Frank Benner
piano technician

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piano stories


Fluxus is a movement of agile artists. Their art exists of performances, rituals where everyday objects, normal or trivial objects are turned into works of art.
When artistic instruments, like pianos are used, this is purely for the ritual possibilities they offer.
The pianos that perform with Fluxus are always used in a very primitive and definitely non-virtuoso non- musical way.

The Fluxus performances are especially characterized by a combination of actions: proceedings in a simple ritual or ritualised context.
Usually there is an audience and often there is not much left of the work of art afterwards.

The proceedings we are talking about are, always in a different way, violating everyday values and standards.
They mean to provoke the establishment in a playful way.
The playfulness is more important than the explicit urge to provoke, let alone the urge to make structural changes to the establishment.
We can find however, a strong social and political commitment in some of the artists belonging to this group.

Fluxus does not really have a fundamental message: it is not aimed at destruction, it has no educational, pedantic engagement and it does not want to create political awareness.
At the most it is aimed at disorder and the entertainment originating from that disorder.

Art is looked for in the usual, the commonplace things. It is this context that makes the audience experience the commonplace things in a different way. The art can be found in the context more than in the work of art that, as such, hardly exists.

The expression ‘Fluxus’ was invented by George Maciunias (1931-1978) to emphasize the ever-changing character of the group of artists.
It was chosen also to make a link between the different kinds of activities, media, disciplines, nationalities, sexes, approaches and occupations the group encompassed.

Joseph Beuys (1921-1986)
Piano with felt and leather

Wolf Vostell (1932-1998)
Fluxus-Piano-Lituania Hommage à Maciunas, 1994

A typical Fluxus keybord

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