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Picasso Museum in Paris, spring: A group of children sit on the floor in front of one of those Marie- Thérèse Walter’s abstract portraits Picasso made. The teacher asks them to speak their impressions on what they are seeing. One child about 6 years old says: “She’s sad”

 “Oh! No! She’s smiling, she’s happy” corrects the teacher. No other child offers any other comment. 


Madrid, summer at a Press conference in El Retiro gardens. An artist is in anger because some vandals have destroyed his outdoors sculptures by the Rose Garden. The journals that morning show in front page some photos of the broken sculptures with the headline: “New Art Revolution”. The journalist assumed that this was the way in which the sculptures were conceived by the artist.


There is a painter in Berlin who reached international stardom with his “Number 1” series of paintings. He has been twenty years drawing with carbon a huge number “1” on a white canvas. He did it every day at 10 a.m.

During all these years he had had a personal assistant who helped him with everything in his professional and personal life 24 hours a day, sending to Museums, galleries and art collectors   those number 1 paintings at 10.30 a.m.

This morning the personal assistant was late, because he had diarrhoea and sent the number 1 painting of the day at 12 a.m. He has been fired with no mercy.  


A middle class family gathers around TV on a Xmas Eve in Cracovia. When Rock Hudson appears on the screen a ten year old boy says “Oh this man is really handsome!” His older brother, in his 14s, slaps him in the face and says “You don’t have to have any kind of opinion on this!” Everybody remain silent. The younger one cries.


Madrid - June - 1975: Only those who made a hyperrealist charcoal drawing of a classical statue, to the likes of the jury, were admitted to the Fine Arts School.

Madrid - June – 1976: Only those who made an abstract painting, to the likes of the jury, were admitted to the Fine Arts School.


Rugby and wrestling were sports invented for muscled men who loved muscled men in a time in which homosexuality were banned. It was the closest way they found to have sex among men in the open without being punished.    


1925 in the outskirts of Honfleur (France) a musician is hugging trees and crying. In a whisper he says: “I love you, because you have never harmed anyone”


In Bilbao, the authorities shut down the microphone of a widow when she was addressing to the people who attended the funeral of her husband killed by a terrorist group. The representatives of the Law argued that the widow wasn’t politically correct when called assassins to the assassins of her husband.


Today, a mass of immigrant Chinese workers is marching on the streets of the city of Mataró (Barcelona) as a protest for being released by the police from the illegal factory where they were working 15 hours a day by just 30 euros a day during the last ten years. They are shouting:  “¡VIVAN LAS CADENAS!” (CHEERS FOR THE CHAINS!)

  Jorge Artajo
 Madrid, summer 2009

Box art part of 'Fluxhibition' at UT Arlington

News Release — 9 July 2009


Media contact: Teresa Newton, (817) 272-2761,

ARLINGTON - A box is a box is a box ... except when it's art.

The box as an expressive medium is the premise of Fluxhibition #3: Thinking Inside of the Box, an exhibit that runs through July at the University Center Gallery at The University of Texas at Arlington.

Theatre Piece #1 -- Under Tension: A Suspense Thriller by Cecil TouchonCecil Touchon, the exhibit's curator and a UT Arlington graduate, put the exhibit together in two months, asking artists around the world to contribute boxes for the International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction and the FluxMuseum, both of which are housed in his Fort Worth home.

Among these boxes are political messages, personal stories, jokes, social commentary, inventions, commemorative works, obsessive passions, homage to other artists, games, gadgets, dead bugs, a rotten egg from Macedonia, family heirlooms from Demark, handmade objects, scientific paraphernalia from the EPA, training kits, the hair of virgins, magic boxes, hidden compartment boxes, a pot of lightning from Greece, air from Colorado and even a bottle "chock full of God."

Fluxus - a Latin word meaning "to flow" - is an international network of artists, composers and designers noted for blending different artistic media and disciplines in the 1960s. They have been active in Neo-Dada noise music and visual art as well as literature, urban planning, architecture and design. Artist George Maciunas organized the first Fluxus exhibit in 1961 in New York City.

Box of Failures by Jane Wang"It is not really a particular style of art," he said of Fluxus. "The idea of a box as a medium is a key for Fluxus. It's conceptual art ... it has some sort of performance art as part of it."

Touchon became involved with the Fluxus community in the 1970s. While finishing his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in the spring at UT Arlington, he learned the University Center Gallery needed a summer exhibit. Touchon went online to ask Fluxus artists to contribute to an exhibition.

Within two months, he received works from artists in 18 different countries. Yoko Ono, who was a member of the original Fluxus community, also sent work.

"It was a really extraordinary effort and is an amazing show," Touchon said.

An exhibit reception is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. Friday, July 10, at the University Center Gallery in the E.H. Hereford University Center, 300 W. First St.

The Gallery is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday to Friday.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Student Art Association at UT Arlington.

More information is on the FluxMuseum Web site at Also the IMCAC museum Web site is


Fluxus Boxes, Cases, Kits and Containers from the Permanent Collection

Artists from 17 countries!
more than 120 works

See Show Online
Inventory page
Installation Page

Including: Andrew Riley Clark (ARC), Roberto Munguia, Christine Tarantino, Keith Buchholz (Fluxus Saint Louis), Willian Picasso Gaglioni, Torma Cauli Laszlo, Christine Blackwell, Nazimova Boheme, Scott Ray Randall, Allan Bukoff (Fluxus Midwest), Gregory Steel, Ken Friedman, Stewart Home, Bernd Reichert, Janet Jones, Ellen Filreis, Costis, Ed Blackburn, Kate Robinson, Stephanie Forsyth, Cecil Touchon (Fluxus Laboratories), Lisa Caroll, Kelly Gorman, Josh Ronson, Jorge Artajo, Gary Bibb, Nico Vassilakis, Allan Revich, Elizabeth K. Bogard, Bibiana Maltos Padilla, Dilar Pereira, John M. Bennett, Rebecca Cunningham, Peter Swann, Marianne Lettieri, Reid Wood, Jamie Newton, Lis Gundlach Sell, Sam Tan, Matthew Rose, Evelyn Eller, Luc Fierens, Neil Horsky, Judith Stadler, Larry Miller, Norman Sherfield, Liz Yates, Caroline Waite, Michelle N. Ary, Erica James, Clint Chadsey, Nancy Keeling, Robert Tucker, Benoit Piret (Ben Tripe), Cordula Kagemann, Rick D. Adkins, Litsa Spathi, Nicholas Wood, Don E. Boyd, Antonio Sassu & Gruppo Sinestetico, Angelo Ricciardi, Antonio Picardi, Rachel Lawrence(Fluxmass), Angela Mcquire(Fluxmass), Pronoblem(Fluxmass), Alexandra Holownia, Tulio Restrepo, Linda Renz, Wade Towers, Natascha Mattmuller, David Dellafiora, Reed Altemus, Guido Vermeulen, Snappy, Denis Chamot, Buz Blurr, Angela Behrendt, Matthew Lee Knowles, Roland Halbritter, Valentina Calendrina, Yoko Ono, Dewi, Boog, Kelly Courtney, Tim Devin, Lancilloto Bellini, Carla Cryptic, Alan Bowman, Ex Post Facto, David Baptiste Chirot, Carol Starr, Maurizio Fillin, Bruno Chiarlone, Lex Loeb, Madawg,  Mikeal And, Clark Whittington, Peter Dowker, Pierpaolo Limongelli, Mailarra, Ed Schenk, Christine Chaponniere, Ann Klefstad, Ann Seltzer, William R. Howe, Melissa Gray, Robert Kirkbride, Caule Violeta, Chris Mudhead Reynolds, Angelo Ricciardi and Antonio Picardi D.S.H. Watson, Marie Stockhill, Pal Csaba, Linn Craig, Zachary Scott Lawrence, Christina Stahr, Laura Dunn, Elaine Roy, Lee Peterson, Bob Rizzo, Lisa Nordstrom.

National Public Radio Interview Preparatory Notes 

Thinking about an interview for the local Public Radio station for Morning Edition  and/or All Things Considered, I thought I might jot down a few notes of things I might like to discuss in the few minutes that I will have for air time…

This exhibition, Fluxhibition #3: Thinking Inside of the Box, is the culmination till the present of my ideas related to the Art Museum as a kind of new artistic genre. This show is a combination of two different shows that share a common link which is the box as an expressive medium. Collage and assemblage artists were asked to contribute a box for the International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction: and later, for the Fluxmuseum at, through the networks of Fluxus artists I am involved with who were asked to create and contribute a box, or case or fluxkit when an opportunity came up via Zack Greer of the Student Art Association to use the University gallery at UTA for the summer.

In a matter of just a few weeks enough buzz was created through the internet to put this show together with artists participating from all over the world. It is extraordinary really, what we can do via the internet. This recognition of the power of the internet, in fact has been at the root of my endeavors since 1994 when I first started comprehending how radically it would change the world.

What we see in this show are examples of works from the collage/assemblage artists community, the Fluxus community and the mail-art community - what is known as the Eternal Network pioneered early on by people like Ray Johnson.

All three of these communities have intertwining histories and shared interests that go back to , the Dadaists, Futurists, Surrealists and key artists such as Kurt Schwitters, Marcel Duchamp and Joseph Cornell. Fluxus arose as a loose community of artists through the efforts of George Maciunas who, in 1961, invented the word and then worked diligently to develop an international artists community with Fluxus being its name. This included people like George Brecht who just died earlier this year, Yoko Ono (who has donated a work for this show), John Lennon, Claus Oldenberg, Christo, etc. It is not really a particular style of art but there are certain important innovations that Fluxus is credited with such as the wide spread use of the event score, instructions, performance, inter-media, concept based art, collaborative and communal art, etc. as well as a strong interest in global community and the inter-cultural exchange of ideas.

This interest in global community and collaboration is at the core of why this extraordinary show was able to be conceived, coordinated and executed in less than two months time. Why have we done it? Just to show that we can, that Fluxus is alive and well and for the simple joy of sharing with each other. Most participating artists will never see this show. For this reason I have gone to great lengths to document the show and make sure that everyone can admire each other from afar via the Museum’s website

Coming back to the exhibition, we see in this show, really, as Gary Bibb has noted, a “summation and clarification of all the previous artistic ideologies regarding tangible objects” or you might say certainly, an accumulation of many artistic trends and ideas that have been developing in the art world for the last 100 years.

While the objects in this exhibition are not organized in any certain way, the over all theme of the box brings a unifying quality to the exhibition. Yet within this unity a great deal of diversity in terms of intention or purpose is apparent. Among these boxes are political messages, personal stories, jokes, social commentary, inventions, commemorative works, obsessive passions, homages to other artists, games, gadgets, dead bugs, a rotten egg from Macedonia, family heirlooms from Demark, handmade objects, scientific paraphernalia from the EPA, training kits, the hair of virgins, magic boxes, hidden compartment boxes,  A pot of lightning from Greece, air from Colorado and even a bottle chock full of God.

There are those artists whose central interest is the world of objects and ways to organize them, sometimes with a narrative in mind such as the work by Mobius Artists Group artist/composer/performer Jane Wang from Boston called “Box of Failures” that documents personal events. Sometimes artists are interested in the romance of unknown private histories such as the little box by Peter Swann from the UK entitled “For Life-Like Snaps” related to English summer cottages in the 20th century. Some artists are driven by the aesthetic appeal of the objects gathered such as the highly sensitive San Francisco artist and print-maker Janet Jones in her work ‘Q & A Box’.

  We see some examples, of a more Fluxus nature where the box object is intended as a performance such as in Reid Wood’s ‘Fluxbox’ with hidden objects that the viewer is instructed to shake and perhaps figure out what is inside with their ears instead of their eyes. Other boxes are the artifacts of Fluxus performances such as the set of boxes of organ parts from a 2006 performance “Organ F - Ride an Organ, Burn an Organ” by Rebecca Cunningham and Fluxus crew in Australia who stirred up quite a controversy when, with a $3,000.00 government grant, held a Fluxus performance in which she cut up a piano with a chain saw and burned up an organ. This is dangerous stuff!

  Many Fluxus art works have a performance element involved with their making or imply performance in one way or another. This tradition has a lot to do with a number of seminal Fluxus artists having studied with John Cage in New York City. This connection led to a lot of experimentation in inter-media – or in other words, breaking down the barriers between one genre and another. This idea goes all the way back to early modernist experiments in multi-sensory artistic events combining sound, theatre, music, visual art, performance, dance, etc. which culminated into Fluxus Happenings in the 1960’s.

  In fact, among the contributions to the show are a number of videos and recordings to be seen either through the ‘box’ of a television screen or heard through speaker boxes. I am hoping that I may be able to show these extra works during the exhibition or possibly have an evening – to be arranged – when folks can gather to see and hear them.

  This is really quite a special opportunity to peak inside the secret life of an art community that for the most part has remained intentionally hidden from view for its nearly fifty year history. I would venture to say that if you asked one thousand people here in the Dallas/Fort Worth area if they had ever even heard of the word Fluxus nine-hundred and ninety-nine of them would say “no”. Yet Fluxus artists and ideas have had a major impact on the wider artistic community. While some art historians will say Fluxus is a phantom from the past, the Fluxus burgeoning community, in fact, is more dynamic than ever with literally thousands of artists involved to one degree or another. I believe this exhibition is evidence of its ongoing vitality and creative fervor.

  In conclusion, I would just like to say thank you to all of the wonderful artists who have contributed works to the museum for this show. I am hoping to interest other institutions in mounting exhibitions of these works. It certainly deserves to be seen far and wide and, I believe, will be inspiring to many who get the opportunity to take the whole thing in.

Fluxus in Texas


Allison McElroy, 411 #2, rolled-up phonebook pages, wire, black frame, 2009

  • KERA radio story:
  • Extended online story:

Anarchic and whimsical, Fluxus was a little-known art movement in the '60s — little-known, even though Yoko Ono was an occasional and influential Fluxite. (John Lennon once quipped that everyone knew who Yoko was yet no one knew what she did.) But the movement arguably died out in the '70s — although a Fort Worth artist, author and home-grown museum curator disagrees. As proof, he has assembled the current show, Fluxhibition #3, in the student gallery at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Most art museum directors would have us believe that running an art museum is an all-consuming job. Yet Cecil Touchon runs two, three, maybe four — out of his own home. Actually, out of his living room.

TOUCHON: "We’re standing in the living room of a three-bedroom, ranch-style house in Fort Worth, and the entire living room is wall-to-wall metal shelving housing boxes, plastic containers full of collages and arts supplies."

These are not just any overflowing shelves. Touchon is a successful artist with his boldly-colored collage works selling in New York and Santa Fe galleries. They've been featured in Interior Design magazine.

flux museum exterior

Official Fluxmuseum exterior

flux museum

Official Fluxmuseum interior

But what’s taking over his house are other people’s artworks. For a decade, Touchon has been exchanging pieces through the mail with fellow artists. The resulting collections he’s boxed up and crowded into his living room.

TOUCHON: "It's all part of the Ontological Museum of the International Post-Dogmatist Group. There’s the FluxMuseum, the International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction, and then Fluxus Laboratories is here. Oh, and FluxShop. Yeah – you know you’ve got a real Fluxus product when you have a FluxShop gold stamp on it like these. [laughs]"

In 1961, Fluxus was christened (and loosely organzed) by George Maciunas, a Lithuanian-American who eventually sought to establish "Fluxfestivals" in Europe. Paradoxically — meaning, in this case, fittingly — the word "flux" refers to both "flowing" (as in water or energy) and "fusing together" (as in soldering metals). Maciunas and his fellow Fluxites were inspired by Dada, the mocking, anti-traditionalist art movement that came out of World War I, pioneered by artists Tristan Tzara, Marcel Duchamp, Hugo Ball and Jean Arp.

fluxexhibit3-Lis-Gundlach-Sell-A Heirloom-from-My-Aunt-Augusta2009-web
The apparent irrationality, the deadpan jokes aimed at political and art establishments, the use of pointless mechanisms to spoof technology, the love of paradox, inversion and mass-manufactured products: All of these Dada traits re-appeared in Fluxus (which was originally termed "Neo-Dada"). Fluxus set out, Maciunas wrote, to purge the world of "dead art" and "bourgeois sickness" through a "fusion of Spike Jones, gags, games, vaudeville, Cage and Duchamp."

Lis Gundlach-Sell, An Heirloom from My Aunt Augusta, brass caster wheel from grand piano, display box, 2009

In the early '60s, Yoko Ono's performance efforts (what Maciunas called "neo-Haiku theater") and composer John Cage's experimental music — with his use of random sounds and silence — were major influences on Fluxus. Flux artists specialize in noise music, brief performance works, puzzles and games, as well as "intermedia." They refuse to conform to the restrictions of paintings or sculptures or theater, preferring to blend or muddle them. Curiously, Fluxus has also been influential on architecture because of Maciunas' early interest in prefab buildings.

A typical Fluxus project was Maciunas' Flux Rain Machine (right), a little, clear plastic box with a bit of water in it. The water condenses and forms droplets on the inside of the box. Voila — rain.

Another plastic Fluxbox by Keith Buchholz holds a pair of dice. The cover declares, “Roll 13 and Win!” But a pair of dice can only add up to 12. Voila — futility and the illusion of easy prosperity.

One reason that Fluxus isn't more widely known, I'd suggest, is that its ideas and elements were various (and contradictory) enough that they could easily morph into or be absorbed by the larger waves in '60s art, particularly pop art and conceptual art. To a degree, both of these also had origins in Dada, so the flow of Fluxeteers into their ranks is not surprising.

Even so, Flux artworks are often distinguished by their manufacture: They're cleverly made from cheap, ordinary, even scruffy materials, including human hair, cardboard, string, discarded books, clothing, broken crockery and novelty-store items. These "found objects" are deliberately not employed for museum-quality masterworks. The pieces are ephemeral and disposable, even self-destructive.

They're more like junk. With a sense of humor.

Jon Hendricks is a Fluxus scholar and the curator of a major Fluxus archive, the Gilbert and Lila Silverman Collection, which was recently donated to the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

HENDRICKS: "Maciunas’ idea of Fluxus was to move away from art that was something precious to something where art can become a part of everyday life."

A utopian, Maciunas deemed that the entire 'art industry' — museums, theaters, galleries, concert halls, everything — should die and be replaced by radically simple artworks that anyone could do. Maciunas also disliked the idea of the heroic individual artist. He preferred collaborative and group efforts. Which inspired his use of boxes. He borrowed the idea from Marcel Duchamp's Boite-en-Valise and Joseph Cornell's famous shadow boxes. But for Maciunas, Hendricks notes, the box isn't a way of framing and fusing together disparate objects through a single artist's sensibility. A box is a way to contain contributions from dozens of artists. They're like little museums that way — or anthologies. Indeed, Maciunas' first boxes were called "editions" and they were like yearbooks, compiled annually from various efforts by Fluxites.

In Fort Worth, Touchon’s mail exchanges with other artists and his boxed-up collections eventually led to his assembling Fluxhibition #3 at UT-Arlington — which he was able to do very quickly with works submitted from around the world. The show is sub-titled “Thinking Inside of the Box.” It features 140 kits, cases, tubes, cans, birdhouses, bottles and containers — including a piece by Yoko Ono herself, a limited-edition, yellow Japanese box containing a poem, "We're All Water" (above). Through the course of the exhibition, we see the box as utility item and metaphor, the box as a little stage, as board game, toolkit, toy set, parfait glass, map case, juggling pin, animal cage and laboratory sample — just about everything, perhaps, except the box as coffin. Touchon likes to point out that even a website can be a box — and he's created several linked, Flux-related "web-boxes." In fact, his entire exhibition is mounted to the walls of the gallery on shelves made of the cardboard boxes that will be used to ship it to its next home.

It’s a touring show — in a box.


But — is it Fluxus?

Scholars like Hendricks see Fluxus fading after 1978 with Maciunas’ death and with the other Flux artists going in new directions (echoing what a number of early Dadaists did when they turned to Surrealism in the '20s). So Fluxus belongs to a specific historic era — just like Impressionism or Cubism. Today, you could call your artwork Fluxus or Cubist, and Hendricks says, it still could be interesting. But it won’t have the same meaning, the same revelation. Times change, people change. What was fresh can now feel redundant or irrelevant.

HENDRICKS: "Movements do tend to have a kind of time frame, a period when they are essential, when they have to exist."

Touchon argues that this is the way collectors and curators think, not artists. Collectors want movements to be limited to a period, a place, a canon of select works. This increases the value of their own collections. Ironically, Touchon himself is clearly a manic collector. But for him, while Flux artists may play with boxes, Fluxus itself can’t be contained in one. The impulses behind Dada and Fluxus, he believes, resurface during certain periods (World War I, the Cold War, the Bush years). Besides, he notes, over the years, Fluxus works have often been produced by artists in their spare time (making an actual living at it would be directly counter to Maciunas' ideas. Not surprisingly, he died impoverished). For them, Fluxart is a low-cost sideline, as it were, a way to stretch the aesthetic muscles, an intellectual game that doesn't have to pay the bills.

Which means the Fluxkits and Fluxcreations are likely to go on –

[VOICEOVER intercuts with sounds of Touchon picking through the boxes in his house]: header

TOUCHON: "So there’s more … " [rummages]

– and on –

TOUCHON: "This is full …" [rummages]

And on.

TOUCHON: "I think this is one of them here…"

So — has Touchon ever thought of rental storage?

TOUCHON: "Well, I’m considering that at this point. But I’m still actually organizing the collection to tell you the truth. [Laughs.]"

Fluxhibition #3 runs through July 31 at the E. H. Hereford University Center Gallery at the University of Texas at Arlington. Cecil Touchon has already posted a call for contributions to Fluxhibition #4: Fluxus Amusements, Diversions, Games, Tricks and Puzzles.

Show:  July 1-31 2009 at: The Gallery. E.H.Hereford University Center - University of Texas at Arlington - Arlington, Texas

Fluxhibition #3 on Yoko Ono's

Catalog will be available when complete.

Press Release
Poster #1
Poster #2
Poster #3
Poster #4
Poster #5

High quality full color posters printed on heavy, glossy photographic paper are available for sale to participants for:
size: 18x24 inches - $25.00 + $10.00S&H
Participant Poster: 25.00 each

Support Future Exhibitions! Retail for these posters is $49.95
+ $10.00S&H

Submitted Text for

Statement about Fluxhibition #3
by Gary Bibb

This may well be one of the most significant art exhibits of its kind - certainly of the early 21st century.

 There are a small handful of established exhibitions designed to showcase the current state of the arts, such as the Venice Biennale; however, what's amazing about this exhibit is that it's not organized by a major institution (along with
the inherent politics), but rather by a group of artists who truly are in life's trenches - where the "real world" interfaces with artistic

Although it revolves around Fluxus concepts, it's more of a summation and clarification of all the previous artistic ideologies regarding tangible objects as pertintent to subjective content: Duchamp, Cornell, Rauschenberg and beyond. This is a global art statement by the "cultural canaries."  From personal idiosyncrasies to social commentaries, Fluxhibition #3: Thinking Inside Of The Box is a treasury full of artifacts collected while on the grand adventure of
artistic exploration.

Note from Billie Maciunas (widow of Fluxus founder George Maciunas)
"Hi Cecil, I wanted to let you know that I think the current exhibition is very cool. The publisher and the designer of my forthcoming book both sent in boxes. They told me how much fun they had making the boxes and how liberating it was to do art without being judged. I think this is exactly what fluxus is about. Have fun, don't judge, be inclusive. thank you for doing this--I hope you are having fun too!"

Note from Christine Tarantino

just to let you know i have linked you from flux-usa.
also, am so taken with ALL you are doing. bravo to the nth degree.
also, was so taken with billie's note i have quoted a few words from her at flux-usa (i'll let her know).
as she so aptly wrote we are about fun, inclusiveness and non-judgment.  fluxus artists continue to lead the way and you are bringing this awareness to the public eye.
with warm regards,

PDF Proof of Catalog for Fluxhibition #3
(big file 81.5 mb)