in Curating, Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK)
Editions — Ready to Print 13 (16 x A4) = A0 x 13
16 September 2011
White Space Zurich, Wurttembergischer Kunststiftung Stuttgart, Pro qm Berlin
Beni Bischof, Brigit Brenner, Dani Gal, Guerilla Girls, Clare Kenny, Daniel Knorr, Lucie Kolb, Monochrom, Felipe Mujica, Fabio Marco Pirovino, Ana Roldán, Shirana Shahbazi, Riikka Tauriainen
We asked thirteen artists of different backgrounds and formal interests to produce PDF editions. These artists have each created a work on paper consisting of 16 pages in the A4 format, most of which will be assembled to form single two-dimensional pieces of work in the A0 format. These contemporary editions will be distributed on the internet and can be downloaded for free from the web journal under the address on-curating.org, issue 10. The editions will be accessible to anyone worldwide who has a computer, printer and some sticky tape. Please send any documentary material to: email@example.com.
With the project Editions – Ready to Print we are particularly interested in the format of editions as a democratic model of art distribution. We see historical connections to the multiples and editions produced by artists in the 1960s who symbolically established mail order warehouses and the fluxus artists who presented art and limited edition objects in shop windows. The idea was to separate art from its auratic elevation and make it accessible to everyone. To this day, Edition MAT as well as Edition Block produce and distribute editions.
We were inspired by projects such as Parkett Editionen (www.parkettart.com) and the hard hat multiples (www.hard-hat.ch) by John Armleder. In the project Ready Trade Trailer 2007, the Pathway MAS Curating (ZHdK) also produced eighteen editions in collaboration with artists and sold them from a mobile platform, the so-called Trailer, in various places. The most recent developments seem to be editions distributed via the internet such as the free downloadable screen savers (www.schimmer.ch) hich Mirjam Steinhauser initiated in 2007 as well as the website www.azple.com, which we found particularly inspiring. It is curated by Mirjam Varadinis and Annie Wu, who have made their editions available in A3 formats for a limited time since 2005. It is our intention to connect Editions – Ready to Print specifically to the web journal www.on-curating.org, which deals with issues of curatorial practice and theory, in order to use visual methods to extend the discursive space into urban space.
The Ready to Print editions are free of charge, representing an alternative to the usual ‘view – click – buy’ model of internet shopping. The editions can appear in completely different contexts: in galleries, in apartments, in public spaces, or passed on from hand to hand. Once an edition has been selected and downloaded, it can end up anywhere: whirled through the air in Chicago, hidden away in a drawer in London’s financial district, on a tree trunk or on a street sign, in private galleries, on a wind screen, as a banner on a demonstration, or subversively passed on from person to person. The project is complemented by “documentary photography” that users send us and that we in turn make accessible. The “art work” is thus permanently being shaped by its audience.
The project will pose questions such as: Who owns public space? Where and under what conditions can something be shown? It will necessarily expose censorship in certain contexts: Will it be possible to show the editions openly in any place? The project both uses and questions the ephemeral, commodified nature of the digital net. The dematerialisation of the art object has reached a new level. The art object is alienated from itself, transferred into a series of infinitely similar and equivalent objects, subverting the logic of the ordinary and thus also the aura, that “unique phenomenon of distance, regardless of how near it may be” (Walter Benjamin). This revolutionary form of access to digital editions opens up new relations and effects which not only re-formulate aesthetic pleasure but also impact on our understanding of art/visual messages, positioning them both as a part of everyday life and as a political act, as an event that both interrupts narration and formulates new narratives as poetical activities.
Concept: Dorothee Richter, Andrea Roca in collaboration with Milena Brendle, Chantal Bron, Melanie Buechel, Jeannine Herrmann, Amber Hickey, Sonja Hug, Garance Massart-Blum, Candida Pestana, Corinne Rinaldis, Dimitrina Sevova, Lindsey Sharman, Catrina Sonderegger.