Category Archives: Scores

George Maciunas, Flux-Labyrinth (1975-1976)

building plans

Read a full account of the Flux-Layrinth from initial plans in SoHo NYC, to the first execution in Berlin, and later a 2015 installation in NYC. [read more – includes images and plans]

“As Fluxus founder George Maciunas often referred to, Fluxus is gag-like, and Fluxus artists are jokers. Fluxus artists have been producing not good art per se, but inventive gags, among which this one hundred square meters Flux-Labyrinth (1975-1976) was a notable one. This was a collective efforts by Fluxus artists including George Maciunas, Larry Miller, Ay-O, Joe Jones, Bob Watts, Ben Vautier, George Brecht, Geoff Hendricks and many others. This project not only marked the particular organizational and collaborative genius of George Maciunas, but also perfectly illustrated his interpretation of Fluxus through a well-designed life-sized gag.

According to George Maciunas, the whole structure of gag is linear and monomorphic, just like Fluxus’ conceptual inventions. There are sight gags, sound gags, object gags, all kinds of gags. But no joke can be presented in multi-forms, nor can several jokes be made simultaneously, because people just cannot get it at once. Likewise, the Flux-Labyrinth is a cleverly designed and rigidly defined gag series, which unfolded linearly in the obstacle-laden one-way passage among extensive maze of puzzling.

In Maciunas’ letter to René Block, explaining the final plan of labyrinth with great detail, he wrote, “First door at entry is one with a small (about 10cm square) door with its own knob. One has to open it and find pass the hand through, looking for the knob of the big door on other side that will open door. This way only smart people will be able to enter. Anyone passing that door will be able to pass all obstacles. Idiot will be prevented from entering…”

The opening statement is clear, it is an intelligent game. As described by Larry Miller, “Part fun house and part game arcade, the labyrinth fits within Maciunas’ broader idea of Fluxus-Art-Amusement.” Fluxus, at least Mr. Fluxus, is a serious joker.” [credit]

Philip Corner, 4th Finale (1962)

a sheet of paper with handwriting on the right side

Philip Corner, “4th Finale” (1962)

Score: “Members of a marching band, each playing to their own tune, leave the stage and whatever building they are in, followed by the audience.”

Credit: Waxman, Lori. Keep Walking Intently: The Ambulatory Art of the Surrealists, the Situationist International, and Fluxus. Sternberg Press, 2017. Page 266.

“4th finale was performed by Lynghøj School Brass Band at Stændertorvet. Each performer was instructed to choose an action to perform, whether this was constant, intermittent or variable was up to the performer himself. The tune or sound could consist of a repetition, a cyclic progression or an evolving note, and could be freely invented or quoted from any source.

The performers were instructed to continue their chosen sound, while slowly beginning to leave the area. As the orchestra left Stændertorvet, spectators followed in procession down the street towards the Viking Ship Museum.” [credit]


Eric Andersen, The MassDress (1985)


“Costume by Eric Andersen
Performed by The Group Berzerk

During the art fair Art in 1980 in New York, Gallery Interart from Washington arranged a sensational Fluxus Buffet from October 10 through 18, 1980. The following artists participated: Eric Andersen, George Brecht, Joe Jones, La Monte Young, Yasunao Tone, Nam June Paik, Takako Saito, Mieko Shiomi, Daniel Spoerri, Emmett Williams, AY-O, Geoff Hendricks, Dick Higgins, Alison Knowles, Yoshimasa Wada and Bob Watts. For the occasion Eric Andersen produced a Dinner Dress for 30 people. The costume is part of a series of possible shared costumes for which function overrules convention. Among these costumes are a TV Costume for 1 to 10 people, a Soccer Costume for 11 people, an Industry Costume for 5 to 10,000 people, a Big City Costume for 5 to 10 million people, an Erotic Costume for 3 to 99 people, a Witness/Victim Costume for more than 2 people and a Debate Costume for fewer than 179 people.

In 1984 in Copenhagen, the group Berzerk performed The Idle Walk of the Year for Eric Andersen – a procession stretching from The Ethnographic Collection at The National Museum through The National Bank to the courtyard of Amalienborg Castle. During the Festival of Fantastics, Berzerk performed with the 30 people costume carrying out an extensive choreography. Initially, the performers put on every second part of the costume, conducting a procession across Stændertorvet. Then audience members were invited to enter the remaining fifteen costume parts. The ensuing procession climbed ladders on fire department vehicles and stretched through city streets, alleys, busses and shops. The whole performance lasted more than two hours.

Eric Andersen’s description of The MassDress

Eric Andersen, Idle Walk (1984)


Copenhagen, Denmark: “At The Idle walk of the Year, the 29 th August 1984 he invited the Anarchistic drama group Berserk, and instructed them to carry a variety of objects from the museum to Amalienborg Square while walking as slowly as possible without standing still. As a result all traffic in central Copenhagen came to a stand still for six hours. Eric describes:
“The police was completely in on it. You could see a motorcycle police officer wearing a Year of the Idle badge on his chest pocket while driving his bike as slowly as he could through the city. Nothing at all happened that required their attention throughout those hours, so of course they were happy.”
Eric himself polished the Palace Square using Petroleum, like the Ethnological Museum had done to their wooden floors since the nineteenth century. A tradition Eric found so fascinating that hebrought it to the Palace Square.”

Benjamin Patterson, Man Who Runs (1963)

This work was presented as a map of the midtown New York Public Library, with arrows showing the route to run, from the main entrance up to the third floor and out again.

Critic Lori Waxman compares this score to Robert Filliou’s One-Minute Scenario (1963), and points out how race and place deeply affect these scores. Filliou is a white French Protestant with a glass eye referencing a hotel, while Patterson is a Black man and references the library.


Credit: Waxman, Lori. Keep Walking Intently: The Ambulatory Art of the Surrealists, the Situationist International, and Fluxus. Sternberg Press, 2017. Page 232.

Robert Filliou, One-Minute Scenario (1963)

“A man runs out of the Chelsea Hotel, 222 W. 23rd Street, N.Y. He runs east to 7th Avenue

then south to 22nd Street

then west to 8th Avenue

then north to 23rd Street

then east to the Chelsea Hotel which he reenters at the same speed.”

Critic Lori Waxman compares this score to Benjamin Patterson’s Man Who Runs (1963), and points out how race and place deeply affect these scores. Filliou is a white French Protestant with a glass eye referencing a hotel, while Patterson is a Black man and referenced the library.


Credit: Waxman, Lori. Keep Walking Intently: The Ambulatory Art of the Surrealists, the Situationist International, and Fluxus. Sternberg Press, 2017. Page 232.

John Cage, Water Walk (1959)


“Composed in 1959. Premiered on “Lascia o Raddoppia,” a TV program televised in Milan, Feb 5, 1959. Subsequently performed on “I’ve Got a Secret,” the popular American game show, Feb 24, 1960.

For solo television performance involving a large number of properties and a special single-track tape, 7.5 i.p.s. In one of his manuscripts, Cage indicated a subtitle for Water Walk as Water Music No. 2″. Like his Sounds of Venice, it was composed for the Italian TV quiz “Lascia O Raddoppia”, using Fontana Mix as the composing means. In it, Cage used 34 materials, as well as a single-track tape, 7 1/2″, 3 minutes.

The materials required are mostly related to water, i.e. bath tub, toy fish, pressure cooker, ice cubes (and an electric mixer to crush them), rubber duck, etc., but Cage also calls for a grand piano and 5 radios. The score consists of a list of properties, a floor plan showing the placements of instruments and objects, three pages with a timeline (one minute each) with descriptions and pictographic notations of occurrence of events, and a list of notes “regarding some of the actions to be made in the order of occurrence.” Timings are not accurate: “Start watch and then time actions as closely as possible to their appearance in the score” (from score). Water Walk led Cage to compose his Theatre Piece.”


Francis Alys, Guards (2004-5)

Marching British Guards


” “A journey implies a destination, so many miles to be consumed, while a walk is its own measure, complete at every point along the way.” Francis Alys, 2005

Francis Alys walks a lot. The city is his open-air studio. ‘Guards’ (2004) is one component of ‘Seven Walks’, the body of works commissioned by Artangel and developed over the course of five years spent walking through the streets of London, which includes paintings, drawings, and works in moving image. ‘Guards’ draws upon many of Alys’s long-term concerns: how street-scapes structure behavior, the unspoken rhythms of the city; and the use of daily walking to encounter new phenomena and ideas. The artist provided a series of instructions which form the basis of the film: 64 Coldstream guards enter separately in the City of London, unaware of one another’s route; the guards wander through the City looking for one another; upon meeting, they fall into step and march together; when a square measuring 8 by 8 Guards is built, the complete formation marches towards the closest bridge; as they step on to the bridge, the guards break step and disperse.”

a marching british guard

Francis Alys, Guards (2004-5)


La Monte Young, Composition 1960 #10

typed words on a piece of paper

La Monte Young “Composition 1960 #10” (1960) typewriter ink on paper, 3 3/8 × 8 9/16in.

La Monte Young‘s Composition 1960 #10, simply states, “Draw a straight line and follow it.” Young (1935-) was a well-known member of Fluxus.

Credit: Waxman, Lori. Keep Walking Intently: The Ambulatory Art of the Surrealists, the Situationist International, and Fluxus. Sternberg Press, 2017. Page 206.

person painting a line with their head

Nam June Paik “Zen for Head” (1962) [credit]

“During the first Fluxus concert, held in Wiesbaden, Germany, in 1962, Paik performed La Monte Young’s text-based score Composition 1960 #10 (to Bob Morris), which reads, “Draw a straight line and follow it.” Paik dipped his head into a bowl of ink and proceeded to produce a line with his hands, head, and necktie as he moved down the length of a large sheet of paper laid on the floor. This performance—which gained notoriety for Paik’s rather flamboyant interpretation and execution—became known as Zen for Head.” [credit]

Trisha Brown, Man Walking Down the Side of a Building (1970)

man walking down the side of a building

“The work saw a solitary dancer, secured by harnesses, around the hips and waist, attached to a single cable, walk down the side of the building at a ninety degree angle to the wall. Compelled by gravity, but restrained by the harnesses, hoists and straps used to secure him, the performer exerted considerable effort as he performed the normally mundane task of walking. … Man Walking Down the Side of a Building was one of Brown’s series of ‘Equipment Pieces’, which had initially used mountaineering equipment to construct hoists, pulleys and restraints to enable movement in unusual spaces, or in ways, which put the performers’ bodies at odds with gravity. In keeping with the relative simplicity of the equipment used, Brown also had the performer of this piece wear casual clothing and to perform to the ambient sounds surrounding the building.”

“Her intention was not to create a sense of theatricality but to draw attention to the simple and natural act of walking through a situation in an unnatural scenario. A key element of the work was its instructional nature; while all choreography is arguably instructional at one level, the simplicity of Brown’s instructions – to walk down the side of a building – placed the emphasis on the act of movement, rather than on its motivation or any kind of narrative. No particular instructions were given for how the performer should move, leaving them open to focus entirely on their own physical reaction to the duress of walking in this unusual position. This was characteristic of Brown’s work within the Judson Dance Theatre, which she helped form in the 1960s, and beyond, where she focused on everyday movements and their relation to dance through emphasis on individual gestures. Brown’s creation of choreography which focused on simple, singular movements also facilitated its capacity for re-enactment by making clear the integral elements of the work – a single performer walking down the exterior side of a building – but leaving enough fluidity for the transferal of those actions into different times and spaces.”

“By taking the universally recognisable act of walking and creating a scenario in which that act must be performed differently – in this case, at a ninety degree angle to the normal walking position – Brown remained focused not on the specificities of the space in which the performer acted but the precision of the actions which they undertook. Brown framed an everyday action as choreography and, in then re-contextualising it, drawing attention to the specificity of the movement under stress, she re-framed that action as performance, challenging the audience to consider the expansion of the site of dance into the world around them.”

Acatia Finbow, June 2016