Another object, performance & back story from

Sculpture, Performance-Demolition, Sculpture


(Before) Performance (After)

DANGER MUSIC 2008 - The Sculpture (Before)

DANGER MUSIC 2008 - The Performance
for Dick Higgins and Ronald Bukoff
I'm a big fan of small fireworks and Saint Sparky. This summer I have made a couple of objects involving fireworks--a necklace and a 3-D collage. I created the metal-cube fireworks sculpture you see above with the intention of detonating it--I wired in almost 30 different fireworks and arranged them so that they would--hopefully--set each other off. I planned to videotape the detonation as a "performance."

While working on this project:

  1. I decided to call it "Danger Music 2008" in honor of Dick Higgins, one of my art heroes who created and performed a number of "musical" compositions called "Danger Music."
  2. I decided that I would dedicate the performance to my musical college-professor cousin, Ron Bukoff, who unexpectedly died recently after minor surgery.
The performance went well (see the video). I'd like to imagine that both men would have been pleased (or at least amused).
Dick Higgins Ronald Bukoff
Photograph of Dick Higgins I took at a Fluxus dinner and rehearsal at Emily Harvey Gallery in New York in 1998. Photograph of Ron Bukoff I took at a family reunion on the Lelenau Penninsula, Michigan, in 2007.
Dick Higgins is one of the great intellectual avant-garde artists of the 20th century--really HUGE--and someone that most people have never heard of. I first met Dick Higgins at a Fluxus event in Columbus, Ohio, in 1994, and had various interactions with him after that until he died, suddenly, in 1998. Please use the links below to learn more about this amazing creative force--one of the founders of the Fluxus art movement/group. One of Dick Higgins performances that I have always liked is called "Danger Music no. 17." The script for this musical performance is as follows: "Scream! Scream! Scream! Scream! Scream! Scream!" You can hear an audio recording of one of his performances of this piece by clicking here. Dick Higgins did many different things under the "Danger Music" banner (and "Danger Music" is only a small drop in the bucket of his amazing oeuvre). I am very pleased to connect my fireworks sculpture (which looks and sounds dangerous) to Dick Higgins and this work.

Additional references to learn about Dick Higgins:

    A wonderful collection of descriptions of Dick Higgins and his impact on art and culture here.

Dr. Ronald Bukoff was a professor at the arts-oriented Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana, where he died at the age of 53 on July 8, 2008. He was a popular music professor, head of Centenary's nationally recognized Hurley Music Library, and a professional bassoon player. Ron was born in Hawaii, grew up in southern California with his two brothers, and was an outstanding high school swimmer. Ron received a PhD in musicology from Cornell University in 1988 and an MLS in Library Science and Information from Indiana University several years after that. Most Bukoff males are afflicted with "quirky personalities" and a dry sense of humor and Ron had all of that. You can see this in the titles of his published work--just two examples:
    Pickpockets, Prostitutes, and Pimps: The Bawdy Baroque of William Hogarth and John Gay--Narrative Art and Ballad Opera
    "The Ice Cream 'Man' Cometh: The Librarian as Purveyor of 'Frozen' Popular Culture"
Ron was also one of the first people to study censorship at college libraries with a national survey published in 1995.

You can read more about Ronald Bukoff in Centenary College's announcements here and here.

DANGER MUSIC 2008 - The Sculpture (After)

Jim Fostey, Louise Hartung, Allen Bukoff (dressed as a St. Sparky Helper) and Janice Putman comprised the crew that staged the Danger Music 2008 performance. Jim and Louise were kind enough to let us use their rural property for the sculpture demolition. Jim and Louise also provided the setting and audience for Fluxus Midwest's One-hour Exhibition in 2007.

Another object, performance & back story from

Creative Commons LicenseDanger Music 2008 by Allen Bukoff is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License