Make a Fluxus-Inspired New Year’s Eve Phone Call

by Jessica Fuentes December 31, 2022

As 2022 comes to a close, Glasstire asks our readers to join us in an art-based New Year’s Eve tradition. Though we have only engaged in the practice for the last few years, Ken Friedman’s In One Year and Out the Other dates back to 1975. The piece, though simple, takes advantage of this unique moment in time — being at the cusp of the changing of a year — and gives participants an opportunity to pause and consider time and distance in a way our fast-paced, easily connected society does not often do.

The work is written as follows:

On New Year’s Eve, make a telephone call from one time zone to another to conduct a conversation between people located in different years.

First performed in 1975, from Springfield, Ohio, Mr. Friedman called his art friends Dick Higgins, Nam June Paik, Peter Frank, Christo, and Jeanne-Claude in New York, where the New Year had already materialized. Then, after midnight in Springfield, Mr. Friedman called California-based artists Tom Garver, Natasha Nicholson, and Abraham Friedman, who were still awaiting the new year.

Ken Friedman, “In One Year and Out the Other,” 1975.

Leading up to your New Year’s Eve, take a moment to make list of contacts you could reach out to on either side of the New Year. And though there are countless ways to connect across timezones, we encourage you to make the effort of a phone call.

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