The Artwork in Flux, a Live Q&A

September 12, 2020
11 am (Central)
In Conversation series, online

For the second discussion in this fall’s series “In Conversation,” join Natilee Harren, assistant professor of art history at the University of Houston School of Art, and Meredith Malone, associate curator at the Kemper Art Museum, for a talk about Fluxus, the international avant-garde art movement founded in 1962 with outposts in Europe, Japan, and the United States. The group is perhaps best known for its production of game-like kits called Fluxboxes, multiples in unlimited edition that were assembled beginning in the early 1960s. In our present moment of social isolation and economic uncertainty, Fluxus multiples—portable, interactive, transformable, and affordable—offer a compelling model for rethinking accepted modes of artistic subjectivity, production, and distribution.

This discussion will bring to life the original context of the Fluxboxes—Pop art and the multiples boom of the mid-1960s—reanimating the political and aesthetic stakes of these objects while highlighting the signal contributions of Fluxus affiliates, including George Brecht, Alison Knowles, George Maciunas, and Daniel Spoerri, among many others.

The conversation is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Multiplied: Edition MAT and the Transformable Work of Art, 1959-1965

In Conversation

“In Conversation” is a series of live online talks with artists, art historians, and scholars, exploring the intersections of art, history, and contemporary life. Bring your own questions and insights to these lively discussions from wherever you are. 

About the speaker

Natilee Harren is assistant professor of art history at the University of Houston School of Art. Her research and teaching center on modern and contemporary art history and theory, with particular focus on experimental, interdisciplinary practices after 1960. Her latest book, Fluxus Forms: Scores, Multiples, and the Eternal Network, was recently published by the University of Chicago Press and has been awarded a Terra Foundation for American Art International Publication Grant. Harren is also coeditor of a media-rich digital publication, forthcoming from the Getty Research Institute, that surveys and theorizes a range of twentieth-century experimental notations from the fields of visual art, music, performance, poetry, and dance. As a scholar and practicing critic, Harren’s writings have appeared in Art Journal, Art Journal Open, and the Getty Research Journal, and she has been a regular contributor to Artforum magazine since 2009. Her forthcoming publications include essays on the intersections of Fluxus, biological materials, ecofeminism, and conservation practices; and on Robert Watts’s experimental workshop at UC Santa Cruz in the late 1960s.

Image credit

George Maciunas (American, 1931–1978) Fluxkit, 1966–67. Vinyl attaché case containing objects in various mediums, 11 1/4 x 17 3/8 x 5 3/4 in. Saint Louis Art Museum, Director's Discretionary Fund, Friends Fund, bequest of Helen K. Baer by exchange, the Contemporary Art Society, Donna Moog, Dorothy Moog, Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Knight, and Museum Purchase by exchange. © 2019 George Maciunas Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.