{ Celebrating Art’s Birthday } Question, Experiment, Observe, Create & Imagine …*

Robert Filliou lighting the cake at Art’s 1,000,010th Birthday Celebration, Aachen 1973. Photo: Neue Galerie, Stadt im alten Kurhaus, Aachen (scanned from – Robert Filliou: From Political to Poetical Economy, Morris and Helen Belkin Gallery, Vancouver, 1995, ISBN 0-88865-308-5).

Today, January 17th, is Art’s birthday! No, not your great uncle Arthur, but ART–that unquenchable human need to create, question, experiment, reframe, imagine and dive in all colors of feeling tones.

“It all started the 17th of January, one million years ago. A man took a dry sponge and dropped it into a bucket full of water. Who that man was is not important. He’s dead but Art is alive. I mean, let’s keep names out of this.” 

Art’s birthday was first proposed by French Fluxus artist, Robert Filliou in 1963. Filliou suggested that 1,000,000 years ago, there was no Art. But one day, on the 17th of January (which is also Filliou’s birthday), Art was born. According to Filliou, it happened when someone dropped a dry sponge into a bucket of water.

So gather your friends, grab some pencils, napkins, the wire and cork off a champagne bottle, make something and listen to a recording of Filliou reciting his 1963 poem/lecture, Whispered History of Art. You can also head over to artsbirthday.net for more background information on the holiday and to peruse a list of global network events taking place between January 15 and 19, 2014 to celebrate Art’s birthday.

How will you celebrate? What will you create? Send us some pictures!

party & rethink …*

“The 17th of December, one year ago, a man took a dry sponge and dropped it into a bucket full of water. Who that man was is not important. He will die soon but Art is alive. I mean, let’s keep names out of this. As I was saying, a 17th of December, one year ago, a man took a dry sponge and dropped it into a bucket full of water. He waited 5 seconds, then he took the sponge out, he pressed it, he saw–nevermind what he saw. I’m not trying to conclude, not trying to conclude alone is important.” Whispered History of Art, Robert Filliou (1963)

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