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Fluxus = (from Latin "to flow") is an experimental art movement noted for the blending of different artistic disciplines
George Maciunas, Fluxus Manifesto, 1962 or 1963.












George Maciunas, Piano Piece, 1962.
















Painting to Hammer a Nail In

Yoko Ono, Painting to Hammer a Nail In, 1961.











Ceiling Painting

Yoko Ono, Ceiling Painting, 1966.











Ceiling Painting








*Cut Piece

First version for single performer:

Performer sits on stage with a pair of scissors in front of him. It is announced that members of the audience may come on stage one at a time to cut a small piece of the performer's clothing to take with them.

Performer remains motionless throughout the piece. Piece ends at the performer's option.

Second version for audience: It is announced that members of the audience may cut each others clothing.

* The audience may cut as long as they wish

Cut Piece

Yoko Ono, Cut Piece, 1965. Carnegie Hall.










Yoko Ono, Cut Piece, Performed on September 15, 2003 at Theatre Le Ranelagh, Paris, France.











"In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has moved away into a representation."
- Guy Debord

The Venetian in Las Vegas

Society of the Spectacle

The Venetian in Las Vegas
Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle, 1967.









The Situationists International

The Worrying Duck

Founded in 1957, the Situationists International was an avant-garde activist group that attacked capitalism in Western society for transforming citizens into passive consumers of depoliticized media spectacle. They asserted that the spectacle replaced active participation in public life.


Asger Jorn, The Worrying Duck, 1959.











The highly influential Situationist book The Society of the Spectacle argued that spectacular features like mass media and advertising have a central role in an advanced capitalist society, which is to show a fake reality in order to mask the real capitalist degradation of human life. To overthrow such a system, the group supported the May 1968 revolts in Paris, and asked the workers to occupy the factories and to run them with direct democracy, through workers' councils composed by instantly revocable delegates.

Sorbonne Graffitti

"Humanity won't be happy until the day the last bureaucrat is hung with the guts of the last capitalist."
Vandalism inside the Sobornne University, 1968











The “Situationist International” were heavily involved in the student/worker demonstrations and protests of 1968. The group rejected all art that separated itself from politics, and believed that the notion of artistic expression being separated from politics and current events “renders artwork that expresses comprehensive critiques of society impotent.” - Art Daily October 11, 2012


University of Lyon, 1968











  • We will ask nothing. We will demand nothing. We will take, occupy.
  • Expect anything. Fear nothing.
  • Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!
  • Those who make revolutions half way only dig their own graves.
  • Boredom is a pattern, not reality.
  • We don’t want a world where the guarantee of not dying of starvation brings the risk of dying of boredom.
  • In a society that has abolished every kind of adventure the only adventure that remains is to abolish the society.
  • Warning: ambitious careerists may now be disguised as “progressives.”
  • Stalinists, your children are with us!
  • A single nonrevolutionary weekend is infinitely more bloody than a month of total revolution.
  • Under the paving stones, the beach.
  • Live without dead time.
  • Be realistic, demand the impossible.
  • If God existed it would be necessary to abolish him.
  • Fall in love, not in line!
Situationist Graffitti in Paris, May 1968.











Lunch counter sit-in, 1961
I Am A Man March, 1965.











"Long Hot Summer of 1967" 159 events of civil unrest across the United States
Civil unrest in Watts, August, 1965.
Newark Rebellion, 1967.
Six days of unrest, 34 deaths, 1,032 injuries, 3,438 arrests, and over $40 million in property damage
In Detroit, five days of unrest, 43 dead, 1,189 injured, over 7,200 arrests, and more than 2,000 buildings destroyed











Duane Hanson, Race Riot, 1968.
Duane Hanson, Tourists II, 1988. Polyester resin, fiberglass and human paraphernalia.











Columbia Student Protest, 1968.

More on the Columbia University Action










1968 and Anti Form
  • North Korea captures US spy ship and takes crew hostage
  • North Vietnam launches Tet offensive eventually leading to U.S. withdrawal
  • Czechoslovakia invaded by Russia
  • Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King assassinated
  • Marcel Duchamp dies
  • Olympic medalists, Tommie Smith and John Carlos raise their fists during the National Anthem to protest racism
  • German students protest capitalism and the exploitation of the common man
  • French student and worker strikes nearly bring down the government
  • Students at Columbia, NYU, Kent State and other universities protest wars in Vietnam & Cambodia, the draft, and institutionalized racism
  • Pope condemns birth control
  • Star Trek airs first interracial kiss on U.S. television
  • Night of the Living Dead
  • First manned spacecraft orbits the moon. Apollo 11 will land on the moon the following year.
  • Worst oil spill yet off the coast of Santa Barbara leads to the establishment of the EPA and largest oil reserve in North America discovered in Alaska
Tommie Smith (gold medal) and John Carlos (bronze medal) protest at 1968 Olympics in Mexico City











Guy Debord's aim and proposal, was "to wake up the spectator who has been drugged by spectacular images," "through radical action in the form of the construction of situations," "situations that bring a revolutionary reordering of life, politics, and art." In the Situationist view, situations are actively created moments characterized by "a sense of self-consciousness of existence within a particular environment or ambience."

Christo, Wrapped sculpture in the garden of the Villa Borghese, Rome
Barry Le Va, On Edge, Shatter, Scatter, 1968.











Yellow Jacket demonstration December, 2018


Macron = remove

government = resign

system = abolition










Feminists protest 1968 Miss America Pageant











Louise Bourgeois, Filette (Little Girl) (Sweeter Version), 1968.


"In Louise Bourgeois' work, we are often faced with the presence of subjects who desire, and who desire sexually. They are not immediate figures of desire but they position themselves clearly as operations of desire. Bourgeois' vengeance on the constraints of the "wish to know" is to create the disorder of the forbidden. The right to know is my birth right." - Edward Lucie-Smith











Eva Hesse, Hang Up, 1965 - 1966.




















Eva Hesse, Untitled (Rope Piece), 1966.











Autumn Rhythm

Jackson Pollock, Autumn Rhythm (Number 30), 1950.











Eva Hesse, Ringaround ARosie, 1965.

Eva Hesse, Accession II, 1969.











“Art and work and art and life are very connected and my whole life has been absurd. There isn’t a thing in my life that has happened that hasn’t been extreme- personal health, family, economic situations…absurdity is the key word…It has to do with contradictions and oppositions. In the forms I use in my work the contradictions are certainly there.  I was always aware that I should take order versus chaos, stringy versus mass, huge versus small, and I would try to find the most absurd opposites or extreme opposities.” – Eva Hesse

Eva Hesse, Repetition Nineteen III, 1968.











Eva Hesse, Contingent, 1969.











Draft card burning, 1969
Malcolm Browne, Thích Quiang Duc's self-immolation, 1963











Post-Structuralism = philosophical approach based on the idea that words and photographs are unstable and cannot be trusted, and that everything is a momentary construction with no ultimate meaning or truth.
Edward Ruscha, The Los Angeles County Museum on Fire, 1968.











Asco, Spray Paint LACMA, 1972.











East L.A. Brownout, 1968











1968 Earthwork movement launched by
group exhibition "Earthworks" at the Dwan Gallery
Earthworks = (a.k.a. Land art) form of art which came to prominence in the late 60s and 70s primarily concerned with the natural environment. Materials such as rocks, sticks, soil, and plants are commonly used, and the works frequently exist in the open and are left to change and erode under natural conditions.
Robert Smithson essay A Sedimentation of the Mind: Earth Projects provided a critical framework for the movement
Robert Smithson, Nonsite, 1968.











Spiral Jetty

Robert Smithson, Spiral Jetty, 1970.











Sprial Jetty film stills

Robert Smithson, Documentation of film stills from Spiral Jetty, 1970.











Entropy = 1) a measure of the amount of energy in a physical system that cannot be used to do work; a thermodynamic quantity representing the unavailability of a system's thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work, often interpreted as the degree of disorder or randomness in the system. 2) lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder.
ice water
Related to the Second Law of Thermodynamics = the idea that energy dissipates toward a disintegrated homogeneity of matter. Entropy negates the concept of progress on the scale of geological time.
a classic example of entropy described in 1862 by Rudolf Clausius as an increase in the disgregation of the molecules of the body of ice.











Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty made pink by algae in the Great Salt Lake, 2011.











Double Negative

Double Negative

Michael Heizer, Double Negative, 1968 - 1970.
Center for Land Use Interpretation, Michael Heizer, Double Negative present day











Robert Smithson, Partially Buried Woodshed, 1970.











Partially Buried Woodshed
Partially Buried Woodshed
Partially Buried Woodshed
Robert Smithson, Partially Buried Woodshed, 1970 to present day.
in progress
January 1970
current state











National Guard descneding on protesters at Kent State University May, 1970.











Kent State

John Paul Filo, 14-year-old Mary Ann Vecchio kneels over the dead body of Jeffrey Miller, who was shot by the Ohio National Guard during the Kent State shootings, 1970.


Kent State student Alan Canfora speaks about the shooting of Jeffrey Milller





















Hal Foster proposes "critical theory has served as a secret continuation of the avant-garde by other means. After the climax of the 1968 revolts, it also occupied the position of cultural politics, at least to the extent that radical rhetoric compensated a little for lost activism." Indeed, it is a popularly held view within cultural studies that the ’68 uprisings were the last genuine flowering of a politically emulsified avant-garde, the last moment – in the West at least – that art and politics met and worked towards a common aim before radical politics and contemporary art skulked off to their respective departments within the academy or under the bright lights of what Foster calls the ‘false pluralism of the posthistorical museum market where anything goes (as long as accepted forms predominate).’ - John Douglas Millar
Sigmar Polke, Dublin, 1968.











Plywood Show

Lover Boys

Robert Morris, Plywood Show, 1964.
Felix Gonzalez torres, Untitled (Corner of Baci), 1990.










Placcebo installed

Felix Gonzalez Torres,  Untitled (Placebo), 1991.











Postmodernism = name for many stylistic reactions to, and developments from, modernism. Postmodern style is often characterized by eclecticism, digression, collage, pastiche, and irony. Postmodern theorists see postmodern art as a reversal of well-established modernist systems, such as the roles of artist versus audience, seriousness versus play, or high culture versus kitsch.
  • Postmodernists believe that no single truth exists
  • Everything that can be done, has been done
  • Sense that the avant-garde has broken down -
    there is no longer a shared message or purpose
  • Embrace diversity
  • Encourage parody, irony and playfulness
Sigmar Polke, Bunnies, 1966.
Acrylic on canvas, 59 x 39-½ in.













the painting is a copy of a photograph
the photograph is a copy of the "original"
the "original" may have been set up to remind the viewer of something prior
"This image does not represent reality, it represents paint." - David Hopkins
Gerhard Richter, Helen, 1964.

Gerhard Richter, Woman Descending Staircase, 1965.











Gerhard Richter, High Diver, 1965.












Thank you!