Before leaving Los Angeles, I went to one of my favorite used bookstores on Sunset Blvd called Aldine Books. They have a few carts outside that have books and magazines marked down to $1 that I usually peruse before entering the actual store. That day, I stumbled upon this issue of Tulane Drama Review (Volume 10, Number 2 Winter, 1965). I was immediately drawn to the cover which features a photo by George Maciunas titled Pigeon Event in St. Mark’s Place, New York City, with notable surnames of Fluxus artists written on top of it. I had found, amongst used cookbooks and romance novels, THE FLUXUS Issue, an incredibly rich resource that documents Fluxus events and activity at the time.
Inside, there are interviews, essays, conversations, diagrams and reviews of plays, performances and a variety of other works. The list of contributors for this issue include: Michael Kirby, Robert Ashley, John Cage, Ken Dewey, Letty Eisenhauer, Ann Halprin, Dick Higgins, Theodore Hoffman, George Maciunas, Jackson Mac Low, Robert Morris, Claes Oldenburg, Yvonne Rainer, Ramon Sender, Paul Sills, Kelly Yeaton and La Monte Young.
Allan Kaprow’s Eat
nted during the mornings and afternoons of the two last weekends in January, 1964….Only twenty reservations were made for each one-hour period…to forestall overcrowding and keep free circulation in the space…At the far end of the bay on the right, which contained many charred wooden beams, a girl sat at a small electric hot plate frying sliced bananas in brown sugar. If a spectator asked for some, she gave them to him, but she did not speak…The only way to get inside the structure—to get at most of the food—was to climb a tall ladder propped against the side…The visitors were free to wander about through the cave. Some ate and drank; others did not. At the end of the hour the remaining people were ushered out, the “performers” were replaced by fresh volunteers, and new visitors were allowed to enter.” —Michael Kirby
Interspersed between the pages were two fold-outs, breaking the continuity of the review with a beautiful surprise. These inserts are what make this issue of tdr special.
FLUXUS HQ P.O.BOX 180 NEW YORK 10013
FLUXUSHOPS AND FLUXFESTS IN NEW YORK
AMSTERDAM NICE ROME MONTREAL TOKYO
FLUXKITS – FLUXAUTOMOBILES – FLUXPOST
FLUXMEDICINES – FLUXFILMS – FLUXMENUS
FLUXRADIOS – FLUXCARDS – FLUXPUZZLES
FLUXCLOTHES – FLUXORCHESTRA – FLUXJOKES
FLUXGAMES – FLUXHOLES – FLUXHARDWARE
FLUXSUITCASES – FLUXCHESS – FLUXFLAGS
FLUXTOURS – FLUXWATER – FLUXCONCERTS
FLUXMYSTERIES – FLUXBOOKS – FLUXSIGNS
FLUXCLOCKS – FLUXCIRCUS – FLUXANIMALS
FLUXQUIZZES – FLUXROCKS – FLUXMEDALS
FLUXDUST – FLUXCANS – FLUXTABLECLOTH
FLUXVAUDEVILLE – FLUXTAPE – FLUXSPORT
BY ERIC ANDERSEN – AYO – JEFF BERNER
GEORGE BRECHT – GIUSEPPE CHIARI- ANT –
HONY COX – CHRISTO – WALTER DE MARIA
WILLEM DE RIDDER – ROBERT FILLIOU
ALBERT FINE – HI RED CENTER – JOE JONES
H. KAPPLOW – ALISON KNOWLES – JIRI KOLAR
ARTHUR KOPCKE – TAKEHISA KOSUGI-SHIGE-
KO KUBOTA – FREDRIC LIEBERMAN – GYORGI
LIGETI – GEORGE MACIUNAS – YOKO ONO – BEN-
JAMIN PATTERSON – JAMES RIDDLE – DITER
ROT-TAKAKO SAITO – TOMAS SCHMIT-CHIEKO
SHIOMI – DANIEL SPOERRI – STAN VANDER-
BEEK – BEN VAUTIER – ROBERT M. WATTS
EMMETT O. WILLIAMS – LA MONTE YOUNG
FLUX – ART – NONART – AMUSEMENT FORGOES
DISTINCTION BETWEEN ART AND NONART,
FORGOES ARTIST’S INDISPENSABILITY,
EXCLUSIVENESS, INDIVIDUALITY, AMBITION,
FORGOES ALL PRETENSION TOWARDS SIG-
NIFICANCE, RARITY, INSPIRATION, SKILL,
COMPLEXITY, PROFUNDITY, GREATNESS,
INSTITUTIONAL AND COMMODITY VALUE.
IT STRIVES FOR MONOSTRUCTURAL, NON-
THEATRICAL, NONBAROQUE, IMPERSONAL
QUALITIES OF A SIMPLE NATURAL EVENT,
AN OBJECT, A GAME, A PUZZLE OR A GAG.
IT IS A FUSION OF SPIKES JONES, GAGS,
GAMES, VAUDEVILLE, CAGE AND DUCHAMP
The first fold-out, printed front and back with bright orange ink on a thin uncoated stock, spans about 35 inches. It is comprised of a collection of events by Fluxus artists George Brecht, Joe Jones, Alison Knowles, George Maciunas, Benjamin Patterson and Robert Watts.
fig.3: George Brecht: Drip Music (Drip Event); Joe Jones: Predictions 1963; Duet for Two Brass Instruments; Alison Knowles: Child Art Piece; Proposition Make a Salad,
Variation – Make a Soup.
fig.4: Alison Knowles: String Piece; George Maciunas: In Memoriam to Adriano Olivetti; Benjamin Patterson: Seminar 1; Robert Watts: Rain Event; Two Inches.
The second fold-out, printed black, one sided, on a thin newsprint, is also about 35 inches. It is a diagram of City Scale, the exploration of performer-audience relationships through a series of predetermined and spontaneous events within the city.
City Scale was the culminating event of a season devoted to exploring performer-audience relationships. We decided to use the city environment as totally as possible, to create a trip out of which more or less controlled elements would emerge. Many of the events were purposely ambiguous so that audience members would not have the certainty of knowing whether a given incident had been planned or was happening anyway.
The most meaningful events of the evening were those which impinged upon the life of the city, interacted with it, transformed it, or absorbed it into the structure of the work. The arrival of the audience in two trucks at a small park perched high on a hill overlooking the Mission coincided with a collision between two teenage gangs in the park. I had arrived early to inflate four seventeen-foot weather balloons, and noticed the kids collecting. Just as the two groups started toward each other, our trucks full of excited participants roared up. Sixty people started running across the park towards the balloons, and the teenagers scattered to the periphery. I don’t know what went through their minds in the minutes that followed, as adults chased balloons and each other through the park.
City Scale was a natural extension of sound experiments with which Tape Music Center members were involved—group improvisation, or tape pieces unfolding on many simultaneous levels of control. Out of it developed our present interest in environmental works—sound and light events controlling as much of a given space as possible.
My intention was to externalize visually the world in ourselves by providing a maze of the manmade, a sequence of events in the city.
Tulane Drama Review is still being published today quarterly by Tulane University under the auspices of its Department of Theatre and Speech. However, I wonder how many of them are as special as this one.