The Drawing Center is pleased to announce FAX, an exhibition that invites a multi-generational group of artists, as well as architects, designers, scientists and filmmakers, to conceive of the fax machine as a thinking and drawing tool. Participants will transmit fax-based work—some seminal examples of early telecommunications art—via the museum’s working fax line throughout the duration of the exhibition, on view in the Drawing Room from April 17 through July 23, 2009. The active accumulation of information—received in real time, in the exhibition space—will include drawings and texts, and the inevitable junk faxes and errors of transmission, creating an ongoing cumulative project concerned with reproduction, obsolescence, distribution, mediation, and generative systems. The exhibition is curated by João Ribas, curator of The Drawing Center, New York, and will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue co-published by iCI and The Drawing Center (available in September 2009). FAX is co-organized by The Drawing Center, New York, and Independent Curators International (iCI), New York, and circulated by iCI.
Although the technology for transmitting printed images and texts over distance dates from the nineteenth century—a machine for the purpose was patented in 1843 by Scottish mechanic Alexander Bain—it was the introduction of the modern fax through commercially available machines in the 1970s that turned facsimiles into a ubiquitous communications medium for international business. Artists readily exploited its immediate, graphic, and interactive character, making it an important part of the history of telecommunications art, nestled between the legacy of mail art and the nascent practices of new media.
Faxes by close to 100 participants sent to the initial showing of FAX at The Drawing Center will form the core of this generative and accumulative exhibition; and subsequent institutions will each invite up to twenty additional artists to submit works to be presented at successive venues as a touring exhibition in collaboration with iCI.
Participating artists include: John Armleder, Tauba Auerbach, Pierre Bismuth, Barbara Bloom, Mel Bochner, Jan De Cock, Peter Coffin, Cerith Wyn Evans, Morgan Fischer, Aurélien Froment, Ryan Gander, Liam Gillick, Joseph Grigely, Wade Guyton, Charline von Heyl, Matthew Higgs, Germaine Kruip, Glenn Ligon, Dr. Ronald L. Mallett, Josephine Meckseper, Olivier Mosset, Steven Pinker, William Pope.L, Seth Price, Pamela Rosenkranz, Dexter Sinister, Wolfgang Tillmans, Edward Tufte, and Christopher Williams, among others.