THE FUTURE IS NOW
Nam June Paik
ArtistGeorge Maciunas and Dick Higgins
Offset print on paper
28 × 21.5 cm
Collection of Peter Wenzel, Germany
Image © George Maciunas
American artist George Maciunas first met Nam June Paik in Europe while he was organising and performing Fluxus actions in 1961/62. Along with Dick Higgins, Alison Knowles, Emmett Williams, Ben Patterson, and other artists, they performed various action-music pieces and happenings at the Fluxus Internationale Festspiele Neuester Music (Fluxus International Festival of Newest Music) in September 1962 in Wiesbaden, West Germany. This festival unfolded over four weekends and is often credited as a foundational moment for Fluxus, an international collective of radically experimental artists.
After Maciunas published the Fluxus Manifesto in 1963, the group went on to create a wealth of newsletters and mailings, distributing them to Fluxus artists and potential clients. These included close-up photographs of members, including this 1964 offset print of Paik with a cheeky expression, capturing his playful and subversive nature. 1964 also marks the year that Paik first arrived in New York, where he encountered the American cellist Charlotte Moorman. Their longstanding collaboration resulted in numerous internationally renowned performances, including Robot Opera and TV Cello.