Earlier this year, the New York Times ran an article on NYC’s Museum of Modern Art instituting sessions airing recordings stemming from its Fluxus collection. If you ask why this matters to magicians — the amount of crossover between Manhattan’s avant-garde arts and occult scenes were considerable with prime movers from both camps dabbling in each other’s milieu to varying degrees. Key figures would be Angus MacLise, Ira Cohen, and William Burroughs to name but a few, though of these three only MacLise was counted in the Fluxus ranks per se. Still the degrees of separation were TINY. This article begins:
“On a recent afternoon in the newly reopened and reconceptualized Museum of Modern Art, about a dozen visitors gathered around a table to listen to an old tape recording with the singer, composer and scholar Gelsey Bell.
“The recording documented a 1959 concert of works by students of John Cage at the New School. Students in that class would go on to become important members of Fluxus, an interdisciplinary collective of artists who — inspired by Cage to focus on open-ended instruction-based text works and the music of everyday objects — created influential drawings, publications and compositions in the 1960s.
“While visual artifacts from MoMA’s substantial Fluxus collection have been given a spotlight over the last decade, including in exhibitions of the work of Yoko Ono and Carolee Schneemann, the sound files in the museum’s possession have not. That’s changing this year, in a collaboration between the departments of education (which operates the new “creativity lab” on the second floor where the listening session was held) and drawings and prints (which houses the bulk of the Fluxus archive).”
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