Published in Fluxus Performance Workbook/El Djarida no. 9 (1990)

 

For Fluxus:

No Title

 

 Guttorm Nordø

 

Between Scandinavians, it’s very important to prove who’s the best one. For instance, there are all those jokes told about the Norwegian, the Swede and the Dane, who in hundreds of ways argue about things or have different contests and competitions. Lots of these jokes have something to do with Fluxus, and one of them goes like this:

 

The Swede, the Dane and the Norwegian were arguing about whom of them had been closest to the moon.

First, the Swede said, “I’ve been so close to the moon that I could see a door upon its surface.”

“That’s nothing”, the Dane replied, “I’ve been so close that I could see a man standing in that door.”

“Yes,” the Norwegian said. “That was me.”

 

If someone asks who’s been closest to the arts, Fluxus could be the right answer. That depends on who is asking, because Fluxus surely answers (preferably to its own questions) that Fluxus has been the most important art movement for nearly three decades now. Remember, if you want to talk about anything with a Fluxist, you’ve got to ask the right questions.

 

Fluxus is dead, as we all are, as all art and all actions are which are past and described. The word Fluxus is as dead as any other word. I know nothing about Fluxus. And I’m proud of it, because then I can say whatever I wish about the subject.

 

I also know very little about editing art periodicals. That’s why this issue of El Djarida is being taken care of by Ken Friedman. I was lucky to be invited to write an essay for this issue of my own magazine. But I won’t say anything, because I’m dead, just like the language, and like Fluxus.

 

This page doesn’t exist. Neither does Fluxland. But Disneyland does. Exist. I think?

Why not install Fluxus-Art-Automats in the streets of all unimportant cities around the world, where you just put a coin in and get out real, mass-produced Fluxus Fetishes? Maybe this is already a fact, like Fluxland, in my dreams.

 

I understand it that Fluxus is bad jokes, smartness, and intrigues: “Who’s in and who’s out,” an outdoor bedroom where innocent passers-by can watch strange looking creatures quarreling over their differing views about a constructed word: Fluxus. When the past has grown fat enough, the present will also be tiring.

 

I  like that Fluxus didn’t like the systems for art distribution. Now the market is being fed, and that’s OK because everyone needs an income. But Fluxus is hundreds of other good things, like…what? I don’t know.

 

Is Fluxus still a revolutionary state of being?

I would say “Yes”, maybe not because of the way the original members of Fluxus act today, but because of the influence they have had on today’s art-rebel-youths (even if they don’t know about it themselves).

 

Can a man walk away from his own footsteps or grow out of his own body? No. Or, yes, but then he’s dead, just like Fluxus claims to be.

 

That’s another strange thing about Fluxus artists: They have transcended the “posthumous norm” and written their ways into the history books of art for themselves. Fluxus is an infectious virus. And Grandada is laughing in the seventh heaven when he reads this thought: Fluxus will flux us, again and again. It’s so nice to be a friend of Fluxus. Maybe it’s my ticket to respectability.

 

In art, time doesn’t exist, but Fluxus has all the time had a third eye focused on the watch. When will the heavy star of fame fall down and delete our last minutes?

 

Silly question. I adore Fluxus because it always wants something else.

 

Where’s the Art Police? Isn’t it about time that this Fluxus was put behind bars? The core is still untouched. Reality is just disturbing. And art will tremble with fear when Fluxus breaks through with new plans for the art-planet: inner threat and outer irritations will vanish in the light of their sacred templefruit. The art world will be even more pressured than the spiders inside our heads.

 

Ben Vautier says “Fluxus is an attitude rather than a product.” He’s wrong. Fluxus is both product and attitude, and, for some, only the first or just the second. The core might have been market resistant, but no one can stop people from adopting or stealing ideas and developing them in their own ways.

 

I suggest that all the Fluxus products made during the last two decades be given to the European Space Agency, if they’ll cover transportation costs, to make the first complete, permanent installation of a time-capsuled earth-art-history on Venus.

 

In the name of Fluxus, I ask you all to stop playing those old pieces by Maciunas, Brecht and whoever, and come along with new songs and fresh statements, suited for turning the last decennium of our second millennium into a definite end. Or start.

 

Begin the beginning. I would like Fluxus to become more like Fluxus! Personally, I don’t think that Yoko Ono put the Beatles to an end or that Nam June Paik poisoned the sound of the word Fluxus.

I think these obscure thoughts have sprung up in a paranoid waiting for a whiplash incident: old motors get tired or wrecked, and new models pop up behind them in incredible numbers and at fabulous speed.

 

To help Fluxus regain its “street credibility”, this issue of El Djarida will be distributed free to the highest possible number of mail artists throughout the world, among them, I’m sure, hundreds and thousands of young people who don’t know that Fluxus started it all off – the Mail Art movement, that is.

 

It is said that Fluxus wants to engage everyone, to help them get onto the train of creativity, but is this really true? Hasn’t Fluxus just turned into another bore, a self-defeating organism, helping and taking care of its own members?

I like the idea behind Fluxus: that art should have a function for and in the artist’s life, rather than to have a relevance to the market; the idea that anyone who wants to can associate themselves.

But is it so?

 

Being contemporary, consciousness means to be able to look out of the present, which in every moment only lives up to and proves what was sown in earlier days. Time is, at any rate, the slowness of the matter. And, excuse me, but as I said, I know nothing. I’m too young. I was never there – or here – at the right time. History making is only aspects of whatever old men choose to focus on when they discover that the present has started moving at too high a speed.

 

Both past and present will stay fresh forever. “Don’t worry.  Keep watching your eyes, folks.” said the editor who was going to write an essay over some pages in this issue, but who didn’t make it because time ran out, just like it will for the other friends of Fluxus. It doesn’t matter what, where or how. Time will Flux us!