Fluxus East

Fluxus Networks in Central Eastern Europe

Henie Onstad Kunstsenter | Sonja Henies vei 31 | 1311 Høvikodden | 28 October 2010 – 27 February 2011 (preliminary dates)

Ben(jamin) Patterson

1934, born in Pittsburgh, USA
Lives in Wiesbaden

From 1952-1956, Patterson studied music at the University of Michigan. For some time after this, he played double bass in various symphony orchestras; in 1960, he moved to Cologne, where he played an active part in the music scene associated with Mary Bauermeister’s studio. During this time, he wrote pieces for the double bass such as Paper Piece and Variations for Double Bass, which became Fluxus classics and were often performed at Fluxus festivals. In 1961, together with Robert Filliou, Patterson exhibited his Puzzle Poems in Paris. He returned to the USA in 1963, where he worked as a librarian initially. Patterson continued to play an active part in Fluxus until 1967, participating in numerous concerts and performances. From 1967 to 1988, he withdrew from the art world to lead a normal life. During this period, he worked as a manager and director of various cultural institutions. He took up his art work again in 1988 with an exhibition of assemblages in the Emily Harvey Gallery in New York; since then, he has taken part in numerous exhibitions and performances.

In 2004, Patterson realised the dream that George Maciunas had fostered 40 years earlier; a performance-​journey through the (at that time) USSR. To mark his 70th birthday, he travelled on the Trans-Siberian Railway through Russia, Mongolia and China as far as Japan, with various interim stops and performances.

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