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IN WESTERN

UTOPIA:

ENVISIONING

e''4tt \.. ~.

IIPRIMEAU SLICES

I s~~ \ ~\J~R~'l coN1R

A

DREAM

4


The FORUM Gallery at Jamestown Community College 525 Falconer Street Jamestown, New York 14701 (716) 665-9107 Gallery Staff:

Programs of The FORUM Gallery are funded in part by the Jamestown Community College Foundation; The Faculty Student Association at JCC; The Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation; The Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation ; and our corpo足 rate and individual members.

Dan R. Talley, Director Michelle Henry, Assistant Student Assistants: Tad Guynn Nelida Ruiz Gallery Development Committee: Nancy Bargar Renate Bob William Disbro Mike Fitzpatrick Robert Hagstrom

The FORUM Gallery presents significant and professionally ex足 ecuted solo and group exhibitions of contemporary art and related pro足 grams, events, and services to both the artist and non-artist residents of Chautauqua County, New York, and the surrounding area. Our programs primarily focus on the leading edge of today's art. Through our programs, we strive to stimulate discussion, to challenge assumptions, and to present artwork relevant to the social and cultural life of the general and special populations within our service area.

John Hiester Cletus Johnson Leo Kwan

The FORUM Gallery is an Associate Member of the National Association of Artists' Organizations.

Gloria Lasser Julia Militello Don Mudge

Catalog design: Leo Kwan

Alberto Rey

Catalog printing: Register Graphics, Randolph, New York

Lois Strickler

Catalog production: Michelle Henry

Gary Winger

Catalog photography: Shauna Frischkorn

Special funds for this exhibition have been provided by The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.

Special thanks to Shelley Grice.

息 1992, The FORUM Gallery

-


- -- -----.

T..c.. Utopia: Envisioning a Dream was presented by The FORUM Gallery from March 6 through AprilS, 1992 . The show included pieces by over 150 artists from all over the w

0

rid

making it the largest international show ever organized by the Gallery The work in the show ranged from t raditional modes of expression to ephemeral works that were created specifically for the show l The Utopia show deviated from normal FiE>RUM Gallery exFiibitions in that it was the result of an "open" curatorial call. Normally, we

n

contact artists whose work we are interested in and directly invite them to show, or, we issue a general call for specific thematic shows. and invite all intersted artists with appropriate work to send

slide~o

.

much different; we th rew the Gallery open and invited

artists to send not slides , but actual work. In keeping

with the spirit of Utopia , this show contained all of the

work that we received. No visions of Utopia (or thoughts

on why Utopia is impossible) were excluded.

Many of the pieces in the show were part of a genre that began over 30 yea rs ago as part of the Fluxus movement called "mail art" or "correspon­ dence art. " These pieces , usually small, highly deco­ rated and collaged postcards , letters, and packages, rely on the international postal network for completion of their artistic statement. The way the work arrives, complete with

.

o

postal cancellations and the signs of wear and tear from post office processing , is an integral part of the work . The initial calls for Utopia: Envisioning a Dream were sent to artists , galleries, museums, regional , national , and international art media, and to area newspapers . By publicizing our call in this way, we were able to connect with a diverse cross-section of artists from widely divergent geographic areas and from a variety of career levels. We feel this formula for soliciting work produced the most inclusive exhibition possible . Ultimately, by presenting the show as an uncurated open show, everyone with something to say had the gallery soap-box at their disposal.

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CONTROVERSY

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5


In a March 30, 1992, op-ed letter in Jamestown's

daily

newspaper ,

The

Post-Journal, a Busti, New York resident wrote,

"Jamestown is host to the year's biggest dirty joke." The writer (who had never been to The FORUM Gallery) was referring to Kathy Tilton 's piece Friendly Fire. The writer based his reaction to the work on a line in a review that described the work as "Perhaps the most striking and controversial entry in the exhibit." The work, a 2 X 6 foot acrylic painting on unstretched canvas, de足 picted a highly stylized vaginal image over which Tilton wrote short sentences that al足 luded to the sexist nature of male-created, military terminology The piece clearly related the politics of gender to the politics of war and conquest. Ironically, before the irrate letter

By air mall Par avian

peared , no one had voiced any objection to t work (the show had been on display for weeks at the time it was published). letter appeared , we still didn't objections to the work, but we did marked increase in gallery attenda promptly sent the irrate lette newspaper a thank-you note. Dan R. Talley Gallery Director


nit d St te ."

1


The term Utopia was coined by Sir Tho­ mas More and literally means "no place" in Greek. The idea of creating a utopic society became very popular in this country in the latter half of the 19th century in response to the growing unrest and uncleanliness in American cities . Utopias ranged from the religious and the occult to the political, and were often ori­ ented toward industry and working for a com­ mon good . Utopian communities were conceptions of ideal societies in which the social, political, and economical evils af­ flicting humankind would be eradicated ; and in which the state functioned for the good and happiness of all. Two

such

communities were f 0 U n d e din New

Dl1ni~1

PlunJulI ,

"Contract,

Do.umtnt

York's Chautauqua County during the last cen­ tury. In 1852, Dr Greaves, a Milwaukee physi­ cian, heard that the Kiantone Creek had heal­ ing power, something the local Native Ameri­ cans had believed for years. John Murray Spear, a spiritualist, was sent a sample of sediment from Kiantone Creek for psychometrical ex­ amination . Spear thought the sediment was so remarkable that he and a small band of follow­

£xcIJanKt


'" IN WESTERN Spear be­

ers moved to Kiantone

NEW YORK

and

founded the Har­

menial jobs necessary to maintain a

lieved that with

self-sufficient community

They cultivated

the help of the As­

grapes for wine production, made baskets and

mony Society

sociation of Beneficents and the combined

baked goods to be sold at the local railroad

The Society was

thoughts of his followers, he could create life.

stations, and sewed their own clothes.

lead by Spear who claimed

The Association gave him the instructions to

to be the earthly representative for the "Asso­

build a machine that could be brought to life.

couples who joined the Brotherhood toget

ciation of Beneficents" which consisted of such

Word soon spread to the local communities of

and separated parents from their children

illuminaries as Socrates, Seneca, Emanuel

the sacrilegious activities at Harmonia. Outsid­

that all emotional ties would be directed towar

Swedenborg, Benjamin

ers believed that only God could create

Franklin, Benjamin Rush,

life and therefore Spear and his followers

Thomas

Jefferson,

could not be allowed to continue with

LaFayette, John Hancock,

their plans for a living machine. The ma­

John

Daniel

chine was attacked and destroyed. This,

Webster, Martin Luther and

combined with the community's belief in

John Quincy Adams. The

open marriages, soon led to its demise.

members of the Associa­

Another community which flour­

tion spoke to Spear, giving

ished in Chautauqua County for many

him a charterfor Harmonia,

years was the Brotherhood of the New

Adams,

which was to have a "gov­

Life,lead by Thomas Lake Harris. Harris'

ernment of love with inno­

followers were required to turn all of their

cence as its only protec­

worldly possessions and assets over to

tor"

Harris who used the wealth to purchase The spirits picked the

. '.1.:;"""

Harris arranged marriages, separa

hundreds of acres of land along Lake Erie

Harmony Valley because of its "peculiarly fa­

in Brocton, NY He and his followers settled on

the "greater good" that he defined . Members of

vorable electrical emanations, producing a sa­

the land, built dwellings, outbuildings, and

the Brotherhood eventually became dissatis­

lubrious and spiritualizing atmosphere." The

bottled wine .

fied with the humble lifestyle forced upon them,

spirits dictated that all buildings be circular,

Harris' community was founded on "the

while Harris lived in lUxury in a private house on

and the soil was to be "as free as the light of the

realization of the noble Christian ideal in social

the grounds of the community . Factions devel­

sun" and held in common. The inhabitants of

service.

oped and Harris left for California with his

Harmonia planned to harmonize the nations of

man has no real life in himself, that all life is the

the conviction that the individual

the earth through a universal method of con­

result of a divine inflowing ." Members of the

veying thought.

Brotherhood were required to do all of the

remaining followers. Michelle Henry, Gallery Assistant 9


10


I.OS ,\NeiELES TIMES. SUNDA Y JANUARY 12.2001<

Past President dies

• Molly Stein was considered to b<: the salvation of a country lost in tunnoil, and losing the battle in education. economics. and bastc human rights. Her suprise win over George Bush in 1992 was the first stt:p in discovt:ring the true character of our country. By KAREN ATKlNSON ' n~II,'

STAn; WRITER

III I'JlII, lIot many people in Illis (OOlltry knew much if 'Ulything about Molly Stein. Hcr surprise announ<'C­ ment to run for Prc.ident against George Bush W,l' met with disbelief ,ukl dhmay. She also announced a new party called the Freedom and Equality Party in which she ran as UlCir liN presidcntial candidate.

Her campaign trail took bcr to all 50 St;.ltC.'. in whicb she tmvelcd by ber uwn car. arklllle help and support of hcr friends. The voter turnout in Novcmhcr of 1992 was Ille Jargei;l in history. willi a record number of womcn and what was then called "minoritics." Shc won by an indis­ putable margin, and therc is where her adminislr.ttion hcgan a series of re­ forms that have changed the lives of many Americans. Some of her contribution, included a reform in thceducationsystem, wbich 1I0W has educational stan<lanls well bevond most other countries. All "illX.ls in the country have equal access to money, equipmcnt. quality tc;lchers. The inequ;~ities thai were .' 0 prcvalclll in thc 19HO's have ceased ttl exist.

Linder her presidency. new laws al­ lowed thc shake up of the Supreme Cuurt. and new justices were voted Into posilion by Ille people of Ille Ullitcd Stilles. Abortions became le­ gal in evcry Mate, arkl funding was fc;ldily available to all women in thL, COUlltry. Laws Illat led to discrimi­ lIalltJU "I' women, gays and "minori­ tIC'" were aholished. and legislation ",f the dlffercntly aoled was cnaclCd

to make discrimination a <Time pun­ isbable by heavy fines and ;..iltime. One ofthe mo.'t ~'OIltrover.;iaJ changes in govcrnment was her Icgislation to cl'Cate funding for research for the AIDS virus' that had plagued the country for many years without any ancntion. Funding was also created for diseases whicb were al the lime called "women's diseases" and bad rdfCly been given mucb altention in relation lO studies on and by men. As a resull. all studies are now imple­ mented willi all races. and with bolll genders represeOled equally. While in office. her administration in the governmcOl itself, (see related story on A-2) but created a mood in this country thai led to a decrease in the deficil thai has many belicving thai il may be eradicated in the next ten years. Her vision. despite the opposition from so many rigbt wing groups in America. led us lO bP.wme one of the ttuly great countries of the world_We are no longer looked al as the "super power" who uses it's mili­ tary weightlO gel what we want. bUI a~atrucandhoncslnation in a poSition to advise other governments and or­ gani7.ations in ways lO prospcrequally among peoples and keep peace within a nation and the world_

Molly Stein before she became President, when she was In col­ lege. the leaders weOllOjail. and the groups disbanded. Molly wa, Ule one to have uncovered tile links loGermany. Their fmancial holdings went 10 cs­ tablish feeding and housing progrnms for the homeless.

001 only made substantial changes

The fundamenlal and reJigious groups ofllle I 980's and 90's wbo at thai time were prominenl in the fighl again~t rights of women. gays and other groups, have all but disappeared. After the scandal thal disclo~ Illeit financial dealings. and affiliations with Ille emerging Nazi groups in the UnilCd Slates and Gcnnany. most of

The National Endowment For The Arts (NEA) and oilier cultural pro­ gr.tms werc givcn an overhaul, and the budget increased lO more fully reprcscnt Ule nccdsof cultural activies found vital to hwnan needs. Arts education in thc schools wa~ rein­ stated lO represent a fuller education for our children. Experts agree tllat this was partly responsible for an deerease in the drop out rate in schools. and less violence in classes. AIllle timc ilscemed like a miracle to mosl people in this country. Honesty seemed to be a Illing of the [Ill'1. She showed us that. by including Ille voices of all Americans. we could indeed begin the precess of making America work for all of us. We will mis., Molly . The mOSI popular prc.~i­ denl of our lime was a legacy. Funeral services will be held this friday for family. Remcmhnut~'Cs can be IICnt in Molly SlCins name III the Women's AIDS Plllj~'1 in Los Angeles.

J1


I

IIPRIMEAU SLICES f:o:'::~

ing cut, I build anew, making sure everything,

new perception of space .

even the supportless, holds. At this very mo­

Of all dimensions, verti­

ment, the work then becomes a fiction , a decor,

ity is the most eco-

object

an installation . Just as publicity within our so­

cal; let us have

bearing a symbolic value in our industrialized,

ciety requires an envelope, a visual manifesta­

the verti-

technologized, and favored society. I slice ver­

tion, a look, an urgent feeling of necessity.

placeevator

tically through these artifacts whose objectives

Slicing implies bearing a penetrating glance

are an easier, more comfortable, more gratify­

into our materialistic society within which the

ing way of life. I cut a piece from this comfort

space for expressing ones feelings has be­

verti-

and commodity cake .

come scarce. Nothing outclasses function, ef­

v i -

c a 1­ nom i­ in cal

mind dis­

ment an el­ generates in a highrise . In those cal slices, I realize a sual economy, a trans­

Therefore I suggest an analogy to our

ficiency, finality, and gain . I rediscover the

parence of the opacity,

consumer society, a reflection on the role and

essence, the origin, the functioning of our ut­

for these slices give way

necessity of that same object. In a comparted

most vitality through discoveries within such

to an immediate view of the

world which , in the name of production and

familiar objects holding for us symbolic value

inside through the outside of

advancement, causes an environment and

(new archetypes?, new paradigma?).

body detrimental behavior, the slice suggests a reasonable minimum from which excess has been eradicated, where only esthetic qualities

things. I reach the hidden unex­

Within the pursuit of my quest for

pected aspect of an object. As for

translucidity, I renew this concept. I intro­

didactical aspect, the sharing of an

duce the notion of verticality in

barely hinting to its usefulness remain . The

sculpture

slice then calls for a socio-ecologic

again and

rationalization: reducing

obtain

a

environmental mistreat,

anatomical examination, an explora­ tion, a discovery of a whole world . This anatomy of the hard, seemingly soft enough to be sliced , brings the human a suggestion to explore his own emotions. Facade is elimi­

sharing provisions in

nated yielding a transparency of the essence,

excess.

a vertical integration, body and soul ... as though Hav­

penetrating this inside world were still a possi­ bility.

Daniel-Jean Primeau

(Translated by Normand Lemoyne)

[PRIMEAU SLICE Dal1ir/-jrll1l Primttlu, "Urt, Tran(h, d( TondnlStd gazon (A slict o!w.wn,moWfr)"


This article originally appearedas an art review in the Warren Times Observer, Thursday, March 12, 1992.

In organizing Utopia. Envisioning a Dream, direc足 tor Dan Talley decided to break with the procedures followed in The FORUM Gallery's past thematic exhibi足 tions. Instead of asking artists to submit slides from which a juror would select the exhibition, Talley asked that artists submit actual works, which need not be of a permanent nature, with the intention of exhibiting ev足 erything submitted. The result is an exciting and surprisingly coherent exhibit consisting of 162 pieces from all over the world ..


... in a wide variety of media. Rather than a response to the theme of

that the exhibition would have been incoherent if someone had not

"Utopia" grounded in a particular point of view, the exhibition presents

contributed work that meets the theme head on and goes all the way

a galactic configuration of ideas, feelings and responses orbiting the

with it.

theme at various distances and velocities. The application of this

Paul Laffoley's Utopic Space provides that crucial element.

essentially utopian method to the theme of "Utopia" accounts to a large

Laffoley's work fills a large section of wall space with text, illustrations,

degree for the unity and coherence of this very diverse body of work.

and diagrams drawing upon science, mathematics, history, art and

The exhibit is itself an artwork that so thoroughly absorbs its

myth in an obsessively thorough exploration of the idea of Utopia. The

constituent parts into the whole that it hardly makes sense to single out

freedom and diversity that is so characteristic of the rest of the work in

individual works for review. The personal subtext of the artist's ego is

this exhibition is something only possible in the Utopic Space Laffoley

lost in this profusion of images and words. You encounter a pair of

defines.

embroidered pictures with a quality of visionary kitsch, a folk-art dream

A large number of mail art pieces were contributed to the

image. Is this deliberate irony or sincere naivete? You can't tell and it

show. These were hung from the ceiling on strings at eye level in

really doesn't matter As part of a show that holds diversity in such a loving embrace, multiple possibilities of interpretation are not merely acceptable, they are vital. This exhibition is full of potent ambiguities. Issues are evoked but easy answers are not supplied . There is, however, one work

that stands out as a kind of

center of gravity for the

exhibition much

So

of

the

two parallel rows that ran the length of the central space in the gallery. They flutter and sway continually. Their constant movement sharpens your attention and heightens the sense of exuberant business that pervades the gallery It enlivens the packed space of the room in a way that rescues it from seeming merely cluttered.

Cramming 162 works, many of which es足 chew, to varying degrees, common social norms of beauty and craft into this small gallery, results in a kind of gritty opulence that evokes an atmosphere of charged optimism even while the works acknowledge the dark and tragic aspects of human reality . It's an optimism induced not by the artificial sweetness of idealism, but by the free operation of vital energies.

r e 足

The ambiance is truly utopian.

lates to

Above and beyond and not in the least

the theme

tangentially

or poetically

14

conflicting with its more serious aspects, the experience of Utopia: Envisioning a Dream is simply fun. Go in with an open mind and enjoy yourself In the process, you may illuminate some of the Utopic Space you carry within and around yourself


00 T/tE INFINITE LINE OFPIEIIO IllAN7n ... ,".: .

..... . :.J. ' "


M T LUFTPOST PAR AVION

PAR AVION

Geza Pemeczky

Grosse WitlChgasae 3-5

5000 K6ln 1 Tel. 0221/21 10 10

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DO NOT FOL NICHT FALTEN ~~ i I NO DOBLEQUE ' .~~ J

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=::::::::=

~HOW ~

MUCH

WOULD A

WORK

NETWORK

WORK IF A NETWORK

~ WOULD --Mark

NETWORK?

VISIONS &

VALUES

Cross cultural networking is a radical act of gift sharing, col­ laborative play, interconnection and accessibility

Most of

these networker values are

Bloch

central to the volatile

If an "ideal network" worked it would function as a netlink to access, facilitation, participa­ t ion,

info rmat ion,

and

the

interconnectivity of worlds.

1960s and 1970s cul­ ture; a time when definitions of social, cultural, religious, and eco­ nomic values exploded. Art and communication were being stripped of elitism, re-evaluated, and made accessible

Some networks

represent a

in street art and happenings. Buckminster Fuller

business work ethic, a profes­

predicted a networking spaceship Earth and

sional hierarchy, the old order,

Mass media expert Marshall McLuhan had enormous influence envisioning an age when

but there are mail art and tele­

information would be recycled from one me­

communication art networks

dium to another Fluxus artist Dick Higgins, a friend and publisher of McLuhan, coined the

playing with a different set of networking values. Today, net­ work art calls artists to a larger sense

of

purpose,

term "intermedia." Mail art networking grew out of the social and political ferment of the 1960s and has evolved, by some estimates, into a community

inter­

of over 10,000 participants. Mail artists ex­

relatedness, and cooperation. It

Change, recycle, and alter the surfaces or contents of mailing tubes, envelopes, and par­

involves a shift from patriarchal, hierarch ical, anth ropocentric thinking to a worldview vision; a metanoia.

cels. In time, these original collaged surfaces resemble layered palimpsests of artist postage stamps, rubber stamped images, cryptic mes­ sages, and slogans. Creative communication by concepts, visual symbols, signs and lan­ 17


guages are prime influences in the way artists

with an activity. .. online art is public art be­

use media like papermaking, painting, audio ,

cause the public makes it!"

video, computers, artists books, electrostatic copy art (Xerox), stamp art, 'zines and perfor­

tions have remained open gates to all

mance art. Equally significant, mail art dia­

individuals, artist or non-artist, and

logue between co-creators is as crucial as

it has been the proliferation of

objects that are produced. Products are not

these egalitarian shows that have

mail artist's most important object or objective.

given shape and form to art that

Artists are the medium and the message . The

networks today. Mail art shows, for

mail artifact is fiction, but if this is true , how can

example, guarantee public accessibil­

mail art be fine art? Swiss networker H.R.

ity to the mail art network and harken

Fricker has said, "Mail art is not Fine Art. It is

back to early 1970s network objectives of

the artist who is fine!" PUBLIC NET LINKS

to the street, and 2) exploring and expanding

The telematic and mail art communities aren 't an exclusive club of artists. While art of

1) bringing art into everyone's mail as well as the nature of the communication process it­ self.

the western world has traditionally been an

Customary parameters for organizing

exclusive cultural hierarchy, art that networks

mail art exhibitions continue to be simple

includes the central concept that art is life and

and few : 1) anybody can organize mail art

life is art; hence , all individuals are artists. Mail

exhibitions; 2) a show theme is chosen and

art and telecommunications art often serve as

advertised in art publications or public spaces;

a netlink to the public world . In home-based

3) the organizer pledges to show all work

networking, for example, anyone can contrib­

entered; 4) there are no fees for entering

ute to an artwork in progress. Anna Couey,

mail art shows; 5) no work is returned to

co-editor for the electronic magazine Fine Art

participants after the exhibition; 6) mail art

Forum, characterizes the process of creating

show sponsors reciprocate with a free

online telecommunication artworks as a public

catalogue, usually including show docu­

phenomenon:

mentation and the addresses of partiCi­

"Many online artworks are constructed

18

Mail art and telecommunication exhibi­

pants.

on a participatory basis, whether or not you

Sometimes present at mail art exhibi­

define yourself as an artist, if you choose to

tions are official U.S. postal stations where the

participate, you ARE an artist. This has worked

visiting public can choose to respond to any of

to break down the elitism normally associated

the partiCipating exhibitors. Other mail art shows


host "mail art openings" where all ex­

hibited mail is experienced by the pub­ . lic on "opening night." Here the public is

j allowed to walk home from public insti­ tutions with mail art in their hands .

In 1977, the first telecommunica­ tions art exchange was transmitted live by two-way video via satellite between ~

the U .S . east coast and west coast .

~

--l

The simulcast video exchange was entitled "Two Way Demo" and was

~

reputed to have reached a cable

~

TV audience of over 25,000 in

New York City and San Fran­ cisco . Other simulcast satellite transmissions occurred in 1977 when Nam June Paik, Joseph

Beuys and Douglas Davis per­

--r.

formed live to audiences in over

{O :

""-/...

I JI£

J

J:::::,.,..

I

The first netlink between tele­

communications artists and mail art-

(:JA {ler-c,

~/I G111 • G L-(I /.po. 'u ~

5":{q- rALUWEl?

..J

st.

JAMESTOWN, NY _______~~/1

V' ~ ;;;:o~:~~:~;:,, :9~::,~:,~ a;::~~

J""'-'

ru!?wH

~l'Mes

,"

thirty countries.

~ .4,-~_

I"

{'

~

Society" organized a mail art ex­ change vIa slowscan video and com-

~u~~:~~~~:~::~:~::;~:~;u~~'~~~

in Vancouver, British Columbia,

~ TV 5:::. ::J.,....

Canada. The telematic art com­ munity has also hosted enormous public cultural exchanges like

onto , Ontacio, Canada's "Part'e"ax

19


Network." Organized by the Grimsby Public Art Gallery in the Summer

public still has a long way to go on issues of access, particularly in

of 1984, Particifax included the installation of Canada Post Intelpost

non-technological cultures. The community is dominated by white

telecommunication machines in numerous public spaces including

first-world men. "

In South American countries like Argentina where inflation makes London, Ontario's Forest City Gal­ mailing art prohibitive, only a few

lery The late Canadian mail artist Michael Bidner collaborated with San

mail artists like Edgardo Antonio

Francisco artist Lisa Sellyeh to inter­

Vigo and Graciela Gutierrez Marx

connect mail artists, the public, and

continue to send political art that

telecommunication artists. Both art­

is often "lost" or "damaged" by

ists succeeded in linking the Forest

postal inspectors. Eastern Euro­

City Gallery site

pean countries like Poland and

with mail artists at­

Romania are also affected by ail­

tending

San

ing economies. My "Boycott Apart­

Francisco's

heid" stamps, which were circu­

"Inter-Dada Festi­

lated within South Africa in the

vaL"

1980s, were incriminating to any If

South African posting them on

these

democratic similari­

their mail. In stark contrast, Ameri­

ties between mail

can mail artists rarely encounter

and telecommuni­

censored mail and they continue

cations networkers

to enjoy the most affordable postal

exist, why isn't there

rates in the world.

evidence of con­

What are the consequences

tinuous on-going in­

of these political and monetary

teraction? Is there

inequalities in the international mail

a pretext for interaction now?

COMMUNICATI ON

"monio Zo/!{l/rtl{,

"UJl(itl(d ~

BOUNDARIES

In every alternative artform there are barriers to cross . Anna

art community? There are a num­

ber of American mail artists who complain that Europeans don't commu­ nicate with them nearly enough . One explanation offered by Europeans

Couey's telecommunications project, "Communication Across Bor­ is that postal rates to America are prohibitive. Simply affording a phone ders" seeks participatory dialogue among artists for ways to identify and

in East European countries is also a formidable barrier for telecommu­

circumvent barriers:

nications artists. Polish mail and telecommunication artist Pawel Petasz

"The main inequality of course, is access, which is social,

recently wrote to me from his home in Elblag that overseas telephone

economic, cultural, political, and LANGUAGE. Mass media that is

expenses are outrageously high; "I have no telephone . It costs me

,


..

.

~:"

SHIGERU TAMAR' 500 KITA-AMAGASAKI FUSHIM KYOTO JAPAN $800.00 to get it installed . The

e (teiMAlL if

AA i

anBv

expensive, espe~ I~0 r1!!,"r""'IJJW~r'l connections ." '(, ~......, 足

limitations. Russian mail art networkers Serge Segay and Rea Nikonova struggled against great political obstacles in 1987 to pioneer mail art communication in their homeland. In her essay, "Mail Art in the U .S.S.R .," Rea Nikonova states: "The KGB took great interest in mail art and began opening everyone of our international letters. An unsophisti足 cated looking stamp, "Forwarded Dam足 aged, " was placed onto each of ourtorn and opened letters. Our letters took 3-4 months to arrive, disappeare

by the

communities. Some expJanations are nft,.,..,,,,tt. by mail art networker Ayah Qkwabi in "Net足

ofsmall group communication compared to the information revolution. This so-called information revolution is a myth 21


to the people who dwell in the vii/ages of Africa because it presup­ poses equipment, which is either too expensive or inappropriate

for airline tickets. The behavior was further encouraged by proposing

through lack of basic infrastructure. Postal services outside the

decentralized mail art congresses that would convene wherever two or

urban areas are either very slow or virtually non- existent. Linguistic

more mail artists gathered to discuss issues and concerns. Throughout

barriers exist because there are many languages spoken in Africa.

1986, over 800 mail artists in 25 countries met in 80 mail art congresses.

Mail art via the international postal system offers the cheapest

Today, Fricker is collaborating with netlink facilitators John Held

alternative for interconnecting the first world to the third world, or the

Jr., Crackerjack Kid (the author), Mark Corotto (a.k.a. FaGaGaGa),

North to the South."

Steve Perkins, Lloyd Dunn, Clemente Padin, and Peter Kaufman to

In an essay devoted to comparing the relationship between mail

encourage the decentralization of

art and telecommunications art, Mit Mitropoulous writes about his

art by interconnections with

background as an environmental artist and communications researcher'

intermedia artists, home tapers,

"I owe mail art, because besides the pleasure of being part of

fax artists, bands, bulletin board

the mail artnetwork.mail art as compared to telecommunications

users, hackers, etc. in a "Decen­

art, proved high in privacy and low on logistics. Mail art was much

tralized World-Wide Networker

cheaper, no special equipment was required (no compatibility

Congress 1992" (hereafter called

problems either), and simultaneous performances in different parts

NC92). Readers, in collaboration

of the world could be arranged. "

with the mail and telematic com­

The mail and telematic art communities may find solutions to

munities, may find netlink keys to

communication barriers through local/global projects like the "Decen­

open interconnection through lo­

tralized World-Wide Mail Art Congress 1992," or the "Reflux Network

cal/global projects like the "NC92,"

Project." I have organized a "Telenetlink Congress" utilizing BBS and

or the "Reflux Network Project."

Internet newsgroups as a common ground for visual and verbal dia­

As an NC92 facilitator, I have

logue . In past public debates, mail artists have struggled with many of

formed a Telenetlink Congress

the issues discussed here, but out of these conflicts a global community

whose purpose is centered on reaching the telematic community

was formed, creativity has flourished, and personal languages of the

through bulletin board services like NYC's "Echo," Chicago's "Artbase"

heart have evolved. AN INVITATION TO TELENETLINK

such as alt. artcom, and rec. arts fine. I found immediate response from

Since the early 1970s mail artists have met one another to discuss

Art Com's director Carl Loeffler who posted my NC92 invitations in the

the topic of inter-media communication. They have also established

Art Com Electronic Network (acen) conference on the WELL (Whole

Sujimo Ricini. "PUI} ofCOn/ram·

BBS, and by accessing internationally distributed USENET newsgroups

public forums for the discussion of netlinking alternative artforms. In

Earth 'Lectronic Link) and offered to carry NC92's networker databank

1985 Swiss networker Hans Ruedi Fricker dubbed mail artist soujourns

updates on alt.artcom . The Telenetlink Congress has also succeeded

and meetings "Tourism" and the tag has remained ever since.

in making an important interconnection with Dr Artur Matuck's telecom­

Fricker, in collaboration with fellow Swiss networker Gunther 22

Ruch, popularized tourism by inviting mail artists to cash in their stamps

munications project for the Sao Paulo Biennial, the Reflux Network


Project. In July 1991, while accessing ArtCom

running the Reflux node sites. Every communi­

(603) 448-9998. All statements received from

cation I've received from the telematic commu­

artists in the telematic community will be part of

newsgroup with my computer, I discovered the

nity has been, in effect, an effort to telenetlink

the NC92 "Networker Database Congress," a

existence of the Sao Paulo Biennial project

beyond existing boundaries. With the coopera­

collection that will be made available for re­

"Reflux Network," an extensive telecommuni­

tion of Reflux participants like Anna Couey, Jeff

search at the University of Iowa's "Alternative

cations network of over twenty-four interna­

Mann, Fred Truck, Juan L. Gomez-Perales,

Traditions in the Contemporary Arts Archive."

tional nodes. Reflux Network is the project idea

Sarah Dickinson, Artur Matuck, Judy Malloy,

Further information about scheduled NC92

of University of Sao Paulo instructor Dr Artur

Carl Loeffler and others, we are creating an on­

events is available by writing to these facilita­

Matuckwho

going dialogue, a Telenetlink Congress that will

tors:

aims to pro­

spawn future projects interconnecting NC92

mote

(mail art networkers) and the telematic commu­

the

• H.R. Fricker, Buro Fur Kunstlerische

ideal of in­

nity. I view these collective efforts as a ubiqui­

Umtriebe, CH 9043 Trogen, Switzerland

ternational

tous "congress in process" extending through­

• PeterW. Kaufmann, Bergwisenstrasse

cooperation

out the NC92 Congress year (1992). I would

11,8123 Ebmatingen, Switzerland

col­

like to invite all of my readers who have access

• Netlink South America: Clemente Padin,

laboration

and

to computers, modems, or fax machines to join

Casilla C. Central 1211 , Montevideo, Uru­

through

in a Telenetlink Congress with NC92 and the

guay

telecommu­

Reflux Network. Participation may involve any

nication

form of telecommunication exchange, e-mail,

978, Hanover, NH 03755

tech nolo­

fax, video phones, etc.

g i e s A m

What mutual benefits would be derived

Netlink East: Chuck Welch, PO Box Netlink South: John Held Jr., 7919

Goforth, Dallas, Texas 75238

n g

from telenetlinking both worlds? Readers can

myriad ac­

join this congress by sending a brief one page

Box 1382, Youngstown, Ohio 44501

tivities scheduled at the Reflux node sites from

statement about how you envision your own

• Netlink Subspace: Steve Perkins, 221

September to December 1991, were perfor­

role as a networker Proposals and projects

W. Benton, Iowa City, Iowa 52246

mances, teleconferences by computer, fax art

that would interconnect the mail art and telematic

• Netlink West: Lloyd Dunn, PO Box 162,

exchange, digitized music/sound, video docu­

communities are also welcome. Periodic up­

Oakdale, Iowa 52319

0

Netlink Midwest: Mark Corroto, PO

mentation and exchange by slow scan televi­

dates concerning telenetlink project initiatives

Those readers who know of networkers

sion and videophones. Public participation and

will be posted over Usenet newsgroups rec.

that may be interested in NC92 are welcome to

exhibitions at each node site opened up the

arts fine and alt. artcom . Send your Telenetlink

copy this essay and transmit it to any BBS,

process as a democratic forum to dialogue.

Congress statements and project proposals

electronic newsgroup, alternative 'zine or edu­

Throughout the summer of 1991, I sent

via (e)mail to Cathryn L. Welch@dartmouth.edu.

cational institution. Together, we can telenetlink

essays and letters to all artists associated with

or fax to Chuck Welch, Telenetlink Congress

congress now in corresponding worlds. 23


DREAM EXHIBITION PARTICIPANTS A-1 Waste Paper Company, London, En­ gland, Untitled Mark Abrahamson, Stanwood, WA, Pilgrims Entering the Jokhang Temple, Lhasa, 1986 Allen Ideas, North Merrick, NY, Untitled Brad Anderson, Somerville, MA, A Short Film About Bowling C. Angel, Henderson, NV, To Dream D. Angel, Henderson, NV, The Harbor Rod Appleton, Brooklyn, NY, Land of Honey and Milk Art Ala Cart, Avon, CT, Untitled Karen Atkinson, Los Angeles, CA, At Times I've Been Dreaming Gerard Barbot, Brooklyn, NY, Untitled Jane Barnard, Eagan, MN, Honey St. from Van Morrison Series Vittore Baroni, Viareggio, Italy, Mail Art is Utopia in a Nutshell Laurie Pearce Bauer, Oakland, CA, Mother& Child Series 2 P.W. Baurer, San Francisco, CA, Untitled Mary Bennett, San Francisco, CA, Fine Grained Phantoms Stefano Blcinl, New York, NY, Play of Con­ trasts G. Bleus, Wellen, Belgium, Untitled Leila Bloch, Cold Spring, NY, Leila's Lamp Steve Bradley, New Rochelle, NY, Cutting the Fat, and How to Palpitate Your Patient's Chest Hans Braumuller, Santiago, Chile, Untitled Susan Breen, Brighton, MA, The Tinder Box Brad Brooks, New York, NY, Brickolage 24

Richard C., Winston-Salem, NC, Assorted Untitled works Les Cammer, Santa Barbara, CA, Untitled D. Capobianco & Elfi Schuselka, New York, NY, Untitled and Utopia Sitting Benches Frances Chapman, Brooklyn, NY, Quick Recipe for Pie in the Sky Leanne Claire Civiletti, Long Beach, CA, Blue Book, circa 1945 Ryosuke Cohen , Moriguchi City, Japan, Untitled Jeanette Cole, Northampton, MA, Home of My Own Square Feet Antoinette Coniglio, New York, NY, Dream­ ingofHome Crackerjack Kid, Lebanon, NH, Untitled Deborah Crowell, Princeton, NJ, Untitled Reg Darling, Warren, PA, Untitled Arabella Decker, Montara, CA, Beyond Pain Carlo Desiro, Camp Bisenzio, Italy, Struttura 91194 Marcello Diotallevi, Fano, Italy, Untitled Bob Dombrowski, New York, NY, Rhapsody of Fragments Kent Dreaden, New York, NY, You Cannot Tame Us.. . Madonna Dunbar, Buffalo, NY, Untitled Cecilia Voss Eager, Albany, CA, Untitled Dennis Earle, Minneapolis, MN, Living Utopia Ruth Egli, Bolinas, CA, Freedom of Movement Gene Elder, San Antonio, TX, Untitled and Freethought Today Epistolary Stud Farm, Tarpon Springs, FL, Untitled FaGaGaGa, Youngstown, OH, Untitled Christopher Faust, St. Paul, MN, Primrose Lane, Eden Prairie, MN, Duckwood Drive, Egan, MN, and Culdusac, Plymouth, MN

James Fee, Beverly Hills, CA, Untitled Luce Fierens, Hombeek, Belgium, Utopia: A Dream and Postfluxpostbooklet 18 & 21 Charles Francois, Liege, Belgium, Untitled Carol Freid, Seattle, WA, Utopian Handbook #1,2,3 Roland Gallahan, Richmond, VA, Tree Martha Gannon, Chicago, IL, Untitled Edward Gonzo, Bellingham, WA, Untitled Gene Gort, Southampton, MA, figurel GROUND Rebecca Grady, Fredonia, NY, The Money Tree Roger Graf, Los Angeles, CA, Ingesting Simu­ lation Vince Grimaldi, New York, NY, 2084 A.D. Betty Guernsey, New York, NY, Vignette (Child's Face) Tad Guynn, Jamestown, NY, Tower of Babel Liz Hampton, Atlanta, GA, So Many Ques­ tions ... Cynthia Hartling, New York, NY, Untitled Arleen Hartman, Cleveland, OH, Spun Liga­ ment Androgyny Stuart Harwood, Palo Alto, CA, Liberty: Not for Just Us, But for Everyone Barclay Hastings, Salt Lake City, VT, Su­ preme for Whom Jim Hayes, Jersey City, NJ, The Last of the Demons Defeated John Held, Jr., Dallas, TX, Networkers' Con­ gress James Henry, Burlington, lA, Is It a Keeper? Honoria, Austin, TX, Untitled J. K. Stuff Works, Milwaukee, WI, Untitled Jeanne Janson, Coral Gables, FL, When the Going Gets Tough, She-Immortals Go Fish­ ing


KYOTO JAPAN

Ruud Janssen, Tilburg, Holland , Untitled Christine Moran , San Francisco, CA, Garden O. Jason, Stoke-on-Trent, England, Untitled & Geometry, with Rain Jeff, New York, NY , Body Language: Gor­ Jon Neuse, Minneapolis , MN , The Fisherman Lives with the Fish geous Darren Jekel , Santa Rosa, CA, Tropicana Kathy O'Connor, Long Island City, NY, Untitled Rene Joseph, Minneapolis, MN, Beginning of 1and Untitled 2 Time and Destruction of Line Alex O ' Neal, Memphis, TN, Vision of L.A. D. Kausperelie , Terazije , Yugoslavia, Pipe Nicki Orbach , Woodside, NY , Untitled Jo Owens, Lansdale, PA, Untitled Man

Incorrect Fran Rutkovsky, Tallahassee , FI, Untitled Schmuel, Brattleboro, VT, Untitled Robert Scully, Seattle, WA, Dialogue #1 Calum Selkink, England, Untitled Brian Sikes, Chicago, IL, Not Worth Glancing At Arnello Sirignano, Brooklyn , NY, Next to of course God America I from the Intuitive Charleen Kavleski, South Fallsburg, NY, Sjoerd Paridaen , Gent, Belgium, Untitled Flash of Trash Untitled Seho Park, Winona, MN , Everyday Paradise, Alfredo Slang , Treviso , Italy, Visual Poetry Joel King , Los Angeles, CA, Untitled and Everyday Paradise 1 Pawel Kuczynski, Los Angeles , CA, Between Ashley Parker Owens, Chicago, IL, Just An­ Marilyn Sontag , New York, NY, Untitled other Doll Roger Henry and Cecily Spinner, Bronx, NY, Scylla & Charybdis Circle City Paul Laffoley, Boston , MA, Utopic Space and Milutin Pavlovic, Terre Haute, IN, My Friend the Elephant Man Homer Springer, Jr., Farmville, VA, Untitled Utopia: The Conceptual Situation Lane Last, Freeport, IL, When the Temples Geza Perneczky, Koln , Germany, Beware of State of Being, Oberlin, OH, Untitled Carol Stetser, Oak Creek, AZ, Untitled Dissolve Utopia Pascal Lenoir, Grandfresnoy, France, No Uto­ Margaret Astrid Phanes, Scotts Valley, CA, William Stipe, Eau Claire , WI, Untitled pia and The Secret Life of Marcel Duchamp Global Vision and God's Snapshot William Tafuri , North Valley Stream, NY, Los­ Arthur Lewis , Brooklyn, NY , The Voice Larry Phillips , Syracuse, NY, Untitled ing Sight: Our Disposable Values Megan & Latham Lightfoot, Detroit, MI, Daniel Plunkett, Austin , TX, Contact, Docu­ Kathy Tilton, St. Paul , MI'J, Friendly Fire S. Vance, Brooklyn, NY , Miracle of Actuality Untitled ment Exchange Jill A. Lion, Baltimore, MD, Supper is Ready Deborah Pohl, New Brunswick, NJ, Natural Joseph Verrastro, Jr., Buffalo, NY, Art Peace Marcelo Llorens, New York , NY, Ancient Mar­ Mike Walsh, Eugene, OR, Untitled Place tyr with Miraculous Tree Bern Porter, Belfast, ME, Untitled Chuck Welch, Lebanon, NH, Netlinks: Art that Sharon Loper, Los Angeles, CA, Made in J. K_ Post, Utica, NY, Untitled

Networks Japan Daniel-Jean Primeau , Ste. Martine, Canada, Sara Welch , Bemus Point, NY, Untitled Ruggero Maggi, Milano, Italy, The Infinite Une tranche de tondeuse gazon (A slice Elizabeth Whalley, Brooklyn, NY, Anonymous Line of Piero Manzoni of lawn-mower) Folksong... Malok, Waukau, WI, Untitled John Ranally, Jr., Cleveland, OH, Shadow Truckin Wheatman, New York, NY, Untitled William Mann, San Francisco, CA, Untitled Dance Jeanette Williams, New York , NY, Untitled Manzine, Seattle, WA , Notebook Alfredo Ratinoff, Miami Beach, FL, Untitled PenelopeWiliiams-Yaqub, Fredonia, NY, Lost Vesna Todorovic Miksic. Philadelphia, PA, Peter Ratner, Penn Laird, VA , Ruby Rad Utopia Gods Eat Immortality Orville Robertson , Long Island City, NY, Jaehwa Yoo, Los Angeles, CA, Zero Year Svjetlana Mimica, Split Croatia, Untitled Untitled MickeyZ, Long Island City, NY, A Passionate Mole Magazine, Herndon, VA, Anarchy Charlotte Rollman, Sycamore, IL, Daddy Indifference Carlos Montes De Oca, Santiago, Chile, I. Rose, New York, NY, Let's Walk Off the Antonio Zavaleta , Jamestown, NY, Untitled Untitled Divine Checkerboard Zephyr, Sandpoint, 10, Untitled

a

25


IN WESTERN


Utopia  

­ - .- - ..,.ltrDM_'__ -­ ,,~-"--' "", ..-..........-,..."'" . _iio......._ ......... --- . - .,..-_ .. ..-. ---....= ..... ....,.. .. ­ ......

Utopia  

­ - .- - ..,.ltrDM_'__ -­ ,,~-"--' "", ..-..........-,..."'" . _iio......._ ......... --- . - .,..-_ .. ..-. ---....= ..... ....,.. .. ­ ......