Happy Birthday Fluxus




Second Front performed several inter-world Virtual Fluxus pieces and threw a multiverse birthday party in honor of the 50th Birthday of Fluxus at Exhibit A on the Odyssey Simulators with Bibbe in-person with live audience at Franklin Street Works, Stamford, CT. December 15, 2012.

From the Introduction: Second Front honor the 50th Anniversary of Fluxus with some works in the spirit of Fluxus.

The opening piece in this series of performances, “Alice Denham in 48 Seconds,” was originally performed at that very first 1962 Fluxus event in Wiesbaden and was permanently entered at that time into the Fluxus canon. The sound piece played on dime store toys was originally created by artist Al Hansen for a 1958 John Cage class at the New School.

The piece came about through a series of accidents. Walking in the street, Al randomly ran across three or four different sets of numbers, all of which happened to add up to 48. In his hand, he had a magazine containing a pinup photo of a lovely young redheaded woman named Alice Denham. This same issue carried a short story by the same Alice Denham. As it was performed in the Cage class, Al gave each letter of Alice Denham a number value, based on a simple alpha – numeric code. A =1; B = 2, etcetera. These become the number of sounds. Under the diagonal come an arbitrary series of numbers signifying the duration that these sounds occur within.

Cage enjoyed this very much. Several people in the class didn’t know how to begin the piece. Cage said, “Let’s all consider it a picnic. When one arrives at a picnic site, he then proceeds to do whatever one does at a picnic and after a while, goes home or goes away or isn’t there anymore.” So everyone could begin at any part he wanted of the big number notation on the wall and proceed from there in any direction.

Together the members of Second Front and our Franklin Street Works audience will perform the very first Multiverse rendition of “Alice Denham in 48 Seconds.”