Eccentric Artist and Seminal Influence


  • Stephen Elliot Wilmer



Maciunas, Fluxus, avant-garde, performance, music, conceptual art, Scandinavia, Lithuania


Fluxus was an inspirational movement based in New York in the 1960s that consisted of a group of more than fifty loosely connected artists from various disciplines, who made significant experiments to develop music, conceptual art, visual art, performance art, video, and film. They participated in eclectic concerts, media, performative events, and installations in the USA and Europe. In this paper, I want to examine how George Maciunas, a Lithuanian exile and its nominal organiser, had a seminal influence on avant-garde art in America and Europe and, despite avowing an open attitude towards what could be art, he also enforced draconian ideas about what could be included and what could not. In particular I want to emphasize his influence in Scandinavia because most of the literature on Fluxus has focused on his work in the USA and Germany.


Andersen, Eric. “What is…?”,

The Avant Garde from Futurism to Fluxus, Jonas Mekas Visual Art Centre, 2007.

Bernstein, Roslyn and Shael Shapiro, eds., Illegal Living. Vilnius: Jonas Mekas Foundation, 2010.

Friedman, Ken. “Fluxus and Company,” in The Fluxus Reader, ed. Ken Friedman, Academy Editions, Chichester, West Sussex, 1998.

Friedman, Ken. “The Case for Bengt af Klintberg”, Performance Research, vol. 11, 2006, pp. 137-144.

Julie Henault, “From America to Lithuania: The Fortunes of the Development of the

Fluxus Movement in a Post-Communist Country”, maitrise, 2005.

Hendricks, J. ed. Fluxus etc. Addenda 1 (catalogue), INK., New York, 1983

Kellein, Thomas. The Dream of Fluxus, Edition Hansjörg Mayer, London and Bangkok, 2007.

Klintberg, Bengt af, ed., Svensk Fluxus/ Swedish Fluxus. Rönnells Antikvariat: 2006.

Klintberg, Bengt af, “Fluxus Games and Contemporary Folklore: on the Non-Individual

Character of Fluxus Art”,

Landsbergis, Vytautas interview by Petra Stegmann, curator, Fluxus East. Berlin: Künstlerhaus, Bethanien,2007.

Øram, Tania and Jesper Olsson, A Cultural History of the Avant-Garde in the Nordic Countries 1950-1975. Leiden: Brill/Rodopi, Leiden, 2016.

Smith, Owen. “Developing a Fluxable Forum: Early Performance and Publishing” in The Fluxus Reader, ed. Ken Friedman, Academy Editions, Chicester, West Sussex, 1998.

Rothfuss, Joan. Topless Cellist: The Improbable Life of Charlotte Moorman. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 2014.

Trilupaityte, Skaidra “Guggenheim’s global travel and the appropriation of a national avant-garde for cultural planning in Vilnius”, International Journal of Cultural Policy Vol. 15, No. 1, February 2009, pp. 123–138.

Stegmann, Petra ed., “The Lunatics are on the Loose…”: European Fluxus Festivals 1962-1977. Potsdam: DOWN WITH ART!, 2013.

Stegmann, Petra, curator. Fluxus East. Berlin: Künstlerhaus Bethanien, 2007.

Williams, Emmett and Ann Noel (eds) Mr. Fluxus. A Collective Portrait of George Maciunas 1931-1978. London: Thames and Hudson, Ltd., 1997.




How to Cite

Wilmer, S. E. . (2022). Maciunas : Eccentric Artist and Seminal Influence. Nordic Theatre Studies, 33(1), 11–23.