Ben Patterson - Fluxus pioneer receives 2012 Culture Prize of the City of Wiesbaden


The Wiesbaden-based artist Benjamin (Ben) Patterson receives this year's cultural award of the state capital Wiesbaden. This was decided by a majority of the jury, chaired by Cultural Affairs Deputy Mayor, Rose-Lore Scholz. The prize is endowed with 5,000 €.

As co-founder of the Fluxus movement (an international network of artists, composers and designers for the mixing of different artistic media and disciplines), which celebrates it 50th anniversary this year, Ben Patterson  is a very important and outstanding artist in Wiesbaden. The jury goes on to say that Patterson was  instrumental, alongside George Maciunas and Emmett Williams,  in the preparation and implementation of "Fluxus - International Festival of Latest Music"  held 1962 in Wiesbaden. This spectacular event is considered the birth of Fluxus.

Benjamin (Ben) Patterson was born on 29 May 1934 in Pittsburgh, USA. In 1956 he completed a Bachelor of Music at the University of Michigan. According to an ancient biography, he was " very competent on the double bass, knowledgeable in music theory and history, and familiar with the craft of composition and conducting." After a brief career as a bassist with symphony orchestras in Canada, he settled in Cologne in 1960. There he was an active person in the contemporary music scene and at festivals in Paris, Venice, Vienna ......


During this pre-Fluxus time he created and played some of his early pioneering work: - "Paper Piece", "Lemons" and "Variations for Double Bass". Late in 1961, Ben moved to Paris where he worked with Robert Filliou ("puzzle poems") and had his "Methods and Processes" published. Commuting between Paris and West Germany, Ben assisted George Maciunas in organizing the historic 1962 Fluxus festival in Wiesbaden. His interview with Emmett Williams - the opening of the festival - was the first article ever published about Fluxus. Also the first documentary film about Fluxus on German television, spotted a special eye on Patterson's performance of "Variations for Double Bass" .


Ben lives since the early 1990s in Wiesbaden and is seen regularly in  Wiesbaden"s art scenes with various  installations. Because of his extraordinary artistic life and influence way beyond Wiesbaden, Ben has been awarded this year's Culture Prize of Wiesbaden.

His cryptic and ironic works are renowned throughout the world, like the sculpture below:


Sculpture designed 2008, implemented in 2009 (bronze, 2.5 m), Museum Park, Porto Fino (Italy)