Quote of the Week: The Law of Fluxus

Kyle Gann locates some cognitive dissonance between the communal art production of Fluxus, and the rigors of copyright law:

    The situation is absurd, somebody under whatever questionable chemical influences scrawls seven words on a piece of paper and 50 years later I can’t refer to that piece of paper without paying someone some money and following their prescriptions.

The gist of the situation is that Gann’s book on John Cage is being held up. Why? He explains, “[Y]ou are no longer allowed to quote texts that are entire pieces of art. This means I’ve been trying to get permission simply to refer to Fluxus pieces like La Monte Young‘s ‘This piece is little whirlpools in the middle of the ocean,’ and Yoko Ono‘s ‘Listen to the sound of the earth turning.’ And of course, Yoko (whom I used to know) isn’t responding, and La Monte is imposing so many requirements and restrictions that I would have to add a new chapter to the book, and so in frustration well past the eleventh hour, I’ve excised the pieces from the text.”

Full entry at artsjournal.com/postclassic.

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