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Alison Knowles

Alison Knowles (b. 1933, New York, NY) is a visual artist whose work encompasses participatory installations, performance, sound, poetry, publications and tactile objects. Knowles graduated with an honors degree in Fine Arts from Pratt Institute in 1956, where she was was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2015. A founding member of Fluxus, Knowles began using Cagean compositional devices, such as indeterminate performance and chance operations in the early 1960s. For Something Else Press, Knowles collaborated with Marcel Duchamp on a screen reprint of his Coeurs Volants and designed and co-edited John Cage's Notations (1968), a book of visual music scores. Knowles created one of the earliest book objects, Bean Rolls (1963), a can of text and beans, beginning her more than 30-year experimentation with the sculptural potential of the book. Among her Fluxus performance scores are Make a Salad (1962), Shoes of Choice (1963), The Identical Lunch (1969), and later sound installations, like Bean Garden (1971), enacted in galleries and on radio broadcasts. In 1967, Knowles’s The House of Dust, produced with James Tenney, was among the earliest computerized >poems, winning her a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1968. She brought this work to CalArts, where she taught from 1970-1972. Recent solo exhibitions and performances include the Drawing Center, New York (2001), Tate Long Weekend, London (2008), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2009), Carnegie Museum of Art (2016) and ongoing international touring project The House of Dust by Alison Knowles (2016-18). Knowles lives and works in New York City.