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Lecture: Fluxus Forms of Activation

16. November 2022 @ 17:00 - 19:00

Natilee Harren: Fluxus Forms of Activation / online event 

Research Wednesday, November 16, 2022, 17:00 CET, online 

The team of Activating Fluxus, a research project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) at Bern University of the Arts, is thrilled to welcome to its series of public events the scholar and author Natilee Harren.

Following the Fluxus collective’s debut festival in late 1962, leading organizer George Maciunas wrote to Nam June Paik: “One can’t just perform the same single think [sic] over & over & over & over. We try to vary every piece in each performance.” Through their experimental performance and publishing practices, Fluxus artists tested how scores and other conceptual propositions could be interpreted and received in unforeseen ways. In a presentation that expands on arguments presented in her award-winning book Fluxus Forms: Scores, Multiples, and the Eternal Network, Natilee Harren will consider the multitude of ways Fluxus artists and the inheritors of their legacy have activated and remade one another’s works, both in the moment of the collective’s emergence in the 1960s and in more recent decades as Fluxus works have found their way into museum collections, conservation labs, and the hands of the public.

Dr. Natilee Harren is a scholar of modern and contemporary art history and theory, with particular focus on the conceptual and material entanglements of experimental, interdisciplinary practices after 1960. Her books include Fluxus Forms: Scores, Multiples, and the Eternal Network (University of Chicago Press, 2020, winner of the Terra Foundation for American Art International Publication Grant) and Karl Haendel: Knight’s Heritage (LAXART, 2017). Harren’s essays and criticism have appeared in Art JournalArt Journal OpenCritique d’artEast of BorneoOnCurating, and Getty Research Journal, and she has been a regular contributor to Artforum since 2009. She is a Senior Fellow of the Mellon–Rare Book School Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography and serves on the executive board of the Society of Contemporary Art Historians, an affiliate society of the College Art Association. Harren’s current research projects include a study of the drawings of Walter De Maria and their relation to experimental performance, sculpture, and conceptual art of the sixties, and a media-rich digital publication—forthcoming from the Getty Research Institute and supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities—that surveys and theorizes a range of twentieth-century experimental notations from the fields of visual art, music, performance, poetry, and dance. Harren currently serves as Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Houston School of Art.

The event will take place within the Research Wednesday lecture series organized at the Institute of Materiality in Art and Culture, Bern University of the Arts, as a part of the ongoing research project Activating Fluxus funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. The project investigates the objects, events, scores, and ephemera that emerged in the spirit of Fluxus in the 1960s–70s in Switzerland, Europe, the UK, and the USA. Inherently fluctuating by definition, Fluxus rejects any stable, material form. Considering the transitory aspects of Fluxus forms not destined for preservation, and looking through a multidisciplinary lens of conservation, art history, performance studies, heritage studies and museology, our project advances novel strategies for activating Fluxus through the reconstruction, adaptation and artistic reinterpretation of Fluxus forms.

Introduction and moderation by Hanna B. Hölling and Aga Wielocha, in collaboration with SNSF Activating Fluxus team members. There will be a possibility to engage with the speaker in the Q&A.

This online event is free. Join us by clicking on this link:


16. November 2022
17:00 - 19:00