PNCA Press Center

Fluxus with Tools at PNCA

Release date: 10/09/12

October 8, 2012

Lisa Radon, Communications Specialist 971-255-5528

Becca Biggs, Director of Communications 971-255-5511

Fluxus with Tools at PNCA
Alison Knowles and Hannah Higgins in rare West Coast performance

PORTLAND, 0R – OCTOBER 8, 2012 – Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) has invited celebrated Fluxus artist Alison Knowles and her daughter, art historian Hannah Higgins, to present their performance lecture, Fluxus with Tools, on November 8, 2012 at 6:30 pm. This event is presented in conjunction with the ongoing exhibition, Happy Birthday: A Celebration of Chance and Listening, curated by Mack McFarland for the Feldman Gallery + Project Space to celebrate what would have been John Cage’s 100th birthday. The exhibition features work by Cage and Knowles, among many other artists.

Alison Knowles is a founding member of Fluxus, an international network of artists greatly influenced by ideas generated in Experimental Composition, a class taught by John Cage at the New School for Social Research in New York in the late 50s. Over the years, Knowles’ association with Cage included such varied activities as joining the New York Mycological Society with Cage and Dick Higgins, hunting wild mushrooms in New York City, and a decade later, designing and co-editing Cage’s book of visual music scores, Notations.

Author and academic, Hannah Higgins, is the daughter of Knowles and Fluxus artist Dick Higgins. She has published a history of Fluxus, Fluxus Experience, and in 2009, The Grid Book with MIT Press.

Fluxus with Tools is a lecture demonstration Knowles and Higgins developed in response to the fact that they were frequently invited to appear at the same conference or art opening on different days, one for scholars and another for artists. So they created this intervention in the form of a lecture performance that combines the functions of both. By actively performing the minimalist Events associated with Fluxus within the context of a scholarly lecture on the events and cross-modal experiences, Fluxus with Tools poses questions about where scholarship and artistic practices overlap and don’t and about the sensory limitations of the standard art history lecture format both in the classroom and professional lecture setting.

Fluxus with Tools is co-presented by the Feldman Gallery + Project Space, the MA in Critical Theory and Creative Research, the Intermedia Department, and Museum of Contemporary Craft. The Feldman Gallery + Project Space exhibition, Happy Birthday: A Celebration of Chance and Listening, is part of a series of exhibitions supported by a grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

As Oregon’s flagship college of art and design since 1909, Pacific Northwest College of Art has helped shape Oregon’s visual arts landscape for more than a century. PNCA students study with award-winning faculty in small classes. In the last seven years, PNCA has doubled both the student body and full-time faculty, quadrupled the endowment, and added innovative undergraduate and graduate programs. PNCA is now embarking on our boldest venture yet by establishing the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design as an anchor for the College’s vision of a new campus home on Portland’s North Park Blocks. Focusing on the transformative power of creativity, the capital campaign, Creativity Works Here, was launched in June 2012 with a lead gift from The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation of $5 million. PNCA’s new home will be a bustling hub for creativity and entrepreneurship, reflecting the influential role of art and design in our 21st century economy – both in Portland and beyond. For more information, visit

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