The First Ever Flux-Olympiad at the Tate Modern
In honor of the Olympics this summer, we bring you this amusing tidbit, The Flux-Olympiad. Founding Fluxus artist George Maciunas (1931 "" 1978) conceived the idea of a Flux-Olympiad in the 1960s but this event was never realized until Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall housed the first ever Flux-Olympiad, a series of flux-sports events over the three-day arts festival on the 23-26 May, 2008. Artist, sportsman and Fluxus expert Tom Russotti commentated on the Fluxxus Olympiad for the Tate Modern’s podcast.
The Flux-Olympiad was first conceived of by George Macunias in the 1960s but never realised. It’s a series of games, team games, races, that all have been created by Fluxus artists. And all trying to in some way invert or subvert the traditional notion of a competitive sporting event. So whether it’s the Stilt Soccer events where contestants are asked to attempt an almost impossible goal of playing Soccer on stilts, or the flipper race where people run down the track with flippers on "" all these events end up having a comical presence that plays with the performative aspects of sports.
Both Flux-athletes and visitors were able to take part in a wide range of flux-sports including soccer games played on stilts, obstacle shoe races, slow speed bicycle races and the balloon shotput. Fluxus was network of international artists who collaborated in Europe, the United States and Japan from the 1960s and 1970s. It explored ideas around performance, interaction, collective activity and experimentation. Reviving the spirit of Dada, and influenced by composer John Cage, Fluxus uses humour as well as Zen philosophy to blur the boundary between art and everyday life. Fluxfests where multiple events were staged embodied these ideas and were a key element of Fluxus. [ Source: Bernie DeKoven’s FunSmith ]