GEORGE MACIUNAS / FLUXUS FOUNDATION INC.
Lithuanian-born American artist George Maciunas (1931-1978) is best known as the founder and central coordinator of Fluxus from 1962 until his untimely death in 1978. Fluxus was a global collective of artists, musicians, designers bound by their intermedia sensibility and experimental enlightenment. John Cage, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, George Brecht, Larry Miller, Vytautas Landsbergis, Ben Patterson, Milan Knížák, Ken Friedman, Alison Knowles, Henry Flynt, Mieko Shiomi, Ben Vautier, Emmett Williams, and Joseph Beuys were among its members.
Duke University Professor Kristine Stiles has discussed Fluxus as part of a movement towards global humanism achieved through the breakdown of boundaries in artistic media, cultural norms, and political conventions. The blurring of cultural conventions, which began in the early 20th century with movements such as Futurism, Dada and Surrealism, was continued by Fluxus artists in correspondence with the changes taking place in the sixties. Like the definition of “Flux”, which means ‘to flow’, Fluxus artists sought to reorder the temples of production and reveal “the extraordinary that remains latent in the undisclosed ordinary” during the midst of the dramatic modernist epoch.
Like his ‘Learning Machines’, George Maciunas was an exemplary processor of information as an enigmatic analytic mind. Maciunas studied architecture, art history, graphic design, and musicology at the Cooper Union School of Art, Carnegie Institute of Technology Pittsburgh, and the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University in succession over eleven years (1949-1960). Despite the diversity of his education and artworks, Maciunas’ oeuvre is unified by a lucid diagrammatic aesthetic demonstrating a constructive interaction between data modelling and enlightenment. His engagement with functionality and chronology seen in his geneologies, atlases, and charts can be described as an art of organization which delved into the intutive connections between a schema and its processes. Education, the process of transferring knowledge, is a theme present throughout these works and in “A Preliminary Proposal for a 3-Dimensional System of Information Storage and Presentation”, a proposal to reform what he viewed as the premature specialization and fragmentation of the American education system.
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Fluxhouse™ is not simply a prefabricated house. It is building system designed to provide a solution to achieve social welfare by raising the Quality/Standard of Living in communities across the economic spectrum. Invented in 1965 by Fluxus founder George Maciunas to resolve housing shortages, Fluxhouse™ is a mass-produced design which can be made from plastic or other abundantly available materials intended for factory production, is resistant to deterioration and pests, and resistant to hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods. As many New Yorkers have just experienced in the face of Hurricane Sandy, damage or loss of living spaces can be devastating. The goal of foundation is to realize George Maciunas’ vision to improve living conditions in the United States and around the world by reconsidering how an eco-friendly mass building system can provide the greatest impact with the least cost.
George Maciunas was awarded with architectural degrees from Cooper Union (1952) and Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Institute of Technology (1954). After graduating, he worked for several major firms, including Skidmore, Owing and Merrill (1955-57), the highly regarded designers Knoll Associates (1960-61) (interior design, interior graphics, exhibits, displays, structures), and Olin Mathieson (1957-1960) (R&D Aluminum div product development and design) where he is credited with the invention of a structural framework useful in construction of prefabricated buildings using extruded aluminum beams and columns. Furthermore, George Maciunas received a patent for the innovative modular building system in 1961. Maciunas Prefabricated Building System design was completed and copyrighted in 1965 as an invention which can be used to build a single family house, highrise building, or an entire city (Fluxcity™).
George Maciunas/Fluxus Foundation Inc. is committed to fostering Fluxus scholarship in research, theory, and practice, cultivating Maciunas’ ideas into practical contemporary applications, sponsoring Fluxus related exhibitions, and protecting the Maciunas name in a manner respectful of his original mission. The foundation aims to facilitate greater access to information and materials about Maciunas while ensuring intellectual property and copyright protection. George Maciunas Foundation Inc. pledges to pay tribute and revitalize the legacy of an innovative artist who worked with great principle and dedication to constructing a more equitable and creative way of life for all.
Founded by Harry Stendhal in 2009, George Maciunas Foundation Inc. has been active since November 2011.