Scope and Content of Collection
Friedman, Ken, 1949-
Title: Ken Friedman Collection,
Date (inclusive): 1964 - 1971
7.80 linear feet
(9 archives boxes and 31 oversize folders)
Abstract: Correspondence, manuscripts, conceptual and mail art work, and ephemera documenting Ken Friedman's affiliation with Fluxus
art movement spearheaded by George Maciunas. The collection includes examples of Friedman's Fluxus offset press, art work
of other Fluxus artists, publications by Aktual, and examples of work by the Cleveland poet d.a. levy. Significant correspondents
include George Brecht, John Cage, Dick Higgins, Ray Johnson, Milan Knizak, d.a. levy, George Maciunas, Jerry Rubin, and Paul
The collection is arranged in five series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE, 2) WRITINGS, 3) COLLABORATIONS, 4) FLUXUS, and 5) D.A. LEVY.
University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
La Jolla, California 92093-0175
Collection number: MSS 0128
Language of Material:
Collection materials in English
Collection is open for research.
Ken Friedman Collection, MSS 0128. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Kenneth S. Friedman (born September 19, 1949- ) attended Shimer College (1966-1967) where he studied music theory and composition
with Richard Maxfield. He later received an MS from San Francisco State University in 1971 and, after that a Ph.D. from the
Graduate School of Human Behavior at U.S. International University in 1976. From 1967-1968, he was an instructor at San Francisco
State College Experimental College, where he taught course in the literature of surrealism, the avant-garde, and expanded
Ken Friedman experimented with many forms of conceptual art during the period covered by the collection, from the graphic
and concrete arts to music, writing and performance. While at Shimer College, Friedman directed an "underground" radio program,
"Garnisht Kigele." Later, he edited ephemeral magazines as a member of the Underground Press Syndicate and became Editor-in
Chief of Fluxus West Publications and General Manager of Something Else Press. Friedman founded Fluxus West in 1966 shortly
after becoming acquainted with George Maciunas and other members of the New York Fluxus coterie.
George Maciunas was the first person to use the term "Fluxus." In 1961, he sent out an invitation for an exhibition at the
AG Gallery, noting on the invitation that the $3.00 cover charge was to be used for publishing FLUXUS magazine. The term
came to designate an attitude toward art best exemplied in the work of Marcel Duchamp, the Dadaists, and John Cage. Indeed,
many of the participants in the movement during the 1960s had personally studied with Cage or one of his disciples such as
Richard Maxfield. Artistic values championed by principal Fluxus artists such as Friedman, Dick Higgins, George Brecht,
and Yoko Ono, included spontaneity and indeterminacy.
Besides Fluxus, Friedman also participated in Aktual and the New York Correspondence School, two other conceptual art movements
occuring during the time represented by the collection. Since the date of the collection, Friedman's work has appeared in
a number of exhibitions, and he has received commissions from the Joslyn Art Museum, the Western Museum Association, and the
University of Tulsa.
Scope and Content of Collection
The bulk of the materials in the Ken Friedman Collection date from 1967 to 1970 -- for Friedman, a period of expansive production
of Fluxus materials and a continuing commitment to Happenings / events, collaborations, and the Unitarian Universalist Church
and its affiliate organizations of Free Religious Youth (FRY) and Liberal Religious Youth (LRY). The collection best documents
graphic design of the period (with many examples from Friedman's Fluxus offset press), works of the Fluxus group and publications
by Aktual. Numerous scenarios, musical compositions, prose and poetry works are also included. Another interesting facet of
the collection are the works and correspondence by poet d.a. levy and New York Correspondence School founder Ray Johnson.
The papers are organized into five series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE, 2) WRITINGS, 3) COLLABORATIONS, 4) FLUXUS, and 5) D.A. LEVY.
Series One: Correspondence
The CORRESPONDENCE series arranges Friedman's communications alphabetically, with incoming and outgoing correspondence filed
together. The correspondence has been segregated by author and arranged in chronological order when materials are dated. Of
particular interest is the correspondence Friedman conducted with George Brecht, John Cage, Dick Higgins, Ray Johnson, Milan
Knizák, d.a. levy, George Maciunas, Jerry Rubin, and Paul Sharits.
Series Two: Writings
The WRITINGS are organized in five subseries, each organized alphabetically by title: MISCELLANEOUS DOCUMENTS, COMPOSITIONS
/ MUSIC, SERMONS, FRY/LRY, and EDUCATION ESSAYS . The folders contain holograph manuscripts, typescripts, carbons and photo
reproductions of Friedman' s productions from college writings of 1966 through Fluxus works of 1971. Of particular interest
are numerous scenarios for Happenings, Fluxus events, and musical scores. Many examples of lyrics, sermons, prose works and
poetry are represented, as well as the short novel: "O.K. Joe Sonata."
Series Three: Collaborations
This series is arranged in six subseries: MISCELLANEOUS (General, Catalogues, Events, Happenings), AKTUAL, GARNISHT KIGELE,
SURREALIST RESEARCH BUREAU, and COLLECTED WORKS, with each subseries alphabetically arranged. Numerous Fluxus related works
are evidenced in Series Three, with examples of offset posters, Aktual mimeograph books, a Radio Play by Dick Higgins for
Garnisht Kigele titled: "Die Fabelhafte Geträume von Taifun Willi," and an edition of Alan Kaprow's "Days Off."
Series Four: Fluxus
Work in this series is arranged into two subseries: FLUXUS WEST / UPS and COLLECTED WORK. The subseries are alphabetically
arranged. When titles are unavailable, offset graphic works are arranged by Friedman's numbering system, e.g. KF#31. This
series contains an important holding of Fluxus Posters and broadsheets gathered or produced from 1964 - 1971, with numerous
examples of oversized graphics produced by Friedman and other Fluxus principals including: "Spatial Poem No. 2", by Meiko
(Chieko) Shiomi (1965); "Communist Must Give Revolutionary Leadership" by Henry Flynt and George Maciunas (1965); "Fluxpost
17-17", postage stamps by Robert Watts (1964).
Series Five: d.a. levy Works
This series contains Friedman's collection of d.a.levy's small press works. Several drawings and silkscreen works are contained
in the series, along with single leaf mimeo sheets, limited editions, and documentation of levy's criminal prosecution for
A number of items have been separated from the collection and cataloged individually for the Library's Rare or Archive For
New Poetry Monograph collections.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Friedman, Ken, 1949- -- Archives
Levy, D.A. -- Archives
Fugs (Musical group)
Liberal Religious Youth
Free Religious Youth
Art, Modern -- 20th century
Fluxus (Group of artists)
Brecht, George -- correspondent
Cage, John -- correspondent
Higgins, Dick, 1938- -- correspondent
Johnson, Ray, 1927- -- correspondent
Kaprow, Allan, -- correspondent
Knizak, Milan, -- correspondent
Knowles, Alison, -- correspondent
Levy, D.A. -- correspondent
Maciunas, George, 1931-1978, -- correspondent
Rubin, Jerry -- correspondent
Sharits, Paul -- correspondent
Sohm, H. -- correspondent
Spoerri, Daniel, 1930- -- correspondent
Williams, Emmett, 1930- -- correspondent