Monday, March 31, 2014

Yoko Ono | Yes Box

[Yoko Ono]
Yes Box
Lund, Sweden: Bakhall Printers & Publishers, 2004
14.5 x 13 x 1.5 cm
Edition size unknown

A clamshell cardboard box containing two audio CDs, A Hole To See the Sky Through postcard and a 32 page booklet, functioning as a catalogue of the travelling exhibition  Yes Yoko Ono organized by the Japan Society in New York City. The booklet features examples of works from the retrospective.
One CD features an eighteen minute interview with Ono and the other contains two songs from her then-current LP Blueprint for a Sunrise ( "It's Time for Action" and "I'm Not getting Enough"). The booklet's title, Soul got out of the box, is also the name of a song from the same album.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

ACBA: The Bechers for Kraftwerk

Baarn, The Netherlands: Philips, 1970
12" vinyl LP
Edition size unknown

Released in November 1970, the debut album from the electronic band that formed in Düsseldorf earlier in the year, was purely instrumental, performed on a variety of traditional instruments which were altered in post-production. The disk is long out of print and has never had an official CD release. The band has referred to their first 3 records as "archaeology" and have not performed tracks from the debut live since 1975.

The cover is credited to Ralf Hütter, the singer, keyboardist and sole founding member to continue with the group. The gatefold inner sleeve photograph of a power station is by Bernd and Hilla Becher,  who also hailed from Düsseldorf.

Kraftwerk performed at the Sony Centre in Toronto last night (see below iPhone pic).

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Jeff Berner | Fluxbook

Jeff Berner
New York City, USA: Fluxus, 1966
10 x 12 x 2.7 cm.
Edition size unknown

A white plastic box containing book pages encased in epoxy, with a George Maciunas designed, offset-printed label.

For the alternate cover design, see previous post, here.

Friday, March 28, 2014

John Cage's Rules?

The above document has recently been making the rounds on tumblr, Facebook, Pinterist, and other social media sites. My students have brought it up in class, and artist Paul Walde, who teaches at the University of Victoria, wrote that his students have posted a copy in the school's grad lounge.

The authorship is always credited to John Cage, which doesn't ring true to me. Not the approach, the writing style, or the typesetting. And it doesn't appear in any of the numerous books I have by or about Cage.

I did a fast search and discovered the below copies, which would certainly lend credence to Cage's authorship, as they are on Merce Cunningham's letterhead. The dancer and choreographer met Cage in 1938 and they spent most of their lives as artistic and romantic partners.

So I sent the question to my favourite online art detective, Greg Allen at Allen has brilliantly tracked down answers to other obscure questions surrounding contemporary art, and had previously written about Cage on several occasions, including a post on Cage's studio table, here.

Allen replied with an email less than an hour later, identifying the author as Sister Corita Kent, though with a few remaining unanswered questions. The following day he published this post, here, with more details.

If readers have any further information about the origins of this text, please leave it the comments, or send an email.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Aa Bronson | Negative Thoughts

AA Bronson
Negative Thoughts
Chicago, USA: Museum of Contemporary Art, 2001
112 pp., 23 x 15.5 cm., paperback
Edition size unknown

Negative Thoughts is an artists' book/memoir by the surviving member of a three-man artists' collective, General Idea, who lived and worked together from 1969 to 1994. His collaborators, Jorge Zontal and Felix Partz, both died in 1994 from AIDS-related causes. The title play-on-words references both Bronson's HIV status and his increasing depression following the deaths of his partners.

"When I was younger, I considered myself 100% optimistic. But now, at the age of 53, I find myself cynical, judgmental, and depressed."

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Bob Watts Box

Bob Watts
Verona, Italy: Edizioni Francesco Conz, 1984
9.5 x 10 x 25 cm
Edition of 50 signed copies

Monday, March 24, 2014


...(and latest) Xmas present ever. From Paul + Wendy Projects and David Shrigley. Full post later this week, when I install it on my front door.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Benedict Drew | Notes on The Anxiety of a Record Running Out

Benedict Drew
Notes on The Anxiety of a Record Running Out
London, UK: foam, 2014
7" vinyl single, 45 rpm
Edition of 300

The debut release from the non-profit venture foam, "a peripatetic and mercurial platform that supports artist experimentation." Foam's core project is a growing archive of commissioned 12" dub plate records, which will be available for exhibition.

The 6-minute track is backed with Notes on The Filling of Gaps, and is pressed on high quality 180g heavy colures vinyl and housed in a printed sleeve. High quality ‘lossless’ digital downloads (AIFF, WAV and/or MP3) are available with purchase.

To purchase the disk (for £30.00) and for more information visit, here.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Wolf Vostell | Berliner Brot

Wolf Vostell
Berliner Brot
Berlin, Germany: Fine-Art Gallery, 1994
25 x 35 x 28 cm.
Edition of 50 signed and numbered copies

Bread painted with liquid cement on one side and a video monitor. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Beuys on Multiples

"Jörg Schellmann/Bernd Klüser: Beuys, why do you make multiples? Can the reason for multiplying an object be found in the message it contains, for instance a particular quality which calls for mass production, or is it a questions of larger distribution?

Joseph Beuys: Well, it's a matter of two intersecting things. Naturally, I search for a suitable quality in an object, which permits multiplication of that object, for instance the quality implying a series, found in this bottle of tonic-water [Evervess II 1 (1968)]. Just by being an article of commerce, this bottle can communicate much through repetition.

But actually, it's more important to speak of distribution, of reaching a larger number of people... You can look at it from a number of different aspects. Why is anyone interested in distributing a thing as widely as possible?

The whole thing is a game, one which, with the help of this kind of information, counts on anchoring a vehicle somewhere close by, so that people can later think back on it. It's a sort of prop for the memory, yes, a sort of prop in case something different happens in the future.

For me, each edition has the character of a kernel of condensation upon which many things may accumulate.

You see, all those people who have such an object will continue to be interested in how the point of departure from which the vehicles started is developing. They'll be watching to see what the person who produced these things is doing now. That way I stay in touch with people; just as you have come to me because of what I've made and we can talk about it, I can talk to just about anybody who owns such an object. There's a real affinity to people who own such things, such vehicles. It's like an antenna which is standing somewhere and with which one stays in touch. There are also cross­connections between people, or ricochets. One person says: Yes, I've got such a bottle. Another one has such a wooden box and a third one says: I've heard something about political activities, and so all sorts of different concepts converge, and that's what I'm interested in, that a whole lot of concepts come together.

I'm interested in the distribution of physical vehicles in the form of editions because I'm interested in spreading ideas.

The objects are only understandable in relations to my ideas. The work I do politically has a different effect on people because such a product exists than it would have if the means of expression were only the written word.

Although these products may not seem suitable for bringing about political change, I think more emanates from them than if the ideas behind them were revealed directly.

To me the vehicle quality of the editions is important..."

Read the full interview here.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Special Signed Baldessari offer from The Thing Quarterly

"Hello friends,

We have ten signed John Baldessari issues of THE THING in our archive and two of them are going into the mail.  What this means is that everyone who orders a John Baldessari issue 22 between March 20th and March 30th will have a chance to receive a signed edition.

Two signed issues will be mailed out at random to two people who purchase a Baldessari issue between now and midnight Pacific Standard Time, March 30th.
We do not know which issue is signed, but we do know...
it will be one of the issues purchased between March 20th and March 30th
it is somewhere in the stack of issues being mailed out on a rolling basis
it has been placed in the stack by someone we hardly know
it will be very exciting if you receive it
it will be very exciting even if you do not (because the issue is amazing)
Signed issues include two pillowcases, one of which is signed by John Baldessari.  The cases are neatly packed inside their original packaging."

Visit The Thing, here, for details.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Joseph Beuys | FIU Oil Bottle

Joseph Beuys
FIU Oil Bottle
Pescara, Italy: Edizioni Lucrezia De Domizio, 1984
26 x 8 cm.
Unlimited Edition

A bottle of olive oil with a silkscreened signature by the artist. Some copies additionally signed by Beuys. With a current estimated value of between five and seven thousand dollars, US.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Bernar Venet | Mathematics and Thinking Mathematically

Venet Bernar
Mathematics and Thinking Mathematically
New York City, USA: Multiples, Inc., 1970
18 pp., 18 x 18 cm., metal rings
Edition of 1200

Issued as a part of the box "Artists & Photographs", which also featured Mel Bochner, Christo, Jan Dibbets, Dan Graham, Joseph Kosuth, Bruce Nauman, Dennis Oppenheim, Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscah, Andy Warhol and others.