Ken Friedman

Ken Friedman is a seminal figure in Fluxus, an international laboratory for experimental art, architecture, design, literature, and music. He had his first solo exhibition in New York in 1966. He has also been involved with mail art, and he has written extensively about Fluxus and Intermedia. Friedman has edited several Fluxus publications and has been widely published in peer-reviewed academic journals as well as in popular and small press publications. He has worked closely with other Fluxus artists and composers such as George Maciunas, Dick Higgins, and Nam June Paik, as well as collaborating with John Cage and Joseph Beuys. He was the general manager of Dick Higgins Something Else Press in the early 1970s.

DOWNLOADS: The Fluxus Reader (1998) | The Fluxus Performance Workbook (2002) | The Aesthetics (1972) | Freedom? Nothingness? Time? Fluxus and the Laboratory of Ideas (2012) | FLUXUS and the Essential Questions of Life (1956-2009) | 52 Events (2002) | 12 Structures (2004) | 99 Events (2011)

concept art | Fluxus | hermeneutics | intermedia

The Fluxus Reader (1998)

The Fluxus Reader offers the first comprehensive overview on this challenging and controversial group. Fluxus began in the 1950s as a loose, international community of artists, architects, composers and designers. By the 1960s, Fluxus had become a laboratory of ideas and an arena for artistic experimentation in Europe, Asia and the United States. Described as 'the most radical and experimental art movement of the 1960s', Fluxus challenged conventional thinking on art and culture for over four decades. It had a central role in the birth of such key contemporary art forms as concept art, installation, performance art, intermedia and video. Despite this influence, the scope and scale of this unique phenomenon have made it difficult to explain Fluxus in normative historical and critical terms.

Download The Fluxus Reader (pdf, 2.1MB)

The Fluxus Performance Workbook: Edited by Ken Friedman, Owen Smith and Lauren Sawchyn (2002)

The Fluxus Performance Workbook is a compendium of historic written Fluxus scores, mostly dating from the 60s

Performance Research has released a free digital edition of the long unavailable Fluxus Performance Workbook, a collection of short performance works and event scores by over forty artists.

The first examples of what were to become Fluxus event scores date back to John Cage's famous class at The New School where artists such as George Brecht, Al Hansen, Allan Kaprow, and Alison Knowles began to create art works and performances in musical form. One of these forms was the event. Events tend to be scored in brief verbal notes known as event scores. In a general sense, they are proposals, propositions, and instructions for different kinds of actions.

This collection is a fortieth anniversary edition of the Fluxus Performance Workbook edited by Ken Friedman, Owen Smith, and Lauren Sawchyn. This expanded and updated edition of the Workbook contains scores by George Brecht, Jean Dupuy, Dick Higgins, Joe Jones, Bengt af Klintberg, Milan Knizak, George Maciunas, Larry Miller, Nam June Paik, Mieko Shiomi, Robert Watts, and many more.

Download The Fluxus Performance Workbook (pdf, 301KB)

The Aesthetics (1972)

THE AESTHETICS is four books in one. A LOGIC Of CLOUDS, the first, completed in October of 1971, CREATIVITY, CONSCIENCE AND ART, completed just as the New Year of 1972 was upon us, THE SACRED JOURNEY, completed several times and revised as here presented, and THE SYMPOSIUM, comments by several friends who are involved in art. The book took shape in texts and essays between 1966 and the present. Portions appeared as small writings or lectures for: San Francisco State College, San Francisco State College Experimental College, Free University of Berkeley, San Diego State College, Kairos Institute, Liberal Religious Youth, SRL - A Free Religious Fellowship, The University of Saskatchewan and Radio KPfA.

Download The Aesthetics (pdf, 5.5MB)

Freedom? Nothingness? Time? Fluxus and the Laboratory of Ideas (2012)

At the 50-year anniversary of Fluxus, Ken Friedman looks back on the activities and achievements of a laboratory for art, architecture, design, and music. This article examines the political and economic context of the 1950s against which Fluxus emerged to become the most radical and experimental art project of the 1960s, thoroughly international in structure, with women as well as men in central roles. The article examines the hermeneutical interface of life and art through 12 Fluxus ideas: globalism, the unity of art and life, intermedia, experimentalism, chance, play- fulness, simplicity, implicativeness, exemplativism, specificity, presence in time, and musicality.

Download Freedom? Nothingness? Time? Fluxus and the Laboratory of Ideas (pdf, 452KB)

FLUXUS and the Essential Questions of Life (1956-2009)

The accompanying catalogue to the exhibition is conceived as an art self-help book that will be of interest to students and the general public as well as to scholars. The book, co-published by Dartmouth College and the University of Chicago Press, contains an introduction by Jacquelynn Baas and essays by Baas, Fluxus artist Ken Friedman, and scholars Hannah Higgins and Jacob Proctor.

Download FLUXUS and the Essential Questions of Life (pdf, 12MB)

A series of scores. Accompanying the scores are Friedman’s own often humorous but always revealing notes. Covering the years 1956-2009.

52 Events (2002)

52 Event Scores
Download 52 Events (pdf, 159KB)

12 Structures (2004)

The exhibition catalogue for the 2004 exhibition at Centre of Attention.
Download Twelve Structures (pdf, 76KB)

99 Events (2011)

The exhibition catalogue for the 2009 exhibition at Stendhal Gallery, Chelsea.
Download 99 Events (pdf, 591KB)

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