Monday, October 20, 2014


In 1966, Fluxus artist George Maciunas bought 16 Greene Street (and later 80 Wooster Street) in the SoHo District of Manhattan, then called "Hell's Hundred Acres".
The lofts were renovated into living / art spaces to be shared at $1 per square foot, and the collective was soon dubbed "The Fluxhouse Cooperative".

Artists of note that had once lived in Fluxhouse include Martha Moses, Bob Wiegand, and Jonas Mekas (who was supposed to open a cinema on the first floor, but never did).

Maciunas had intended to, both, stop Robert Moses' plan to build the Lower Manhattan Expressway, which succeeded, as well as create what he called "Fluxcity" (a small city full of artists), which did not, because in 1975 George was accosted by loan sharks who broke his ribs and blinded him in one eye, ceasing his attempts to buy more property.
In 1992, The New York Times bestowed George Maciunas with the title "the Godfather of SoHo".

Though this is a post about a Fluxus artist, if you are still looking for something to do in the SoHo area (besides high priced shopping), head a few blocks over to check out Walter De Maria's 1977 art installation, Earth Room. Located at Dia Art Foundation on 141 Wooster Street, the work is 197 cubic meters of moist soil, in 335 square meters of floor space, which weighs in at 127,000 kilos.
Though De Maria, had previously set up this installation in Munich, and Darmstadt, Germany, the only one that remains is the SoHo piece.
Also in the area is Walter De Maria's lesser-known work, The Broken Kilometer, from 1979, at 393 West Broadway, and also run by Dia Art Foundation, which is one kilometer of solid brass rods, broken up into five parallel rows of 100 rods each.
Normally, you'd see a picture I've taken of either room below, but I respected the Foundation's "no photo" policy.