Fluxus, a loose international group of artists, poets, and musicians whose only shared impulse was to integrate life into art through the use of found events, sounds, and materials, thereby bringing about social and economic change in the art world.Britannica online 2022-11-11 – external link
A declared goal of Artsurprise’s art has always been to break new ground in art production, distribution and reception. Art has always been successful when it has taken those interested in art out of their passive role of looking at completed artworks into a situation in which they themselves are part of what is happening and the actual artwork is only created through their reaction.
The social sculpture in the sense of Beuys combined with the will, analogous to Warhol, to create multiples in the factory (here CASAdelDRAGON), which offers space and occasion for the interaction and creation of the actual social sculpture, requires the artist to step back and act in the role of the enabler of a social creative experience.
After three intensive years (2019 – 2022) of the deconstruction of Western societies, the hunger for social interaction is becoming increasingly clear and it is necessary to create humane, meaningful, sustainable and philanthropic events that allow this social interaction, that do not exclude but integrate, that do not discredit but invite for a dialogue, that do not divide but connect.
In 2017, people from Mexico, the Netherlands, Germany, France and Spain came together in the CASAdelDRAGON. For some of them, art was the occasion – for others it was gardening, education, recreation, and for some it was searching for love.
On a sunny afternoon, a large collage was created in a collaborative process, with lots of fun and lively conversations about living together in a community in the Maestrazgo mountains.
The collage was intended to be an expression of this coexistence and paper artifacts were collected throughout the house. The work then remained in the gallery’s storage room for several years.
In 2022 it became the connecting element of the FLUX:US mail art project. First the collage was cut into segments and some of the pieces were then attached to 120 small wooden plates. Other segments were divided and packed into 120 small plastic bags.
At the same time, many Mail Art artists from the IUOMA network were invited to take part in the project. They sent material for collages to the dragon’s house. This material was also divided into 120 small stacks of paper.
The whole material was published as part of the international art project ARTSURPRISE.
Mail Art is an old form of art mediation. Emerging from the turmoil in Europe after World War I, famous artists discovered the communication medium letter service / post to send each other works of art. These works sometimes contained obvious or cryptic criticism of existing political systems and developments. In particular, the role of technology in the hands of the elite was discussed at the time.
In addition to transporting the art, and thus also the ideas, the letters often contained personal information and invitations to join contemporary art events, exclusively for the small circle of recipients.
Currents such as Dada, Fluxus and many varieties of Modern art have emerged from this melting pot of ideas in Europe. Many gloomy forebodings about the coming dark age for Europe were already recognizable in the works.
The Mail Art movement has survived as an art form to this day. Even if – motivated by the elites – the transport of mail is becoming increasingly insecure, these informal networks still exist today.
They also live from the charm of experiencing analogue appreciation in digital times.
The series FLUX:US is a social sculpture within the social sculpture ARTSURPRISE.
Anyone who can call one of the coveted black boxes her/his own, has the chance to become part of this social sculpture.