December 12, 2009 to February 21, 2010

Opening reception: December 11, 2009 – 8:00pm

Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art presents 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 tool for thinking and drawing. Although the technology for transmitting printed images and texts over distance dates from the nineteenth century—a machine by Scottish mechanic Alexander Bain patented in 1843—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 over 100 artists sent to the initial showing of FAX at The Drawing Center, New York forms the core of the exhibition. Plug In ICA builds upon this core and will invite additional and local artists to submit works for the exhibition. The active accumulation of information-received in real time, in the exhibition space-will include drawings and texts, and even the inevitable junk faxes from telemarketers and local businesses as well. The result—an ongoing cumulative project—is a show concerned with ideas of reproduction, obsolescence, distribution, and mediation. Here, reproducible yet erratic production via the fax machine displaces traditional notions of the hand‚ still commonly associated with the medium of drawing, and foreground the role of drawing as a generative process.

Artists included: Julieta Aranda, Roy Ascott, Tauba Auerbach, Fia Backström, Darren Bader, Cecil Balmond, BANK, Colby Bird, Pierre Bismuth, Barbara Bloom, Mel Bochner, Tobias Buche, Ian Burns, Cabinet Magazine, Etienne Chambaud, Cleopatra’s, Peter Coffin, Jan De Cock, Collage CenterWest, Liz Deschenes, HeHe (Helen Evans & Heiko Hansen), Morgan Fisher, Claire Fontaine, Yona Friedman, Aurélien Froment, Ryan Gander, Wineke Gartz, Liam Gillick, Marisa González, Dan Graham, Joseph Grigely, João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva, Skuta Helgason, Charline von Heyl, Matthew Higgs, Eduardo Kac, Matt Keegan, Zoe Keramea, Tom Klinkowstein, Germaine Kruip, Glenn Ligon, Ronald L. Mallett, Jackson Mac Low, Corey McCorkle, Josephine Meckseper, Eric Mitchell, Simon Dybbroe Møller, Olivier Mosset, Warren Neidich, Kambui Olujimi, Serge Onnen, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Mai-Thu Perret, Michalis Pichler, William Pope.L, Seth Price, Blake Rayne, Tobias Rehberger, Kay Rosen, Amanda Ross-Ho, Pamela Rosenkranz, Arnd Seibert, Matt Sheridan Smith, Sonia Sheridan, Alexandre Singh, Dexter Sinister, Josh Smith, Anne Tardos, Cheyney Thompson, Christian Tomaszewski, Wolfgang Tillmans, Edward Tufte, Stan VanDerBeek, Olav Westphalen, Christopher Williams, Jack Whitten, Johannes Wohnseifer, Cerith Wyn Evan.

Additional artists to be invited by Plug In ICA.

The exhibition is open to the public and free. Everyone is welcome.

Image: Peter Coffin, Untitled, 2009, courtesy of artist and Independent Curators International.

Fax is a traveling exhibition co-organized by The Drawing Center, New York and iCI (Independent Curators International), New York, and circulated iCI. The guest curator is João Ribas. The exhibition and the accompanying publication were made possible, in part by members of the Drawing Room, a patron circle founded to support innovative exhibitions in The Drawing Center’s project gallery; and by support to iCI from The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Toby D. Lewis Philanthropic Fund, and iCI Benefactor members Agnes Gund, Gerrit and Sydie Lansing, and Barbara and John Robinson.