We read your note with interest. We apologize for any lack of clarity in our
comments to Jess. We did not intend this as personal critique. We were
discussing a position that we sometimes observe. The responses posted here
clarified the issue.
Before answering a few questions, it may help to tell you who we are.
We are not an official Fluxus entity. Secret Fluxus is a cooperative group
of four women and four men living in the UK. We came together in 2003 to
perform the work of Fluxus artists in classic Fluxconcerts or performances
of single events.
We have no direct relation with Fluxus or the original Fluxus artists. We
have enjoyed the opportunity to correspond with Alison Knowles, Ken
Friedman, and Larry Miller, however, and we maintain that contact. We do not
ask them to take responsibility for our ideas or the way we present their
We started as a group of seven. Friends join us for some performances and
one stuck with us to expand the group. We started with an architect, two
designers, an art student, an artist who also works as a chef, a
psychologist, and a schoolteacher. Our new member is a solicitor, the
interested and occasionally puzzled partner of the schoolteacher.
Boyfriends, girlfriends, wives, husbands and an occasional cousin or
children sometimes join us. The curator is one of these.
We discovered Fluxus at the opening exhibition of the new Tate Modern. We
later discovered the Fluxshoe that travelled around England during the
1970s. We modelled some aspects of our project on the Fluxshoe and David
Mayor’s activities, as well as Brian Lane’s projects. Another model is
Fluxus West in the United States during the 1960s and Ken Friedman’s
Fluxmobile tours across the United States and Canada. We also learned much
from later Fluxus West activities by Don Boyd and his students.
Our concert programs and performance format are based on historical scores,
though we sometimes adapt and interpret these for today’s needs and
Each concert is 50% or more Fluxus work by Fluxus artists.
The works we perform come from the electronic and on-line editions of the
Fluxus Performance Workbook by Ken Friedman, Owen Smith, and Lauren Sawchyn,
as well as scores from catalogues edited by Jon Hendricks, on-line works by
Dick Higgins and Ken Friedman’s 52 Events. We recently expanded our
repertoire to include works found in the publications of Something Else
Press. Once we discovered that many Fluxconcerts include an occasional work
by a non-Fluxus artist, we decided to expand the repertoire from time to
time by including an appropriate Fluxus-like work from a non-Fluxus artist.
We perform anonymously and claim no credit for this work. We know that
Fluxus artists had no rules about anonymity. This is our strategy to focus
attention on the artists and their work and not on ourselves. We do not want
anyone to know who we are. We will perform together as long as things work
well, and then we will disband.
Our decision to perform anonymously came about in response to the way some
of our fellow students and other young artists complained about the original
Fluxus artists. We heard many complaints about the artists and their work by
artists who claimed the heritage and sometimes even the name of Fluxus. We
perform the work of the Fluxus artists and giving them full credit for their
contribution to European culture today. The Fluxus artists and composers did
exciting work. We remember it for what it was and perform for what it still
We started with plans to announce the times and locations of concerts, but
we stopped after one or two announcements in local newspapers or broadcast
media. Now, we simply arrive to perform and announce our performance on the
spot and afterwards. We sometimes publish and distribute a program at
concerts. When we do, concert programs are typeset on a Macintosh at the
design consultancy where a group member works and printed by Xerox thanks to
a kind employer who was fond of Fluxus when he was a design student in the
Our first performances were at universities or art schools. Since then, we
have expanded to larger venues ranging from train stations to a shopping
mall and stolen concert hall space at the Royal College of Music. We have
also performed in restaurants and – unofficially – at museums, galleries,
Sometimes we perform a full concert in one location. Other times, we move
around, performing different works at different sites.
That is what we do.
We will reflect on your letter the next time we meet, and we hope to offer a
The author of this note is the current secretary of the group. One of us
usually manages correspondence, and I’m doing it in March and Aril. What
I’ve explained so far is a simple statement taken from our common
information. I’m sending a quick response to acknowledge your comments on
New Media Curating and to say that I will take your comments to our next
Speaking for myself, I can assure you that we are not a group of top down
instigators. I’m not quite sure what that would be. Are you thinking of a
group of performance artists subsidized by Tony Blair to infiltrate such
forums as this one? I’m only speaking for myself, of course. Some of us may
believe we are a top down group of infiltrators, or they may wish to become
one. I will respond further when we have had a chance to discuss the matter.
>Secondly, I would like to welcome the sudden (masked) appearance of 'Secret
>Fluxus' to this list.
>Hello ‘secret Fluxus’ - you may have managed to place (hopefully not
>deliberately) Jess in a box that is not appropriate to the discussion
>needed on here.
>If you really are a secret ‘Fluxus entity’, or belong to a Situationist
>Secret Fluxus - Your secrecy worries me slightly, because you could be
>either a group of top down instigators and we have no way of knowing that -
>your acceptance or recognition that something is indeed not working does
>declare a mutual possibility that I do warm to; yet, declaration of your
>selves, or yourself can open things up a little in regard to the dynamics
>of this current argument. Then, I will feel that you are putting your money
>where your mouth is (excuse the wording here).
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