The official date of this annual happening is Jan. 17. But with that falling on a Sunday this year, Neutral Ground is hosting a party on Saturday Jan. 16.
The party is in celebration of the presence of art in our lives. The idea dates back to 1963, and was the creation of French Fluxus artist Robert Filliou. As a movement, Fluxus blended a variety of art media and generally sought to fuck with people’s heads by subverting conventional ideas of what art was all about.
Filliou’s rationale for establishing an official birthday for art was very much in the Fluxus tradition (he suggested that a million years ago there was no art. But one day, art was born when someone dropped a dry sponge in a bucket of water, and he proposed an official holiday to celebrate).
The date Filliou put forward, Jan. 17, just happened to be his birthday. The first official celebration was held in Auchen, Germany and Paris in 1973, and the celebration has since spread around the world.
Neutral Ground’s party goes Jan. 16 at 8 p.m. You can find more details on the Neutral Ground website but highlights include audio performances by Pulsewidth, Garry Wasyliw, Guidewire and Homo Monstrous, along with ideo by VJ Colby and VJ ianc, and media artworks by Eric Hill.