The Sticker Dude’s Flux Bucks


Fluxus Bucks, for those unfamiliar with the name, was a project started by Julie Paquette (also nicknamed Ex Post Facto, Anne Maybe, Nobody's Wife!, and other nom de plumes) from Garland, Texas, USA in 1994. She started with the idea that the project should somehow show the changes in the world around us.
Then came the call:

"Artists, tired of worrying about money?
Request any amount--it will be filled in Fluxus Bucks.
An ongoing project--documentationand bucks to all."

To date many thousands of Fluxus Bucks have been produced and circulated.

The Fluxus movement itself is a "hard-to-define" art movement that started in the 1960's. As one of it's founders, Ken Friedman has said it is "an elusive philosophy made real by the fact that real artists engaged one another and the world in real acts under the name Fluxus."

Fluxus is about the re-perception of actions, objects or feelings found in everyday life. It's strength is in its simplicity combined with its irreverent humor.

Fluxus took the phenomenon of correspondence art, started by Ray Johnson and the New York Correspondence School as a relatively private exchange of art, and exploded it outward, giving birth to a vast and constantly growing network of mail artists.

More historic background has been provided by friend and fellow mail Artist, Vittore Baroni, who points out – "that the creative fakes of dollar bills have a history of their own, starting much earlier than Julie Paquette's project. You are sure aware of Monopoly-like board-games play money and of the "hell money" you are supposed to burn for good luck, I think these kinds of playful money also have a place in our familiarity with bogus banknotes, but surely for a modern or contemporary artist to play with the concept that "art is money" takes on immediately heavy (ironic) reverberations. Pop artists like Roy Lichtenstein (Ten Dollar Bill, 1956) and Andy Warhol (Printed Dollar Bill, 1962) painted their own version of the money icon, but Fluxus-related artists like Ray Johnson and Robert Watts went a step further: Johnson made several "one dollar bills" exhibitions, integrating sometimes real banknotes in his collages, while Watts printed in 1962 realistic drawn replicas of dollar bills on paper (much like the Ragged Edge 50s below) that were conceived to be given away free in great quantities "to devalue art and money at the same time" (but years later these same bills were assembled in packs inside wooden boxes and sold as "sculptures"!). Please note that the Fluxus money was NOT called FLUXUS BUCKS or whatever, this is an homage idea from Julie Paquette, the Watts pieces were called "Dollar Bill (1962)" and "Dollar Bills in Wood Chest (1975)" and the banknotes read "one dollar-United States of America", they were in fact realistic sketched drawn renditions of the actual dollar bill, with no changes in text, in true Fluxus fashion appropriating real life: you can see one reproduced on page 534 of the huge Fluxus Codex book (Abrams, NY, 1988)."

I should also mention that it was an e-mail from Vittore Baroni about Fluxus Bucks that inspired Tom Kerr and myself to produce our own "Flux Bucks 50."

– The Dude

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