Fluxus offered a critical sensibility that resonated with Patterson during his Proto-Fluxus period (1960-1962); throughout the first generation of Fluxus activity in the sixties; and even during Patterson’s intermittent presence during self-announced period of retirement from art (1966-1988). He pursued the Fluxus spirit of flow, or the instability of meaning, and antiauthoritarian, antiestablishment approaches to art during his career.
This pathway was unexpected but nonetheless cautiously embraced. Prior to merging his interest in music with contemporary art, Patterson studied classical double bass in pursuit of playing stateside in a US symphony orchestra. He was trained in Pittsburgh and at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, receiving his bachelor’s degree in 1956. His initial foray into professional work lead him to Canada, where he played principal double bassist with the Halifax Symphony Orchestra (1957) and toured internationally with the Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra (1958 and 1959). De facto segregation in the US was the primary cause that lead him to find employment abroad.
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from methods and processes, 1962