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Fluxus Heidelberg Center


Like usual Ken Friedman sent out his invitation to his circle of friends to participate in his special New Year performance. Below we printed the complete invitation. Of course Fluxus Heidelberg participated in this and we did it this way:

  1. We waited till the New Year had started in Greece.

  2. Litsa Spathi contacted Greece.

  3. Now the old year 2003 was in contact with the new year 2004.

Because of the original idea behind this performance we also made on January 2nd 2004 a special Fluxus Poem for Ken Friedman which is called: In one year and out the Other and published it in an Internetcafe we visited together.

We e-mailed on January 3rd 2004 from Stuttgart the URL to Ken:

Hi Ken,

Have a look at:

To remember our participation in your performance Litsa Spathi created this special Fluxus Poem for you. Just click on the first image to go through it.....

With best wishes,

Ruud Janssen & Litsa Spathi

And here is his reaction on January 5th 2004:

Dear Ruud and Litsa,

Thank you.

This was a lovely surprise.

I was sitting here reading it out loud and laughing, and my wife heard me and came to see it.

She likes it too.

Warmest wishes,


The original text of the score (sent with his e-mail):

In One Year and Out the Other

On New Year's Eve, make a telephone call from one time zone to another so that you are conducting a conversation between people located in two years.

-- Ken Friedman

December 31, 2020

The original e-mail of the Invitation received in Heidelberg in December 2003 :

Dear Friend,

This score is your invitation to participate in a performance for the New Year that friends and I have performed every year since 1975.

The first performance took place on New Year's Eve 1975-1976. It started before midnight in Springfield, Ohio calling forward to Dick Higgins, Christo, and Nam June Paik in New York. After midnight local time, it ended with calls back to Tom Garver and Natasha Nicholson in California. I have performed this work every year since then, frequently calling Tom Garver, Peter Frank, Judy Hoffberg, Newton and Helen Harrison, Abraham Friedman and the late Dick Higgins.

The arrival of new media gave rise to new modes of performance. On New Year's of 1992-1993 I used telefax for the first time in performing this work, sent telefax messages with the score to Christo and Jeanne-Claude Christo, Peter Frank, Abraham and Shirley Friedman, Dick Higgins, Hong Hee Kim-Cheon, Choong-Sup and Yeong Lim, Karen and David Moss.

In recent years, email has extended the performance to network of friends and colleagues. The ability to share and forward email messages means that increasingly large numbers of people perform the event each year using email.

Friends tell me that mobile telephone technology now enables new enactments in which people at different New Year gatherings simultaneously call to friends in many locations, receiving return calls from different time zones shortly after.

In the Swedish country village where I live with my wife Ditte and our dog Jacob, the annual New Year gathering is generally quiet. We always cook a light supper of lobster and asparagus. In my hermeneutical interpretation of the meal, the meat of lobster represents the New Year emerging from the shell of the old, while the asparagus signifies the green growth of spring.

This year, the menu will expand with an appetizer of cantaloupe and thin slices of twice-baked ham glazed in egg mustard and bread crumbs. We will follow this with avocado sprinkled with apple cider vinegar.

Catharina Stenqvist and Eva Oesterberg will join us for dinner as they often do. Jacob's grandson, Sixten, will come with them. (Jacob and Sixten will not be sharing our lobster. Their menu will consist of an appetizer of two cheeses, Skaane Prestost and Gruyere, followed by a lightly grilled steak. It is New Year, after all, and my postmodern rendition of the St. Francis role requires a dinner for all creatures in the house.)

After dinner, we will stroll around the 800-year-old village church and accompany Eva, Cattis, and Sixten homeward as village families explode the annual fireworks display.

That will be my New Year's celebration. I hope your celebration will be warm, cheerful, and satisfying. One thing is certain, or reasonably certain, and that is the fact that a New Year is on the way.

Here are my wishes for a wonderful 2004!

Ken Friedman

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(c) january 2004 - Fluxus Heidelberg Center