(Video Pool Media Arts Center)
Art turns 1,000,049 today, and Video Pool is throwing a birthday bash.
That wonderfully arbitrary birth date for art comes from French-born Fluxus artist Robert Filliou. Back on January 17th, 1963, he decided that art had been born 1,000,000 years before, when someone dropped a dry sponge in a bucket of water. By the '70s, artists around the world started marking the date with parties, poetry, music, art and lots of miscellaneous creative craziness.
Here in Winnipeg, Video Pool has planned Lite Nite, a round of fun, feel-good events running from 6:00 p.m. to midnight at aceart's wide-open gallery space. There will be workshops, including a Lite-Brite free-for-all, with a 3x3-metre wall devoted to the much-loved '60s kids' toy. There will be light-themed video work by Video Pool members, a screening of the Winnipeg Film Group's popular One Take Super 8 event, and several performances, including a collaboration between DJ Hunnicutt and Jaymez.
And there will be cupcakes.
Video Pool programming intern Lindsey Bond emphasizes that everybody -- not just artists -- is encouraged to come down and celebrate.
Founded in 1960s counter-culture, Fluxus is a happy, welcoming art movement, with Utopian yearnings, a DIY aesthetic and a playful sense of humour. Embracing change and resisting rigid categories of any kind, Fluxus aims to dissolve the boundary between art and life through constant creativity.
The Fluxus movement has always emphasized collaboration and connection. Back in the 1960s that often meant mail art - little art works sent on postcards or in letters. These days it means the Internet. The Winnipeg event is part of a global network, so Lite Nite will be offering a live video stream from Kunstradio in Vienna and taking advice on party-hat construction from Austrian artist Ward Weis.
It should all make for a great party -- and a good reminder of the value of art in our everyday life. As Filliou once wrote, "Art is what makes life more interesting than art."