack needed for playing of the loop. Play the loop as long as useful.
Danger Music Number Fifteen (for the Dance)
Work with butter and eggs for a time.
Danger Music Number Seventeen
Scream! Scream! Scream! Scream! Scream! Scream!
Danger Music Number Twenty- Nine
Get a job for its own sake.
Danger Music Number Thirty-One
Liberty and committee work!
Danger Music Number Thirty-Two
(for George Maciunas)
Do not abide by your decision.
April 1, 1963
Danger Music Number Thirty-Three
(for Henning Christiansen)
Have a ball show.
Judgment for String and Brass
A brass musical instrument, string, and a performer are required for this piece.
The performer slowly wraps the brass instrument in the string, exercising the greatest economy of movement.
Anger Song Number 6 (‘Smash’)
1. Inviting the people to come free, if they bring whistles and hammers.
2. Arraying and hanging as many breakable images around the room as possible — fine bottles, decanters, flower pots and vases, busts of Wagner, religious sculptures, etc.
3. When they come, explaining the rules: a) They surround the ringleader. b) He turns, ad lib. c) When he has his back to anyone, this person is as silent as possible. d) When he has his side to anyone, this person blows his whistle repeatedly, not too loud. e) When he faces anyone, this person blows his whistle as loudly and violently as possible. f) When he actually looks into anyone’s face, this person smashes an image with his hammer.
4. Continuing from beginning until all of the images are smashed.
From Twelve Lectures about the Same Thing or Bartenders Who have no Wings
A cigar store. An Apollo emerges from behind the counter. He says, ‘I am not really an APOLLO.’
A very pretty naked girl. After a time she notices that she is naked and is somewhat embarrassed.
A man with a Belgian flag, a woman with a Greek flag, and a man with a Guyanese flag. The man with the Belgian flag says, ‘This is not a Cuban flag.’ The woman with the Greek flag says, ‘This is not a Guyanese flag.’ The man with the Guyanese flag says, ‘I am not French.’
May 31, 1966
Constellation No. 4
A sound is made. The sound is to have a clearly-defined percussive attack and decay (such as produced by plucking strings, hitting gongs, bells, helmets or tubes). Each performer produces his sound efficiently and almost simultaneously with other performers’ sounds. Each sound is produced only once.
Events by Robert Bozzi
The performer enters the stage with a tied parcel, places it on a table, and opens it to take out a whipped cream cake with 10 candles. He lights the candles, then blows them out. He picks up the cake, shows it to the audience, then flings it into his own face.
A piano is on stage. The performer enters wearing a crash helmet. He takes a stage position as far from the piano as possible. He lowers his head and dashes toward the piano at top speed, crashing into the piano with helmeted head.
2 pianists sit behind 2 pianos. They depress the pedals and crash the pianos into each other several times.
The performer enters with a violin case. He removes a violin and a saw from the case. He saws the violin in half, places the pieces and the saw in the case, closes the cases, bows and exits.
Two performers fight between themselves using two violins as if the violins were swords, axes or clubs.
Four performers are divided into two teams. They draw lots for one violin. The winning team plays the violin while the other team tries to gain possession of it.
Two teams of performers compete against each other by pushing a piano from opposite sides.
Choice 12, Variation
A piano or any other musical instrument is hitched between two horses (oxen, elephants, tractors, etc.). These pull in opposite directions until the instrument breaks into two halves.
A performers executes the following actions in succession:
1 nails down the great cover of a piano;
2 plays an extremely extended low note
3 strikes the keys with his fists alternating 4 low note strikes with 4 high note strikes
4 nails down the keyboard cover
5 lifts the end of the piano with the low notes and lets it drop
6 kicks at the end of the piano with the high notes
7 opens both of the piano covers with the claws of a hammer
A piano is lifted by means of a windlass to the height of 2 meters and then dropped. This is repeated until the piano or the floor is destroyed.
Performers use mirrors to show the audience to itself.
Concerto No. 3
On signal from the conductor, each section of the orchestra performs one of the following actions in unison:
turn heads from side to side;
stand up or sit down;
open or close mouths;
move arms and legs;
look at watches;
scratch in various spots.
Concerto No. 1
On signal from the conductors, each section of the orchestra performs one of the following actions in unison:
tie or untie neckties;
unbutton or button up shirt sleeves;
roll up or roll down sleeves;
Each movement should accelerate in tempo and stop suddenly.
In Memoriam to George Maciunas No. 1
A performer in a bowler hat sits behind a table on which a metronome has been placed with a nebulizer. The metronome is set at andante or 60. In time with the beat of the metronome, the performer alternately salutes the audience and sprays his own throat with the nebulizer.
In Memoriam to George Maciunas No. 2
Performers position themselves in a semi-circle. The first performer operates a perfume nebulizer; the second, throat nebulizer; the third, a fertilizer sprayer; the fourth, an insecticide sprayer. The operate the equipment toward the audience following a pattern determined in advance.
In Memoriam to George Maciunas No. 2, Variation
Equal numbers of performers wearing gas masks sit in teams opposite each other. A balloon is placed between the two groups. Performers operate various sprayers such as perfume nebulizers, deodorant sprayers, disinfectants, insecticide sprays, paint or any other sprayers in pressurized or hand-pumped devices. Sprayers are operated toward the balloon. Each group tries to push the balloon away from its side and over to the other team. The piece ends when the balloon reaches one group.
A Piece for Chieko Shiomi
Performer lets the following objects fall from his hand in succession:
1 cigarette from horizontal outstretched arm in standing position
2 eraser from horizontal outstretched arm in standing position
3 hat from vertical outstretched arm in standing position
4 glass of water from horizontal outstretched arm while standing on stool or top of ladder
5 airmail envelope from vertical outstretched arm standing on a stool or top of ladder.
A Piece for Chieko Shiomi, Variation
Performer lets the following fall:
1 spittle from prostrate position
2 ear wax from supine position
3 mouthful of water from kneeling position
4 hat worn on back of head from backward inclined standing position
5 dandruff from forward inclined standing position
6 trousers from standing position
Music Piece for Erik Dietman
Orchestra members cover their instruments with bandages or adhesive tape.
Events by Bengt af Klintberg
The stage represents a room, that once was a hen-house, as can still be seen from some equipment, hens, eggs, and hen-shit. The room is furnished in heavy Empire style. In one corner are a shit-covered plastic bust of Bismarck with one mustache-tip broken off and a tremendously dry, brown Christmas tree in the other corner, decorated with one colored glass ball and some cardboard angels. Behind a sofa, an organ is vaguely visible, incessantly attacked by a boy with a healthy, even rubicund look. In the middle of the floor, a big ice block is slowly melting.
Soft-boiled eggs and paper plates.
Same as act one, but in the evening. The whole stage seems to have turned slightly to the left. Moonlight strains in through branch-holes and key-holes. On the Christmas tree a dying candle is dripping. Some springs have shot up through the sofa cover, the broken-off mustache tip is clumsily mended with blue modeling clay. In the distance, we hear an eighteen-shot salute, but on stage nothing happens.
Lettuce Music for Sten Hanson
The piece requires two performers, a head of lettuce on a music rack, a whistle and a small charge of xplosive.
Short signals on whistle.
Head of lettuce explodes:
A green rain. Long signal on whistle.
From Twenty-Five Orange Events
Orange Event Number 1 (for Kerstin Aurell)
Try to find out which musical instrument you would first connect with an orange. Play it, as long as you like. Or pretend to play it for the corresponding time.
Orange Event Number 3
Peel an orange carefully and arrange pigs in a row. Choose one of the pigs.
Orange Event Number 4
Peel an orange carefully and place pigs here and there in the apartment. Eat them when you happen to pass.
Orange Event Number 7
Eat an orange and at the same time, listen attentively: to sounds of chewing, of sucking, of swallowing and external sounds that may occur.
Orange Event Number 8 (for Pi Lind)
Eat an orange as if it were an apple. (Hold it, unpeeled, between forefinger, middle finger and thumb, bite big mouthfuls, etc.)
Orange Event Number 10
Use at the same time an orange and a lemon, an orange and a die, an orange and a bucket, an orange and an apple, an orange and a phonograph, an orange and a shoe, an orange and a tangerine, an orange and an organ and a ski-track, or an apple and an umbrella.
Orange Event Number 12 (for Staffan Olzon)
Fill all the drawers of a chest to the brim with oranges and depart for another part of the world.
Orange Event Number 15
For umbrella, orange and sewing-machine.
Orange Event Number 16 (for Åke Hodell)
Regard two or three oranges for a long time.
Orange Event Number 17 (for Folke Heybroek)
Leaning over a bridge parapet, look down into the water whirls of the Stockholm Stream. Between your two hands, roll an orange so that the peel becomes soft and will easily come loose from the orange. Quite often, you will hear the rattle of trains that are passing over the railway bridge in the neighborhood. At certain junctures you will also hear the bells of at least three churches ringing. When these two sounds reach you at the same time, start peeling the orange and let the peels fall down into the water.
Orange Event Number 20
Paint an orange white and place it together with other oranges in a white bowl.
Orange Event Number 21
Roll an orange over a floor, covered with hens’ feathers.
Orange Event Number 24
Stay for a long time in a room in which there is silence. Breathe silently, move silently if you move. At a time that you choose yourself, crack a nut.
Orange Event Number 25 (“Proposition”)
Make a fruit salad of oranges and nuts and serve it.
Some days after the break-up of the ice, one can find large ice sheets floating in the northern creeks of the lakes. Lifted up in the air, these half-melted sheets will often show an extraordinary beauty. There are holes in most of them, which makes it possible to hang them on dry spruce-branches.
Go up one morning and decorate the forest with ice and let the opening start soon after. There should be a number for each piece of ice. The opening guests are served sherry.
The hot summer is the best season. At various times one puts old pieces of bread into a number of bread boxes in gay colors. Let them stand with closed lids for some time. Now and then one checks how the mold is developing. At an interesting and beautiful phase, one makes an exhibition. Have a number for each box. Instead of sherry, serve vin rosé.
Three Magic Events
Number 1 (to make a couple enemies)
Take an egg and boil it hard and write a couple’s names on it. Then cut the egg in two pieces and give one of the halves to a dog and the other half to a cat.
Number 2 (against rats in the barn)
When the first load of grain is carted in, those who are standing in the barn ask:
“What are you bringing here?”
“We are bringing a load of cats!”
Now ask what the rats shall have to eat.
“Stone and bone and henbane-root.”
The first load is brought in during as dead silence.
During the following loads one talks about cats all the time.
Number 3 (for white washes)
At the washing a person who comes in shall say:
“I saw a swan.”
Then the clothes will be clean and white. On the other hand the whole wash
will be spoiled if he says: “I saw a raven.”
Streetcar Random (music for any number of participants)
One used streetcar ticket is given to each participant. On the cross-ruled ticket, there are squares for day and hour, each of which indicates one beat. The length of the beats is decided by each participant, who also determines how he wants to read the ticket: horizontally or vertically, to the right or to the left. It is expedient that he keep to the chosen reading during the whole performance. The uncut squares indicate pauses, the squares where the streetcar conductor has cut a round hole indicates one beat of sound. The source of the sound is optional. The piece is over when the last participant has become tired.
Suggested sources of sound: symphony orchestra; car horns.
Calls (Cantos 1-6)
Calls, Canto 1 (If You Catch Sight of a Friend in the Distance)
If you catch sight of a friend in the distance: go towards him calling out loudly. Let the calls ring out. Answer his calls. Develop the structures of his calls. Desirable development: from very simple to very complex calls.
(Can be performed in public libraries, lecture halls, churches, central stations, civil service departments and in outdoor places under an immense blue sky.)
Calls, Canto 2 (Stage Version of Canto 1)
At the beginning of the piece one performer stands in the left back corner, the other in the right back corner of the hall. Calling out loudly to each other, they advance toward the stage. Desirable development: from simple calls to very complex calls. The piece is over when they meet on the stage.
Calls, Canto 3
Two persons, one standing on the south side of a large lake — a least 1 kilometer apart — the other standing on the north side of the lake, talk to each other.
Calls, Canto 4 (Hello-Chorus)
A party of about 100 persons walk out into a forest at sunrise, climb up to the treetops and call and sing a hello-chorus.
Calls, Canto 5 (Telephone Call)
Make a telephone call in a bathtub, talking with you lower lip under the water surface and your upper lip over it. The piece requires a long telephone cord.
Calls, Canto 6 (Letter)
Open an empty envelope with both hands and talk loudly into it. Then close the envelope quickly and post it to anyone whom it may concern.
December 1965 – June 1966
Two Flag Events
1. In Copenhagen (for Ibi)
A big Danish flag is tacked to a wall.
Paint the white cross yellow.
Drink a Tuborg (or a Carlsberg)
Paint the four red squares blue.
Arrange a demonstration march with flags. If it is a sunny day with light blue sky, the flags shall be light blue. If the sky is white, the flags shall be white. Gray sky: gray flags.
Seven Forest Events
Forest Event Number 1 (Winter)
Walk out into a forest when it is winter and decorate all the spruces with burning candles, flags, apples, glass balls and tinsel strings.
Forest Event Number 2
Walk out into a forest a wrap some drab trees, or yourself, in tinsel.
Forest Event Number 3
Climb up to a treetop with a saw. Saw through the whole tree-trunk from the top right down to he root.
Forest Event Number 4 (Danger Music for Henning Christiansen)
Climb up into a tree. Saw off the branch you sit upon.
Forest Event Number 5 (The Lumberjacks’ and Pikers’ Union)
“Charlotte Moorman exchanged the sandpaper for a wood-saw, but using that sawing technique, she would have been sacked from the Lumberjacks’ and Pikers’ Union.”
Forest Event Number 6
Walk out of your house. Walk to the forest. Walk into the forest.
Forest Event Number 7
When you walk into a forest, don’t forget to knock.
Smear yourself and a blue satin umbrella with ashes and apricot jam; embrace a sleeping person.
Event for an Unknown Person
A love letter on a bicycle carrier.
Send invitations to all your friends — except one — with the following:
green party green clothes
And to one person:
red party red clothes
Plan Against Loneliness
Some yellow seats in all parks, squares and subway trains, where people who want to be talked to can sit down. Do this in every city all over the world.
Events by Ay-O
Rainbow No. 1 for Orchestra
Soap bubbles are blown out of various wind instruments. The conductor breaks the bubbles with his baton.
Rainbow No. 1 for Orchestra, Variation
Soap bubbles are blown out of various wind instruments. The conductor cuts
the bubbles with a samurai sword.
Rainbow No. 2 for Orchestra
A totally inexperienced orchestra plays a 7 note major scale on various instruments.
Exit No. 1
The audience must pass through a vestibule that has been covered with upward protruding nails except for a few areas left open in the shape of footprints.
Exit No. 2
The audience must pass through a vestibule across which many ropes have been stretched at knee height.
Exit No. 3
The audience must pass through a vestibule with a floor covered with foam rubber impregnated with soap suds.
Exit No. 4
The audience must pass through a vestibule with a floor covered with mirrors.
Exit No. 5
The audience must pass through a vestibule with a floor covered with wood blocks of various shapes and sizes.
Exit No. 6
The audience must pass through a vestibule in which the ceiling has been lowered to a height 2 feet (70 centimeters) above the floor.
Exit No. 7
The audience must pass through a vestibule with a floor sloped upward and downward at about 30 degrees.
Exit No. 8
The audience must pass through a vestibule where the floor has been covered with inflated balloons prepared to burst on contact.
Events by Eric Andersen
An occurrence or part of an occurrence is recorded and played back.
Do and/or don’t do something universally.
The following frequencies are played as piano frequencies:
(all C’s simultaneously on the piano, etc.)
C – D flat – D – E flat – E – F – G flat – G – A flat – A – B flat – B
1 Two persons are situated on the stage. One of them pronounce the sound “A.”
2 (Optional) The person who started with the sound “A” is only allowed to pronounce the sound “B.” The other person is only allowed to pronounce the sound “C.”
3 The performance is finished when one of the persons pronounces the sound “D.”
To call by opus and a number.
( Perform ‘X’ )
Announce that ……………………. ( ‘X’ or ‘Y’ ) took place in the same period.
Dec. 11, 1963: Sit down from 7 PM to 8:03 PM (Danish Time) and think about the people all over the world who may be performing this.
1 Select some objects which address themselves to your acoustic imagination.
2 Play with them according to a predetermined system.
The frequency a”” is played as a violin frequency for 30 seconds at intensity pp. Each year which passes after the first of April 1962 involves that the duration for which the frequency is played is lengthened by 5 seconds.
Events by Albert M. Fine
Ice Cream Piece
Performer buys an ice cream cone and then (a) eats it, or (b) gives it to a stranger, or (c) waits until it melts completely, then eats the cone, or (d) on finishing the piece, buys another ice cream cone.
Piece for George Brecht
Enter the Sistine Chapel by the nether door.
Survey the ceiling on the lintel.
Exit by the hether door.
Fluxus Piece for GM
2 events are advertised at 2 adjacent locations. Audience is brought into the same hall by separate entrances. The audiences are separated from each other by a curtain. For the performance, the curtain is raised.
Piece for Ben Patterson
Construct a piano with the treble on the left ascending to the bass on the right. Play all the old favorite classics.
Performers inconspicuously attach spring-type clothespins to various objects in the street.
Concerto for Solo Piano and Performer
Performer removes a different item from himself for each of the 88 notes: top hat, tie, shoe laces, pen, handkerchief, etc.
Events by Ken Friedman
Play baseball with a fruit.
Everyone runs in a large circle, accompanied by a strong rhythm. On every beat, all whoop or yell in unison. May also jump or raise arms to mark time.
Christmas Tree Event
Take a Christmas tree into a restaurant. Place the tree in a seat next to you. Order two cups of coffee, placing one in front of the tree. Sit with the tree, drinking coffee and talking. After a while, depart, leaving the tree in its seat. As you leave, call out loudly to the tree, “So long, Herb. Give my love to the wife and kids.!”
A year later, send a postcard reading, “Gesundheit!”
Conduct a large crowd of people to the house of a stranger. Knock on the door. When someone opens the door, the crowd applauds and cheers vigorously.
All depart silently.
Zen is When
A fragment of time identified.
Fluxus Instant Theater
Rescore Fluxus events for performance by the audience. A conductor may conduct the audience- performers.
Go on stage naked, covered with paint.
Dress and leave stage.
The sound of one shoe tapping.
Fruit in Three Acts
1. A peach.
2. A watermelon.
3. A pear.
The entire orchestra plays phonographs.
Empaquetage pour Christo
A modest object is wrapped.
Cook soup for the entire audience.
Homage to Mike McKinlay
Eat hot peppers and pickled foods of a spicy nature.
White Duck Event
Lose tools or useful objects.
On a Jungle Path
A gate is built.
Songs are sung.
Performer passes through gate.
A nude model is entirely stamped with images generated by rubber stamps.
Variation for Food and Piano
A piano is prepared with food.
(The piano may be played.)
Explain Fluxus in five minutes or less, using a few simple props.
Homage to Mahler
A symphony is performed. The different sections of the orchestra march on and off stage as they perform.
Performers enter from stage right and stage left. Each stands at the far edge of the stage. One shouts, “Hail, Ragnar!” The other shouts back, “Hail, Einar!”
Events by George Brecht
For single or multiple performance. A source of dripping water and an empty vessel are arranged so that the water falls into the vessel.
Drip Music, Second Version
Drip Music, Fluxversion 1
First performer on a tall ladder pours water from a pitcher very slowly down into the bell of a French horn or tuba held in the playing position by a second performer at floor level.
To occur in a railway station.
A time table is obtained. A tabulated time indication is interpreted in
minutes and seconds (for example, 7:16 equals 7 minutes and 16 seconds).
This determines the duration of the event.
Five piano pieces, any number of which may be played in succession, simultaneously, in any order and combination, with one another or with other pieces.
1. The piano seat is tilted on its base and brought to rest against a part of the piano.
2. Wooden blocks. A single block is placed inside the piano. A block is placed upon this block, then a third upon the second, and so forth, one by one, until at least one block falls from the column.
3. Photographing the piano situation.
4. Three dried peas or beans are dropped, one after another, onto the keyboard. Each such seed remaining on the keyboard is attached to the key or keys nearest it with a single piece of pressure-sensitive tape.
5. The piano seat is suitably arranged and the performer seats himself.
Word Event, Fluxversion 1
The audience is instructed to leave the theater.
Tea Event, Fluxversion 1
Distill tea in a still.
Two Elimination Events
Two Vehicle Events
Three Telephone Events
When the telephone rings, it is allowed to continue ringing until it stops.
When the telephone rings, the receiver is lifted, then replaced.
When the telephone rings, it is answered.
Three Lamp Events
Events by Joe Jones
Duet for Brass Instruments
Rubber gloves are placed over bells of brass instruments and tucked inside Two performers play duet while gloves emerge from instruments and expand. Variation may be performed using inflatable leg.
Piece for Winds
A rubber inflatable glove or leg is stretched over the rim of the instrument and stuffed inside the bell. Performer blows into instrument inflating the glove or leg, making it emerge slowly from the bell. It expands slowly, finally shooting out of the bell toward the audience.
Dogs are admitted to the audience. The orchestra is equipped with dog whistles. On signal from the conductor, the whistles are blown and played while the dogs bark.
Self-playing, motor-operated reeds, whistles, horns, violins, bells and gongs play predetermined, dynamically variable and continuous tones for a determined length of time.
Events by Milan Knizak
Cut the coat along its entire length.
Wear each half separately.
Snowstorm No. 1
Paper gliders are distributed to an idle and waiting audience.
Snowstorm No. 2
A great quantity of paper flakes or crushed expanded white polystyrene is dumped from a rooftop during a windy summer day.
At the same time every day, using the same words, in the same store, for 100 days, you purchase 10 dkg. of flour (approximately 1/4 pound).
On 101st day, you buy 1 q. (200 pounds) of flour.
For the next 100 days, buy l0 dkg. (1/4 pounds) again. On 202nd day, buy 1 q. (200 pounds) And again, and again, and again.
With the flour, mold a big cone. The one who makes the biggest cone is the winner.
Get a cat.
A line is drawn on the sidewalk with chalk. The longest line wins.
Fold a 2-yard paper bird (paper glider).
Make a list of all articles about 20 – 40 cm. large which are at your disposal. Also make a small arrow or dart with a sharp point. Mark some names of articles on your list and attach the list, face down, to a board. From a given distance, shoot your arrow. Whose arrow pierces the marked name of the objects, that person will wear the object on his or her chest as jewelry for the entire following day.
Game of Artist
On the wall of your room, just under the ceiling, nail 100 small hooks spaced at about 5 cm apart. Twist strings around them. To their ends, tie a fork, scissors, shaver, candlestick, bottle, shoes, ladle, clothes hanger with a jacket, etc., etc. …………..Create new arrangements (pictures) again and again by pulling and shifting.
Cut a circle into all parts of your clothing.
A broom (or some other thing) is tied to the end of a string about 3 yards long. Then it is pulled behind all over the busy streets on a Sunday.
On a busy city avenue, draw a circle about 3 m in diameter with chalk on the sidewalk. Walk around the circle as long as possible without stopping.
Say hello to every pretty girl you meet. If she replies with a smile, you get a point. The one with the most points wins.
Events by Lee Heflin
Throw things that are difficult to throw because of their light weight.
Pass a one pound piece of ice among members of the audience while playing a recording of fire sounds or while having a real fire on stage. The piece ends when the block of ice has melted.
Performer enters, bows, then exits. This is executed once for every member of the audience.
Events by Larry Miller
Wear white clothes and skid into the landscape.
Chew a nice piece of notebook or drawing paper.
A large heap of mud is dropped from a height onto an egg placed on the ground.
On a given day, everyone is asked to bring a brown bag with an object of their choice in it. An area is designated to contain the bags. At the end of the day, the bags are distributed at random.
Urinate on an egg until it has a nice patina or until it explodes.
Bit Part for Audience
Each word of a poem is written on separate cards passed out to the audience, who perform them in sequence.
Teeter-totter with your own weight in carrots.
100 Yard Run
Runners proceed to the 50-yard mark by taking 3 steps forward and 2 backward; and from the 50-yard mark back to the starting line by taking 3 steps backward and 2 forward.
100 Yard Metronome Run
Runners may only take a step when they hear a designated sound such as an amplified metronome or music. Only one foot may touch the ground at any time.
200 Yard Candle Dash
Each runner carries a lighted candle. He must stop to light it if it goes out. Nothing may be carried to protect the flame.
220 Yard Balloon Dash
All runners have as many inflated balloons as possible tied to their bodies. Once the balloons are in place, they run a normal 220-yard race.
A jumper performs a long jump while holding a lighted candle. The jump must be completed with the candle lit.
For single or multiple keyboard instruments in concert.
A mechanical hand with pointing index finger (or a boxing glove) is arranged out of view on a string-and- pulley system above the keyboard prior to the performance. Out of view, the performer lowers the hand onto the keyboard to produce a single note.
Performer talks, audience listens.
Audience talks, performer listens.
See You in Your Dreams
Appear in another’s dreams.
Events by Mieko Shiomi
Be blown by wind.
Wind at the beach,
wind in the street,
wind passing by a car.
Wind Music, Fluxversion I
Scores are blown away from stands by wind from a strong fan in the wings as the orchestra tries to hold them.
Wind Music, Fluxversion II
Loose score leaves on music stands are blown away by a very strong wind produced by a very large fan. This piece should be produced only if such a fan is available. Performers may try to catch scores and put them back on the music stands. They should not try to hold them on the stands.
Make Shadows — still or moving — of your body or something on the road, wall, floor or anything else.
Catch the shadows by some means.
Do this piece with a portrait of yourself or of your dearest one.
Crumple up the portrait without tearing it.
Look at the face in the portrait, crumpling and smoothing it.
Look at the face through a magnifying glass.
Music for Two Players
In a closed room pass over 2 hours in silence.
(They may do anything but speak)
Stand on a sandy beach with your back to the sea. Hold a mirror in front of your face and look into it. Step back to the sea and enter into the water.
Event for the Twilight
Steep the piano in the water of a pool.
Play some piece of F. Liszt on the piano.
Event for Midday in the Sunlight
12:00 Shut your eyes
12:03 Open your eyes
12:03’05” Shut your eyes
12:04 Open your eyes
12:04’04” Shut your eyes
12:04’30” Open your Eyes
12:04’33” Shut your eyes
12:04’50” Open your eyes
12:04’52” Shut your eyes
12:05 Open your eyes
12:05’01” Shut your eyes
12:05’05” Open your eyes
12:05’06” Shut your eyes
12:07 Open your eyes and look at your hands
Event for the Late Afternoon
Suspend a violin with a long rope from the roof of a building ’till it nearly reaches the ground.
Event for Late Afternoon
Violin is suspended with rope or ribbon inserted through pulley at top and secured to floor. Performer in samurai armor positions himself under suspended violin, draws his sword and cuts rope in front of him, releasing violin which falls on to his helmeted heat.
Event of Midnight
0:00 one light
0:04 five tones
Make the faintest possible sound to a boundary condition whether the sound is given birth to as a sound or not. At the performance, instruments, human bodies, electronic apparatus or anything else may be used.
The biggest star
Look at while you like
The second biggest star
Obscure it with the smoke of a cigarette
The third biggest star
Shoot it with a gun
The fourth biggest star
Hold a cat in your arms
The fifth biggest star
Look at it through a telescope
The sixth biggest star
When you find it, look at your watch
The seventh biggest star
Reflect on it in the water of a glass and drink it.
The eighth biggest star
Lie down and look at it through a loop in your fingers
The eleventh biggest star
Read a letter sent to you recently
(draw connecting lines as you like)
Music for Two Players I
Stand face to face to one another and stare at the opposite player’s eyes,
first 3m. apart (4 minutes)
then 1m. apart (4 minutes)
then 0.3m apart (4 minutes)
then 6m. apart (4 minutes)
then 0.5m apart (4 minutes)
An assistant my show them time and distance.
Let something fall from a high place.
Let yourself fall from a high place using an elevator, parachute, rope or anything else, or using nothing.
Concert programs are distributed to the audience as paper gliders flown from balcony or ladders or thrown as paper balls.
Parachute or very large sheet is suspended over audience. Performers cut all supports simultaneously, letting the sheet fall over the audience.
Passing Music for a Tree
Pass by a tree or let some object pass by a tree, but each time differently.
Shadow Piece II
Project a shadow over the other side of this page.
Observe the boundary between the shadow and the lighted part.
Become the boundary line.
Inflate a small rubber balloon in one deep breath and sign your name on the surface of the balloon.
(this is your lung)
You can buy the lungs of other performers at an auction.
Piece for a Small Puddle
This piece is performed by several performers. Each performer takes position around the puddle. Each stands or squats according to ones own chosen rhythm looking at the surface of the puddle.
Disappearing Music for Face
Change gradually from a smile to a smile.
In concert performers begin the piece with a smile, and during the duration of the piece, change the smile very slowly and gradually to a smile. Conductor indicates the beginning with a smile and determines the duration by his example which should be followed by the orchestra.
Photo Event for Two Players
Both performers take photos of each other including complete figure or close-up of some parts.
Second performer uses film already exposed by first performer.
Give the water still form.
Let the water loose its still form.
Mirror Piece No. 2
Orchestra members spread their instruments on the Floor. Each walks backwards through the instruments, using a hand mirror to guide himself, trying not to step on the instruments.
Mirror Piece No. 2, Fluxversion I
Orchestra members spread their instruments on the floor. Each walks backwards through the instruments, using a hand mirror to guide himself, trying not to step on instruments. Whenever a performer touches an instrument, he must leave the sate.
Mirror Piece No. 3
Performers seat themselves around a large mirror on the floor of a dark stage. A vessel filled with water stands in the middle of the mirror. Performers stand and sit at random intervals with flashlight pointing to the mirror. The water may be drunk.
Events by Nam June Paik
Audience seat are tied up to backs before performance.
Fluxus Hero or Heroine (For Frank Trowbridge)
Piss on the subway tracks and thus stop the train.
Zen for Street
Adult in lotus posture & eyes half shut positions himself in a baby carriage (perambulator) and is pushed by another adult or several children through a shopping center or calm street.
Drag by a string along streets, stairs, floors: large or small dolls, naked or clothed dolls, broken, bloody or new dolls, real man or woman, musical instruments, etc.
Atom Bomb Victim
Two uniformed men wearing gas masks carry on a stretcher an “atom bomb victim,” a woman, half of the body prepared in a manner of cruel wounds and deformations, the other half in a sex-feast.
Fluxus fleet of cars and trucks drives into crowded city during rush hour. At the appointed time, all drivers stop cars, turn off engines, get out of cars, lock doors, take keys and walk away.
Events by Robert Watts
The local national anthem or another appropriate tune is sung or played in the washroom under the supervision of a uniformed attendant.
A performer stands on a dark stage with his back to the audience. He strikes 10 matches at uniform intervals. Another performer rings a bell 10 times at the same (or different) intervals.
10 performers are supplied with 1 match each. 10 other performers are supplied with 1 bell each. They take positions in a completely dark performance area. The first performer strikes a match. The 2nd performer immediately strikes a bell. The match is permitted to burn out, followed by a pause. The 3rd performer strikes a match, followed immediately by the 4th performer striking a bell. This continues until all 20 performers have completed their action.
From backstage, at stage left, release 13 helium filled balloons through a slit in the curtain. From backstage at stage right, drop 13 white balls or eggs through a slit in the curtain.
Performer enters the subway station with a token and the exact change for a second token. He uses token to enter subway by the gate. He leaves by thenearest exit and buys one token at the booth.
Street Car Variation
Any number of performers in a queue enter a bus one by one. Each performers pays the fare, exits immediately to rejoin the tail of the queue and start the cycle again. Performance may last for any duration of time.
Performer drives to a filling station to inflate right front tire. He continues to add air until the tire blows out. He changes the tire and drives home. If car is a newer model, he drives home on the blown-out tire.
A 2-inch-wide ribbon is stretched across the stage or street and then cut.
Duet for Tuba
A tuba is prepared so that it dispenses coffee from one spit valve and cream from the other.
An object is fired from a cannon at a cymbal.
An object is fired from a cannon and caught in the bell of a tuba.
A squeaking rubber toy or an egg is caught between two cymbals.
A French horn is filled with small objects (ping-pong balls, ball bearings, rice, small toys, etc.) or fluid (water, mud, whiskey, etc.). Performer enters the stage, faces the audience, and bows toward the audience so that the objects cascade out of the bell of the horn into the audience.
Place a card on a horizontal surface.
Place a straw in the center of the card. Light one end of the straw with a match.
When the flame is extinguished, hang the card on the wall.
Send a yam this year.
Events by Tomas Schmit
Piano Piece No. 1
Performer places various objects — toys, chess pieces, concrete blocks, wood blocks, bricks, glass vases, rubber balls, etc. — on the closed lid of a grand piano. He may arrange these objects very carefully and with deliberation. He may construct a building out of the blocks, or arrange the chess pieces, or arrange the various toys, etc. When he has completed his arrangement, he lifts the great lid suddenly. The piano must be placed so that when the lid opens, the objects slide toward the audience.
Water pails or bottles are placed around the perimeter of a circle. Only one is filled with water. Performer inside the circle picks the filled vessel and pours it into the one on the right, then picks the one on the right and pours it into the next one on the right, etc., till all the water is spilled or evaporated.
Sanitas No. 2
Auditorium or theater should be dark. Performers throw small objects, coins, toys, etc., into the audience and then try to find these objects using flashlights.
Sanitas No. 13
Telephone time service is relayed to the audience for an hour.
Sanitas No. 22
Performer reads aloud an entire newspaper, advertisements and all.
Sanitas No. 35
Blank sheets are handed to the audience without any explanations. 5 minutes waiting.
Sanitas No. 79
A bus carries the audience a good distance, deposits them in a desolate location and returns empty.
Sanitas No. 151
250 nails are hammered.
Sanitas No. 151, Fluxvariation 1
All the piano keys of a chromatic scale are nailed down.
Sanitas No. 165
Audience is seated on mis-numbered seats, then are asked to correct the mistake by switching about, (first row to last, etc.)
Events by Ben Vautier
Performers and audience listen to a play over the radio.
A theft is announced and the audience is searched.
Performers disguised as police officers push the audience to the stage.
5 performers walk about smiling.
After the audience is admitted to the theater and seated, a member of the actors’ union gives a 5- minute talk on low wages and announces a 3-hour strike.
While other pieces are being performed, one performer sits drinking in a corner of the stage. He gets drunk and starts being a nuisance.
Performers drink as much as they can drink, as fast as possible.
A performer sits on a chair in the center of the stage holding a fire hose and does nothing. On hearing the audience begin to complain, he shouts “Go!” The water is turned on. The performer soaks the audience.
Using a telephone placed on stage with a monitor hooked up to a loud speaker, the performer makes one of the following calls:
1) Call the police and talk as long as possible.
2) Call the president of the country.
3) Call the local newspaper with false news.
Various people such as blind beggars, drunks, bums, tramps, etc., are invited to a meeting they know nothing about. They are led onto the stage by way of a back entrance. When all are assembled on stage, the curtain is raised.
Spoerri, Isou, Kaprow, Higgins, Patterson and Vautier accept an invitation to live imprisoned in a cage for 48 hours. The audience watches.
20 performers grimace at the audience, making faces and vulgar gestures until the audience expresses protest.
Performers throw wet objects into the audience.
Performers do nothing.
Performers sell the theater.
A performer runs about, around and through the audience until completely exhausted.
Performers eat a meal that cannot be identified by anyone.
4 performers eat 4 apples.
Monochrome for Yves Klein
Performer paints a large white panel black.
Monochrome for Yves Klein, Fluxversion I
Performer paints a movie screen with nonreflective black paint while a favorite movie is being shown.
Monochrome for Yves Klein, Fluxversion II
An orchestra, quartet or soloist, dressed in white, plays a favorite classic. A fine mist of washable black paint rains down during the performance. Performers continue to play as the scores and music stands, their instruments and clothes slowly turn from white to black. The performance ends when no performer can read the notes.
4 people who have never met are invited on stage to talk to each other for 20 minute or more.
Performers enact different verbs from a book of verbs.
As many performers as possible jam themselves into a bathtub.
10 to 20 performers push each other from the stage nonviolently until only 2 performers are left.
3 hens are released and then caught.
Like a classroom teacher with a blackboard, performer gives a lesson to other performers on a subject such as geography, Latin, grammar, mathematics, etc.
After the traditional 3 rings or 3 knocks, the curtain doesn’t go up. Rings or knocks are repeated 10 time, 20 times, 100 times, 1000 times for 2 hours, but the curtain never goes up.
A noisy performance takes place behind a closed curtain. Curtain is raised only for a bow.
I Will be Back in Ten Minutes
Performer positions a poster on the stage announcing, “I will be back in 10 minutes!” and goes across the street to have a cup of coffee.
The performer looks at an object (a piano, for instance) in as many different ways as possible.
A naked performer enters an entirely darkened stage. The lights go on for a fraction of a second.
A real hold-up is enacted in the theater. As much loot as possible is stolen and taken away by thieves.
1st performer positions a table on the stage.
2nd performer positions a suitcase on the table.
3rd performer takes the suitcase off the table.
4th performer takes the table off the stage.
4 identical objects are placed on the stage. 3 performers enter. Each chooses one of the objects, and leaves after choosing, taking the object away. The last object remains on the stage.
The audience is invited to dance a tango.
One performer seated at a table on the stage gives orders such as “get up,” “run,” “jump,” etc., to 20 performers seated among members of the audience. The audience is free to join in.
Light but very voluminous packages are carried by performers from the stage through the audience to the exit, through crowded street, onto street cars, etc.
The curtain is raised. A large table set with food, drink, flowers and candles is displayed on stage. 10 well dressed performers carrying instruments enter, bow, and seat themselves behind the table. They lay down their instruments. 2 waiters begin to serve food and wine. Performers begin to eat, drink and talk. After a few minutes, the audience can also be offered food and drink.
Piano Concerto No. 2 for Paik
Orchestra members seat themselves and wait for the pianist. The pianist enters, bows and walks to the piano. Upon reaching the piano, he jumps from the stage and runs to the exit. Orchestra members must run after him, catch him, and drag him back to the piano. The pianist must try his best to keep away from the piano. When the piano is finally returned to the piano, the lights are turned off.
Orchestra Piece No. 4
Instruments, stands and empty seats are displayed on stage. Performers appear one by one, slowly and very silently. Performers entering from the left must go to the far right and vice versa. Conductor enters last, just as slowly. The whole entry should last 10 minutes. Upon completion of the entry, the lights are turned off.
Concerto for Audience by Audience
The audience is invited to come to the stage, take instruments that are provided to them, sit on the orchestra seats and play for 3 minutes. If the audience does not respond to the invitation, instruments should be distributed to them.
Three Pieces for Audiences
1. Change places.
2. Talk together.
3. Give something to your neighbor.
Audience Piece No. 1
Audience is locked into the theater. The piece ends when they find a way out.
Audience Piece No. 2
The curtain remains closed. At the exit, leaflets are distributed saying, “Ben hopes you enjoyed the performance.”
Audience Piece No. 3
An announcer asks the audience to follow a guide. The guide leads them to another theater to watch an ordinary play or movie.
Audience Piece No. 4
After the audience is seated, performers proceed to clean the theater very thoroughly: wash floor, vacuum chairs and curtain, white wash stage, change light bulbs, etc.
Audience Piece No. 5
Tickets are sold between 8 and 9 p.m. At 9 p.m., the announcement is made that the performance has already begun and will end at 12 p.m. At no time is the audience admitted to the theater.
Audience Piece No. 6
The stage is transformed into a refreshment area. After the curtain is raised, the audience may come on stage to eat and dance.
Audience Piece No. 7
The audience is requested to come on stage one by one to sign a large book placed on a table. After signing, each is led away, one by one, to the street. This is continued until all have signed and left the theater. Those led outside are not permitted to return.
Audience Piece No. 8
The audience is told that the next piece is presented in a special area. They are led away in small groups by ushers, taken through back exits to the street and left there.
Audience Piece No. 9
Each member of the audience is led individually into an antechamber where they are asked to undress and led into a dark theater. Those who refuse can have their money returned. When the entire audience is seated naked in the auditorium, a huge pile of their clothing is illuminated on stage.
Audience Piece No. 10
An announcer hidden from view of the audience observes all who enter the theater with binoculars and describes each in detail over a public address system.
Audience Variation No. 1
The audience is all tied up together using a long string. Performers in the aisles use balls of string, throwing string over the heads of the audience to opposite rows of performers. Balls are thrown until all the string is used up in creating a dense web over the audience. Enough string must be used to entangle the whole audience, tying them to each other, to their chairs, etc., making it difficult for them to leave. After this has been achieved, the performers leave the hall. The audience is left to untangle itself.
Events by Yoko Ono
Four Pieces for Orchestra
To La Monte Young
(Provisional Instruction. It may be revised by conductor.)
a. Upon first signal from the conductor, each performer begins to rub a dowel, screwdriver or file across the f hole of any string instrument which will be provided for that purpose, or with an eraser on the surface of a wind instrument. Second signal will indicate termination.
b. Upon third signal, each performer peels off a tape taped upon their instrument.
c. Upon fourth signal, each performer tears off a page from the score.
New instructions to these pieces will most likely be provided by La Monte Young during rehearsal.
In entertaining your guests, bring out your laundry of the day and explain to them about each item. How and when it became dirty and why, etc.
Wall Piece for Orchestra
To Yoko Ono
Hit a wall with your head.
Light a match and watch it til it goes out.
Painting to be Stepped On
Leave a piece of canvas or finished painting on the floor or in the street.
Tape Piece I
Take the sound of the stone aging.
Tape Piece II
Take the sound of the room breathing
1) at dawn
2) in the morning
3) in the afternoon
4) in the evening
5) before dawn
Bottle the smell of the room of that particular hour as well.
[Image: John Baldessari, Millennium Piece (With Orange), 1999, from Blind Spot.]