Together with festivals, street actions, and musical events, editioned artworks played an essential role in Fluxus, a network of artists that emerged in the early 1960s in the United States, Europe, and Japan. Artist and designer George Maciunas—a central figure in the group—conceived an ambitious publishing program of Fluxus editions: affordable items made in multiples and intended to communicate the group’s ideas and activities on an international scale. One of the key formats for disseminating these works was the Fluxkit, a briefcase divided into compartments holding a selection of printed materials and small boxes containing other objects.
The Fluxkit, itself an editioned work, is composed of multiples by different artists. Maciunas solicited concepts from colleagues such as George Brecht, Alison Knowles, and Ben Vautier and then, in many cases, designed and assembled the projects himself. Reflecting an interdisciplinary and playful approach to art-making, this example contains performance scores, film loops, musical instruments, and games, all intended to be held, read, and manipulated. Portable and modestly priced, the briefcase, Maciunas envisioned, would expand art’s reach outside galleries and museums. The Fluxkit was an essential part of his ambition, as he wrote in a manifesto, to “promote a revolutionary flood and tide in art.”
Publication excerpt from MoMA Highlights: 375 Works from The Museum of Modern Art, New York (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2019)