An artform developed late 50's, early 60's by Allan Kaprow. An apparently impromptu situation, performance, event or series of events, sometimes intending response from onlookers. Art became 'interactive' for the first time.

Here is Kaprow's definition:

"An assemblage of events performed or perceived in more than one time and place. It's material environments may be constructed, taken over directly from what is available, or altered slightly, just as its activities may be invented or commonplace. A Happening, unlike a stage play, may occur at a supermarket, driving along a highway, under a pile of rags, and in a friend's kitchen, either at once or sequentially. If sequential, time may be extend to more than one year. The Happening is performed according to plan without rehearsal, audience, or repetition."

Artist who at one time or another were associated with Happenings:

Ray Johnson developed a similar form he called Nothings.


Sources: Welch, Chuck, "Eternal Network : A Mail Art Anthology", University of Calgary Press, Calgary, 1995 De Salvo, Donna and Gudis, Catherine (Editors), "Ray Johnson: Correspodences", Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, 1999. Last Updated 06.24.03

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