Home » ARTSY FARTSY » JEAN SHEPHERD Kid Stories April Fooled & (79) ARTSY–Flux Paper Events

JEAN SHEPHERD Kid Stories April Fooled & (79) ARTSY–Flux Paper Events


Erotic desires consisted mainly of looking at magazines in George’s Bowling Alley where they had the magazine rack, and once in a while George would belt you on the back of the neck:  “You are not supposed to be looking at Spicy Detective.”  That’s about all it was.  Not much more than that.

But Patty represented the unattainable.  She represented, among other things, the outside world.  What was the outside world?  It was the world where people went on sleighing parties.  We heard rumors that Patty went on sleighing parties.  Or Patty Remaley spent the summer at a place called “The Lake.”  We spent the summer in the alley back of Schwartz’s house.  She was always going to a place called “The Camp.”  And we would hear that Patty Remaley would spend two weeks in a place called “Maine.”  So this was another scene entirely from out daily, grubby life.

And to get a note from Patty Remaley saying that Patty Remaley can’t stand the fantastic pangs of love because of how you wear your red corduroy cap.  Man!  At first I didn’t believe it.  Aw, come on!  Oh, gee!  But such is the drive of desire, such is the ability of mankind to rationalize the obvious, ridiculous plight that he’s in, my first impression of “That’s ridiculous” ceases.  Then I say, “Why not?  Maybe it’s true!”  And I’m breaking out in a cold sweat right in the middle of arithmetic class.

Patty is sitting up there, a nimbus of hair drifting, and that beautiful sunlight coming in through the venetian blinds.  And my thoughts, of course, ran to this kind of thing:  “Oh, Patty, why didn’t you tell me?  Why have we kept this a secret so long?  Why have you allowed me to play footsy and hanky panky with Esther Jane Albery for so long?  Me and Esther Jane—there’s nothing between us.  Nothing really except once in a while we throw rocks at each other and that’s about all!  Why have you allowed this charade to go on, Patty Remaley, when true love could have been consummated, or at least something?  We could have, you know—we could have made Flick mad by walking home together.  Or something.”

I didn’t know exactly, you know—what love means.  It’s a thing kids write on notes and stuff like that.  But I can tell you this—that was the first time that I spontaneously broke into a multi-faceted sweat.



artsyfratsy 10010


by George Maciunas

fluxus-cover-2            *    *    *    *    *    *            

I’ve hesitated to display this book because, after all the wonderful artists’ books I own, have shown, and am aware of, this work, in its absurd simplicity, is the most difficult one to suggest as an object of serious attention. Yet, do I dare suggest, its reason for being is to promote both a Zen-like response and deep thought? It is, I believe, an “event” for contemplation. In the wide and multifaceted world of art, it is an adjunct that usually aggravates me: it is “conceptual art.”

More than meets the eye.

All that meets the eye.

It annoys, it tickles, it is a mind game: it is Fluxus.


George Maciunas was one of the founding members of the Fluxus movement (considered the most important member), which included luminaries such as Yoko Ono and others of high regard among the rarified conceptual, artsy worlds of “happenings” and related matters. I know virtually nothing about the movement, other than: having attended in SOHO, New York, one of its happenings; traveled to a Long Island estate for a major happening; and bought, for a couple of dollars, a minor multiple-work by one of its major proponents in the 1960s. Out of pure, adulterated curiosity, I saw the 1988 Museum of Modern Art’s Fluxus exhibit and even bought the catalog, which begins:

Fluxus has been described as “the most radical and experimental art movement of the sixties” (Harry Ruhe), and at the same time as “a wildgoose chase into the zone of everything ephemeral” (Henry Martin).

Johanna Drucker, a highly regarded professional theorist in the artists’ book field, whose writings are complex and usually, for me, largely inscrutable, is quoted as stating about Fluxus works: “making the audience member a performer through the structure of the piece. One does not ‘read’ this work, but enacts it.” That seems a good starting point, as is a diagram by Fluxus, of its field and inhabitants:




When I picked up this Flux Paper Events, a 16-page stapled thing in an artists’ book store decades ago, seeing it as being about (almost) nothing, I think I got some clue regarding it almost immediately—so I bought it, for what I remember as $1.50. I think it is an intellectual exercise in bringing us book-people back to the essence of first things. Superficial blankness as a lesson in one-ness, at making us really explore that which we take for granted. Delving deeply into some of what and how we make use of paper by exploring some of what can be done with it besides printing ink on it.

Every page is different.

Making manifest the simplest things.






All pages have the clipped corner and small, round, punched hole below. Among other pages: folded; wrinkled; two pages glued together so that the reverse side with its glue stains through them as an object for thought (Thought those pages were blank and opaque, didn’t you?); a page with a vertical row of tiny pinholes; three pages stapled together so we are aware of staple-fronts, staple-backs, staple rust, and indentations impressed on adjacent and otherwise innocent pages.

Unfortunately (not adequately scan-able), pages such as that with

the pinholes, don’t accommodate reproduction.

No words, no colors.

Only thought and wit.




(The varied colors of “white” above are caused by the images

having been drawn from different Internet sources.)




I smile and I think.

What more is there to show













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