Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 253

conceptual art

and the politics of publicity

The MIT Press

Cambridge, Massachusetts

London, England

conceptual art

and the politics of publicity

alexander alberro

2003 Massachusetts Institute of Technology

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means (including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval) without permission in writing from the publisher.

The illustrations in this book are reprinted courtesy of the Siegelaub Collection & Archives, Teaneck, New Jersey, and Amsterdam.

This book was set in Caecilia Light and Trade Gothic by Graphic Composition, Inc., Athens, Georgia, and was printed and bound in the United States of America.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Alberro, Alexander. Conceptual art and the politics of publicity / Alexander Alberro. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-262-01196-4 (hc. : alk. paper) 1. Conceptual artUnited States. 2. ArtMarketing. I. Title. N6512.5.C64 A43 2003 709 .73 09045dc21 2002075392

To Arielle and Nora



viii xii

The Contradictions of Conceptual Art
Chapter One

Art, Advertising, Sign Value

Chapter Two 26

Art as Idea

Primary and Secondary Information
Chapter Three



Locations, Variables, and Durations

Chapter Four 84

The Linguistic Turn

Chapter Five 102


Artists Rights and Product Management
Chapter Six



The Xerox Degree of Art

Chapter Seven 152

The Siegelaub Idea


171 212 224


I.1 1.1

Duane Michaels, Seth Siegelaub, 1969 Installation view, Laura Knott Gallery, Bradford Junior College, 4 February2 March 1968: Carl Andre, Untitled (144 Pieces of Zinc), 1968; Lawrence Weiner, Untitled, 1967; Robert Barry, Untitled, 1967

17 19


Robert Barry, Dan Graham, Lawrence Weiner, and Carl Andre at the Windham College symposium, 30 April 1968

1.3 2.1 2.2

Carl Andre, Joint, 1968, as installed at Windham College, 30 April31 May 1968 Joseph Kosuth, Titled (Art as Idea as Idea), 1967 Joseph Kosuth, Titled (Art as Idea as Idea), 1968, as installed at Gallery 669, Los Angeles, October 1968

21 31

33 36 37 37

2.3 2.4 2.5

Sol LeWitt, Serial Project No. 1 (Set A), 1966 Sol LeWitt, Serial Project No. 1 (Set B), 1966 Sol LeWitt, Serial Project No. 1 (Set C), 1966

2.6 2.7

Joseph Kosuth in Newsweek, 29 July 1968; photograph by Lawrence Fried Lawrence Weiner, Two Minutes of Spray Paint Directly upon the Floor from a Standard Aerosol Can, 1968


46 48

2.8 2.9

Joseph Kosuth, Titled (Art as Idea as Idea), 1967 Joseph Kosuth, Second Investigation, I. Existence (Art as Idea as Idea), 1968, as installed in the exhibition January 531, 1969


II.1 Publicity photograph by Seth Siegelaub featuring the four participating artists

in January 531, 1969: Robert Barry, Douglas Huebler, Joseph Kosuth, and Lawrence Weiner
3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 4.1

58 61 67 76 78 78 79 81

Douglas Huebler, Truro Series 3-66, 1966 Douglas Huebler, Rochester Trip, 1968 Cover of Douglas Huebler: November 1968, 1968 Douglas Huebler, Boston-New York Exchange Shape, 1968 Douglas Huebler, Boston-New York Exchange Shape, 1968 Douglas Huebler, Boston-New York Exchange Shape, 1968 Douglas Huebler, Variable Piece #1, 1968 Lawrence Weiner, installation of Propeller paintings at Seth Siegelaub Fine Arts, 10 November5 December 1964

85 87

4.2 4.3

Lawrence Weiner, Untitled, 1966 Lawrence Weiner, Staples, Stakes, Twine, Turf, as installed at Windham College, 30 April31 May 1968



Lawrence Weiner, Staples, Stakes, Twine, Turf, as installed at Windham College, 30 April31 May 1968 91


Lawrence Weiner, Six Ten Penny Common Steel Nails. Nails to Be Driven into Floor at Indicated Terminal Points, 1968 94


Lawrence Weiner, A 36 x 36 Removal to the Lathing or Support Wall of Plaster or Wallboard from a Wall, 1968, as installed in the exhibition January 531, 1969 99

5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5

Robert Barry, installation of paintings at Westerly Gallery, New York, 1964 Robert Barry, Untitled, 19671968 Robert Barry, Untitled, 1967 Robert Barry, Untitled, as installed at Windham College, 30 April31 May 1968 Robert Barry, 88 mc Carrier Wave (FM), 1968; and 1600 kc Carrier Wave (AM), 1968, as installed in January 531, 1969

104 108 110 112

116 119


Robert Barry, Inert Gas Series: Helium, 1969

III.1 Vassilakis Takis removing Tele-Sculpture, 1965, from the exhibition The Machine

as Seen at the End of the Mechanical Age, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 3 January 1969


Advertisement in Artforum announcing the exhibition Douglas Huebler: November 1968, 1968 132


Mel Bochner, Working Drawings and Other Visible Things on Paper Not Necessarily Meant to Be Viewed as Art, as installed at the School of Visual Arts Gallery, New York, 1966 134 137 138 139 141

6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7

Carl Andre, Untitled, 1968, from The Xerox Book Carl Andre, Untitled, 1968, from The Xerox Book Carl Andre, Untitled, 1968, from The Xerox Book Sol LeWitt, Untitled, 1968, from The Xerox Book Lawrence Weiner, A Rectangular Removal from a Xeroxed Graph Sheet in Proportion to the Overall Dimensions of the Sheet, 1968, from The Xerox Book

143 144 145 146 158 162

6.8 6.9

Lawrence Weiner, Untitled, 1968 Lawrence Weiner, Untitled, 1968

6.10 Lawrence Weiner, Untitled, 1968 7.1 7.2

Cover of July, August, September 1969, 1969 Pages from Prospect 69, 1969


Seth Siegelaub and Robert Projansky, The Artists Reserved Rights Transfer and Sale Agreement, 1971, as reprinted in Studio International, April 1971 165


Seth Siegelaub and Robert Projansky, The Artists Reserved Rights Transfer and Sale Agreement, 1971, as reprinted in Studio International, April 1971 166


Seth Siegelaub and Robert Projansky, The Artists Reserved Rights Transfer and Sale Agreement, 1971, as reprinted in Studio International, April 1971 167


The research and writing phases of this project were facilitated by the generosity of the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada, the University of Florida Scholarship Enhancement Fund, the Graduate School at Northwestern University, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. My thanks go first of all to Michael Leja for his perspicacious advice when this project began. He, as well as Whitney Davis, Hollis Clayson, and Nancy J. Troy, were particularly generous in giving me support and intellectual guidance when it was most needed. I am also grateful to Eric de Bruyn, Margit Grieb, Serge Guilbaut, Anne Rorimer, Martha Rosler, and Blake Stimson. Their responses to certain sections of the manuscript were invaluable. Benjamin H. D. Buchloh in particular deserves special credit for his encouragement and wise counsel throughout the research phase of this project. Thanks are also due to Robert Barry, Daniel Buren, Dan Graham, Hans Haacke, Douglas Huebler, Joseph Kosuth, Christine Kozlov, Ursula Meyer, Patricia Norvell, Brian ODoherty, Theresa Schwartz, and especially Seth Siegelaub and Lucy R. Lippard, for making their archives available. Siegelaub, in particular, facilitated this project in many ways, while taking special care to allow my own interpretations to emerge. All of the illustrations in this book come from the Siegelaub Collection & Archives. For granting me interviews and otherwise corresponding, I thank Vito Acconci, Carl Andre, Terry Atkinson, Jo Baer, Robert

Barry, Iain Baxter, Mel Bochner, Daniel Buren, Victor Burgin, Leo Castelli, Paula Cooper, Eduardo Costa, Hanne Darboven, Raymond Dirks, Dan Flavin, Dan Graham, Manny Greer, Hans Haacke, Charles Harrison, Jon Hendricks, Douglas Huebler, Donald Judd, Mary Kelly, Joseph Kosuth, Christine Kozlov, Sol LeWitt, Lucy Lippard, Robert Morris, Barbara Novak, Brian O'Doherty, Adrian Piper, Theresa Schwartz, Seth Siegelaub, Robert Topol, Jeff Wall, John Weber, and Lawrence Weiner. Additionally, I owe a special debt of gratitude to Roger Conover, who was never reticent about offering criticisms, advice, and editorial suggestions, and to Matthew Abbate and the entire MIT Press staff for their expert and indefatigable assistance throughout the preparation of this book. As for my friends Ron Clark, Caroline Constant, Robert Haywood, James Meyer, and Lora Rempel, who read and reread drafts of this text and made pertinent comments, I hope they already know of my deep appreciation. Above all, thanks go to Nora M. Alter, who has helped with the organization, precision, and clarity of this text, and whose intellectual influence, incalculably diffusive, is on every page.

This page intentionally left blank

conceptual art

and the politics of publicity

This page intentionally left blank


the contradictions of conceptual art

The economic aspect of conceptual art is perhaps the most interesting. From the moment when ownership of the work did not give its owner the great advantage of control of the work acquired, this art was implicated in turning back on the question of the value of its private appropriation. How can a collector possess an idea? Seth Siegelaub, 19731

The gure of the artist transformed dramatically during the 1960s. The t-for-Hollywood ction of the tragic individual heroically converting raw matter into high art had already been challenged during its ascendancy in the 1950s, and manifestly revised on a variety of levels by the beginning of the following decade. But as the 1960s progressed, a new generation of artists went considerably beyond undermining concepts of personal expression in art, in favor of a persistent experimentation with novel methods and materials coupled with an unprecedented careerism. In the process, they increasingly resembled personnel in other specialized professions in which success came to those who managed and publicized their work most strategically.

That the ethos of the younger artists, many with advanced degrees and middleclass aspirations, seemed to parallel developments in the world of business and the emergent managerial class was recognized more and more. As Allan Kaprow declared in a 1964 essay, If artists were in hell in 1946, now they are in business. Leading increasingly expedient social lives, Kaprow continues, artists today cannot leave their entire careers to chance, because they will nd that others, attending to their own careers, will close them out.2 The critic Barbara Rose expressed a similar sentiment the following year when she complained that among art students, one perceives a make it mentality, and in 1967 Alan Solomon noted that it has become ever more difcult to tell the artists from the collectors.3 But it is the corporate sponsors statement introducing the 1969 conceptual art exhibition When Attitudes Become Form that best sums up the new overlap between business and the arts. The president of Philip Morris Europe declared:

We at Philip Morris feel it is appropriate that we participate in bringing these works to the attention of the public for there is a key element in this new art which has its counterpart in the business world. That element is innovationwithout which it would be impossible for progress to be made in any segment of society. Just as the artist endeavors to improve his interpretation and conceptions through innovation, the commercial entity strives to improve its end product or service through experimentation with new methods and materials. Our constant search for a new and better way in which to perform and produce is akin to the questionings of the artists whose works are represented here.4

Many in the multinational corporate world of the 1960s likewise imagined ambitious art not as an enemy to be undermined or a threat to consumer culture, but as a symbolic ally. They welcomed the new art because they perceived in it a counterpart to their own pursuit of new products and markets. This shift was not an isolated event. Rather it was paralleled by the new kind of society that emerged in parts of the globe most affected by the force elds of multinational capitalism. Variously described as postindustrial, information, and consumer society, it was marked, among other things, by novel modes of communication and distribution of information, new types of consumption, an ever-more-rapid rhythm of fashion and style changes, and the proliferation of advertising and the media to an unprecedented degree. Providing services and manipulating information became the heart of this new economic paradigm, which Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri have appropriately termed informatization.5

the contradictions of conceptual art


Duane Michaels, Seth Siegelaub, 1969 The emergence of conceptual art is closely related to this new moment of advanced capitalism. Indeed, conceptualisms unusual formal features and mode of circulation in many ways utilize and enact the deeper logic of informatization. This is nowhere more clearly evident than in the innovative exhibition and distribution practices masterminded by the conceptual art dealer and entrepreneur Seth Siegelaub (g. I.1), referred to in the late 1960s as the Kahnweiler of the latter part of the twentieth century.6 Prior to his abrupt departure from the art world in 1971, Siegelaub organized a large number of pivotal and highly in uential conceptual art exhibitions. In the process he played a central role in the transformation of art exhibition and production practices in the late 1960s.7 An investigation of the emergence of conceptual art through the lens of Siegelaubs involvement with this art movement provides not only an understanding of the shifting public persona of the artist and the full-scale incorporation of art, but also a glimpse of the relationship that was established between the new economies of aesthetic value and the politicized cultural critique that erupted in the late 1960s.

Such a lens, however, while sharpening the focus, also necessarily limits the scope of what initially constituted conceptual art in several signicant regards. The rst is geographical: although one of the basic aims of conceptualism was precisely to decenter the artworld, this study will have a New York bias, as this was not only the location from which Siegelaub primarily operated in the 1960s but also the center for artistic promotion, reviews, books, galleries, et cetera.8 The second concerns the issue of gender: all of the artists associated with Siegelaub were male, which unfortunately gives the impression that female artists were not involved in the early history of conceptualism. This is inaccurate: the signicance of, among others, Rosemarie Castoro, Hanne Darboven, Christine Kozlov, Lee Lozano, Adrian Piper, and Yvonne Rainer in the early history of conceptual art should not be underestimated.9 But as Siegelaub did not give them priority, the resulting picture appears to be somewhat of a boys club. The third limit is related to the rst: those treated in this study are all U.S. artists. Again, this should not diminish the relevant and important work of European, Latin American, Australian, Canadian, or Asian conceptual artists in the late 1960s.10 Finally: temporally its scope will be limited to the period when Siegelaub was actively involved in the art world, between 1964 and 1971. I shall therefore discuss neither the important work of post-conceptual artists of the 1970s such as Conrad Atkinson, Victor Burgin, Mary Kelly, John Knight, Barbara Kruger, and Martha Rosler, nor the work of the many neo-conceptual artists of the 1980s and 1990s. Standard accounts have tended to claim that conceptual art strove to negate the commodity status of art but failed. Lucy Lippard, the foremost critic and defender of conceptual art in the moment of its emergence, heralded this view as early as 1972, when she lamented that the movement had rapidly capitulated to market forces and achieved commercial success.11 Yet the idea that the political economy of conceptual art sought to eliminate the commodity status of the art object, while highly provocative, is mythical. To be sure, artists and dealers had to grapple with the problem of how a collector would be able to purchase and possess a work during the early history of conceptualism, but there was never a moment when they did not seek to market the art. As Siegelaub indicated in the early 1970s, questions of how to transfer ownership and satisfy the collectors desire to own an authentic art object (even if there was no longer an art object in the conventional sense) soon became pass, as ways were developed to transfer the signature of the artist, or a certicate of ownership for the work, to the art patron.12 Along with establishing Siegelaubs crucial role in the commercial packaging of conceptual art, this book explores the relationship between the highly innovative exhibition

and distribution practices he developed in the late 1960s and the ongoing aesthetic dialogue in the work of the artists associated with him during this period. The contradictory nature of Siegelaubs role has to be addressed in all its complexity. This account will consider his success in organizing and promoting a group of young artists concerned more with overturning the status quo in the art world and reaching a mass public than with questions of aesthetics. This explosion, as Daniel Buren termed it in retrospect, facilitated by the radical transformation of the aesthetic object, greatly beneted artists who sought to oppose the established hierarchies and economies of value regulating the art world.13 Yet, at the very moment that Siegelaubs ingenious exhibition and distribution practices made art widely available and generated modes of artistic consumption heretofore unknown, a much more problematic aspect of his practice emerged. This feature was singled out by Siegelaubs longest associate in the art world, Lawrence Weiner, as early as 1971:

the contradictions of conceptual art

WS: Would you say something about Seth Siegelaubs role . . . ? LW: Well, he put the work together, and he instigated a complete narration that has become viable within the culture, and accepted as an entity. He packaged disparate artists who had the same general feeling towards the way of art. . . . He was the advertising agency, there was no art role involved in that. WS: But it cant be denied that Seth had an awareness of something that was happening in the culture in advance of almost everyone else. LW: Absolutely. Seth did a very good job. His packaging and his selling were done in a superb manner. He also had very good material to work with. He did have the best dishwashing liquid around.14

Reading the emergence of conceptual art through the perspective of Siegelaubs practices of exhibition and distribution thus provides a glimpse into the inherently contradictory nature of this art movementin which the egalitarian pursuit of publicness and the emancipation from traditional forms of artistic value were as denitive as the fusion of the artwork with advertising and display. The oscillation between these two developments is the problem at hand, one that denes conceptual art as much as it does the cultural possibilities of the present.

chapter one art, advertising, sign value

As one of my favorite poets, Ezra Pound, once said, the beef stew cooking on the stove doesnt need any advertising. It has advertising. It has its aroma. You can smell the beef stew on the stove. But the beef stew in the can has to be advertised. Somebody has to sell it to you. It cant sell itself. Carl Andre, 19681

We specialize in the development and organization of public relations programs involving the ne arts. The art program is the medium through which you tell your story to the community. . . . [It is] designed to give you maximum return on your public relations dollar. Seth Siegelaub and Jack Wendler, 19672

When Seth Siegelaub opened his gallery in New York in June 1964 he was only twenty-three years old. The circumstances were favorable, as the 1960s were boom years in economic terms and the future promised endless growth. This euphoria carried over into all areas of

speculation, including the art business. Art was being purchased at record rates, and a new type of patronage was emerging that differed dramatically from that of the elite circles that had previously dominated the art market in the United States.3 In a short span of time, wrote one observer in 1966,

the contradictions of conceptual art

serious avant-garde collecting changed from a private depreciated act of commitment to untested ideas into a conspicuous public activity that drew more and more eager recruits from the new age of afuence. Advocacy and support of experimental art has now gained such a hold on the American imagination that the normal lag between artistic invention and its public acceptance is disappearing.4

art, advertising, sign value

Experimental art had various attractions for the eager recruits. For one thing, it now had investment valuea phenomenon that had long evaded the contemporary art market. Whereas buyers of art as an investment in the rst postwar years generally patronized more traditional work, during the early 1960s speculation permeated every facet of the art market, including contemporary art.5 Astute collectors and investors discovered that contemporary art, which could be purchased at bargain prices because of its newfangledness, had enormous investment potential. Furthermore, the patronage of innovative art gave collecting the same sense of adventure and risk-taking that existed in the world of business. The cumulative effect of these trends, coupled with changes in tax laws, contributed to a booming market for contemporary art that in turn inated the exchange value of art and attracted an even greater number of interested patrons. Financial journals made investment recommendations for art, singling out the potential of the work of a number of artists and artistic movements, and newspapers covered museum and gallery exhibitions more thoroughly in their social columns. In 1963, a Life magazine article boldly announced that more buyers than ever sail into a broadening [art] market. The article included reproductions of work by a number of young artists, along with a price range for each.6 Two years later, a feature in Newsweek, Vanity Fair: The New York Art Scene, focused on how the art world as an institution had become the center of attention and the artist a supplier of commodities in an exchange of fashionable goods.7 But there was more to the growing market for ambitious new art during the early 1960s. As important as monetary value was the prestige this type of patronage could bring the collector in the new phase of image-centered capitalism. As the contemporary art scene became a subject of interest in the popular press, the media increasingly gave the purchasers

of experimental art some of the same attention they gave the artists.8 Articles often featured tag lines such as These pictures are like IBM stock, dont forget that, and this is the time to buy, alongside photographs of hip-looking collectors in front of their accumulations of contemporary art.9 The new collectors clearly enjoyed the limelight, and when quoted, in true American fashion, were anything but culturally pretentious. As one explained to the journalist of a 1965 Life magazine article: I dont even look at the pictures. I just know theyre thereand that I have the best and biggest collection in the world.10 Thus for the young, upwardly mobile art enthusiasts, many with college backgrounds and some knowledge of art history, untried contemporary art was at once a potential investment, a means by which to differentiate themselves from their past, and a way of distinguishing themselves from their more established, and for the most part aesthetically conservative, peers. Experimental art was hip, and, because of its inherently tenuous character, the contemporary art world provided a space for the ambitious newly rich to locate themselves on the way up the social ladder. Francis OConnor comments on this phenomenon in Notes on Patronage: The 1960s, written as the great wartime prosperity collapsed and the art market ran out of steam in the recession of the early 1970s: This new audience was made up of young, mobile, afuent, highly trained technocrats, eager to enjoy the comforts of their classone of which was art. Art magically combined characteristics irresistible to these nouveau[x] riche[s]: it was prestigious to own and conspicuous to display, and vied with the stock market in investment potential.11 Unlike the connoisseurs of the past, many of whom had made of art collecting a dilettantish avocation, the new collectors typically remained active in their workaday world, with art a part of that world rather than a relief or escape from its values or pressures. Supporting this outlook was the increased presence of art in corporate ofces and buildings. In practice this subtle shift, whereby art now proliferated in the workplace as well as in museums and private collections, meant a decreased emphasis on the opinions of established art critics and scholars and an increased and more evident reliance on art galleries and dealers, whose advice often emphasized the exchange value of works of art alongside their aesthetic value. The impact of the new market patterns that this new group of collectors put into effect, together with the ecstatic coverage of the art scene in the mass media, combined to effect a near total reversal of the traditional processes by which artists were recognized. Whereas erudite art critics previously played a signicant role in establishing reputations, in the 1960s new collectors of vanguard art began to purchase the work of artists prior to criti-

cal legitimation, increasing the artists recognition and scal opportunities. Here is how the critic Harold Rosenberg put it at the time:

the contradictions of conceptual art

The texture of collaboration between dealers, collectors and exhibitors has become increasingly dense to the point at which the artist is confronted by a solid wall of opinion and fashion forecasts constructed, essentially, out of the data of the art market. . . . The presence of this potent professional establishment has radically affected the relation, once largely regulated by the taste of patrons, of the artist to society and to his own product.12

As Rosenberg suggests, in this fundamental reconception of patronage the entrepreneurial, innovative, and often historically naive art dealer replaced the highly specialized art critic as the central conduit between artists and their audience. The critic, who had had a continuing importance throughout the era of the New York School, was no longer the primary arbiter of artistic success. Despite the move away from elitism, what emerged was an increased collusion among dealers, collectors, curators, and artists, where value was xed by trendiness and, ultimately, by marketability. The potential power of the collection in determining an artworks value was also on the rise. As Siegelaub notes in a 1969 interview, collectors often approached artists with some line of horseshit about a very important collection, they say, Sell it to me very cheaply because youll be in my collection.13 Value, in this new scheme, was determined by a collection and, by direct extension, by an ambitious collector with little or no knowledge about art. Siegelaub declares in conversation with Charles Harrison in 1969 that people are aware of art through printed media and conversation, or through publicity and rumortwo venues that Siegelaub was to exploit during the mid1960s.14 By 1965, one observer put it a decade later,

art, advertising, sign value

it was almost immaterial who had written an article on an artist, where the article appeared, or how complimentary it was. Since more and more collectors of vanguard art lived outside the art world, they did not always read such abstruse journals as Artforum, at least not word for word. A photograph used to illustrate an article on an artist often proved more effective in marketing his work than the article itself. For the same reason, an article in Time, Life, or the New York Times was more useful to a dealer than an article in one of the art journals. Ironically, articles which criticized an artists work began to have the same effect as articles which praised it: both brought the artist to the publics often casual attention.15


This last comment resonates almost explicitly with the ndings of Harrison and Cynthia Whites 1965 study of the French art world.16 Interestingly, the writers point was not that positive criticism was now indistinguishable from negative, but that all such distinctions were irrelevant in the burgeoning art marketplace of the 1960s. The passage directs attention to the shift during this decade from serious intellectual critique and analysis to the crucial importance of publicity. Within this atmosphere a new type of dealer emerged, one who had to appeal to collectors but maintain a distance from them at the same time.





Located at 16 West 56th Street in New York, Siegelaubs gallerySeth Siegelaub Contemporary Artdealt not only in ne art but also in Oriental rugs, which were sometimes incorporated into shows.17 This coupling provided the dealer an appropriate setting to project the image of the art collector as a highly cultured individual surrounded by rened objects. Additionally, the combination of new art and old, timeless rugs inevitably suggested that this particular new would also withstand time and become priceless. Siegelaubs aggressive promotion of his gallery is evident in the structure of his rst exhibition (14 September10 October 1964). He arranged paintings and sculptures by a number of artists throughout the gallery space and placed couches and chairs on an exotic carpet in the center of the room. The gallery visitor was encouraged to lounge in the seats and experience the show as an overall environment.18 The vanguard aspects of Siegelaubs exhibition strategy were even clearer in the gallerys second show, scheduled in late December 1964, which featured a carnivalesque conscious[ness] expanding experience by the artist Arni Hendin. This four-day happening also encouraged audience participation through an unpredictable series of encounters. During the 22 thru 25 December, wrote Siegelaub to the collectors Robert and Ethel Scull on 18 November,

Arni Hendin will be creating an experience at my gallery called an examination of Social Reactiona simulated day in the life of Mr. and Mrs. Important People. As the name suggests there will be an entire day constructed in the gallery: walls will be made, as will rooms, a subway car, ofce, department store, party and private apartment. Mr. and Mrs. Important People will begin their day in their simulated house and continue through their day to the simulated party. The other people in

the gallery will watch the I.P. go through their day and play parts in their day as servants, artists, party-givers, friends, ofce help, etc. I expect coverage from two art magazines and one paper (so far), and I plan to tie in with other media as we pick up steam.19

the contradictions of conceptual art

What is remarkable about the experience that Siegelaub describes is that it engages in a sharp social critique of the potential collectors, or I.P., exposing the banality of their routine lives, while at the same time appealing to the very sources that legitimate such livesthe mass mediato validate the exhibition. But what I want to single out in particular here is that right from the beginning of his career Siegelaub places importance on cultivating, shaping, and ensuring press coverage and publicity.20 Over the next several years, he will become as attentive to the organization of image, artistic (and corporate) identity, and publicity strategies as to the actual production of art exhibitions. His credo will be that, if marketed correctly, almost any artwork, no matter how unconventional, could be sold.21 Siegelaub initially sought an identity for his gallery as a site of what were then variously referred to as action, happenings, and environments. Fashioned into sensory obstacle courses, these interiors might include not only the traditional media of painting and sculpture but also, as Allan Kaprow (with whom the term happenings was primarily associated at the time) suggested, objects of every sort . . . , paint, chairs, food, electric and neon lights, smoke, water, old socks, a dog, movies, [and] a thousand other things.22 Kaprows polemic against the immaculate, gallery-bound object, published in what was then the New York School journal, Art News, was taken up in the years immediately following its publication by a whole range of artists who sought to reposition artistic practice within everyday life, breaking down all traditional divisions not only between artistic genres and media, but also between the actor and spectator, the stage and public space, aesthetic and secular objects.23 And Siegelaub was a participant in this trend, in his capacity as exhibition organizer and art dealer. As things turned out, however, the Seth Siegelaub Contemporary Art gallery only operated from 23 June 1964 to the end of April 1966. The increase in the number of collectors in the 1960s was paralleled by increases in both the number of artists operating in the art world and the number of galleries. According to one source, in New York City alone there were nearly one thousand galleries during this period.24 With the proliferation of galleries outpacing the rise in patronage, competition became more intense and Siegelaub could not sell enough work to cover the gallerys overhead.

art, advertising, sign value 11


But things were by no means over for him. Although he would never again become afliated with a particular gallery space, he organized a large number of pivotal and highly inuential exhibitions over the next six years. In the process he played an even more important role in the enormous transformation in art exhibition and production practices that took place during the late 1960s.




When Seth Siegelaub Contemporary Art closed in the spring of 1966, Siegelaub shifted strategies. He took a two-room apartment at Madison Avenue and 82nd Street and began dealing privately out of his suite. Conducting business in this way meant sparing the expenses of maintaining a gallery. The practice of direct-mail advertising continued, though, as did the strong promotion of an identied and select group of forward-looking artistsalthough now a much smaller group.25 Siegelaub installed paintings and sculptures throughout his apartment and maintained an invitation-only policy. Through his past dealings he had cultivated various art enthusiasts and young businessman-collectors who found the association with artists and others in this salon-type art world as appealing as collecting objects. Another site of business for Siegelaub during this period was the Manhattan nightclub Maxs Kansas City on Park Avenue South at 17th Street, where artists, critics, collectors, and visiting Hollywood celebrities would mingle over drinks and food. Social capital, that network of contacts so important to a successful career, could be gained there, night after night. Thus Siegelaubs days would be spent in his Madison Avenue apartment, tirelessly drafting promotional letters and telephoning prospective patrons, and his evenings socializing and networking at Maxs Kansas City and other accessible sites of art world activity. Every Sunday afternoon, Siegelaub would host a soire, or salon, at his apartment, to which he would invite a select group of collectors, critics, and museum curators to mingle with the artists he represented. This tactful organization of an exclusive inner circle was the way Siegelaub now did business and showcased his artists work. But Siegelaub had more than a good eye and adept managerial skills; he also had an extraordinary knack for promotion and publicity. For a succinct illustration of his entrepreneurial strategy we have only to look at the agenda and promotion of Image. Art Programs for Industry, Inc., a service company he incorporated with the wealthy collector and busi-

nessman Jack Wendler early in 1967. Image presented itself to the corporate world as a public relations specialist. We specialize in the development and organization of public relations programs involving the ne arts, stated an Image promotional pamphlet targeted at prospective corporate clients. The art program is the medium through which you tell your story to the community. . . . [It is] designed to give you maximum return on your public relations dollar.26 No doubt Siegelaub and Wendler were right: art is capable of bestowing personality dimensions even on corporations. Also clear, though, is that by highlighting the personal dimensionyour storyImage establishes a differentiating system. And as a range of distinguishing marks is keyed to one of personality traits, art comes to play the same role as did formerly a eld of distinct values.27 The infusion of corporate funds was a major element in the expansion of the art market during the mid-1960s.28 Corporate ideology in that decade was a dynamic force, as the business world undertook dramatic transformations both of the way it operated and the way it imagined itself. In signicant ways, corporate collectors made clear their preference for contemporary art over more established work. Many in corporate practice, especially in public relations departments, imagined new, innovative art as a symbolic ally in the pursuit of entrepreneurship, a partner in their own struggles to revitalize business and the consumer order generally.29 Furthermore, contemporary trends and innovations in art offered the corporate patron a progressive image in the business sphere and a public sign of commitment to fresh ideas. A 1967 text that was clearly directed to corporate executives and shareholders stated:

the contradictions of conceptual art art, advertising, sign value

There are . . . immediate and direct advantages for the corporate collector. . . . Management executives have come to recognize the many practical benets in public relations termsamong them, building goodwill and establishing a reputation for progressiveness. This reputation is vital to the modern business institution. It inuences consumer acceptance of its products; helps attract dynamic young talents to the executive roster; satises stockholder interest in its ability to compete; and contributes signicantly to heightened respect from all segments of society.30

Thus the corporate patron could share the creed of laissez-faire economists such as Milton Friedman, who maintained that a corporations only responsibility was to produce prots, and still justify support of the arts as enlightened self-interest.31 Siegelaub was evidently determined to mine this new and potentially enormous source of corporate patronage. In a way that paralleled and fed off the deliberations of the


1965 Rockefeller Panel Report, and the growing pressure on business and industry to assume a greater responsibility for the support, growth, and vitality of the countrys artistic life, his strategy relied on dramatically emphasizing, and bluntly outlining, the legitimation of economic and social power that art patronage could bring a corporation, regardless of the critical political character of the work.32 A case in point is a brochure he drafted in 1967 to promote Image to prospective corporate clients. This tract, organized around a series of rhetorical questions posed to the solicited corporation, complete with answers, species the value of an artwork. Fine Art? Why should we get involved with art? The answer closely echoes the calls for corporate patronage of the arts coming from quarters of business and industry: Because Fine Art is good business. The contemporary corporation has much to gain from the identication with the positive virtues the Arts possess. The advantages are itemized:

Specically, an identication with the Arts will do the following: a. Improve the image of your company by making your public more aware of what you are doing in the community. b. Assist in developing a more fully rounded personality for your corporation by adding a Cultural dimension. c. Provide a bold, unique and exciting element in the presentation of your products and services. d. Promote greater public acceptance of your corporation and its products and services by making yourself more attractive and visible in the marketplace.

Another question reads: Is this the right time to get involved in an art program? Most denitely:

As you are aware, the modern corporation is in the process of increasing its involvement in Americas Cultural life. Within a few years much of the excitement associated with the Arts will have been exploited, and thus drained of its present Public Relations value. Now is the time to become involved in the Arts and capitalize on the huge reservoir of interest, excitement and good-will.

It is hardly necessary to add that the suggestion that an association with art could ultimately assist the corporate patron in moving goods in the marketplace is at the heart of the message of this brochure.33 But Siegelaubs strategy was more particularly to propose that increased sales would follow from the type of image, prestige, and legitimacy that a corporate patron would gain through collecting art. To paraphrase Pierre Bourdieu, by strategi-

cally accumulating cultural capital, corporations (with high amounts of economic capital but relatively low amounts of cultural capital) could realign the relationship not merely of the volume but also of the structure of the capital possessed. In turn, the socially constructed prestige value generated for the corporation through the growth of cultural capital could do double duty. On the one hand, it could allow the corporation to attain a certain distinction through signifying its benevolence, legitimacy, and pursuit of ideals beyond the ordinary, instrumentalized world of business. On the other hand, in a relatively short amount of time this same cultural capital could be reconverted into greater economic capital.34 Here we might recall Jean Baudrillards argument in Sign Function and Class Logic that sign values are produced by a sumptuary operation connected to expenditure and social prestige:

the contradictions of conceptual art art, advertising, sign value

Thus objects, their syntax, and their rhetoric refer to social objectives and to a social logic. They speak to us not so much of the user and of technical practices, as of social pretension and resignation, of social mobility and inertia, of acculturation and enculturation, of stratication and of social classication. Through objects, each individual and each group searches out her/his place in an order, all the while trying to jostle this order according to a personal trajectory.35

According to Baudrillard, in contemporary capitalist societies both the object form (use value) and the commodity form (exchange value) are transgured into sign value, transformed into a sign pointing to the distinctness, vitality, and benevolence of the patron. With the emergence of sign value comes a new interest in the psychological and characterological traits of the agentsin this case artistsbetween the merchants and their consumers. This leads to the development of new forms of perception, both physical and socialnew kinds of seeing, new types of behaviorand the creation of conditions in which altogether different kinds of art forms are not only possible but desirable, and encouraged by their new publics. Seen from this perspective, the structural model on which Siegelaub based his promotion of art is remarkably similar to the operation of advertisingan industry that was on the cutting edge of shifts in corporate practice in the 1960s. As Thomas Frank has shown, seeking a single trait by which to characterize the accelerated obsolescence and enhanced consumer friendliness to change that were the goals of business, the advertising industry in the middle of the decade settled on hipness.36 As with advertising, the issue of novelty and


currency was crucially important to Siegelaubs message. Recall that the Image brochure warned that within a few years much of the excitement associated with the Arts will have been exploited, and thus drained of its present Public Relations value. Now is the time to become involved in the Arts and capitalize on the huge reservoir of interest, excitement and good-will. Siegelaubs relocation of operations from 56th Street to Madison Avenue also signaled a shift in emphasis. No longer the operator of an art gallery, his function was now closer to that of an advertising executive. His point of view was increasingly calibrated to the bottom-line interests of the corporation. As the Image brochure announced to the prospective corporate patron: Image represents your interests. We do this by seeing the world of art from your point-of-view. Here, then, we have the development in art whereby entrepreneurs such as Siegelaub and Wendler realize the disenchanting and ever-expedient tendencies of capital. Their publicity program represents a pivotal stage in the development of an instrumentalizing tendency that will lead through twists and turns in subsequent years to achieve the total organization and control of even the most innovative and politically progressive elements of the 1960s art world. The ramications of this turn will be vast. But this is not to conate the meanings and motives of individual action with the logic of the systemic. Siegelaub and Wendler were conscious of their project, which was a completely rational one. Ultimately, the publicity of art seemed far easier to manipulate than direct sales to art patrons or segues into the established art world of museums. As for the systemic consequences, we are of course free to suppose that they could not foresee them or, if they did, that they did not care.








3 7

Savvy about publicity, Siegelaub was keenly aware of the importance of staging group exhibitions as events and points of discussion. The identication of artists with a group and with a specic dealer would enable the public to place them. Thus in early 1968 he organized two shows featuring the work of three artists afliated with him, Carl Andre, Robert Barry, and Lawrence Weiner. The two exhibitions were not only highly publicized but also supplemented with well-documented public symposia featuring the artists. The rst show opened in February at the Laura Knott Gallery of Bradford Junior College in Bradford, Massachusetts, and the second in April at Windham College, a small liberal arts institution in Putney, Ver-


Installation view, Laura Knott Gallery, Bradford Junior College, 4 February2 March 1968: Carl Andre, Untitled (144 Pieces of Zinc), 1968; Lawrence Weiner, Untitled, 1967; Robert Barry, Untitled, 1967


mont.38 Not coincidentally, both venues were removed from New York City, then indisputably the epicenter of the art world. In contrast to the completely controlled, almost ideal interior space of the Laura Knott Gallery exhibition (g. 1.1), Windham College did not have a gallery, and Siegelaub suggested that the artists produce temporary, outdoor, site-specic sculptural installations on the college campus. The installations, made entirely with materials indigenous to the area, would only function within the specic campus sites, and for the duration of the exhibition. As Siegelaub envisioned it, this show would break, or displace, the traditional institutional framework of a work of art. In an unpublished essay entitled The Enclosure that he wrote immediately following the Windham College show, Siegelaub stated:

The contention that the framing convention of a work of art was implicit was accepted a priori by the majority of painting and sculpture of the late 50s and early 60s. Painting became involved in the role of the art as object ignoring, in this acceptance of logical art history progression, the implication of the object and its relation to its physical context (walls, oors, ceilings, and the room itself ). Sculpture revealing its intrinsic objecthood, not burdened by the problems of illusionism, seemed to accept its delimiting or placement as implicit or become architectural (environmental) hence non-sculptural.39

Thus Siegelaub traces the development from a type of late modernist art that unproblematically accepts the traditional framing conventions, to works that take into consideration the room in which they are placed and works (necessarily sculptural) that integrate with the broader environment and become architectural. In an obvious sense, this notion is related to the development from painting to sculpture or three dimensional objects that Donald Judd articulated in his 1965 manifesto Specic Objects, and to Robert Morriss contemporary account of minimalist sculpture as contingent with its environment in his 1966 Notes on Sculpture.40 But Siegelaubs observations also relate the sculptural installations exhibited at Windham College to the emerging phenomenon of land art, begun in the previous year with the projects of Michael Heizer, Walter de Maria, and Dennis Oppenheim, among others. By mid-1968, the Windham College show was identied as a linchpin in the slow but steady move away from institutions that developed into an integral element in the reection and production of postminimal sculpture of the late 1960s. An art critic signing his


Robert Barry, Dan Graham, Lawrence Weiner, and Carl Andre at the Windham College symposium, 30 April 1968


name Arthur R. Rose categorically asserted this aspect of the exhibition in an unpublished essay written in the spring of 1968 entitled Three since Windham. In a season of many earth shows, Rose writes, the Windham [College] show is important because it was the rst outdoor show.41 Siegelaub organized a symposium with the three artists to coincide with the opening of the Windham College show. Rather than moderating the symposium himself, as he had done in Bradford a few months earlier, Siegelaub hired Dan Graham (g. 1.2).42 An aspiring artist and cultural critic, Graham had briey operated the John Daniels Gallery in New York City between 1964 and 1965, during which time he befriended Andre and Weiner; they, in turn, introduced Graham to Siegelaub as early as 1966. Inuenced by pops fascination with the disposable mass culture of commercial magazines and rock music, Graham was crucial in articulating and dening the course of the new site- and context-specic work that subsequently came to be called conceptual art. In his introductory comments, Graham noted the ephemeral nature of the exhibition installations, and emphasized that the artworks did not operate as denitive objects with inherent qualities but, after fullling their purpose during the exhibition, would be recycled and disappear. He also summoned the notion of place. The show is done for a specic place, Graham announced, and involves placing as a verb as well as a noun.43 Importantly, this conceptualization of the artistic process in a linguistic metaphor would be repeated with increased frequency during the late 1960s and 1970s; it would characterize not only the work of the artists Siegelaub represented in these years, but also his own publicity practices. Grahams observations about the artworks relation to place were primarily focused on Andres work, though they may be just as appropriately applied to that of the other artists at the symposium.44 Andres sculpture Joint did not have a cohesiveness capable of transcending the local or temporal specicity of its initial site of display (g. 1.3). The work was made of a row of one hundred and eighty-three nearly identical modules (approximately 4 x 4 x 6 feet) of uncovered common baled hay set up one next to the other. The modules of hay were arranged in serial formation in a horizontal line, with the parallel narrow sides ush but distinct. The bales were similar, but differed slightly due to the procedures by which hay is compacted. Andres arrangement of these rough-hewn modules emphasized both their uniqueness and their similarity to others in the line. Thus apart from their linear arrangement, length, and placement, the materials dictated the form of the work.45


Carl Andre, Joint, 1968, as installed at Windham College, 30 April31 May 1968


It is also important to recognize that in Andres Joint, each unit of hay, like each unit of zinc in the sculptural grid of metal plates he exhibited at the Laura Knott Gallery, remained in its raw state: I dont want to disguise the material employed at all, he stated at the symposium, I dont want to make something else out of it. I want wood as wood and steel as steel, aluminum as aluminum, a bale of hay as a bale of hay.46 Like others, Andre believed that his refusal to transform the material elements of the work problematized the role of the artist as it was conventionally understood: that of a catalyst in the transformation of raw matter into artistic form. In an insightful account of current artistic developments published the month following the Windham College exhibit, Graham noted this aspect of Andres art practice:

Andre translates material base into base measure of values, literally inverting normative value terms for material ones. Bricks, bales of hay, slabs of slate, aluminum or zinc are worth exactly what their market value (dened by scarcity of supply and demand) brings. Their sale as art adds commission price to gallery and artist (also determined by market laws). The commodity is produce, not produced by the artists handiwork. It possesses actual, physically denable qualities as opposed to abstract, imagined or critically dened qualities. Instead of projecting past artists or the artists past experiences for the viewers emotional investment, Andres sculpture is placed in a present situation of confrontation open to the viewers here and now experience. No permanently worthwhile experience is implied, the value of an Andre (or Flavin or Warhol or Christo) being temporally contingent on its present context.47

There are several notions implied in this passage that deserve to be highlighted. For one thing, it characterizes Andres role not as an artist but as an art worker. Just as the exchange value of his works remains linked to the market value of the materials of which they are made, the remuneration of the artists labor is in the form of a sale also determined by laws of supply and demand. Seen in this light, the role of the artist is brought down to earth, desacralized, and the ascribing of worth to art objects is attributed to forces separate from the artist. Artworks are now conceived of as possessing their own proper value, which is separate from what the artist charges as commission for his own labor. Secondly and relatedly, Graham considers the commodity status of a work of art and interprets Andres sculpture as resistant to commodication. This is the rst public discussion of this sort in the New York art world of the late 1960s, though the theme will proliferate in the following years. Then

there is the homology Graham draws between Andres works and pop art, articulating the value of one of Andres works as similar to that of the work of Flavin, Warhol, or Christo all of whom Graham considered to be pop artists at the time. Certainly, the structural repetition of the store-bought, ready-made, modular units parallels the emphasis on serial objects and conditions in Flavins or Warhols work. And, as in the mid-1960s work of these two artists, Andres abandonment of manual production in favor of a modular structure with its own transparent system of units negates processes of authentication, rendering impossible any attempt to identify or verify the works producer. Furthermore, employing an element from the general environment of rural Vermonta bale of hayas the primary material, Andres Joint echoes pop arts erasure of the boundaries between common experience and high art. In the process, Andre brought one of the most repressed forms of everyday experience at Windham College, the surrounding elds on which the community depends economically, dead center into the cultural reection.48 Yet, as Graham implies, Andres work goes beyond the operation of pop and minimal models in several ways.49 On the one hand, the environment in which the work is to be exhibited determines the choice of material; on the other hand, the works surfaces are continually altered by their own history, by the events that occur to them, up to the point of obliteration. Since Joint was exposed to the natural elements, the weathering process would in time erode the modules of hay and the work would gradually disintegrate, literally fusing with the place. This aspect of Andres work, its impermanence, relates to its subversion of the marketplace for art. The hay, of course, as people walk on it, is going to break down and gradually disappear, Andre noted at the Windham College symposium. But since Im not making a piece of sculpture for sale, . . . it never enters the property state.50 This comment elides not only the fact that this work is an anomaly in the context of Andres production (the vast majority of which is for sale), but also that it breaks with the practice by which Andres other works were sold. For Andre and Flavin had pioneered a new form of guaranteeing authorship of works of art by providing the patrons certicates of authenticity along with the material objects. The certicate, signed by the artist, delineates in legalistic language (often complemented by a schematic drawing on standard graph paper) the various components of the work.51 Given the general accessibility of the materials and Andres deskilling of the procedures of production, it is primarily the certicate that authenticates his work.52 What Andres work of the 1960s signalslike that of Barry and Weineris the gradual dismantling of the integrated self-contained pictorial object or sculptural structure

the contradictions of conceptual art art, advertising, sign value 23


made for gallery display, in favor of interactive spectatorial spaces, complicated participatory modes, and an increasing awareness of the specic interplay between the artwork and the architectural and ultimately institutional setting or framework. One of the most complicated results of such transformations is the way they problematize the concept of public space. Once spectatorial participation as theorized by these and other artists is integrated into the conceptual structure of the work, the question of the proper site for artistic experience inevitably becomes more pressing. As the architectural setting is recognized in terms of the institutional and discursive limitations that it imposes upon sculptural or painterly experience, the next logical step will inevitably be considered: abandoning the institution of the gallery or museum with all of its restrictions in favor of a supposedly uninhibited, unrestricted, open, external space where none of these limitations apply. This development in the direction of a gradual expansion of the sites and locations for artistic exhibition and distribution became an integral aspect of the reection upon and the production of ambitious art during the late 1960s. However, it was Siegelaub, rather than the artists, who most thoroughly explored the specic operation of the institutional and contextual parameters that cordon off the work of art. Siegelaubs engagement with those boundaries, for reasons that differed from those of the artists, is consistent with the new practices of marketing that he was trying to develop. This transformation was as far-reaching in its own way as the changes in art production then taking place, and it shared with the new art a common hostility toward hierarchy, established conventions, and inherent wisdom. Signicantly, creativity and perpetual innovation had by the mid-1960s also become the ethos of ambitious business practice, as well as of its stalwart promoter, advertising. The ideologues of Madison Avenue now proclaimed, contrary to the standard practices of the previous decade, that the chic-adman must internalize an automatic mistrust for received ideas.53 Here, as in so many aspects of 1960s culture, advertising practices spilled over unproblematically into the actual content of art and art promotion. This willingness to defy convention was not only customary for artists; it became increasingly prevalent amongand in many ways absolutely necessary todealers as well. For Siegelaub, this meant an embrace not only of creativity but also of the unexpected. In the following years this became more than a strategy for him; it became a philosophy, a way of thinking, and it was a concept he chose to utilize in promoting the artists he represented.

This page intentionally left blank

chapter two art as idea

Young artists of today need no longer say, I am a painter, or a poet or a dancer. They are simply artists. Allan Kaprow, 19671

Being an artist today now means to question the nature of art. If one is questioning the nature of painting, one cannot be questioning the nature of art; if an artist accepts painting (or sculpture) he is accepting the tradition that goes with it. Joseph Kosuth, 19692

Arthur R. Rose, the critic Siegelaub persuaded to write a review of the Windham College show, was actually the pseudonym of a young artist from Ohio, Joseph Kosuth. Extraordinarily alert to the art scene, Kosuth was a skillful advocate of his own work who acutely understood the value of public relations and self-promotion. Accordingly, he was often found at the right places, promoting his career and cultivating social capital, dened by Bour-

dieu as a capital of social connections . . . that is often necessary in winning and keeping the condence of high society, and with it a clientele, and that may be drawn on to make an artistic career.3 Arriving in New York City at the age of twenty in 1965, Kosuth enrolled in the School of Visual Arts and in the following years proceeded to organize a lecture series, open a gallery, curate shows, launch a student newspaper, and function as a staff writer for Arts Magazine.4 By 1968 he was on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts, and had garnered the attention not only of leading art critics and collectors but of mass circulation magazines such as Time and Newsweek.5 Always networking, he had seemingly endless energy, embodying the type of the new artist advanced by Newsweek in the middle of 1968: Todays young artist is a professional rather than a Bohemian.6 Kosuth cultivated his public image as much as he did his art. He had picked up some of Andy Warhols showmanship. Dressed in gangsterlike, double-breasted suits from the 1930s, sporting dyed blonde or black hair depending on the season, and relaying incredible stories about his past, Kosuth had developed a whole set of extraordinary mannerisms. But his links to the pop artists were more than stylistic posturing. He fostered various social connections to the scene around Warhol, which often coalesced in the back room of the Maxs Kansas City nightclub. Furthermore, Roy Lichtenstein had purchased some of his work, while Warhol and Claes Oldenburg had been supportive critically and, occasionally, financially.7 Like the pop artists, and Warhol in particular, Kosuth evidently understood the value of organizing the mass medias attention in his favor. In 19661967 he coordinated a well-publicized lecture series at the School of Visual Arts, for which he invited artists such as Donald Judd, Carl Andre, Ad Reinhardt, Robert Smithson, Sol LeWitt, and Dan Graham, whom Kosuth had met at parties or local hangouts, to publicly present their ideas and work. Similarly, in early 1968 he launched and became chief editor of Straight, an arts newsletter published by the School of Visual Arts.8 At this time Kosuth also opened an art gallery in New Yorks East Village, the Lannis Gallery, together with the young artist Christine Kozlov, whom he had met at the School, and Lannis Spencer.9 For an upstart gallery with no budget to speak of, the Lannis garnered a surprising amount of media attention, a phenomenon clearly attributable to Kosuths masterful organizational and promotional abilities.10 Almost without exception, evenings would nd Kosuth at Maxs Kansas City socializing, talking up his various projects and gallery. Art is no longer a trade to be patiently mastered, announced Newsweek in a overview of the way, way out new art, it is a matter of doing what no one has

the contradictions of conceptual art art as idea 27


done before.11 Kosuththe twenty-two-year-old artist, critic, instructor, and gallery operatorwas indeed doing what no one had ever done before. And he made sure to let everyone he met know it. Whereas Kosuth cultivated a very gregarious and dynamic self-image, his art was remarkably muted. In the spring of 1967, he and Kozlov xed upon the idea of opening the Lannis Gallery with a series of Non-Anthropomorphic exhibitions, featuring primarily their own work and that of two of their fellow students at the School of Visual Arts. I pass by the new Lannis Gallery daily, wrote the critic Gordon Brown in a review of the rst NonAnthropomorphic exhibition,

and have often noticed its aloofness, even when seen from the outside. The large street-level window is completely covered with steel plates whereas the average village gallery would use it for raucous romantic display. . . . The objects displayed are so other that there is no need to put up a Dont touch sign. No one would dream of contaminating the purity of this art by leaving behind his personal nger-print.12

As is implicit in Browns comments, the purity of these works lay in their matter-offactness. For his part Kosuth linked the austere purity of his new, post-painterly work to his understanding of the ethos of the nouveau roman as theorized by Alain Robbe-Grillet: The last thing I personally want to do is art as philosophy. . . . The old clich by now of RobbeGrillets that the world is no longer meaningful nor absurd, it simply is, is pretty much where its at.13 This insistence on prosaicness, on a thing simply being, is consistent with the retreat into an antihumanist world of nonmetaphorical operations that characterized the work of the artists showing in the rst Non-Anthropomorphic exhibitionan idea Kosuth and Kozlov articulated in their small catalogue supplementing the show: The four artists included in this exhibition have one desire (if none other) in common: to exclude a projection of either themselves or the image, attributes, or qualities of man into their works of art.14 Given this view, it is not surprising that the works on display were extraordinarily hermetic, concerned . . . with their own intrinsic logic, as Kozlov put it in the exhibition catalogue.15 Produced by artists who denied the possibility of art objects possessing any metaphorical function, the works manifested a complete lack of interest in the notion that art could communicate expression or transcendental experience. Furthermore, they re-

jected outright the primacy of individual subjectivity as the locus of art production. A case in point is the art practice of Kozlov. At the time, she was engrossed in the production of a painting that entailed the daily application of a layer of at white acrylic paint across the entire surface of the canvas. This operating method, which persisted for several months, allowed Kozlov to continue to work in the medium of painting without having to make aesthetic decisions. Rather than the artist employing an expressive ritual to produce the artwork, the object was purely and self-reexively about the systematic process of its production.16 Kosuth, like Kozlov, had also been a fairly eclectic painter, producing easel-size canvases (approximately 5 x 5 feet) described by one observer at the School of Visual Arts in the mid-1960s as distantly related to the de Stijl philosophy.17 In late 1967, however, he abandoned the specic medium of painting altogether in favor of the generic category of Art. As he declared a short time later,

the contradictions of conceptual art art as idea

The word art is general and the word painting is specic. Painting is a kind of art. If you make paintings you are already accepting (not questioning) the nature of art. One is then accepting the nature of art to be the European tradition of a painting-sculpture dichotomy. But in recent years the best new work has been neither painting nor sculpture, and increasing numbers of young artists make art that is neither one. When words lose their meaning they are meaningless. We have our own time and our own reality and it need not be justied by being hooked into European art history.18

In its renunciation of the labor of the painter and the sculptor, Kosuths statement resonates strongly with Kaprows earlier observation that serves as the rst epigraph to this chapter. Even more striking is the extent to which this passage also draws on the reasoning of Donald Judd. For along with almost a direct quote from the latters Specic Objects, 1965, the passage echoes Judds U.S. parochialism and antagonism to the European tradition.19 After all, Kosuths argument that we have our own time and our own reality is clearly a triumphant summoning of contemporary America. According to Kosuth, by the late 1960s it had become necessary to work in media other than the inherently tainted, corrupted ones of the old masters. An early example of his new post-painterly work is the black and white photographic blowup of a dictionary entry for the word water that Kosuth exhibited in the opening show of the Museum of Normal Art,


formerly known as the Lannis Gallery, in November 1967 (g. 2.1).20 The austere, matter-offact photostat, with black ground and white lettering, was part of a series in dialogue with several pictorial paradigms then current in New York. On the one hand, Kosuths large (4 x 4 feet) photostats were systematic transgurations of Reinhardts ve-foot black square, displacing the iconographic residue (i.e., the gridded cruciform) and in its place introducing something alien to the late modernist tradition of painting, namely the specic operation of language. At the same time, Kosuths use of a denition from a dictionary in white lettering antithetically completes the white-black austerity of On Kawaras date paintings, featuring the dates stenciled in white paint onto black monochrome canvases. Retaining the terms of Kawaras picturesthe directness, the color scheme, the incorporation of writing into the eld of paintingKosuth takes them to a further extreme where the stenciled dates give way to formalized linguistic information. Of course, the employment of dictionary denitions, which are only formal denitions of words and their functions, implies that the content of this information is utterly irrelevant.21 But along with the rather peculiar dialogue with the paintings of Reinhardt and Kawara, there are also evident relations between Kosuths photostats of standard dictionary denitions, what he later called his First Investigations, and the work of both Marcel Duchamp and the U.S. pop artists. For one thing, in the rigorous restriction of pictorial decision-making to the preexisting dictionary entry, blown up and inserted into the context of art, the First Investigations connect in their own way with the Duchampian legacy of the readymade. Moreover, the First Investigations were not paintings but photostats, and thus more akin to contemporary advertising images than to the tradition of high art. From this vantage point the photostats continue a reading of pop art that sees such works as internalizing within their eld the mass culture that they represent.22 As with pop, Kosuths early photostats question the status of the aesthetic object by scrambling the codes and erasing the boundaries conventionally drawn between high art, with its emphasis on singularity and nonutilitarian objects, and mass culture. But of all the pop artists, it was Warhol who resonated most profoundly in Kosuths artistic project. In the late 1960s, the young artist took up many of the characteristics of Warhols practice that had been found shocking and scandalous earlier in the decadee.g., the employment of mechanical production and seriality, the application of the concept of anonymity in aesthetic execution, the fusion of mass and high cultural realms. Just as Warhol, and in a parallel development most of the minimalists, would vaunt a factory aes-


Joseph Kosuth, Titled (Art as Idea as Idea), 1967


theticeschewing personal contact with the work of art altogether in favor of employing studio assistants or industrial manufacturers, who would run off the silkscreens or follow exacting specications concerning materials, colors, scale, and surfaces in which the art object would be producedKosuth often emphasized the anonymity of execution and the mechanical production of his photostatic works.23 A particularly revealing instance of Kosuths dialogue with Warhol was the formers rst one-person exhibition, which opened at Eugenia Butlers Gallery 669 in Los Angeles in October 1968 (g. 2.2). Recalling Warhols mid-1962 installation at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles of a series of thirty-two painted representations of Campbells Soup cans (where the paintings were distinguished only by the particular avor of soup), all of the photostats Kosuth exhibited presented dictionary denitions of the same word, nothing, though the source of the denition, the actual dictionary used, differed for each. Given his fascination with Warhols art practice, it comes as little surprise that in 1968 Kosuth used the format of his First Investigations to offer a sort of tribute to Warhol. Rather than a dictionary denition, the copy in one central column across the negative photostat read: In the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes. It was characteristics such as these that prompted Village Voice art critic John Perreault to joke that if Ad Reinhardt married Andy Warhol the result would be Joseph Kosuth.24 This marriage is a complete contradiction, of course, since nobody would have been more unacceptable to Reinhardt, who insisted on a total separation of aesthetic objects from the contaminating effects of mass culture. Kosuth, one might say, dialectically integrated Reinhardts austere black monochrome paintings and Warhols explicitly commercial images, two artistic models that were polar opposites. Yet Kosuth cannily concealed the pop art dimensions of his work. As the 1960s progressed, pop was increasingly seen as heedlessly ironic and frivolous. The way it blurred the line between aesthetic and commodity objects, combined with its enormous success in the marketplace, also made it suspect. Pops facility and mass appeal contrasted sharply with the strategic obscureness and opaqueness of advanced art. But perhaps the most important reason for a young, ambitious artist not to associate with pop art in the late 1960s was its lost currencyas Newsweek reported in 1968, that scene [pop art] wore itself out.25 There are signicant differences, however, between the work of Kosuth and that of the pop artists. Unlike the way pop used appropriated imagery, Kosuth made the dictionary denition in the manner of an architectural blueprinta schema rather than an actual thing. Moreover, Kosuth did not place the photo motif on canvas like the pop artists. Rather


Joseph Kosuth, Titled (Art as Idea as Idea), 1968, as installed at Gallery 669, Los Angeles, October 1968


he removed the work a step further from the tradition and authority of painting in the direction of mechanical reproduction. In this respect, Kosuths work clearly draws upon that counterformation to pop art that was also a parallel formation in the mid-1960s: minimalism. An afnity with minimal art was considered meritorious by many in the mid to late 1960s art world. Minimal art, with its preference for prosaic, everyday materials and its emphasis on anonymity, repetition, and equality of parts, was thought to possess a sense of rigor and seriousness of purpose, as well as an inherent noncommerciality, that gave it an edge of social criticism.26 Judd in particular was important to Kosuth for a number of reasons. He provided a model of the artist as writer-philosopher, producing work that proposed theories and tested hypotheses. In many ways, Judd continued the legacy of advanced art criticism previously located in the writings of late modernist critics such as Clement Greenberg, a genealogy that Kosuth connected with in his own way.27 Judd also gave license to another way of thinking about advanced art. Contrary to pop arts theoretical models of design and of the readymade, he advocated a type of art that was abstract, rigorous, and ostensibly free of meaning. According to Kosuth, however, Judd did not follow through with what he started. In spite of his critique of precious painting and sculpture, Judd continued to use materials inherently loaded with meaning. In addition, although Judd proposed that the discovery of a form that was neither geometric nor organic would be a genuine breakthrough, he did not carry this dictum to its logical conclusion: the complete elimination of formal issues and materials, and an increased focus on context. This, Kosuth later argued, was what separated Judds theory of art from that articulated by Marcel Duchamp earlier in the century.28 Equally important for Kosuth was the work of Andre and Flavin. Indeed, one of the groundbreaking developments in 1960s art practice was the separation effected by these artists of the artistic proposition (in the form of drawings or specic instructions about what materials to use for an artwork and how to assemble them) from the aesthetic experience of the viewer. Kosuth saw that one of the implications of minimalist installations was the idea that a work could remain in its state as a proposition, document, or set of instructions to be (re)made when the need arose. Commenting on obvious associations between his work and that of his precursors, Kosuth emphasized the separation of abstract proposition from physical materialization in the work of Flavin and Andre:

There are aspects to work which preceded minepeople like Andre and Flavinwhich have a bearing on the kinds of discussion about art which Ive tried to help generate. . . . Issues of function having to do with meaning being contingent on use are particularly relevant to someone like Flavin. The value of his work is the power of his art as an ideaI dont think one can seriously argue that it is due to craft, composition, or the aura of the traces of his hand. Anybody can have a Flavin by going into a hardware store, but you needed Flavins initial proposal for it to be art.29

the contradictions of conceptual art

But according to Kosuth neither Andre nor Flavin, nor for that matter anyone associated with minimalism, carried to its logical conclusion the minimalist implication that the primary material of an artists work is ideational and distinct from the materials of which the work is composed. This last point bears elaborating since it directly relates to the respective practices of Kosuth and Siegelaub, and can best be understood by comparing Kosuths claims about his own work with the theoretical underpinnings of Sol LeWitts work of roughly the same period. LeWitts main corpus in the mid to late 1960s consisted of repeated series of equal individual units contained within an overall grid (gs. 2.32.5). As opposed to Judds one-afterthe-other repetitions, or the structures of serial imagery common to Warhols mid-1960s silkscreens, the serial method adopted by LeWitt involves a matrix principle of relationships established in advance before the permutation is set. All of the operations within the composition are then mechanically subjected to that principle.30 The viewers access to any single element of the work depends upon grasping the complex sequences and permutations of its other parts; the experience resembles handling a language more than surrendering to immediate, phenomenal sensations. As early as 1967 LeWitt referred to this kind of art, in which a governing set of decisions are made and then the variable combinations are carried out blindly, as conceptual art:

art as idea

In conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work. . . . In other forms of art the concept may be changed in the process of execution. . . . When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes the machine that makes the art.31

If Kosuths point of departure was the separation of the art from its form of presentation, the key issue for LeWitt was to try to nd a way in which one could make art that was not


Sol LeWitt, Serial Project No. 1 (Set A), 1966


Sol LeWitt, Serial Project No. 1 (Set B), 1966


Sol LeWitt, Serial Project No. 1 (Set C), 1966


subjective.32 Accordingly, LeWitt contrived a method of production that, insofar as it consisted of systematically following a predetermined premise to its conclusion, a literal pointing toward what is just ahead in the scheme (and what has just been made), decentered the agent.33 One of the central implications of this mechanical, nonrational method of production was that idealist commitments and subjective trace no longer had a function in the art world. LeWitt tracked all the intervening steps in the conception and realization of the artwork, an interconnected element in a string of signiers one after the other, but never tried to decode the signiers by relating them to signieds. His method of artistic production thus negated the I, the centered intentional agency that is the source and guarantee of artistic meaning, by adopting an external programa predetermined concept, or ideawhich at once acts as a coordinating agency for the realization of the work and eliminates the arbitrary, capricious, and the subjective as much as possible.34 This new regime of absolute literality and materiality resulted in highly reexive artworks. Void of inherent mystery, sense, or subject matter to be deciphered or interpreted, these works had as their content their own self-relational, a priori logic, and their formal organization systematically developed in a predetermined order over a specic amount of time. Serial compositions, wrote LeWitt in 1966, are multipart pieces with regulated changes. The differences between the parts are the subject of the composition.35 In this way, LeWitts literalness surpassed even that of meticulously prosaic minimalists like Judd, by dropping minimalisms stress on the nal product and replacing it with an emphasis on the process of the artworks production, on what, following Roland Barthes, we could call the textual process.36 The implication was that the procedure of makingnot just the process of realization, but also the process of conception itself (precisely because conception takes place over time)is the most literal and material aspect of an artwork. To view the work was to respond to the activity of the text, to systematically track its construction over time. Most simply put, LeWitts aesthetic theory proposed a nonrationalist mode of production. The work followed a mechanical, impersonal, quasi-mathematical serial sequence that, once established, evacuated the notion of unique artistic subjectivity. Thus the artist was no longer privileged, paternal, the organizational source and master of the work. The process of production was, in a word, irrational:

This kind of art that Im doing, I dont think of it as being rational at all. Rather, I think of it as being more irrational. The kind of formalist art where the artist decides and makes decisions all the

way down the line, thats a very rational way of thinking about art. But I dont think mine is at all. . . . What Im doing is much more complex. And its much more irrational.37

the contradictions of conceptual art

With the negation of artistic expression it no longer made sense for the viewer to attempt to decipher traces of subjectivity in the act of artistic creation, nor to pretend to penetrate the work, moving from surface to depth.38 Kosuths starting point was also an a priori idea. But according to him the great limitation of the structural procedural operations of the work of LeWitt and his minimalist contemporaries was that by insisting that their work be built they allowed it to be framed by the legacy of sculpture and painting. As he described it in a 1968 letter to the critic Lucy Lippard: Anybody who looks at Judds, Sol LeWitts, Smithsons, Andres, Morriss, Flavins work and doesnt realize that the quality of their thinking is what was once considered a painters misses an interesting aspect of their work.39 In opposition to this, Kosuth maintained that his work was broadly concerned with the general concept of Artwith what the work is about.40 The relevance of the actual material production of the work was simply to communicate the underlying, essentially abstract idea. In this spirit he proposed what was basically a new ontological task for the modernist artist: to produce artworks that function as absolutely stable and contextless tautological structures. As Kosuth tersely explained to the art critic John Chandler in a 1968 discussion, The art is the idea; the idea is the art.41 The physical materials or objects that come along with the idea are no more the art than a truck which carries a work of art from a studio to a gallery is a work of art.42 In other words, the photographic blowups of dictionary denitions that he had made and exhibited were supplements, secondary art information as he referred to them, rather than works of art in their own right.43 I have always stated, Kosuth insisted at the time, that my ideas were not meant to be considered esthetic objects in themselves but rather refer to an invisible beauty or esthetic which is the idea. The beauty is intended to exist in the idea not in the photostat.44 Paradoxically, given the denigration of the art object, from very early on Kosuths ideas were sold. For despite pronouncements that his art was not made for a gallery, and that the physical components that communicated the art were secondary and purely residual, the fact that his photostats could easily be hung at on the wall in a way that closely resembled traditional paintings made them a comfortable t in any gallery or traditional exhibition space.

art as idea 39


For the art market, the implications of an art in which the execution of the work was devalued to the point where it was discrete from the works artistic value were vast. In an obvious sense, the rights of ownership of a type of art that exists primarily in the form of an idea, where it doesnt really matter what physical shape its in, were very difcult to enforce.45 Yet already by 1968 there was a buoyancy of demand for Kosuths photostats. In a survey of the new art in the summer of 1968, the art correspondent for Time magazine addressed this paradox, specically singling out the work of Kosuth:

Today, more and more artists are devoting themselves to art that exists primarily in the minds eye. Called conceptual art, it usually exists in the form of a scale model, a preliminary sketch or a written description, suitable for framing. Any of these items, the artists explain, are but a hint, a shadow, a shade, a clue to the real thing. . . . Currently on display at Manhattans Dwan Gallery are forty-one works consisting mostly of words or scale drawings. Among them is one titled Art as Idea as Idea, which is simply a photographic blowup of the dictionary denition of real. It is the end product of Joseph Kosuths struggle with the artistic problem of dening what the real thing is. Says Kosuth gravely: I think the importance of all art is the ideas.46

Even given the elusiveness of the work, the anonymous correspondent adds, Conceptual art has become a favorite with avant-garde collectors. Kosuths photographic version of real has already been bought by Businessman-Collector John Powers.47 In this instance, the symbiotic relationship between artist and patron developed to a point where it was no longer clear who was doing the advertising for whom, since each was equally enhancing the others image. The art market continued to boom in the late 1960s. As Newsweek announced, Economic prospects for young artists have never been better.48 No longer, it seemed, would scal restrictions hinder the work of an artist. For now artworks with inexpensive common materials were sought by collectors, and soon works with no physical materials at all would also be.49 Even artistic investigations that by their very nature were neither studio-produced nor meant to be seen in a gallery or museum became commercially viable. For dealers such as Siegelaub, the central problem was lodged in the need to inform the prospective patron about the new work. In effect, this meant a need to present information not just about the existence of the work, and its availability, but also about the artist. For Siegelaub realized the increased importance of the artists public image as the art became

increasingly ephemeral in nature and barely identiable in visual terms. He saw that the image of the artist (and its direct descendant, name recognition) had come to assume more and more importance, to the extent that it replaced the primacy of the artwork itself. The importance of publicity was also a dictum of Kosuth, who had begun his career with the view that meaning in art, rather than a primary, essentially self-contained thing, evident to the viewer with taste, was essentially textual, the production of a variety of sources of information. But Kosuth pushed this idea further, recognizing that it was this type of informationi.e., the media reputation, name recognition, public personathat framed the work of art. The new medium that Kosuth advanced in the context of 1960s artthe photostatquickly came to serve as his trademark, similar to the way lighting xtures became associated with Flavin and rebricks with Andre. The medium comes to resemble a corporate logo, easily identiable and recognizable. And in turn the meaning of the work comes to be overdetermined by information that, though about the work, is secondary to it. Such information serves, in effect, as the works structural support. Advance information . . . about an artists concepts, Kosuth wrote in 1969, is necessary to the appreciation and understanding of contemporary art.50 Note, however, that advance information is also the language and practice of advertising. For, as Jean Baudrillard observed in The System of Objects, even if the demonstration of a product convinces no one, it does serve to rationalize its purchase. Although the consumer might not believe in the product, he or she comes to believe in the publicity about it.51 Hence, advance information, like publicity, supplants information that in the art world had previously been conferred through criticism. As is well known, during the mid-1960s various artists responded to the phenomenon of critics setting the vocabulary of discussion and interpreting artworks in their own way, for their ends as Kosuth put it, by refusing this division of labor and writing their own art criticism for contemporary journals.52 For example, Judd, Morris, Smithson, and others took it as their responsibility to publicly dene the critical terms that informed their work. But Kosuth would go one step further, not only writing about his own work under his own name but taking on a pseudonym (Arthur R. Rose) and writing about the work of other likeminded artists, thereby establishing a group or movement, like pop, which a public could latch onto. Though Kosuth may have theoretically opposed the convenient lumping together of disparate works and artists, he realized its practical importance in terms of publicity. In a telling exchange, he explained that the attempt to inuence was a crucial artistic activity since it reinforced the importance and coherence of artworks and artists.53 More than merely

the contradictions of conceptual art art as idea 41


verbally interpreting his work, then, Kosuth strategically treated the entire range of his artistic practice, what he termed his total signifying activity, as contributing to the operation and meaning of his work.54 The immediate effect was the collapse of any hard and fast distinction between art and its publicity. The similarities between Kosuths new artistic strategy and modern advertising were extraordinary. Just as a newly released variety of dishwashing liquid required a brand name complete with an advertising campaign presenting not just information about the product (since it is more or less the same as others) but a series of intertextual connotations to generate additional value and desirability, so a new art for Kosuth also required a publicity campaign. Along with promoting the product, the campaign included rich overtones about the career, creativity, futurein short, the imageof the artist. When Newsweek asked Kosuth for a picture that would be seen by millions, he dressed in a white doublebreasted suit, white shirt, white tie, and dark sunglasses, and posed in front of an unusually large blowup of a photostat with a dictionary denition of the word idea (g. 2.6). It is in this regard, too, that Kosuths editorial statement in the rst issue of Straight that advertisement contains the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper (ostensibly a quote from Thomas Jefferson) should primarily be seen. Yet a clear distinction must be drawn between advertisings status as a discourse on the object and as an object in its own right. As Baudrillard phrased it, Advertising in its entirety constitutes a useless and unnecessary universe. It is pure connotation. It contributes nothing to production or to the direct practical application of things, yet it plays an integral part in the system of objects, not merely because it relates to consumption but also because it itself becomes an object to be consumed.55




Given Kosuths notion of presentation, his awareness of the powerful roles of both advance information and public persona, together with his belief in the supreme value of aesthetic innovation, it is not surprising that he was attracted to Siegelaub. As we have seen, the latter was not only vitally committed to the new and emergent but also a diligent publicist, spending hours, days, writing press releases, proposals, and the like and mailing them out to a wide array of prospective patrons, arts organizations, and newspapers. Siegelaubs agenda of discovering, grouping, and advancing a small group of ambitious artists as an art movement evidently appealed to Kosuth, who recognized that promoted individualistically his


Joseph Kosuth in Newsweek, 29 July 1968; photograph by Lawrence Fried


work might be reduced to an eccentric sidelight. Indeed, the most important galleries of the mid to late 1960s (including Leo Castelli, Andre Emmerich, Sidney Janis, and the Green Gallery) had begun to curate shows in which they related art primarily in morphological terms, and encouraged the establishment of art movements by promoting artists whose work resembled that of those in their stable. There were also dangers to be avoided. In 1968 the dealer Richard Bellamy, former director of the Green Gallery and a trustee of Kosuths Museum of Normal Art, warned artists about the hazards of a hasty introduction to the art world.56 It can be debilitating for a young artist to enter the race too quickly, Bellamy cautioned. Many who make exciting debuts just arent heard of two or three years later.57 Moreover, given the currency of the debate about the relationship between psychotropic drugs and creativity, Kosuth may have feared that the unconventional aspects of his work and ideas might be read, like much other contemporary art in the late 1960s, as the result of a drug-inspired vision. Familiar with contemporary literature, lm, philosophy and science, wrote Newsweeks Howard Junker in the summer of 1968, the young artists are extremely articulatemany earn M.A.s as a credential for teaching. And like many of their peers, they are also into marijuana and LSD. . . . The life style and perceptual distortions of drugs are simply taken for granted, the way abstract expressionists took drinking for granted.58 If his work was taken as the galvanizing force of a movement, however, Kosuth realized it would have to be taken seriously. In this regard he evidently saw as much potential in Siegelaubs practice as in the work of the artists afliated with him who were edging toward idea-based art. Their rst collaboration in the articulation of an artistic movement was the review Three since Windham, of the show at Windham College, which included an update of the artists activities.59 Kosuth focused on the fact that the works were exhibited outdoors at Windham College, but argued that their signicance lay in the art theory that informed them; this was what was both novel about the works and their source of legitimacy. He went on to interpret the work of the three artists in the Windham College exhibition as primarily concerned with the conceptual aspects of art. Andres work, like the best art that has been done in our century, is about ideas. . . . Certainly one does not need Carl Andre to be able to experience metal ooring, lined bricks, stacked hay. Its value exists as an art idea.60 This, according to Kosuth, was what separated artists such as Andre from others. Non-artists, he proclaimed, insist on something along with the art in art, because they are not that excited by the idea of art. They need retinal titillation along with the art to keep them interested. But

the artist has that same obsessed interest in art that the physicist has in physics, and the philosophers in philosophy.61 It was Weiners new work in particular that Kosuth championed, the core of which he located in the prescriptive structure of the linguistic model that governed its production a linguistic model at the base of Kosuths own artistic operation. One of Weiners spray spots, Kosuth argued in reference to the artists recent works, such as Two Minutes of Spray Paint Directly upon the Floor from a Standard Aerosol Can (g. 2.7),

the contradictions of conceptual art

relates to the concept of the process of spraying. That relationship makes it removed once more, with the artist understanding the general results of spraying and accepting it as art before it is even visualized. It is knowing generally what spray spots look like and accepting it as a probability but not a necessity in the art. This is a total rejection of form as being formally meaningfuli.e., relational. Which means that it is meaningless specically (painting) but meaningful generally (art). . . . Pollocks weakness is that his work became contextual. Weiners work is about process as concept, rather than process to end in an art object. Perhaps Weiner has formalized Pollocks artmaking by removing it from its expressionist orientation. Weiners interest in the process as concept relates to his interest in making an art that would by-pass composition and still be visual and formal. The visual information received when looking at Weiners work is solely the residue of an activity. No esthetic choices. Its a conceptual art that offers visual experience.62

art as idea

The importance of Kosuths need to write about the work of the artists he would soon become most identied with cannot be overestimated; at the time, criteria of judgment capable of adequately addressing this new type of work as art had yet to be formulated. But it is also important to note the contradictions in Kosuths concept of art. If on the one hand he ontologically posited the central importance of an artworks idea, on the other he acknowledged that for something to attain the status of art it had to be identied as such by information secondary to its primary element. At this stage Kosuth was still interpreting the work of others, but before long he would actively interpret his own art under the guise of Arthur R. Rose.



Lawrence Weiner, Two Minutes of Spray Paint Directly upon the Floor from a Standard Aerosol Can, 1968

Kosuths opportunity to wear two hatsof artist and criticoccurred when Siegelaub asked him to participate along with Barry, Weiner, Douglas Huebler, and Ian Wilson in the now famous January 531, 1969 exhibition.63 One of Kosuths earliest pieces in this show was a board-mounted photostat (4 x 4 feet) from the 1967 Titled (Art as Idea as Idea) series commissioned by Roy and Dorothy Lichtenstein (g. 2.8). The text of a dictionary entry for the word painting was placed in white type across the center of the black, square board. Signicantly, the illustration of this piece in the shows all-important catalogue took the form of a photograph featuring a square photostat mounted onto a stretcherlike support and hung, paintinglike, at on a wall. The strip of shade that runs vertically immediately to the left of the catalogue image emphasizes the works objectness and portability. Accordingly, the work has to be seen as a slightly supercilious if not highly ironic comment on painting, insofar as a photostat by its very nature problematizes and negates characteristics inherent to painting, including the signature and the uniqueness of the object. In both the catalogue statement and the self-interview with Arthur R. Rose that supplemented the exhibition, Kosuth stated that his new work, to which he subsequently referred as the Second Investigation, had progressed beyond the earlier Titled (Art as Idea as Idea) series. No longer would he present abstractions of particular materials such as water, air, or painting; rather his work now consisted of abstractions of abstractions, in which he appropriated the eight classes that comprise the Synopsis of Categories at the front of Rogets Thesaurus. Kosuth contended that he employed Rogets schematic topology in order to remove further the aesthetic experience from the work of art. He defended his anti-aesthetic strategy with the argument that only practices of negation could continue to make art relevant for the intelligent and sensitive:

the contradictions of conceptual art art as idea

I began to realize, as well, that the intelligent and sensitive people in my environment had experiences with nonart portions of their visual world that were of such quality and consistency that the demarcation of similar experiences as art would make no appreciable difference; that perhaps mankind was beginning to outgrow the need for art on that level; that he was beginning to deal with his world aesthetically.64



Joseph Kosuth, Titled (Art as Idea as Idea), 1967

Kosuth concludes that the survival and continuation of art in an era when the visual and the aesthetic have become supreme, when the entire human environment [has become] a work of art, as Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore wrote in 1967, depends on the ability of advanced artists to negate those realms.65 In the self-interview, Kosuth announced that he no longer presented his work in object form, that is, in the form of mounted photostats. Instead, in a way that was clearly prompted by Lee Lozanos and Dan Grahams works for magazine pages, Kosuths Second Investigation took the form of enigmatic, anonymous advertisements in newspapers and periodicals.66 The principle, as Lozano put it, was to buy space in the publication of your choice, Artforum you say, for the time duration of your choice. Use the space of each issue as a box for the idea or ideas of your choice. Lozano emphasizes that piggybacking on the art magazine provided the advantage of a guaranteed, fast, wide distribution of ones ideas.67 During the run of the January 531, 1969 show, Kosuth purchased advertising space in an array of newspapers in which he published Rogets categories laid out in the format of advertising tracts. In the temporary gallery space, he pinned to the wall, side by side, tearsheets from these publications featuring parts of the categories Existence and Time (g. 2.9). Above each tearsheet, also pinned to the wall, was the particular publications logotype.68 Kosuths Second Investigation set in motion a range of unprecedented effects within the context of artistic production. The serial production and distribution of the work negated the uniqueness and preciousness that conventionally determined a works exchange value. Moreover, the very nature of the harnessed medium of distributionwidely circulating newspapers and magazinesat once supplied the work with the potential to reach an unprecedentedly large audience while problematizing its use value. Thus Kosuth could simultaneously argue that the work was utterly serious in nature and boast about the fact that people can wrap dishes with my work.69 The paradoxical tenor of these strikingly different claims found a degree of resolution in Kosuths insistence that his works visual appearance could be separated from its information content. From 1968 on, he repeated again and again that the artistic dimension of his work inhered not in the fragmented form of presentation but rather in the totality of the idea. It is impossible to see my work, he explained in the spring of 1969 to David Shirey, who was compiling information for a feature article in Art in America on the new phenomenon of

the contradictions of conceptual art art as idea 49


Joseph Kosuth, Second Investigation, I. Existence (Art as Idea as Idea), 1968, as installed in the exhibition January 531, 1969

Impossible Art: What is seen is the presentation of the information. The art exists only as an invisible, ethereal idea.70 There is an unmistakable connection between Kosuths Second Investigation and the late 1960s artistic practice of LeWitt. Indeed, on numerous occasions in 1968 and 1969 Kosuth articulated the operation of his new work in terms that clearly evoked the legacy of LeWitts conceptual art, articulated in the mid-1960s and published in the summer of 1967 as Paragraphs on Conceptual Art. Kosuths comments in yet another self-interview of 1969 are a case in point:

the contradictions of conceptual art

With my dictionary denition works it became evident to me that the form of presentation (photostats) were [sic] often being considered paintings even though I continually attempted to make it clear that the photostats and the art was [sic] the idea. After that series I began to use obvious media (newspapers, magazines, billboards, bus and train advertising, television) as the form of presentation. I felt this made it clear that the art is conceptual and not experiential. I use the synopsis of categories (developed by Roget in reference work) to enable me in my capacity as an artist to keep my choices on a general level. The synopsis of categories series, which I refer to as investigation 2, was conceptually completed last year when I began the presentation phase of the work. All my work exists when it is conceived because the execution is irrelevant to the art.71

art as idea

The negation of the experiential in favor of the conceptual dimension, the deemphasis of objects and championing of ideas, the reliance not on the dictates of aesthetic reasoning but on a priori schemesall of these characteristics resonate with what LeWitt described in Paragraphs on Conceptual Art. But the primary dialogue that Kosuths new work established was with the artists own First Investigation. In a 1971 essay, written as the introduction to what was now the Sixth Investigation, he described the development of the Second Investigation in dialectical terms, unfolding out of contradictions inherent in his earlier work.72 Kosuths stated problem with the First Investigation (i.e., the rst Art as Idea as Idea series) was that it was too static and that its narrative and temporal dimensions were too limited. Its framework, metaphorically speaking, was too narrow. By contrast, the Second Investigation neutralized that iconic quality and greatly expanded the parameters of art. By its very nature, the work came together in various different public sites over an undetermined sequence of time. Hence by late 1968 Kosuth had arrived at a method of artistic production and distribution that in its very expan51


siveness made the work virtually impossible to grasp in any form other than ideational. Each appropriated category, or subcategory, from Rogets Thesaurus that Kosuth presented in a distinct advertising venue thus functioned as a fragment of a work that in its entirety comprised all eight classes of categories. Like the work in the Windham College show, Kosuths Second Investigation was not instantaneous, not present to the viewer immediately, but mediated in the literal sense. Furthermore, the Second Investigation underscored the temporal dimension of production and the sequence of events required for the artwork to emerge as an entity. Each fragment represented a distinct part of the ensemble that was perpetually incomplete except as a total idea. But perhaps the most signicant negation effected by this fragmentary art was the way it shattered the smooth nish, broke up the complete and unied work, and, by extension, dismantled the mythical wholeness of the fetishized aesthetic object. With the Second Investigation Kosuth left it to others to select the typeface, the particular mass-cultural venues to be utilized, and the precise site in those venues where the anonymous advertisements would be placed. What started to surface then, like the return of the repressed, was the question of the labor of productiona question commonly held in check by the fetishized artwork. This is a further development of the decentering of the procedure of artistic production begun by the minimalists practice of entrusting skilled specialists to manufacture their work according to exacting specications. Kosuths project raises additional questions concerning the status of the work of art, such as whether it has a traditional, institutionally or discursively dened space or is contextually dened. In this sense Kosuths Second Investigation goes beyond the artistic operation entailed by the minimalist work of Judd, Flavin, or Andre, which (with a few notable exceptions such as Andres Joint) was always installed in traditionally dened exhibition spaces: the white-box commercial gallery or pristine museum. By contrast, insofar as Kosuths anonymous, serially produced and distributed works dismantled notions of artistic subjectivity, authority, uniqueness, and the neat traditional autonomous realm of high culture, they were closer to the artistic practice of Lozano and Graham. And, as I suggested, there are quite evident relations between Kosuths assault on traditional categories and conventions and some of Warhols artistic strategies in the 1960s. Kosuths modus operandi was thus highly compatible with that of Siegelaub. Indeed the importance of their collaboration cannot be underestimated. Both were keenly aware of how to manipulate and control publicity, and how to use the mass media and com-

munications technologies to disseminate art. Both sought to bring together like-minded artists in order to produce a more or less coherent movement that could be easily identied by the media and, more importantly, by patrons. Hence Kosuths project extended beyond the relatively hermetic, traditional modes of art production toward a practice that included the promotion of artworksan ambitious project, and one that could not have been achieved without the partnership of Siegelaub, whom Kosuth clearly recognized as a maverick: Of course, then theres the importance of a dealer like . . . well, I shouldnt say dealer because hes not . . . um, an entrepreneur like Seth Siegelaub.73

the contradictions of conceptual art art as idea 53

This page intentionally left blank


primary and secondary information

The word art is becoming less of a noun and more of a verb. Robert Barry, 19691

Before, meaning ten years ago, you could have said art was about information. Except information before had to do with color, line, composition, and all that bullshit, in which case the art and the presentation of the art were identical. But here you have a situation where the presentation of the art and the art are not the same thing. Seth Siegelaub, 19692

The development of an art that degraded traditional materials, surfaces, and self-contained forms in favor of media not previously associated with art, and of an unprecedented transparency of operative structures in the process of signication, had a profound impact on Siegelaubs conception of his role as a dealer. As he observed in a 1969 interview with the English critic Charles Harrison, Gradually there developed an art which didnt need to be


hung. An art wherein the problem of presentation paralleled one of the problems previously involved in the making and exhibition of a painting: that is, to make someone else aware that an artist had done anything at all.3 Yet this coupling of arts mythical, intrinsic presence with the operation of signication inherent in publicitya conation that would become central to Siegelaubs operation as a dealer as well as to what would come to be termed conceptual artwas not as straightforward as his comments to Harrison implied. A particularly striking example of Siegelaubs attempt to grapple with this problem of presentation was the sudden shift in his commercial practice in 1968. Before, he remarked in early 1969, when someone painted a painting, what had been done and what you saw were the same thing. . . . It was all there in front of you.4 Echoing Kosuth, Siegelaub argued that a situation had recently developed in which the material presentation of the work and the intrinsic elements of the art were distinct:

You see, one of the issues that has interested me about this art is the separation between the art itself and its presentation. This discrepancy, or this difference, is a relatively recent undertaking, or a relatively recent issue. See, if before you had a painting, even, say, Bob Barrys earlier pieces, what you saw, the art, and how you saw it, were the same thing. With a painting on the wall, the art and the presentation of it is the same. But now you have a case where . . . the art is not the same thing as how youre given the information.5

According to Siegelaub, it was now possible to split the artwork into what he referred to as primary information (the essence of the piece, its ideational part) and secondary information (the material information by which one becomes aware of the piece, the raw matter, the fabricated part, the form of presentation).6 This idealist conception of meaning as an a priori construct existing before its embodiment in form raised the issue of substitution and exchange in a social and economic sphere. For Siegelaub the separation of art ideas that are abstract by their very nature from the raw matter on which primary information relies for presentation meant that linguistic and graphic information presented in the catalogue or other forms of printed media played a potentially unprecedented role in artistic communication. But Siegelaub was clearly aware that making the new work accessible to a large public (an even larger public than for previous forms of art) was only half of the problem,

since the abstruse and esoteric character of the art rendered it incomprehensible to all but a small closed circle. He evidently decided that if these new works were to operate successfully in public space they would have to be presented within systems of communication and representation accessible to their presumed public. In order to address this problem (and here it is worth recalling that his merchandising operation already favored publicity), he tactfully increased the use of supplementary outside information. This took several forms: expository articles that identied the artists as a group with a specic dealer to enable the public to place them, laudatory reviews, interviews, and public discussions by the artists articulating the epistemological basis for this work. For Siegelaub, certain attributes of exhibition catalogues made them particularly attractive vehicles for disseminating art. As containers of information that were unresponsive to the environment, catalogues offered neutral sites in which to exhibit work.7 On numerous occasions he reiterated his concern to make the art he was promoting known to the multitudes; he was well aware that catalogues could reach a much larger public than more conventional material supports for art.8 Rather than simply a few aesthetes and purist art cognoscenti, the potential audience for catalogues was both enormous and diverse, since the printed matter circulated in a myriad of different contexts and countries. By the fall of 1968, all of the elements in this strategy were beginning to come together: in an illustrated article in Arts Magazine, Gordon Brown discussed the work of Barry, Huebler, Kosuth, and Weiner; Arthur R. Roses essay, Three since Windham, was slated to appear in the same magazine; and plans were made for the artists self-interviews to be distributed in various magazines. Siegelaubs systematic blitz of outside information publicizing his artists and elucidating their work was ready to be launched (g. II.1). To complement his ambitious promotional program, he orchestrated and circulated a series of exhibitions in which the catalogue played an unprecedented role. The rst of these featured the recent work of Douglas Huebler.

primary and secondary information 57


Publicity photograph by Seth Siegelaub featuring the four participating artists in January 531, 1969: Robert Barry, Douglas Huebler, Joseph Kosuth, and Lawrence Weiner

This page intentionally left blank

chapter three locations, variables, and durations

My work is concerned with determining the form of art when the role played by visual experience is mitigated or eliminated. In a number of works, I have done so by rst bringing appearance into the foreground of the piece and then suspending the visual experience of it by having it actually function as a document that exists to serve as a structural part of a conceptual system. Douglas Huebler, 19701

In late 1965, the artist and art instructor Douglas Huebler invited critic Dore Ashton, then collaborating with Siegelaub on a large show the gallery owner had initiated earlier that year, the 25 exhibition, to address contemporary art issues at Bradford Junior College in Bradford, Massachusetts.2 Huebler held a reception following the lecture at his house, and he took the opportunity to show Ashton the modular constructions in wood covered with thin sheets of Formica that comprised his recent artistic activity. The sculptures assembled open units of six-inch-square oblong blocks joined one to the other to make endless changes of position and patterns of angles (g. 3.1). Some of the pieces were more symmetrical than others, and


Douglas Huebler, Truro Series 3-66, 1966


since the structures had no favored orientation, they could be displayed in any position. Later in the 1960s Huebler reected on these works:

The things I made were out of plywood. They became essentially architectural, or architectonic in structure. And they were meant to have a multipositioned aspect. That is, that they were made in such a way like a cube, in the simplest way . . . a cube you could turn in any direction and its saying the same kind of thing. And the forms that I made were more complex than a cube, but at the same time were meant to be multifunctional in that way, so that they had no privileged, pictorial aspect. . . . The work, having its visual aspects removedits anecdotal aspects removed and so forthwas meant to be an equivalent object in the world, rather than a special object in the world.3

The sculptures thus dissolved traditional internal hierarchical orders, negated traces of meaning (i.e., anecdotal aspects), and assaulted the conventional hierarchy of objects. For Huebler, furthermore, the veneer of white and gray Formica diminished the objects textural quality, as well as the artists hand, and operated as a skin that relieves the object of its history.4 The effectiveness of the broad range of negations that informed this body of sculpture is difcult to assert precisely. From Hueblers point of view, the negations shifted the focus away from the sensibility of the artist and the idiosyncratic particularities of the object in favor of the phenomenological perception of the viewer. According to him, the temporal and bodily experience of moving through an architectural container led the viewer to an extreme self-awareness of his or her performative and phenomenological involvement with the aesthetic object. As he subsequently explained, rather than presume that sense in art is generated by autonomous sets of terms, his sculptures emphasized the degree to which factors of spectatorial interaction and spatial contextuality explicitly contributed to the meaning and vision of artistic objects: I wanted the sculpture to serve as a kind of springboard for the percipient to recognize himself or herself in the space with the thing (minimal sculpture) as an existential moment.5 Ashton was not particularly interested in Hueblers recent activity in sculpture, but she suggested he contact both the curator Kynaston McShine, who was then putting together a large exhibition of contemporary sculpture for the Jewish Museum in New York, and the young, up-and-coming dealer Seth Siegelaub. Huebler immediately communicated with McShine, who expressed interest in considering the artists recent sculptural work for his up-

coming show Primary Structures. Soon thereafter, while in New York to meet McShine, Huebler stopped by Seth Siegelaub Contemporary Art.6 Huebler did not introduce himself to Siegelaub when he rst visited the gallery. Instead on 17 February 1966 he mailed the dealer a dossier with slides of his work. Dear Mr. Siegelaub, he wrote in his letter of introduction, In a recent conversation with Dore Ashton she suggested to me that I contact you in regard to the possibility of your gallery showing my work. I will take the liberty of enclosing some examples of recent constructions and will look forward to hearing from you.7 Siegelaub, busy with the 25 show, delayed in responding to Hueblers letter, and on 7 March 1966 the latter wrote him once again, this time in a dramatically different tone: Dear Mr. Siegelaub: Several weeks ago I sent you some slides and photos and as I infer that they do not interest you would you be kind enough to return them.8 Siegelaub hastily mailed the slides back to the artist and made arrangements to drive up to Boston to meet him. In Boston, they almost immediately agreed that Huebler would produce thirty new works to be exhibited at Seth Siegelaub Contemporary Art in September of that year.9 The sculptures Huebler produced for this ill-fated exhibition were along the same lines as his Formica piecesmaterial objects that could be grasped phenomenologically. But in the next one and a half years Hueblers work changed dramatically, and in early 1968 he abandoned object sculpture altogether. Reecting on this shift barely a year later, Huebler described the move away from sculptural objects in terms of a logical development of his work. The sculptures were small enough in scale that they functioned in a room, he recalled,

primary and secondary information locations, variables, and durations

but once they began to get larger in scale, . . . I began to think about putting these works outside so that they would have an ongoing aspect in actual nature, rather than working with the environment in an interior situation where they worked with the wall and the ceiling. . . . [In early 1968] I did a piece that I meant to go outside, and I took it outside, and I did another piece deliberately for an outdoor sculpture show that was more of a mock-up. And in both cases, I was absolutely destroyed to see how puny they looked outside. Enormous inside, too big for a room, . . . [but] when I put the work outside . . . Wham! You know, there was the rest of the world, and trees were more interesting than the sculpture, and the sky wasand so forth. Unlessand this was the thing that really hit me unless you framed the environment in which the sculpture existed outside.10


For Huebler this idea posed a major problem, since institutional and discursive conventions capable of framing the environment within artistic production had yet to be established. Siegelaub had addressed this same problem of framing conventions in an essay that he wrote immediately following the Windham College show:

Confronted with the outdoors, one is immediately impressed by its vast diversity. Sun, earth, woods, grass, sky, all combine to make an idealized space impossible. The relationship between exterior space and the artist has more unanswered conventions. This is because artists have not, until recently, addressed themselves to the nature of exterior space. The framing conventions have not yet been articulated. For instance, an interior sculpture is framed by the room that it is located in, what would be a comparable exterior environment? Can (or should) exterior sculpture hold its space? By scale? Time? Size indoors is obviously relational, but what is a relational size outdoors? Where is the place for exterior sculpture? Where does it end? Where does it begin? At this point (in time) it seems that interior space is more neutral than exterior space. Quite possibly because it has been less well dened.11

Both Huebler and Siegelaub had arrived at reections on the institutional framework of art similar to those Tony Smith had voiced in a notorious interview of December 1966, where he described a car ride he had recently taken on the unnished New Jersey Turnpike to Samuel Wagstaff, Jr.:

It was a dark night and there were no lights or shoulder markers, lines, railings, or anything at all except the dark pavement moving through the landscape of the ats, rimmed by hills in the distance, but punctuated by stacks, towers, fumes, and colored lights. This drive was a revealing experience. The road and much of the landscape was articial, and yet it couldnt be called a work of art. On the other hand, it did something for me that art had never done. At rst, I didnt know what it was, but its effect was to liberate me from many of the views I had had about art. It seemed that there had been a reality there that had not had any expression in art. The experience on the road was something mapped out but not socially recognized. I thought to myself, it ought to be clear that thats the end of art. Most painting looks pretty pictorial after that. There is no way you can frame it, you just have to experience it.12

While all three speakers invoke the problem of establishing framing conditions for the vast outdoors, the tone in which they address this problem differs. For Smith, it is impossible to resolve the contradiction between the ineffable (and sublime) experience of the modern industrial landscape and the delimited conventions of painting and artistic traditions in general. Two years later, Siegelaub and Huebler are more optimistic about establishing framing conventions capable of demarcating and presenting aspects of the vast outdoors within an artistic context. In the intervening period from 1966 to 1968, a growing number of artists had begun to work in sculptural media expanded to unprecedented proportions, and this development contributed to the more condent tone of the later articulations. By 1968 sculptors such as Michael Heizer, Walter de Maria, Richard Long, and Dennis Oppenheim were employing huge areas of the countryside as a medium for art-making.13 That year Heizer began executing monumental sculpture, or land art as it came to be called; de Maria constructed Mile Long Drawing, consisting of two parallel chalk lines, twelve feet across and one mile long, in the Mohave Desert of California; the British artist Long was nominating hikes and walks through remote landscapes as his work; and Oppenheim horizontally stretched enormous lengths of snow fence to trample patterns onto a wheat eld in Hamburg, Pennsylvania, during the growing season to make Surface Indentation.14 A number of artists also proposed imposing monuments to be placed in the urban environment in such a way that they could compete with and even surpass architecture. A case in point is the Bulgarian artist Christo, whose monumental projects were then coming to be more widely known.15 Perhaps the most outrageous incidents in this vein were Otto Pienes proposal to construct public monuments the size of skyscrapers and LeWitts scheme to encase the Empire State Building in concrete, which, in their sheer excess and absurdity, commented explicitly on the contemporary impossibility of monumental sculpture.16 For Huebler, such monumental projects were too assertive, too much like the gesturing in Abstract Expressionism, for instance, or any number of romantic postures where youre going to get attention by hook or by crook.17 As he noted on several occasions in the later 1960s, the advent of land art led him to recognize that the traditional elements and practices of sculpture were no longer credible or valid. In turn, he soon abandoned the conventional categories of art, as much as the production of objects, increasingly relying instead on devices of suggestion and absence.18

primary and secondary information locations, variables, and durations 65


Hueblers rst works in this vein employed mass-produced, ordinary topographical road maps. With the aid of a felt marker, he would chart out a series of short automobile round trips on road maps that in turn functioned as diagrammatic structures of trips to be taken. The maps saved each trip as an entityas a description of movement through time and space. Charted in an absolutely random manner, with no prior knowledge of the routes, the trips were noncompositional, nondesignated operations that negated authorial control. Moreover, Huebler supplemented the maps with dry textual descriptions, employing the simple scientic or legal language featured on cartographs. The supplementary texts were utterly void of poetic or philosophical resonance, their sole function being to dene the parameters of the pieces. In this sense, Hueblers cartographic works articulated thoroughly self-reexive narratives that did not provide access to artistic subjectivity. The new works, like Kosuths, were presented in the same detached, comment-free way that characterized Alain Robbe-Grillets writings of the 1950s and 1960s, an association that Huebler himself was at pains to make.19 Like Robbe-Grillet, Huebler constructed a system that deprived the viewer of all illusionistic narrative dimensions, other than those requiring a close-up or direct tracing of the construction of the artistic project itself. As an early critic of Hueblers information-based work put it, he does not interprethe documents.20 The map pieces followed quite logically from Hueblers earlier interest in holistic, generalized gestalt forms, whose total shapes and constituting principles could easily be recognized as a whole by the viewer without the need to move around the stationary form. Indeed the structural integrity and simplicity of the road map (its relatively small scale, condensation of multiple visual signs, gridded topographical structure) allowed the viewer to grasp the concept of the space independently of time, a phenomenological intuition somewhat analogous to the viewers perception in a single glance of the shape of a threedimensional sculpture. Furthermore, the art, according to Huebler, was in the trip itselfa trip that could be performed either literally, by the percipient getting in a car and following the map, or cognitively within the exhibition space.21 As such, representation was pushed to the point of imagining a map so rigorous and referential that it becomes coterminous with its object, to invoke Fredric Jamesons provocative description of the fate of the referent in the structural concept of the sign during the 1960s.22 Simultaneous with the synchronic, holistic aspect of the road map is the more diachronic, sequential dimension also evoked in Hueblers charted automobile trips. As the viewers eye followed the path of the trip, the frozen space of the cartographic document


Douglas Huebler, Rochester Trip, 1968


thawed, becoming lmic and unfolding in a continuous present. The inert completeness of the road map thus collided with the temporal nature of the journey in a manner that substituted script for presence, textual structure for event or fact, and the process of making for any symbolic or transcendent meaning.23 Rochester Trip, 1968, is an early example of these road trip works (g. 3.2). On a common road map of northern Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont, Huebler charted a round trip with a felt pen. At the bottom of the road map he wrote:

Rochester Trip. A round trip drive between Haverhill, Massachusetts and Rochester [New Hampshire]. (This trip must begin in Haverhill and proceed, in either direction, returning in the other direction.) The trip need not be taken, but if taken the above route must be taken. Whatever is seen when the trip is taken joins with this map as the form of the work.

The penultimate sentence of this description is highly telling, insofar as it simultaneously recalls the disempowering aspects of the decade-old happenings of Allan Kaprow and foreshadows one of the most participatory artistic operations of late 1960s art. In one sense the verbal descriptions on Hueblers map pieces echo the strict tone of works such as Kaprows 18 Happenings in Six Parts of 1959, which commanded participants to adhere obediently to the scriptthe beginning and end of each [part] will be signalled by a bell, you will remain in your seats, there will be no applause after each set. In another sense the cartographic works point to the rupture that Weiner effected later in 1968, putting egalitarian forms of interaction into practice by leaving decisions about whether or not the work was to be made to the discretion of the beholder. It is in this context that the instructions Huebler wrote on one of the new works on paper that he sent to Siegelaub late in the spring of 1968 ought primarily to be seen. the so-called earth sculptures are about place, Huebler explained to the As dealer, so are the maps. Theyre arbitrary. May or may not be taken which is arbitrary, but if taken the commitment should be to take them exactly as designed. Starting point optional.24 Siegelaub was intrigued by the new direction of Hueblers work, and the two began to collaborate on an exhibition project. No sooner had they begun to organize the exhibition when Huebler jumped from charting trips on maps to dening place by points or markers located in huge areas of space. The starting point for these works continued to be the map. As before, the artist would chart a route on a map, but now he systematically singled out certain spots along the route to be traveled to and photographed. The prosaic documentary pho-

tographs were thus the result of a predetermined conceptual order; they were meant neither to have an aesthetic value nor to represent an interesting place or staged scene. Rather their role was to document the actual site Huebler had schematically located on a map. Furthermore, the accuracy of the match between the designated spot on the map and the site at which the photograph was taken was of little import to his schema.25 The deadpan, documentary function of the photographstheir status as secondary informationsuperseded their representational function. As secondary information, they supplemented the work in a manner analogous to the way the terse linguistic descriptions, the maps, and the marked locations functioned. Once again, Huebler was careful to assert that the documents were void of intrinsic merit:

primary and secondary information locations, variables, and durations

In the same sense that I dont care about specic appearance I really dont care about precise or exhaustive documentation. The documents prove nothing. They make the piece exist and I am interested in having that existence occur in as simple a way as possible. Where a thing is involves everything else and I like that idea much more than how I feel about it or what it looks like.26

Hueblers statement that it is solely the set of documents that make the piece exist points to a clear split between the concept, or what Siegelaub would refer to as the primary information, and the documentation, or secondary information. In this instance the primary information demands the secondary information to bring it into being. The concept has no presence in and of itself; the work is now comprised solely of the idea of the relationship that is signied by the documentation.






Hueblers early map pieces and site sculptures establish a dialogue with Robert Smithsons post-1967 practice of integrating maps, photographs, descriptive passages, and earth samples into his work. The latter function as equal elements in a linguistic eld that operates as a deep three-dimensional abstract map that points to a specic site on the surface of the earth.27 Indeed for one early piece, Site Sculpture Project. Windham College Pentagram, 1968, Huebler displaced a residue of earth from an actual site to the location of the exhibitionto the non-site, in Smithsons terms. Along with the earth sample Huebler exhibited a map, a linguistic description, and photographs of the original site.28


In contrast to Smithsons dialectical method of positing both site and non-site, matter and mind, earth and concept as equal components, samples of earth were extremely rare in Hueblers work. Rather, the maps, photographs, and written information functioned as secondary material signaling the site that remained abstract. Hueblers work thus rules out the concept of a fully present art object proposed by erudite late modernist critics such as Michael Fried in Art and Objecthood.29 Rather than emphasizing (as Kosuth in his own way also did) the art objects formal essence or categorical being, Hueblers new work fragmented the centered late modernist art object and focused instead on the information system in which certain traces and spaces were privileged as structural featuresas what Jacques Derrida would in another context call archi-traces.30 For Huebler this information system was comprised of documents. Furthermore, although Smithson insisted that the elements of his artworks be taken literally, his writings articulated their meaning. In this sense Smithson rst turned the artwork into a text, and then developed procedures for reading the work.31 He constantly emphasized the gurative aspects of the materials employed, which necessarily involved the viewer moving from the materials to the supposed meanings. Huebler also transformed the artwork into a text, but he and Smithson diverged on the degree of literality in their work. In interviews and writings of the later 1960s, Smithson appealed to a welldeveloped, independently articulated extra-artistic tradition: dialectics and the language of entropy and connement. This had tremendous power and benet for his analysis but also involved him in certain ways of reading the artwork as text that had an inertial drag on his own analysisways of reading the meaning of the text that ran against his artistic aspirations. Smithson did not indicate the extent to which the viewer was to read the text (artwork) for its material qualities, but consistently emphasized the inherently unstable mechanics of texts that involved the viewer moving from the signier, the material of the work, to the supposed meanings of that material. Although such meanings were no longer literal but implicit, they nevertheless remained meanings; the viewer was still engaged in decoding metonyms and metaphors in the artwork/text to determine what signied might be indicated by a given signier. Because Huebler did not claim any connection between signier and meaning, he produced a reading of his own work that was far more literal than Smithsons. Huebler did not explicitly route a reading of his artistic production through a metaphorical language, the way Smithson routed his work through entropy, connement, and the tradition of dialectical

theory; he did not claim a connection, however oblique, between the signiers of his work, which he called the raw information, and some signied.32 Rather, in a way that bears a kinship with Kosuth who stressed arts literalness, Huebler was interested in the facticity of that raw information without worrying about supposed meanings. As he put it, the tremendously prosaic nature of the documents employed in his work served as

primary and secondary information

a criticism of what I consider to be the irresponsible use of signifying. We have come to a point where things are very accessible and the more they get stacked up with myth, the more easily theyre consumed and the more bullshit they become. I would like to try to help unload this stack of myth. This stack of myth is related to man, his culture, and not just art. Im using art to speak through to these concerns.33

locations, variables, and durations

Hueblers was thus a post-Smithson understanding of the artwork as text. It is unlikely that Huebler would have been as literal about the textual operation of an artwork if Smithson had not pointed the way by emphasizing the raw materials, the signiers of his work. In order to preserve his own creative identity, Huebler completed Smithson, as it were, by being more literal than the latter, dropping his emphasis on spatial metaphors of inside and outside, site and non-site, and replacing these with an emphasis on the temporality and practice of making. The real and literal aspects of an artwork, Huebler argued, are located in the practice of making, a process that by denition has a temporal dimension. For Huebler the temporal dimension of an artwork operates not only in the process of production but also in that of reception. Just as works of art are not produced or realized instantaneously, they are also not present to the viewer immediately, contrary to Frieds notorious claim in Art and Objecthood.34 Rather, artworks are mediated in the literal sense that it takes time to observe them and to contemplate their signicance. The serialization of relations in Hueblers new work (the information package of maps, photographs, and Robbe-Grillet-like language emptied of all metaphorical or metonymical content) implies a degree of objectivity (in terms of its autonomous, selfcontained structure and self-denition) that precludes rational decision-making processes. For if a system follows an external ordering principle, if it becomes a self-perpetuating, selfgenerating structure with its own self-sufcient internal logic, then the artist takes a very minor role and virtually disappears behind the structures self-generation. Such a selfperpetuating system taking place, a priori, outside of the actual objects on view, but deter-



mining them nonetheless, not only eliminates arbitrary artistic decisions but, as Huebler noted, has ultimately to be seen as a process of decentering that negates the presence of subjectivity in the work: inevitable destiny is set in motion by the specic process selected An to form such a work freeing it from further decisions on my part.35 One of the foundational motivations for this artistic effort to break down the mystery of compositional structure, to dismantle the myth of privileged aesthetic experience and decenter the rational control over the art object, was political. It was an operation that aimed to eliminate the need for privileged knowledge in the reception of art, advocating instead a doctrine of equal access and interaction. All of my works, Huebler put it in hindsight,

have been directed towards the process or the capacity of a work to generate the making of the work by the percipient. . . . Its a political concern also. It is, in effect, an effort to empty the work of what appears to be the content. It is not to ll the work with content. It is to empty it . . . of mythology, to empty it of literature and to allow it to speak by being empty. . . . I want to open the situation up to the person seeing the work. I feel very obliged to allow the perceiver all the space he or she can use. Therefore, my distance is to me a necessary posture so that I dont get in the way. . . . The language that I use in the work is meant to very carefully structure itself and build towards a kind of conclusion that allows a reconstitution of the information by the viewer.36

Indeed, as noted earlier, in some cases the beholder was in control of much more than the reconstruction of information. In the road trip pieces, Huebler placed the decision as to whether or not to set the work in motion, to activate the work by taking the trip, in the domain of the beholder. These issues came together in a landmark show of Hueblers work that Siegelaub organized in 1968.





The Douglas Huebler: November 1968 show was the rst to employ the exhibition catalogue as sole material support. Initially Huebler planned to produce ten distinct site-specic sculptures, each located in a different city. On 25 June 1968, Siegelaub began to orchestrate a campaign of direct-mail advertising to promote the project, sending a prospectus to a number of potential patrons.37 Whereas a few months earlier the work, the catalogue, and the

documentation had been three discrete entities, at this stage the documentation and the catalogue were fused.38 Each sculpture, Siegelaub explained, will come with photographs, drawings, maps, metes and bounds, description and other relevant documents to certify ownership. Not only did the documentation make the piece exist, it also served to authenticate the work and give it prominence. The cost of the sculpture would be computed according to the amount of money and time the artist spent on transportation to and from the site, on materials, and on documentation. The latter now plays an unprecedented role in determining the overall value of the work.39 A couple of weeks later, Siegelaub placed further stress on the documentation. Along with a slightly modied prospectus sent to a larger number of collectors, the cover letter stated unequivocally that the information about the work would function as a certicate of authenticity for the patron.40 In other words, possession of the information or documentation of the work signaled ownership. In one blow, then, Siegelaub eliminated the bulk of the material object and replaced it with documentation. Although there were no direct responses to the prospectus, Siegelaub secured funding for the printing costs of an exhibition catalogue from a local patron.41 Since Hueblers new work no longer entailed immediate, intimate objects or space, while its visible, material aspects took the abstract form of documents and linguistic information sited on printed pages, Siegelaub concluded that the artists new work could be effectively presented in the eld of distributionand specically in the cataloguealone. As he observed in his 1969 interview with Harrison, The catalogue can now act as primary information for the exhibition, as opposed to the secondary information. . . . In some cases the exhibition can be the catalogue.42 In an important sense, this shift in perspective from a narrow concern with the object, or even with the context of placement, to a broader investigation of the artwork as a phenomenon of the apparatus of publicity was perhaps best articulated by Dan Grahams important works for magazine pages, begun a few years earlier.43 Graham had recognized that since most people rarely see original works of art but know of them primarily through illustrations in art magazines, the work could effectively be embedded in the magazine from the very beginning. This in turn enabled a fundamental decentering whereby the work not only lost its object structure but its center as well, with the mass-cultural distribution form of printed matter substituting for those conventions. As early as 1966, in a development that came to represent one branch of conceptual art, Graham renounced the possibility of mak-

primary and secondary information locations, variables, and durations 73


ing objects altogether, reckoning that it was more feasible to inscribe the work from the beginning within the channels in which it would inevitably be received.44 Like Graham, Huebler and Siegelaub addressed questions of site specicity, hybrid categories, forms of distribution, and, more generally, the contextual issues traditionally omitted from thinking about art. The development of a type of work that could be presented without originalsa syntagmatic work whose materiality slid along a chain of signiersalso problematized the issue of ownership.45 For if elements of documentary information now constituted the work, then possession of those elements became ownership, and documents became artworks.46 This was a further step in the demystication of the precious, fetishized art object (the separation of the artistic idea from the palpable object) characteristic of the recent work of Flavin and Andre. As Huebler put it in the Prospect 69 catalogue,

During the last ten years other art forms that do exist as objects have seriously challenged collectors to suspend former expectations about what is original. Anyone could reproduce an Andre or a Flavin for instance. What would he have? I believe that the sensibility behind a work of art should be broadly accessible.47

In Hueblers view the critique of the unique object performed by his new work, which he understood to be in the lineage of Flavins and Andres work, also incorporated a redenition of the role of the art patron. He described this change in a New York radio broadcast that Siegelaub organized in 1969:

Someone who buys a Flavin, for instance, isnt buying a light show. He is supporting an artist, like scientists receive the money from science foundations. They are supporting his activities, whatever his activities are, and if they want a uorescent light they go to the hardware store and buy it for a great deal less.48



Siegelaub and Huebler tried to present the Douglas Huebler: November 1968 exhibition in as literal and detached a manner as possible. The laconic facticity of the exhibition title echoed the works in the catalogue, which were conspicuous for their negation of all poetic and metaphorical connotations. Consistent with his attempt to avoid prejudicing the view-

ing situation, Siegelaub decided not to include outside verbal information like catalogue introductions, thematic titles, et cetera.49 Such neutrality, he reasoned, would allow the viewers more freedom to determine the nature of their own art experiences and interpretations Hueblers work was changing so rapidly that he evidently began to have doubts about the feasibility of the exhibition project. This skepticism was compounded by the highly ephemeral and unprecedented nature of his new works. As each successive work posed a greater challenge to the existing conventions, the problem of criteria became more pressing.50 But Siegelaubs enthusiasm for the project, and for the recent developments in Hueblers work, was undiminished. He worked on the exhibition all summer and into the fall, devising ways to tailor the information to the parameters of the catalogue.51 A general reference map of the United States printed in white with a black background was featured on the front and back covers of Douglas Huebler: November 1968 (g. 3.3). The catalogues dimensions (8 x 8 inches) and thinness gave it the appearance of a 45 rpm record sleeve. It reproduced twelve of the fteen works in the exhibition. Four of the new works were untitled ink-on-paper drawings that combined descriptive language with graphic signs and literal and referential facts, all locating lines and points in various spatial relationships.52 Hueblers series of statements printed on the second page of the catalogue manifestly and programmatically elucidated the operation of the new, conceptualist work. The existence of each sculpture is documented by its documentation, Huebler announced:

primary and secondary information locations, variables, and durations

The documentation takes the form of photographs, maps, drawings and descriptive language. The marker material and the shape described by the location of the markers have no special signicance, other than to demark the limits of the piece. The permanence and destiny of the markers have no special signicance. The duration pieces exist only in the documentation of the markers destiny within a selected period of time. The proposal projects do not differ from the other pieces as idea, but do differ in the extent of their material substance.

Two contradictory currents run through these statements: one, literal and temporal, frames the material limits of the works; the other, less tangible or material, demarcates the ideational component. They parallel, respectively, the material and phenomenological as75


Cover of Douglas Huebler: November 1968, 1968

pects of minimal art and the structuralist elements of the theory of conceptual art that LeWitt was beginning to articulate. Hueblers current work fused these two paradigms. It fell into three categories: Location, Duration, and Variable. The Location Piece Boston-New York Exchange Shape, for example, included maps of the downtown areas of New York and Boston, each with a superimposed hexagon. The hexagons dened the same dimension of space in each city. At each of the six corners, Huebler designated a letter of the alphabet (from A to F on the Boston map; A to F on the New York map). He typed a list of the specic sites demarcated by the corners on an 8 1/2 -x-11-inch sheet of paper and then traveled to each site, where he placed a white, one-inch square sticker and made photographs. The documentation of the piece thus consisted of two maps with the hexagonal drawings and letters, an 8 1/2-x-11-inch sheet of paper, and a number of photographs of each site (gs. 3.43.6). The sculptural ideas remained abstract, manifested only in the mind of the person viewing the documentation. The parameters of the work referred to in the catalogue as Duration Pieces were formed by predetermined amounts of time, evoking the way Hueblers soulmate, John Cage, framed off four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence in his famous aleatory composition 4 33 , rst performed by David Tudor in 1952.53 In contrast to Cages work, which loomed large over much art of the 1960s, Hueblers Duration Pieces depended on the documentation of the performancethe frameworkrather than on the event itself. Real time was suspended by the frame of Hueblers documentary information, whereas in Cages piece the actual passing of time was an integral component. In the twenty-four-minute Duration Piece #2, a one-foot-wide line of sand was laid across a designated stretch of highway (Route 125, near Plaistow, New Hampshire). A series of twelve black-and-white photographs of the disintegrating line of sand were then taken at two-minute intervals.54 This process of production, which employed the camera as a mere duplicating device whose operator makes no aesthetic decisions, negated not only the competence of the artist and the role of the author but also the notion that the photographs had any aesthetic value.55 I use the camera, declared Huebler, as a dumb copying device that only serves to document whatever phenomena appear before it through the conditions set by a system. No aesthetic choices are possible. Other people often make the photographs. It makes no difference.56 Hueblers mechanically executed photographs were anticipated by Warhols mid1960s practice of placing a lm camera on a tripod, aiming it, turning it on, and walking away from the stationary machine. Hueblers schematic method of production similarly negated

primary and secondary information locations, variables, and durations 77


Douglas Huebler, Boston-New York Exchange Shape, 1968


Douglas Huebler, Boston-New York Exchange Shape, 1968


Douglas Huebler, Boston-New York Exchange Shape, 1968


the aesthetic decision-making process, and placed the artists role alongside that of the equally passive spectator. Time gured as strongly in Warhols lms as it did in Hueblers Duration Pieces, for which a period of time is chosen and whatever happens to the situation is documented.57 Moreover, the fact that other people often make the photographs was in line with Warhols mode of factory production in which others made the work for which he would subsequently claim authorship. The catalogue-exhibition also included one so-called Variable Piece, Variable Piece #1 (g. 3.7).58 As a scheme to be activated, the information presented by Variable Piece #1 evoked the participatory dimension of works such as Kaprows 18 Happenings in Six Parts noted above, where the audience followed a predetermined script with instructions to applaud, remain seated, or change rooms at various times during the performance. This commitment to audience participation became of paramount importance for Huebler, whose activity continued to close the gap between the viewer and the artwork. But in contrast to Kaprows happenings, Hueblers work involved a dialogic relationship between instructions and viewer participation. The participatory nature of Hueblers conceptual art was aided by the simplicity of the scheme and by his ceding of artistic control over the process of production. The works only came into existence when the beholder sorted out and activated the information provided. In this way Hueblers work put into motion what Benjamin Buchloh, in a discussion of the 1960s work of Andy Warhol, has termed a bodily synecdoche, especially insofar as they bring the viewer, almost literally, into the plane of visual representation . . . a twentiethcentury avant-garde practice intended to instigate active identication of the viewer with the representation, replacing the contemplative mode of aesthetic experience with an active one.59 As with Warhols Dance Diagrams and Do It Yourself paintings to which Buchloh refers, Hueblers work canceled all gesturality or expressivity on the part of the artist through its insertion of a diagram, and its emphatic foregrounding of a predetermined scheme that precluded all subsequent decision-making and intuitive processes. In a fundamental shift of authorial agency, the spectator now set the work (i.e., the documentary information: photographs, maps, schematic drawings, linguistic descriptions) in motion.60 As Huebler put it in the catalogue for a show of 1970: The subject of art is the percipient engaged in a self producing activity that, itself, replaces appearance and becomes the virtual image of the work.61 Hueblers conceptual art broke, at least supercially, with a series of conventions then central to high art practice. It dismantled the xation on the centrality of the artist and


Douglas Huebler, Variable Piece #1, 1968


the coherence of the object that had been integral to late modernist art. The role of the artist was now reduced to solely pointing the direction, as Huebler put it.62 If I say too much about my intentions, he emphasized, then I feel that might get in the way. The work itself will have to stand independent of my hopes for it, which is, to have people make these identications.63 In addition, the unity of the work of art was dismantled into simple signs: maps, photographs, descriptions, and information of various kinds. This fracturing was directly related to issues of distribution, exhibition, salability, and ownership. The art was thus perpetually in process, the scene of a play of information and not, as in the most ambitious late modernist work, a vehicle of expression or feeling, a carrier of humanistic content from the artist to the viewer.64 Moreover, the very core of Hueblers project was based on questions of signifying and signication, of making and remaking meanings, analogous to models of language where meaning is produced by structural relationships. The material signiers could be joined and parted in multiple ways in each and every viewing of the work. In this sense, the operation of Hueblers work shifted the focus to the play of the signier and the practice of signifying, more strongly and decisively than previously. The information presented was not transparent; it could not be discarded for some represented presence. Rather, the concentration was on the specicity of the material signiers and the activity of their operation.65 Indeed, the works in themselves produced an effect of virtual undecidability. As presented, they had to be assembledan operation that Huebler implied when he explained to Lippard that the act of perceiving is what concerns me rather than what is perceived.66 In this respect, these works elicit the performative dimension of the spectator in the production of meaning, calling on the observer, to paraphrase Barthes, to produce the work anew, to draw its signiers into an unknown praxis.67 If in the early to mid-1960s Huebler sought to undo and outdo the late modernist paradigm of autonomy and duality, placing in its stead a phenomenological paradigm of visual experience that emphasized the inextricable relationships between bodily, perceptual, and temporal experience, the labyrinthine mesh of information that comprised his post-1968 work generally displaced that phenomenological model in favor of a structuralist paradigm of visual experience and signication. Most striking of all, Hueblers conceptual art was advanced as representative of a shift away from artworks that assume their place in the traditional late modernist site of privileged, high art experience, in favor of artworks that were capable of addressing and communicating with a broader audience. This was the gist of Hueblers argument when he re-

marked in the spring of 1969 that he wanted to suspend the notion that art is about museums and about all of the things that art has been about, . . . and open it up for more people.68 For Hueblers work to have access to a wider audience, its distribution form had to be dramatically altered as well, and this is where Siegelaubs crucial and highly creative role in their collaboration comes into sharper focus. If the work was to comprise secondary information, then radically new strategies would have to be developed to sell, market, and exhibit it. Along with these new methods came a parallel transformation in Siegelaubs function, changing from that of a dealer to a consultant, or organizer, of information.69 This transformation is most clearly seen in Siegelaubs response to the new work of Weiner and Barry.

primary and secondary information locations, variables, and durations 83

chapter four the linguistic turn

My work has no relationship to I, the work is presented out of context with me. Lawrence Weiner, 19691

Lawrence Weiner participated in the opening exhibition of Seth Siegelaub Contemporary Art (14 September10 October 1964), and had one-person shows in each of the succeeding two years that featured paintings from what has since come to be known as his Propeller series (g. 4.1).2 These paintings, which Weiner began in the early 1960s, were reminiscent of Jasper Johnss matrix structures of the 1950s. In a creative misreading of the latters Flag series, Weiner problematized the artists decision-making process and frustrated critical attempts to interpret artworks as stemming from the personal subjectivity of an exceptional, unique sensibility. For both Weiner and Johns, separated by almost a decade, this strategy was part of the broader move away from the mythologized rawness, spontaneity, and emotionalism that characterized the work of the New York School.3 As with Hueblers road maps or Kosuths dictionary denitions, the scheme underlying the Propeller seriesto choose a preestab-


Lawrence Weiner, installation of Propeller paintings at Seth Siegelaub Fine Arts, 10 November5 December 1964


lished, immediately recognizable and reproducible format or image: the TV test patternremoved not only compositional decisions but also questions of self-denition, inspiration, surprise, and expression. Like Johns, Weiner critiqued representational conventions and travestied romantic ideas of subjectivity in contemporary painting. Weiners canvases differed from Johnss in their suggestion that what constituted publicness in the newly emerging consumer society was not, as the Flag paintings implied, ones national identity, but rather ones identication with the newly formed global network of electronic culture transmitted and received through television. What I want to single out here is how similar Weiners suggestion is to Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiores observation that an utterly new era had arrived: Electric circularity has overthrown the regime of time and space and pours upon us instantly and continuously the concerns of all other men. It has reconstituted dialogue on a global scale.4 The Propeller paintings, with their restricted palette of colors, appropriation of the propeller motif that gured in the TV test pattern, and thick black outlines, also engaged in dialogue with another legacy of Johnss painting: the depersonalized style of pop art. At the time, Weiners canvases were stylistically compared to Roy Lichtensteins signature paintings of cartoon explosions.5 Furthermore, as work that, like Kosuths, was posited as dealing with the idea of painting, rather than a painting,6 Weiners canvases shared common ground with Lichtensteins bright cartoon paintings, which were concerned with an idea of something rather than with something itself, as Donald Judd noted in a review of the artists work.7 Whereas Lichtenstein had appropriated the popular imagery of comic books, Weiner located mass-cultural imagery in the innitely more pervasive medium of television. Thus Weiners paintings had an unlikely kinship with Warhols pop art work. As with Warhols photo-silkscreens of mass-cultural motifs (packaged commodities and celebrities alike), Weiners use of the TV test pattern provided an abstract formulation that allowed unlimited variations. Similarly to the work of Kosuth, whose own peculiar debt to Warhol has already been addressed, Weiners Propeller paintings negated claims of uniqueness and privileged forms of experience. They suggested that the technological revolution of electronic communication networks had fundamentally transformed the intimate communicative function of art. Ours is a brand-new world of allatonceness [all-at-once-ness], McLuhan and Fiore wrote in their widely popular The Medium Is the Massage. Time has ceased, space has vanished. We now live in a global village . . . a simultaneous happening.8


Lawrence Weiner, Untitled, 1966


Further echoing Warhols photo-silkscreens, Weiners Propeller series evokes the conditions of experience that were coming to characterize public life through television. A new form of politics is emerging, McLuhan and Fiore announced; the living room has become a voting booth. Participation via television . . . is changing everything.9 Never before had an age been so globally interconnected: The instantaneous world of electric informational media involves all of us, all at once. No detachment or frame is possible.10 According to McLuhan and Fiore, the new media thus radically affected contemporary perceptions of the global environment, and required entirely new analytical and conceptual processes. By the early 1960s, Weiners work was drawing attention to the transformation of publics into mass audiences. In evoking the TV viewer who, fed a steady stream of images and information, became globally plugged in to other spectators, Weiner posited an active viewer for his art, one who could engage dialogically in the co-production of meaninga shift of focus that pregured Hueblers later theorization of the percipient.11

Weiners rst Removal paintings of 1966 continued to break down the hierarchical relationship between art object and audience. On the surface, the works appeared profoundly different from the Propeller paintings. Evocative of Frank Stellas Aluminum series of 1960 and Robert Mangolds shaped Areas of 19651966, the Removal paintings had a sculptural element: a rectangular notch removed from one corner of the bottom framing edge of the canvas (g. 4.2). Though the notches in these pictures represent only a small departure from the rectangle in comparison to Weiners subsequent more signicant displacements, they constitute the beginning of this main line of development. Unlike the Propeller series, the Removal paintings were not hand-painted but mechanically produced with a spray gun and compressor, an approach that negated the artists expressive or decision-making processes andin a way that paralleled pop and minimal arts critiques of subjectivitylessened the role of handicraft and its attendant unpredictable nature. For if the Removal paintings employed an industrial mode of production that paralleled the factory fabrication practice of the minimalists, Warhols gambit of abandoning manual production in favor of stenciling and silkscreening images onto canvases or objects also had an impact on Weiner. If the Propeller series problematized the autonomy of painting in the pursuit of an art of the popular (in theory at least), paintings from the Removal

series steered this concern in the direction of an attack on the romantic notion of the inspired artistic genius. As Weiner stated later, The person who was receiving the painting would say what size they wanted, what color they wanted, how big a removal they wanted.12 The Propeller paintings thus undermined their own authority by inviting and then incorporating that of the viewer or, as the case may be, the patron. In this exchange among artist, art object, and viewer the sense of a single authority or signatory dissolves altogether, placing the burden of decision-making on the collector. To that extent, Weiner was still operating within a very traditional model of patronage, complete with commissioned works and topics assigned to painters. The Removal paintings continued Weiners dialogue not only with Johns and pop art but also with the contemporary work of Flavin and Andre, whose use of everyday manufactured components and materials (e.g., uorescent light xtures, rebricks, metal plates) and shattering of the traditional division between virtual and real space (e.g., by inviting the viewer to enter into or walk onto the work and experience it phenomenologically) had begun to dismantle the myth of the privileged art object. Here, in this hybrid of contradictory legacies that informed Weiners early work, were the elements that would soon evolve into an artistic practice akin to Hueblers, Kosuths, and, as we shall see below, Barrys in the late 1960s. Weiners Staples, Stakes, Twine, Turf, exhibited on the lawn of the Windham College campus in Vermont in April and May 1968, was the artists most performative work to date (gs. 4.34.4). It consisted of a 70 x 100-foot grid constructed of 510 yards of hemp twine stapled onto thirty-four stakes hammered into the ground. A rectangular notch (10 x 20 feet) was displaced from one corner. Six inches off the ground, the hemp was run the way surveyors run string to measure parcels of land or structures. Despite the systematic layout and the simple shape of the grid, it could not be seen from any direction in its entirety without appearing as a trapezoid. Similar to the way Andre, following Pollocks horizontal painting process, overturned the traditional verticality of sculpture in favor of sculpture that would run along the ground, Weiner collapsed the vertical plane of his Removal paintings into a horizontal to produce Staples, Stakes, Twine, Turf. Placed on a eld between two student dormitories, Staples, Stakes, Twine, Turf beckoned the viewer to become physically involved, to confront the sculpture directly by walking into the space it created. Analogously to the fusion of artwork and viewer in happenings, Staples, Stakes, Twine, Turf positioned the spectator in a corporeal rela-

primary and secondary information the linguistic turn 89


Lawrence Weiner, Staples, Stakes, Twine, Turf, as installed at Windham College, 30 April 31 May 1968


Lawrence Weiner, Staples, Stakes, Twine, Turf, as installed at Windham College, 30 April 31 May, 1968


tionship with the structure.13 Also parallel to happenings was the ephemerality of the work, which only existed for the duration of the event and was then destroyed. Weiners development of a type of work that problematized the distinction between the space of the artwork and that of the viewer, between designated performance areas and ordinary life, also echoed manifestations in American dance such as those then being forged by Ann Halprin in San Francisco, Merce Cunningham on the east coast, and the group of dancers who formed the Judson Dance Theater (including Trisha Brown, Simone Forti, Deborah Hay, Steve Paxton, and Yvonne Rainer) in New York. The integration of spectator participation into the conceptual structure of the work inevitably posed a series of problems and questions concerning the social functions of the work, its imagined public, its actual audience, and its proper site. Unlike Huebler, whose conceptual art followed Kaprows structure of determination, Weiner objected vehemently to what he called impositional art. In an early 1969 interview, he stated that he was against all forms of demand made by art: I dont approve of art that you cannot supposedly experience unless you do prescribed things, because thats choreography and, to me, really and truly is aesthetic fascism.14







Following the Removal paintings, Weiner turned to what was to be his nal series of paintings. These were typically produced following a highly mechanized fabrication process that, to a greater extent than before, displaced creative control from the hands of the artist. The titles of One Pint Gloss White Lacquer Poured Directly upon the Floor and Allowed to Dry, 1968, and Two Minutes of Spray Paint Directly upon the Floor from a Standard Aerosol Can, 1968, described in full the materials and production procedure of the works. Employing a mechanical, anonymous method of production in which a can of store-bought paint was emptied directly onto the oor, Weiner dramatically reduced artistic decision-making, conscious control, and manual production. Relying on chance and gravity as a substitute for artistic skill, this technique allowed for greater depersonalization than even the highly dialogical Removal series. By eliminating the stretcher, canvas, and even the most reduced forms of organizational decisions that went into the production of the Removal paintings (e.g., placing colored bands at the top and at the bottom), Weiner erased traces of craftsmanship, skill, talent, and expression from the process of pictorial execution.

The emphasis on the operation of chance and gravity, the abandonment of the brush and therefore of the touch of the artist altogether, the specications that the painting be produced on a horizontal plane, on the oorall of these characteristics inevitably linked works such as Two Minutes of Spray Paint Directly upon the Floor from a Standard Aerosol Can and One Pint Gloss White Lacquer Poured Directly upon the Floor and Allowed to Dry not to the paintings of Stella and Mangold (as was the case with the Removal paintings), nor to the work of Johns (like the earlier Propeller paintings), but to Jackson Pollocks aleatory and gravitydirected working procedure of the late 1940s and early 1950s. Yet, rather than prioritizing the moment when the work physically materialized, as Pollock had ostensibly done, Weiners new work emphasized the generative role of the title.15 The work was thus split into two distinct partsone centered on the descriptive title, the other on the performance and its residue. This was the last step before the object was erased from the operation altogether by the growing importance of the linguistic utterance. Of concern in Weiners shift from producing actual objects to textual denitions was a reconguration of iconicity (in the form of linguistic structures) and an understanding that, in order to transcend the privileged parameters of an elite, institutionalized bourgeois culture, a work of art had to radically alter its mode of distribution. Weiner took a rst step in this direction when he exhibited a schematic, topographical drawing on graph paper, Turf, Stake, and String, 1968, at the Dwan Gallerys Language II show (25 May22 June 1968) in New York. The drawing did not indicate the materials illusionistically but linguistically, by way of words written in a repetitive design. The framing edges identied thirty-four stakes, while bands of string formed a grid charting sixty-eight squares. As with his earlier pieces, Weiner removed a notch from the bottom left corner of the rectangular eld. He inscribed the word string on the framing edges of each square and turf in the center of the square. In contrast to the works of earlier that year, Weiners new approach, which will come to represent another facet of conceptual art, insinuated that production was ultimately irrelevant to a work of art. A number of variations on Turf, Stake, and String followed in 1968. One, distributed in the journal S.M.S., took the form of a large transparent sticker.16 For another, titled Six Ten Penny Common Steel Nails. Nails to Be Driven into Floor at Indicated Terminal Points and dated 10 July 1968, Weiner marked on graph paper the spots in which six nails were to be inserted into a oor, and drew lines connecting all of the nails to indicate the parameters of the piece (g. 4.5). The framing edge of the topographical drawing echoed the slightly irregular picture

primary and secondary information the linguistic turn 93


Lawrence Weiner, Six Ten Penny Common Steel Nails. Nails to Be Driven into Floor at Indicated Terminal Points, 1968

elds of Weiners earlier Removal paintings: the rectangular eld was three feet wide at the top, four feet long on the left side, and three feet long on the right, with a one-foot-by-onefoot notch removed from the bottom right corner. To the right of the schematic layout, Weiner wrote the title in the form of instructions, specifying the materials involved (six tenpenny common steel nails) and the process of production (nails to be driven into the oor at indicated terminal points). In contrast to Turf, Stake, and String, where Weiner asyntactically organized the words of the title to render a topographical map of the piece named, in Six Ten Penny Common Steel Nails. Nails to Be Driven into Floor at Indicated Terminal Points he wrote the title in standard syntactical form. Six Ten Penny Common Steel Nails was the rst in a series of works Weiner presented as statements on graph paper. The layout of the new works became at once less designed than his earlier production and more sophisticated. For One Hole in the Ground Approximately One Foot by One Foot / One Gallon Waterbased White Paint Poured into This Hole, dated 23 August 1968, he inserted each letter of the title into one of the gridded units of the graph paper. Words intercepted by the twenty-two-integer limit of the seven lines of graph continue in the following line. The statements two sentences are not separated by a periodwhen the rst ends, the second begins on the line below it.17 Weiners One Hole in the Ground followed Six Ten Penny Steel Nails by only six weeks, yet it was remarkably different and signaled the direction his work was to take in the following years. Conspicuously absent was the type of schematic drawing that accompanied Six Ten Penny Steel Nails. The layout also differed. The most consequential difference, however, was in the grammatical form of the statements. Whereas the earlier one used an elliptical imperative implying some future action (Nails to be driven into oor), Weiners new work adopted the past participle of actions completed. Weiner formulated the parameters of the twenty-four pieces included in his rst catalogue-exhibition Statements, published in an edition of 1,025 in December 1968, in purely linguistic terms and all in past participles. Typeset in small lower-case letters in Royal Typewriter face, and placed halfway down the face of the right-hand pages, each statement prosaically described a simple, discrete action altering the physical environment. There were no illustrations and no catalogue numbers. Rather, the works were divided equally into two groups of twelve, one labeled general statements, as in an amount of paint poured directly upon the oor and allowed to dry, and the other specic statements, as in one aerosol can of enamel sprayed to conclusion directly upon the oor. Weiner made the distinction be-

primary and secondary information the linguistic turn 95


tween general and specic according to the statements precise quantity and degree of detail.18 The split between general and specic was part of his overall fascination with the ambiguity of language. In a way that calls to mind the difference between the signied and the referent, each of Weiners statements was polyvalent.19 Weiner had now, as it were, split the artistic sign. Rather than functioning as general signs, presenting in one unit the physical art object and the conceptual information that supplements and closes it, these statements formulated the works as enunciations. The series of declarations thus dened the works material structure linguistically and furnished information about processes of production in the past participle. Weiners use of the past participle in specic statements such as One quart exterior green enamel thrown on a brick wall simultaneously allowed for the nality of the description and the prospect of future realizations. He did not write, for example, take a quart of exterior green enamel and throw it at a brick wall, for that would be impositional. Rather, he chose the past participle exclusively. This, as he put it, inferred a greater egalitarianism: To use the imperative would be for me fascistic. . . . The tone of command is the tone of tyranny.20 But one of the most extraordinary features of this type of artistic production was that the work was equally meaningful whether performed or communicated linguistically as a title. In effect, what Weiner had done was turn the art-making process into an endless series of inscriptions that reconceived the object quality of the work as a complex semantic elda text. Rather than a xed locus, or function, serving to arrest the chain of secondary information, the work now emphasized the entire practice of production, and the systematic functioning of semiological mechanisms.21 The work, or object, was thus liberated or deterritorialized from older coding systems. In this operation of fragmentation, where any part of the entire production and exhibition process is part of the work, Weiners statements shared with LeWitts and Hueblers conceptual art a self-reexive acknowledgment of supplements. These 1968 works thus signal a moment of decentering, when the centered art object had been driven from its locus as the primary point of reference. The result was a type of art that was strictly about materials, about the material quality of the text, the brute facticity of the signier, rather than any ideal meaning. It is clear that for Weiner by 1968 it did not matter if his work lacked meaning. Its operation was nothing but graphic activity, a sort of marking in which la nouveau romanthere was no signication and only description involved. For the spectator, rather than decoding an elaborate semiotic system, the act of be-

holding now centered on contemplating the objects construction, sequential organization, temporal placement, and overall graphic pattern or design.22 Weiners emphasis on the transparency of execution accented the material construction of his new, conceptualist work and further removed it from the realm of privileged experience toward an egalitarian model of communication. With its negation of a hierarchical structure of meaning that might allow the social or class background of the viewer to determine the reception of the work, all interpretations became equally valid. As Huebler reminisced in a 1981 interview: In those days, Larry Weiner talked to me saying, The funny thing is were doing some things that anybody can do. Our political posturewere gonna bring down some of the dumb crap thats going on in the art worldall those aesthetic assumptions. And we brought it down, all right!23 Weiner was not alone in believing that leveling cultural and social barriers, addressing different publics than those traditionally empowered through privilege (privilege in the sense of having not only the wherewithal but also adequate knowledge to reect on aesthetic experience), carried an edge of social and political criticism. There was a caustic vulgarity in his employment of language, as there was in Hueblers preference for vernacular maps, dumb photographs, and schematic layouts, which, combined with compositional qualities of transparency, anonymity, and equality of parts, carried an egalitarian dimension. Like Andres use of hay or Flavins of light xtures, Weiner and Huebler used vernacular materials as a counterpoint to the marketplace for rare and precious works of art. Minimalisms (and pops) claims that works of art should employ the most common and accessible media in order to communicate better were now taken to their logical conclusion. Weiner intended his Statement of Intent, 1969, to function as a guideline for the operation of his work:

primary and secondary information the linguistic turn

1. The artist may construct the piece 2. The piece may be fabricated 3. The piece need not be built Each being equal and consistent with the intent of the artist the decision as to condition rests with the receiver upon the condition of receivership.24

The statement points directly to several aspects of Weiners work of 1968: it decenters the traditional role of the artist by placing equal responsibility for the production of the work


with a second party; it stresses the need to diminish the distance between making and beholding, transforming the passive spectator into an active producer of the artwork; it is directed to any interested party, collector or otherwise, yielding an egalitarian method of art production, distribution, and consumption.25 Implicit in Weiners statement is the claim that works of art can never generate stable, noncontingent meanings, since visual and linguistic proposals are always dialogically negotiated by the audience. The rst publication of the Statement of Intent was in the catalogue for the January 531 1969 show organized by Siegelaub. This show also featured eight new pieces by Weiner. Two of these were installed in the ofce space, while photographs of two others were reprinted in the exhibition catalogue. The remaining four were presented linguistically, as titles in the catalogue. In a quintessential example of the practice of deskilling adopted by many artists during the late 1960s and early 1970s, on 4 January 1969, the day prior to the shows opening, Weiner performed An Amount of Bleach Poured on a Rug and Allowed to Bleach by emptying a container lled with a gallon of bleach onto the horizontal plane of the gray carpet in the temporary gallery space. The resulting discoloration of the gray carpet formed an amoeba-like shape over an area approximately 3 x 7 feet. The work thus unambiguously disclaimed skill, virtuosity, and privileged forms of artistic knowledge in the production of artvery much in the same way that Hueblers, Kosuths, and (as we shall see) Barrys conceptual art would disavow inherited notions of artistic competence.26 The other work Weiner installed in the temporary gallery space, A 36 x 36 Removal to the Lathing or Support Wall of Plaster or Wallboard from a Wall, 1968, best illustrated the next step in the artists steady dismantling of traditional art media and the hallowed space of the white cube (g. 4.6).27 Insofar as the work cut into the support surface to remove a section of the material skin of the supporting wall, it functioned as a relief, but in its subversion of traditional artistic genres (neither painting, nor sculpture, nor architecture) it inevitably generated a reection on the categorical divisions and boundaries of media. In addition, the empirical and critical operation of A 36 x 36 Removal, where all procedures were immediately self-evident, was in many ways the ultimate response to the selfreexivity of late modernist painting. The insertion of A 36 x 36 Removal directly into the gallery foregrounded the relationship between the work and its institutional frame or support system. Weiners inversion of conventional practices of fabrication in his work of 1968 pushed LeWitts participatory model of conceptual art one step further. Although LeWitt


Lawrence Weiner, A 36 x 36 Removal to the Lathing or Support Wall of Plaster or Wallboard from a Wall, 1968, as installed in the exhibition January 531, 1969


called for a greater distinction between the manufacturing stage of the work and its artistic value, he nevertheless maintained that the work should take physical form. By contrast, in a way that is methodologically related to Hueblers new work, one of the explicit conditions of Weiners conceptual art was that it did not need to be built, and the decision whether to actually give a piece physical form was left to the viewers, or, in Weiners terminology of the time, the receivers. Such an activation of the receiver resulted directly from the eclipse of the authorial gure of the artist.28 Weiners conceptualist work thus joined Kosuths and Hueblers in dismantling the conventional idealization of the artist as that person who, on the basis of a craftsmanlike maintenance of traditional skills, emblematized the unity of the psyche, society, and culture based on the synthesis of physical, mental, spiritual, and technical work. Instead, Weiner, Huebler, and Kosuth simply claimed value for their work by the mental labor of artistic development that led to its design, while deeming the physical labor of inserting a readymade text as a newspaper advertisement, taking a photograph, or emptying an aerosol can of spray paint directly onto the oor to be of secondary importance. In the process, these artists replicated not only capitalisms division of mental and physical labor, but also its privileging of the planning and design stage of production over the procedure of construction. The estrangement that these works inevitably generated on their initial reception only further emphasized the unspoken sacrosanct and mythical roles art continued to play well into the late 1960s. In drawing the next logical inference from the work of Andre and Flavin, Weiner, Kosuth, and Huebler joined Graham and Lozano in presenting one of the most radical critiques of the commodity status of art in the twentieth century. Whether executed in a mechanical manner (as by Weiner), or taking form purely as information (as in Kosuths Second Investigation or Hueblers road trips), there was little to prevent anyone interested in these works from producing exact replicas, or tearing them out of the newspapers or catalogueexhibitions in which they were situated.29 Unlike the classical late modernist works, carefully differentiated from everything around them (not only their physical but also their informational context), Weiners new production, as much as Kosuths and Hueblers, acknowledged its participation in the heterogeneous fabric of what was then the art world. This expansion of aesthetic experience also characterized Robert Barrys conceptual art, to which we shall now turn.

This page intentionally left blank

chapter five dematerialization

How do you present an art that cant be photographed in magazines devoted to color reproductions and things like that? Robert Barry, 19691

If Huebler, Kosuth, and Weiner presented Siegelaub with bodies of work that required new display and marketing techniques, the work of Robert Barry manifested an even greater challenge, since it ultimately comprised an art entirely devoid of materiality. Barrys rst exhibition in New York was in a show of 1964, Eight Young Artists, organized by Eugene Goossen at the Hudson River Museum, where Barry exhibited a series of nonrepresentational geometrical paintings clearly related to the work of Barnett Newman.2 The impersonal, quasisymmetrical quality of the latters pictures found resonance in Barrys paintings of the 1960s, as would Newmans emphasis on succinct immediacy and his willfully naive technique. The work of Ad Reinhardt had also captivated Barry, as it had Kosuth. The austerity of Reinhardts

pictorial operations had an obviously enormous impact on Barrys own painterly practice. Other aspects of Reinhardts paintings of the 1960s would also reverberate in the younger painters work: their geometrical surface patterns, biaxial symmetry, and extreme reduction of visual incident would inform Barrys artistic development. Barrys early paintings were either large or very small, usually perfectly square canvases, with at, monochrome elds of color over gesso-white grounds. He would construct a grid pattern by leaving unpainted rows of small squares or spots, often in biaxial arrangements of four but sometimes with many more (g. 5.1). In structural and morphological terms, the small squares, approximately the size of a painters brush, oscillated between hovering over and emerging from under the eld of color, and thereby collapsed the traditional hierarchy of gure and ground to an almost equal balance. The canvases presented a simultaneity of gure-ground structures that could not be disentangled one from the other. Further, Barry painted the governing grid pattern freehand; as the critic Elisabeth Stevens observed in reviewing Barrys rst one-person exhibition in 1964: He is uninterested in placement (the rows of squares are slightly uneven) and with minor variations in shape and color (the squares are not straight edged, the dots may vary slightly in tone).3 None of the variety in this extremely reduced graphic operation was planned. Although this approach represented no conscious artistic decision, the cumulative effect reected an insistence upon the importance of the conception of the picture, as opposed to the renements of its execution. Barrys next series of paintings maintained the extreme simplicity of his earlier work, but instead of single canvases it consisted of multiple units. Green Line, 1966, was among the most powerful of these works. First exhibited in Lawrence Alloways 1966 show Systemic Painting at the Guggenheim Museum, Green Line was a lateral conguration of three small panels, each just under three feet square. The canvases were unsized, and the one in the center of the conguration was left raw, without the slightest application of paint. Veering horizontally across the center of the two outer pieces of the triptych, a green band, approximately two inches thick, bisected the eld. The band paralleled the top and bottom of the square picture support edge and continued around the framing edge on the side of the two canvases bordering the central unprimed panel. The band radiated out from the center of the tripartite composition, stopping just short of the outer edge of the eld. Thus, these paintings reject the gesturality that characterized the work of many rst-generation New York School artists. As Alloway explained in an article written to supplement the Systemic

primary and secondary information dematerialization 103

Painting show, painters such as Barry


Robert Barry, installation of paintings at Westerly Gallery, New York, 1964

work with a clear sight of an end state. Abstract Expressionists were supposed never to know when a painting was nished, but in systemic painting the concept with which the artist starts has a predictive value, controlling the works future. This does not mean that no modications are made during work, of course, but it does keep these changes to a proportionate relation to the whole.4

primary and secondary information

For Alloway, Barrys work, arranged or conducted according to a system, plan or organized method, resonated with the procedure of production that LeWitt employed in his serial systems of the mid-1960s.5 As LeWitt remarked in an early interview: I sort of discovered a method of doing a thing with sort of an absolute control, which was mechanistic enough so that I wouldnt have to decide each time what tonality to make a thing because starting with the kinds of system that I was using . . . everything was decided ahead of time.6 In other words, LeWitt determined a matrix principle in advance, before he started the composition, and subjected all subsequent operations to that principle. Similarly the serial relationship operative in Barrys works such as Green Line implied a principle of contiguity among the panels that, once established, could be innitely extended one after the other. Before the Systemic show closed, Barry began a series of paintings that pushed the parameters of his art practice further toward relief sculpture. These canvases mark a crucial step toward the more explicitly sculptural activities he was to undertake in the following years. In Orange Edges, 1966, for example, he abutted two ve-foot-square panels laterally to make a ve-by-ten-foot rectangle.7 The cotton-duck canvas stretched across the panels was left unsized. The pictures only articulation consisted of vertical bands that reached from top to bottom of the eld, exactly parallel to the sides of the framing edge, in a way that recalls the conguration of Newmans paintings. Barry placed these two-inch-thick vertical bands, painted bright orange, at the border that delimited the large rectangle. Unlike the geometrical rigidity of such diverse hard-edge painters as Kenneth Noland and Bridget Riley, Barrys freehand thin vertical bands revealed the tracking of the brush. The bands began about two inches from the bottom (or top) edge and traversed the entire surface, stopping approximately two inches short of the opposite end of the eld. The two bands also carried over a couple of inches onto the side of the canvas frame. Mounted on a three-inchdeep stretcher that set the picture clearly off from the wall, with the two bands extending beyond the frame of the rectangular eld and onto the vertical sides of the framing edge, Orange Edges could be considered more a relief structure than a painting. Curator Eugene

dematerialization 105

Goossen succinctly described this development in his introduction to a show of 1966 that


featured Orange Edges: Barry is pushing his art farther to the edge of the painting-sculpture struggle. . . . By lapping the ends of his canvases with color he is beginning to ask us to see them in the round. He is certainly dealing with the literal as well as lateral space.8 Goossens invocation of literal and lateral space was a barely coded reference to the deep stretchers and geometrical surface pattern of Stellas early paintings, then understood to advocate literal (as opposed to illusionistic or actual) space, and to Judds multipart congurations, which in the mid-1960s were typically arranged laterally in space.9 In late 1966, Barry participated in a group show in a small New York gallery where he exhibited a small drawing on grayish-purple construction paper.10 In each of the four corners of the eld he drew four small squares in pencil, located roughly an inch from each corner and recapitulating its right angle. This was a preparatory drawing for a series of paintings on which Barry was then working, in which he symmetrically placed small colored squares in the four corners of a canvas surface. Because the pattern was biaxially symmetrical (and thus extendable by continuing it radially on all four sides), the center eld remained the focal point of these compositions. Weiner saw the show and praised Barrys piece to Siegelaub, and in early 1967 the latter called Barry and asked to visit his studio on Grand Street in the Bowery in order to see more of his work.11 Their business relationship began as something between a professional association and a collaboration. Siegelaub explained his operation to Barrythe use of his Madison Avenue apartment as a gallery, the nightly socializing at Maxs Kansas City and other clubs, the weekend soires at his place, the informal relationship with collectorsand offered to represent his work. But rather than merely a dealer, Siegelaub now saw himself more as a collaborator, involved in a common enterprise with the artists, not necessarily in the making of the work but in its presentation.12 As he did with the other artists he represented, Siegelaub offered Barry sales and publicity. He envisioned that the volume of sales would increase with the greater familiarity of his small stable of artists. In the meantime, he advanced the artists small stipendsin exchange for artto help them with their rent and materials. Barry was then without a gallery and in search of a dealer to represent his work; he was evidently impressed by Siegelaubs entrepreneurial spirit and agreed to work with himinformally, however, since no contracts were ever signed.




primary and secondary information

The parameters of Barrys art expanded dramatically when he began to work with Siegelaub. In early 1968, the artist exhibited three untitled paintings, all acrylic on canvas, in the show Siegelaub organized at the Laura Knott Gallery of Bradford Junior College. One of these, a green monochrome (48 1/2 x 12 inches), was afxed to the gallery wall only a few inches from the oor. You have to look down on it, Barry explained during the accompanying symposium. It sort of forces you to examine the area around it. The fact that the panel is very small makes it difcult just to concentrate on it and demands that you concentrate on the area around the panel as well.13 Rather than providing an image, or a representation, he used the paintings size and position to negate its status as a discrete object within a relatively specialized realm of privileged knowledge, revising and reconsidering painterly production in terms of its potential communicability. Barrys work extended minimal arts presuppositions as much as it negated them. We get a glimpse of this development in the environmental sculptures he began to produce in 1967. These were comprised of four plaster or wooden cubes arranged equidistantly to mark the corners of a square; when Barry rst assembled these sculptures he predetermined the precise length of the space between them, and thus the size of the square (g. 5.2).14 But soon he adjusted the blocks to the contingencies of their specic place and location, so that they delineated a square roughly coincident with the size of the room.15 The work thus became increasingly site specic, requiring the viewer to move through the space in which it was assembled in order to understand its structure. The integration of architectural references into these sculptures addressed the contingency of their relation not only to the environment in which they were exhibited but also to the phenomenological experience of the beholder. In this way Barry negated the traditional separation between art object, context, and viewer by requiring the viewer to physically enter the precinct of the art work. In contrast to the late modernist emphasis on disembodied experience, which Michael Fried termed opticality, Barrys sculptures posit the inseparability of visual and bodily perception. By providing the viewer with what Robert Morris referred to as a preestablished visual gestalt, Barry made the works fully apparent at rst encounter, thereby granting the viewer a greater degree of autonomy than did his paintings of the mid-1960s.16 Rather than revealing secrets or providing access to unknown forms

dematerialization 107


Robert Barry, Untitled, 19671968

of experience, his new work offered models with which to exercise the viewers cognitive and perceptual capacities. Barrys rejection of modern arts pretension to embody higher moral values was intricately and complexly related to the revision of author-viewer-object relationships that characterized much ambitious art of the 1960s. During this period, meaning came to be holistically constituted by the triad of object, site, and spectator.17 As with the conceptualist work of Huebler and Weiner, Barrys sculptures depended on the perception of the viewer for completion. Refusing to fetishize a single, centered moment, he produced works that came together as constellations in relation to environmental contingencies and the viewers movement through space, and necessarily lost their signicance with the termination of the exhibit. The other two paintings Barry exhibited at the Laura Knott Gallery employed a similar structural model of contingency and contextuality. One, dated August 1967, consisted of two monochrome blue squares of canvas, each wrapped around an 8 x 8-inch wooden stretcher. The squares were fastened to the wall ve feet from the ground, ten feet apart. They were thus separate but related, distinct but of a piece, questioning once again all traditional denitions of painting, sculpture, and relief objects. The other painting, dated October 1967, comprised four 3 x 3-inch squares of stretched canvas painted yellow and fastened to the white wall to form the corners of a 5 x 5-foot-square eld, approximately the size of a conventional picture (g. 5.3). The space of the painterly object and the space of the wall were fused as an inseparable entity. Although the conguration of squares functioned to make the center eld the focal point, the biaxial symmetry of these pieces could be extended by continuing the pattern radially from the center of the picture.18 Barrys paintings also introduced an element that went beyond the pictorial traditions that he was critiquing. Their placement on the gallery wall structurally related the paintings to their support surfaces. Because the architectural container was integral to the operation of the paintings, the latter prompted additional reection on the privileged importance of the gallery or museum context for pictorial objects.19 In short, what Barry produced were quintessentially incomplete objects, fragmented not only in the sense that they were literally in pieces, but also in that they did not claim an autonomous pictorial space but were clearly constituted within the dialogical relationship of pictorial and architectural surfaces. Thus Barrys work challenged late modernist ideas of autonomous art objects and neu-

primary and secondary information dematerialization 109

tral exhibition contexts.


Robert Barry, Untitled, 1967





primary and secondary information

As the concept of place grew in importance for Barry, he started to make more sculpture. At Windham College he installed 1,206 feet of one-quarter-inch woven nylon cord strung tight approximately twenty-six feet off the ground between two main campus buildings (the library and the student union building), which were approximately three hundred feet apart (g. 5.4). The nylon monolament was meshed together to span a huge, 302 x 50-foot area, linking the buildings and framing the space in between. The transparency of the monolament rendered the work virtually invisible. There are a number of connections between Barrys untitled sculpture at Windham College and the paintings he exhibited at the Laura Knott Gallery. The Windham College installation engaged the viewer in a continuous phenomenological looping that is an extension of the open visual eld he introduced at Bradford College. The newer work was structurally dependent on its relationship to the viewers body movement and its position and placement within the architectural surround. The work at both exhibitions maintained a dialogical relationship between its specic material and its support surface, engaging the idea of spanning a space, trying to dene the outer limits, somehow bridging that inbetweeness, as Barry explained in a later interview.20 This attempt to dene the outer limits of the composition is also evidenced by the way the work in both exhibitions accentuated structural parameters. Barrys installation at Windham College pushed the transition from visuality to phenomenological experience further than any of his previous work. In opposition to the late modernist concept of pure opticality, the new work reembodied vision, emphasizing the inextricable relationship between seeing and touching as much as between seeing and moving through space. More than just its architectural support, the installation also integrated a temporal element: it responded to the periodic changes that naturally occurred in the outdoor environment. Transparent during the day, the nylon cord obliquely reected the space in which it was placed in the evening, taking on an orange hue at sunset and an even darker color as night progressed. The size of Barrys installation, as with Andres Joint and Weiners Staples, Stakes, Twine, Turf, made it impossible to see the entire work from any one location. I was dealing with space rather than the object itself, Barry recalled. It became more and more clear that they were almost undistinguishable, I thought. Space became place.21 The paintings Barry

dematerialization 111

exhibited at the Laura Knott Gallery, which seemed to fuse with the wall, already effected the


Robert Barry, Untitled, as installed at Windham College, 30 April31 May 1968

transformation of space to place, but this feature found its earliest concretization in his lmic practice of 1967. Barrys lms characteristically fused with the specic site where they were projected, integrating the darkness of the space and the whirring of the lm projector within their formal makeup. A case in point is Scenes, 1967, a ve-minute-long, 16 mm production that premiered at a lm festival at Hunter College organized by Hollis Frampton, Michael Snow, and Robert Huot in 1967. Made almost entirely with black opaque leader, Scenes negates the lmic and visual, accenting instead the environment in which it is projected. For most of the silent lms duration the opaque leader entirely blackens out the screen; not even the cinematic rectangle is visible. Flashes of movement, lasting for barely a second each, are interspersed throughout the lm. At one moment the camera pans across a cluster of bushes, at another across a street scene. Occasionally, words ash on the screen for a couple of seconds. But for the most part the lm is black monochrome, ending with a clear leader running through the projector for a minute or so.22 It is highly self-reexive in its operation, referring to its own unique characteristics. At the same time, Scenes calls attention to the experience of viewing: accenting characteristics of conventional contexts for lm viewing. Insofar as it assimilates various nondiegetic elements originating from sources outside the frame, including the operation of the projector and the disturbed movements and muttering of the audience, Scenes evokes the legacy of John Cage. The piece is thereby as concerned with what goes on inside the frame as with what goes on outside the frame of the artistic idea, both visually and audially, as Barry commented at the Bradford symposium.23 As the artwork transgresses the frame of the composition and connects to its audience, the latter in turn shift from a constituency of passive receivers to one of active producers of the work.24 Unlike Barrys lms, his Windham College installation was not temporally delimited by its own inherent structure. Like Andres Joint and Weiners Staples, Stakes, Twine, Turf, the sculpture was permanent but ephemeral, remaining in place after the show to be dismantled by natural elements. Here is the way Barry put it at the Windham symposium: I consider the work both nished and constantly unnished. Its nished for me when I leave the College, and yet it will keep growing; as the campus changes the work will be completely different.25 The installation, in other words, is perpetually incomplete, dialogically determined by the local and temporal context. This shift from an art that in its nitude transcended history and remained in the perpetual present to one that admitted its historicity

primary and secondary information dematerialization 113


and temporal dimension was to have a profound effect not only on Barrys work but also on advanced art in general in the late 1960s and early 1970s. At stake in Barrys negation of the visual dimension was the issue of visuality as an element in the conception of the artwork. This approach temporalized vision and established a clearly conscious and self-conscious approach to the experience of viewing. In this sense, Barry pushed beyond the threshold of minimal sculpture, which, in spite of its explicit incorporation of phenomenological experience into the objects perception, ultimately privileged visuality. Barry thus joined the other artists associated with Siegelaub in 1968 in dismantling the visual as the highest form of experience. The obvious problem was that it was precisely the visual element that the market required, which clearly posed new challenges for Siegelaub, not only in exhibiting but also in selling this new work. Following the Windham show, Barry went even further in denying the kind of pleasure that the visual arts customarily provide. His work changed extraordinarily, taking the nearly invisible character of the nylon cord exhibited at Windham to greater extremes. Drawing the next logical inference from Yves Kleins exhibition of the void at the Iris Clert Gallery in Paris a decade earlier, Barry now took electrical currents of varying strength emitted by radio transmitters as his material.26 The works negation of the visual was coupled with an increased emphasis on the role of the body of the beholder. The nature of carrier waves in a roomespecially the FMis affected by people, Barry stated at the time, in terms that reveal the extent to which he envisioned the viewers active participation in his work. The body itself, as you know, is an electrical device. Like a radio or an electric shaver it affects carrier waves. . . . [Thus] the form of a piece is affected [by the people near it] because of the nature of the material that it is made of.27 Barry also increased the emphasis on the autonomy of the viewer, and the viewers role in the perception of the work. interested person, he remarked, reacts in a personal An way based on his own experience and imagination.28 As he inscribed the viewer even more literally into the interaction among the perceiving body, carrier wave structure, and architectural structure, the contextual nature of aesthetic meaning increasingly surfaced. The carrier wave installations implied that the aesthetic operation was determined not just by the relationship between the human body and the art object, but also by that between the body, the artwork, and the sitethe eldwhere artistic experience is produced. Barrys work thus moved beyond his earlier production toward an engagement with context that would increasingly dominate the art of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Similar to his piece for the Windham show, two of the works that Barry included in Siegelaubs January 531, 1969 exhibition employed thin wire stretched so high above the ground that it was virtually impossible to see.29 Five other pieces took the form of installations of sound and carrier waves. One, New York to Luxembourg CB Carrier Wave, January 531, 1969, made use of the carrier wave of a citizens band transmitter to bridge two distant points, one in New York City and the other in Luxembourg, several times during the run of the show. For this work Barry researched the position of the sun and atmospheric conditions during the month of January to determine the most efcient way to construct the piece. But here the carrier wave was used as an object, rather than in its conventional function as a means by which to transmit information.30 For Barry, this medium was rich in potential: Ultrasonic sound waves have different qualities from ordinary sound waves. They can be directed like a beam and they bounce back from a wall. Actually you can make invisible patterns and designs with them. They can be diagrammed and measured.31 And as with his other sound and carrier wave installations, the only visible trace of New York to Luxembourg CB Carrier Wave, January 531, 1969 was the equipmenttransmitter, oscillator, batteriesrequired to construct the work, equipment that was carefully kept out of sight.32 Barry installed two carrier wave pieces, 88 mc Carrier Wave (FM) and 1600 kc Carrier Wave (AM), in the ofce space during the January 531, 1969 show (g. 5.5). Turned on every morning and off at the end of the day, the transmitters and batteries were hidden in an ofce closet. The electromagnetic waves were not only formally unstable, defying formal identication, but also undetectable by ordinary sensory means. Two wall labels provided the only indication of the presence of carrier waves traveling at the speed of light a few feet from the ceiling. Although the waves could be detected with the use of a common transistor radio, the unlikeliness of the beholder performing this task meant that he or she had to take the artists claims on faith. Unlike the conceptual art of Weiner and Huebler, Barrys new work still admitted a distinct separation between primary and secondary information: the wall labels referred to something else that was indeed taking place. At the same time, the carrier waves were affected by the physical presence of people in the room in which they were installed. Hence, the works no longer operated according to the older binary oppositions. Material along with its progressive attenuation no longer posited the nonbody as its opposite. It is customary to emphasize the importance in Barrys work of the idea, the concept. But insofar as he did not in any way alter or dilute the natural qualities of the particu-

primary and secondary information dematerialization 115

lar materials that made up the components of his workelectromagnetic elds, ultrasonic


Robert Barry, 88 mc Carrier Wave (FM), 1968; and 1600 kc Carrier Wave (AM), 1968, as installed in January 531, 1969

sound, radio waves, radiationsit suggests further analogies with the sheer materiality of Andres previous work. Indeed, Andres selection of materials from the standard periodic table of the elements was the direct precursor of Barrys use of substances such as barium. What is more, Andres claim that the checkerboard arrangements of metal plates that characterized much of his late 1960s sculpture should be thought of as supporting a column of air that extends to the top of the atmosphere underlay the common interests of the two artists.33 More generally, Barrys work took some of what he understood as the key tendencies within the formation of minimal artremoving representation, eliminating visual incident, withholding or withdrawing perceptual information from the artistic objectto their logical extreme, rejecting the simple materiality of minimal art in favor of a materiality existing concretely beyond the reach of human perception. The steady withdrawal of perceptual data that characterized Barrys late 1960s work was in tandem with the reductivism of ambitious art practices in the preceding several yearsa route that proceeded from selfsufcient objects to site-specic installations visible in the gallery space, and ultimately to invisible site-specic work. The advent of an art whose material vehicle is imperceptible by ordinary sensory means meant that the cognitive emphasis of the work was extended in the direction of its conceptual content. This raised a broad range of questions concerning the nature of artistic practice, as well as tacitly accepted conventions such as the high level of trust placed on artists. Like that of others represented by Siegelaub, Barrys work was no longer posited as autonomous, rounded, and wholeas a full-edged aesthetic experience held perpetually present for the viewer to behold and decodebut rather as dialogically engaged with its historicity, context, and temporality. The resulting artistic operations were contingent and shifted according to context. Furthermore, the highly imperceptible nature of Barrys conceptualist work increased the importance of the arts mode of presentation, or, as Siegelaub would phrase it, its secondary information. The latter now became a necessary framing device for the essence of the piece. The opening up of these parameters, complete with the use of unconventional materials and the problematization of the traditional boundaries of art, confused many in the contemporary art world. But this type of artistic investigation at the borderline between art materials, objects, and structures on the one hand, and the conventional sites and parameters of the dening institutions of art on the other, would soon go beyond the established lim-

primary and secondary information dematerialization 117

its altogether.




An art that devalued immediate visual experience and presented contingent and shifting interactions posed signicant marketing problems for Siegelaub. In response, he devised a number of schemes to advertise the new and highly ambitious art. Although the work produced remained virtually unsalable, his strategy was to broadly publicize the artists activities and reputation. A case in point is the show of Barrys work Siegelaub presented in Los Angeles in April 1969. Sponsored by a local art patron, Stanley Grinstein, Barry traveled to southern California in early March and released various measured volumes of inert gases into the atmosphere.34 Once released, the gases naturally expanded and dispersed while maintaining their chemical integrity.35 Accordingly, Barrys Inert Gas series foregrounded the procedural as much as the innate forces of matter as the determining morphological and structural aspect of sculptural work. Since the inert gas is not only formally unstable but also invisible, the photographs Barry took of the site in the Mohave Desert occupied by the gas represented nothing more than desert landscapes (g. 5.6). Paradoxically, then, Barry made the photographs to deny the existence of visual evidence.36 More than just the act of breaking containers and releasing gas, Barrys Inert Gas pieces encompassed the development of the idea of gas expanding into the atmosphere, the calling attention to that notion, and the natural consequences and material residue of the act of releasing the gaseach of which was a stage in a semiological chain of signiers for which the signied (the primary information, the art) was intangible and abstract. A vital part of that chain was the practice of presenting this work to an audience, thereby making Siegelaub once again a key collaborator. The show was widely publicized in the form of a 30 x 45-inch poster, which Siegelaub sent by mail to a long list of people and institutions.37 A single line of text ran along the bottom of the monochrome sheet: ROBERT BARRY/INERT GAS SERIES/HELIUM, NEON, ARGON, KRYPTON, XENON/ FROM A MEASURED VOLUME TO INDEFINITE EXPANSION/ APRIL 1969/ SETH SIEGELAUB, 6000 SUNSET BOULEVARD, HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA, 90028/213 HO 48383. The address was a post ofce box in Los Angeles, and the answering service voice message on the telephone described the piece. The exhibition was therefore split between Barrys action (virtually inaccessible) and an ephemeral audial recording; the only visual public manifestation of the Inert Gas piece was located on the publicity poster in the form of language. The exhibition was accessible to the public solely in the form of advertising, as pure sign.


Robert Barry, Inert Gas Series: Helium, 1969


This collaboration reects the striking parallels between Siegelaubs strategy for disseminating works of art and advanced forms of product management and advertising during the late 1960s. Similar to Siegelaubs practice of distributing works of art through posters and catalogues to a wide array of critics and potential patrons, vanguard advertising in the 1960s distributed free samples along with product information, creating needs and desires in advance of the consumers awareness of them.38 Just as advertising transgures object forms (use value) and commodity forms (exchange value) into sign values, Siegelaub developed a merchandising practice whereby, in lieu of the aesthetic object, the only visible aspect of the work was a certicate of authenticity and ownership on a piece of paper. This practice, in which the economic is transgured into sign systems and economic power becomes visibly transformed into the trappings of social privilege, is essentially a crystallization of the phenomenon of sign exchange value.39 There is a further parallel between this work and the general tendency in the 1960s of the advertising and communications sectors to take predominance over production in Western industrialized society. The 1960s ideology heralding a postindustrial, non-object society made growth sectors of the spheres of communication and cultural activity. From this perspective, the work of the artists associated with Siegelaub was part of that propensity toward ephemerality and the increasingly rapid dissemination of ideas characteristic of informatization. In this transition, Siegelaubs question about framing conditions, which he posed following the Windham College show, found an answer. In the information society, the world is the frame. Art, in these conditions, has the potential of being received (as Weiner would put it) by millions of people at the same time, without a hierarchy of reception. Here, then, we have reached Baudrillards xerox-degree of culture, where the proliferation of art dialectically turns into its opposite, as art is pushed to the threshold of its own disappearance.40 Also overturned in the process, Baudrillard observes, are evaluative criteria.41 Indeed, there is a striking parallel between Baudrillards observations, made in 1988 in a reconsideration of the 1960s art of Andy Warhol, and the criticism leveled against conceptual art in the years of its emergence. For the huge proliferation of artand especially the potential expansion of audiences for artmade the prospect of devising adequate criteria of evaluation impossible, and in the late 1960s that impossibility shocked the critical art establishment. Who needs criticism, if anything can be art? asked Barbara Rose in an essay written in the pivotal early months of 1969:

Mass literacy, media participation in the arts, and afuence in general have all helped to enlarge the art public. The development of such democracy in art has in turn created a situation in which the public resents value judgments imposed from above by so-called authorities who in the long run can muster no more impressive credentials than that they look at art a lot. Public hostility to the standard-setting and taste-making role of criticism is nothing, of course, compared with the contempt of the increasing population of artists on the scene, who see the critic as the enemy who stands between themselves and success. The notion that everybodys taste is equal and that no one, including the critic, has the authority to impose a subjective view is common not only to the general public but to large sectors of the art world itself. . . . If, however, there are no value judgments to be made, if one art work is just as good as another, then one work is worthliterally, in dollars and cents termsas much as another. This is briey the situation many young artists, disenchanted with the commercialism of the art world, are trying to bring about. Their revolt against critical authority must be seen in the same context as all the other revolts among the young against institutional authority of all kinds. . . . Artists are denying the notion of intrinsic quality in art in order to challenge the authority of criticism and of the market apparatus, in which the critic is the crucial value setting factor.42

primary and secondary information dematerialization

Rose here claimed to be speaking from a detached position that sought to uphold standards of value and taste. She defused the new artists revolt against critical authority, normalizing it as a typical oedipal struggle of youth against authority. What was really at stake, however, was Roses own diminished role as a critic and arbiter of taste in a milieu that was increasingly regulated by dealers, collectors and exhibitions.43 It was precisely between those two spheres of inuencethat of the critic and that of the dealer-collector-exhibition nexus that Siegelaub sought to insert himself, forging his identity as a consultant or facilitator through highly innovative exhibition and distribution practices that were attentive to the radical contingency and implicit critique against authority at play in much of the new art.




The exhibitions that Siegelaub organized in late 1968 and early 1969 questioned conventions of visuality and supplied basic models for more egalitarian forms of interaction. Aspects of fragmentation and discontinuity operative in this work constituted less formal

investigation into the ephemerality of an art object than a refusal to provide the kind of


stable aesthetic value required by institutional forms of art. Many ambitious works of the earlier 1960s (Warhols soup cans, Judds boxes, Flavins light xtures, Andres bricks) dismantled signicant internal relationships to an unprecedented degree but still required the connes of the pristine gallery or museum. In contrast, the work of Barry, Weiner, and Huebler no longer substantiated the institutional containment of art. Destroying the values that had become habitual in the cultural realm, these works left only one thing for the viewer to seethe negation of the type of perceptual information traditionally supplied by art. While this negation was virtually absolute, it assumed the existence of a public and thus remained highly political. However, the tangible fragments of secondary information, turning around primary information in endless circles of paradox and categorical selfcancelation, increasingly offered the viewer no purchase on the art that they ostensibly indicated. The artists central to this study were divided in their conception of where the essence of their work was to be located: within the sphere of primary information or in that of secondary information. There were actually two models: one articulated by Kosuth, who rmly adhered to a notion that only the primary information mattered (the secondary information is like a truck that carries the work to the gallery); and that followed by Huebler and Weiner, who believed in the dominance of the secondary information since the primary was inaccessible and even undesirable. (Barrys conceptual art fell somewhere in between, deeming all steps in the process of production of equal value.) Working within these two inherently contrasting models, Siegelaub had to devise an exhibition strategy that would somehow cater to both.44 The breakthrough occurred when Siegelaub placed the elements that comprised secondary information within the medium of publicity, enabling the fragments to take on their own value. Paradoxically, the very process of problematizing the intimate connection between the aesthetic and the secondary information that commonly conveyed it thus came to posit publicity as art. At that point the sphere of art expanded to the point where it became coterminous with market society; no longer limited to its earlier, traditional or specic forms, it could be consumed throughout daily life itself. In turn, the traditional distinctiveness of the aesthetic was lost altogether.


artists rights and product management

Some artists now think its absurd to ll up their studios with objects that wont be sold, and are trying to get their art communicated as rapidly as it is made. Theyre thinking out ways to make art what theyd like it to be in spite of the devouring speed syndrome its made in. That speed has not only to be taken into consideration, but to be utilized. Lucy Lippard, 19691

If one wanted to read a political message into recent American art, it would be that this country is on the way to some form of socialism. Barbara Rose, 19692

In an essay entitled Painting Is Obsolete from the pages of an underground newspaper published weekly in New York City, Gregory Battcock waxes poetic about the January 531, 1969 exhibition organized by Siegelaub: Its like everything that happened in 1968, at Columbia and Paris and all other symbolic places is nally being understood, and it all REALLY meant


something and it really will result in something because it already has in this show.3 Battcocks euphoria crystallizes the late 1960s belief that artistic negation and the move away from the traditional parameters of art carried an edge of social criticism. In this highly charged political period, transformations in artistic practice, even those by the least politically aware artists, were often seen to be driven by the conviction that they were contributing to a general change in life itself. Finally in art, continues Battcock,

the revolution that one sometimes briey understands at perhaps the Fillmore, or late at night on WBAI, or in weird, unexpected glimpses at surprising places around town, or watching a Warhol movie or in unplanned encounters with sex or metaphysics or acid or grass or just nice peopleits here, in art. . . . Finally there is an exhibit that doesnt have any junk in it, doesnt have anything at all really. If that doesnt fuck up all those nice comfortable minds that like art to have big dollar signs, and armed guards, and ticket takers and dont (or do) touch [signs], and that most annoying of all demands some modern art tries to make, experience, [then nothing will].4

What Battcock did not fathom, however, is that the radical changes taking place at the end of the 1960s could also result in new, more advanced forms of reication. Indeed, three years later Lucy Lippard lamented that, although conceptual art, artists, and exhibitions presented in 1969 one of the most promising radically new and potentially revolutionary practices in the history of twentieth-century art, their

hopes that conceptual art would be able to avoid the general commercialization, the destructively progressive approach of modernism, were for the most part unfounded. It seemed in 1969 . . . that no one, not even a public greedy for novelty, would actually pay money, or much of it, for a xerox sheet referring to an event past or never directly perceived, a group of photographs documenting an ephemeral situation or condition, a project for work never to be completed, words spoken but not recorded; it seemed that these artists would therefore be forcibly freed from the tyranny of a commodity status and market-orientation. Three years later, the major conceptualists are selling work for substantial sums here and in Europe; they are represented by (and still more unexpectedshowing in) the worlds most prestigious galleries. Clearly whatever minor revolutions in communication have been achieved by the process of dematerializing the object (easily mailed work, catalogues and magazine pieces, primarily art that can be shown inexpensively and unobtrusively in innite locations at one time), art and artist in a capitalist society remain luxuries.5

But in January 1969 Battcock was writing at one of the most exciting moments in the history of the New York art world, and one in which Siegelaub was still actively involved. That same month, Vassilakis Takis, a Greek sculptor who had taken part in the events of May-June 1968 in Paris as well as in the artist protest demonstrations of that year at the Venice Biennial and the Documenta exhibition, disapproved of the way he was represented in a show at New Yorks Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) entitled The Machine as Seen at the End of the Mechanical Age.6 Pontus Hultn, the curator of the MoMA exhibition, had initially arranged to include a large, recent work of Takiss in the show but, without consulting the artist, ultimately substituted Tele-Sculpture, a small three-dimensional object Takis had made in the mid-1960s, already in the museums collection. Takis took exception to this, and on the afternoon of 3 January 1969, accompanied by a small group of artists and critics, he removed the object from the exhibition and carried it into the museums sculpture garden (g. III.1). There, holding the work hostage, Takis demanded that the piece be immediately withdrawn from the exhibition and not shown again without his prior consent. He called on the museum to sponsor a public hearing focusing on issues pertaining to the responsibility of museums to artists. To defuse the situation, Bates Lowry, the museums director, immediately met with Takis in the sculpture garden, consented to the artists demand that Tele-Sculpture be withdrawn from the exhibition, and proposed that the museum create a small Special Committee on Artist Relations that would regularly schedule public hearings.7 Takis and his supporters refused Lowrys resolution, countering that a large public meeting was necessary to allow everyone with something to say about this issue a chance to be heard. The negotiations ended at an impasse. In the following weeks, many more artists and critics joined the group, now identied as the Art Workers Coalition (AWC), including Andre, Barry, Huebler, Kosuth, Lippard, and Siegelaub.8 Plans were made for a large demonstration at the museum on 30 March 1969. Furthermore, Silas Rhodes, the director of the New York School of Visual Arts (SVA), agreed to allow the AWC to hold the planned open meeting at the school on 10 April 1969.9 Hundreds of artists and critics turned out for the 3 p.m. demonstration at the Museum of Modern Art on 30 March, and roughly the same number sat attentively through the public hearing at the School of Visual Arts eleven days later. At the MoMA demonstration, held in the museums garden, the artists announced their demands and members, including Battcock, made speeches lambasting the museum. Calls were made for the museum to insti-

artists rights and product management 125


Vassilakis Takis removing Tele-Sculpture, 1965, from the exhibition The Machine as Seen at the End of the Mechanical Age, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 3 January 1969

tute free admission, to include works by a much broader eld of artists than the highly select one it consistently featured, and, most importantly, to grant artists rights over their work. During the marathon, four-hour session at the SVA, however, the target broadened.10 Although some of the almost seventy speakers focused their protests on the Museum of Modern Art, the art establishment at large drew most of their wrath. Battcocks address at the open hearing marks the rst public recognition in the United States of limitations operative within the liberal sphere of cultural production:

artists rights and product management

The museum today, such as the Modern, the Whitney and the Metropolitan . . . actively supports antiquated values and distorted obsessions that are not simply hypocritical, they are oppressive, reactionary, culturally debilitating and socially and aesthetically negative. The simple fact is that those who control the museumwhatever museum you care to considerare the superrich who control all legitimate communicative agencies. The trustees of the museums direct N.B.C. and C.B.S., the New York Times, and the associated press, . . . they own A.T.&T., Ford, General Motors, the great multi-billion dollar foundations, Columbia University, Alcoa, Minnesota Mining, United Fruit and A.M.K., besides sitting on the boards of each others museums. The implications of these facts are enormous. Do you realize that it is those art loving, culturally committed trustees of the Metropolitan and Modern museums who are waging the war in Vietnam? . . . It could be no worse if control and administration of the museum were turned over to the department of defense.11

Battcocks comments introduce the need for a critical reassessment not only of artists selfunderstanding, but also of the idea that cultural institutions are neutral, and do not restrict, prohibit, or exclude anything on ideological grounds. This newfound skepticism formed a crucial stage in the emergence of those developments known collectively as institutional critiquean art practice that would seek to make apparent the intersections where not only political and economic but also ideological and state, and cultural and corporate, interests meet. Such a practice could not be adequately evaluated in aesthetic terms, since what informed it was a conception of a new social systema vision inseparable from an even more widespread faith in the possibilities and promise of a new global society. The recognition had not yet been made that a work of art is intricately part of the very process of rationalization and institutionalization that artists were now beginning to critique. Andre, for instance, suggested at the open hearing that the power of artists was lo127

cated in their art, and in particular in withdrawing their art from the function it was con-


ventionally made to serve. This strategy of negation, he argued, would be intolerable for the art establishment, since it meant that there would be no more commercial connections, no more shows and exhibitions, no more cooperation with museums, no more scene, no more big money artists.12 Siegelaub emphasized a similar point to the open hearing audience: The art is the one thing that you have. . . . This is the way your leverage lies. I would think that by using that leverage you could achieve much greater goals than in any other ways.13 Of course, the leverage to which Siegelaub referred was not necessarily the refusal to exhibit, as Andre proposed; rather it was the refusal to operate according to the traditional practices, rules, and interests of galleries, museums, and collectors. The newly politicized art public that coalesced around the Art Workers Coalition in early 1969 reected a manifest need for a truly democratic, public art that challenged the authority not only of the Museum of Modern Art but of all art institutions. Siegelaubs strategy of exhibiting not in galleries and museums but in more public sites of collective reception (e.g., magazines, catalogues, books) was in tandem with the AWCs call for a more open situation in art. What made his practice particularly explosive, however, was the promotion of artists who completely disavowed conventional art objects. Ironically, the negation of the art object made the artwork much more publicly attainable.14 For instance, one could easily reproduce Weiners An Amount of Bleach Poured on a Rug and Allowed to Bleach or acquire part or parts of Kosuths Second Investigation merely by carrying out the ideas circulated in newspapers or journals. Furthermore, the absolute negation of preciousness that characterized these works, together with their dissemination in mass communication networks, eliminated uniqueness and rendered artworks more readily accessible than ever before. Siegelaub reafrmed the public dimension of conceptual art: The artists have chosen to involve themselves in the community, he announced in early 1969. I think that the obvious . . . implication of an art whose condition is immediately public domain, say an experienceless art, . . . has a lot to do with a desire to reach the community.15 According to Siegelaub, then, the transition from the limited space of the gallery or museum to the publicly accessible space of newspapers, journals, magazines, books, and catalogues was a transition in the direction of a new public art that could be observed in the increasingly interconnected spaces of late twentieth century modernity. This view, it should also be emphasized, was an underlying theme of much of the discussion of the Art Workers Coalition.

Siegelaubs exhibitions and the conceptual art they featured met their rst reception in this context of artistic dissent and reassessment. There was a manifest need in the newly politicized art world for a truly democratic, public art that challenged the authority not only of museums but of all art institutions and conditions.16 And, as Battcocks review reveals, the new works produced by the artists associated with Siegelaub, and the development of alternative exhibition spaces such as the January 531, 1969 show, adequately t the bill.

artists rights and product management 129

chapter six the xerox degree of art

The world is full of objects . . . I do not wish to add any more. Douglas Huebler, 19691

Xerographyevery mans brain-pickerheralds the times of instant publishing. Anybody can now become both author and publisher. Take any books on any subject and custom-make your own book by simply Xeroxing a chapter from this one, a chapter from that oneinstant steal! Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore, 19672

In many ways Siegelaubs innovative exhibition and distribution strategies followed from the nature of the work he promoted. The publicity for the exhibitions often mirrored the works in the shows (and vice versa). The advertising campaign he launched to promote Douglas Huebler: November 1968 is a case in point. In keeping with the informational nature of Hueblers new work, the publicity Siegelaub circulated announcing the exhibition employed

exactly the same type of descriptive language that the artist integrated into his work. In November 1968, a black and white notice appeared in Artforum that read:

artists rights and product management

This 1/4 page advertisement (4 1/2 x 4 3/4 ), appearing in the November 1968 issue of Artforum magazine, on page 8, in the lower left corner, is one form of documentation for the November 1968 exhibition of Douglas Huebler. Seth Siegelaub, 1100 Madison Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10028.3

This was not an aestheticized commercial message in the traditional sense; on the contrary, the structure of the work simulated the banality of an advertisement (g. 6.1). Furthermore, in contrast to the late modernist ambition to differentiate art from the information that surrounded it and the exhibition and distribution context in which it appeared, the manner in which Siegelaub presented the work of Huebler celebrated its insertion into the heterogeneous fabric of publicity, display, and information. A play of allusion and formal echoes secured the works kinship with the notices and advertisements, reecting a renunciation of the modernist claim to radical difference and innovation. Whether or not this feature of the work of artists associated with Siegelaub is to be characterized as conceptual art must remain an open question. Although the work effaced the distinction between high and mass culture, a distinction on which modernism depended for its specicity, this constitutive differentiation seems already to have been on the point of disappearing. If pop artists merged the antithetical realms of the high and the low by quoting the materials, fragments, and motifs of mass culture, artists such as Huebler incorporate them to the point where many of the critical and evaluative categories on which the radical differentiation of modernism and mass culture was based no longer seem functional. In this type of cultural mutation (in which what used to be stigmatized as mass or commercial culture is now received into the precincts of ne art), the work, like advertising, becomes an object whose use value is located in its publicity and sign value. The work abolishes all claims to aesthetic value and to the auratic glow that formerly gave prestige to art. At the same time it raised a question that would haunt the forms of art production, exhibition, and distribution that Siegelaub and the artists afliated with him were developing: To what extent can artistic practices parallel (and even appropriate) advertising strategies without fully becoming advertisements themselves? For Hueblers Artforum advert announces itself self-reexively as one form of documentation of the exhibition. It is important here to

the xerox degree of art 131

recall that for Huebler, documentation becomes the central aspect of the artwork. In other


Advertisement in Artforum announcing the exhibition Douglas Huebler: November 1968, 1968

words, as secondary information the advertisement literally constitutes a fragment of the work. The piece is in public freehold; possession of the advert is equivalent to possession of an element of the artwork. Yet the nature of that intervention is not necessarily progressive, for Siegelaub and Hueblers distribution of a shard of the artwork at no cost to the collector can also be seen to establish false, predetermined needs for the customer that can then only be fullled by the makers of these needs: Siegelaub and Huebler.

artists rights and product management

In December 1968, Siegelaub organized a group show that served both to promote the artists associated with him and to legitimize the format of exhibition and distribution he pioneered. Consistent with his newly developed exhibition strategy, he also conceived of the show, The Xerox Book, as a book project available for wide distribution.4 Rather than the standard offset methods of printing, though, Siegelaub sought to make use of a much more accessible form of duplication: the photocopy machine, an instrument that potentially made everyone a printer. This exhibition, with its strategic use of advanced media, thus represented a vigorous critique of the unique and authentic work of art that deprivileged and depersonalized the art-making process and virtually abolished the threshold between high and mass culture.5 Rather than critically obliterating notions of authorship, The Xerox Book accomplished the reverse. In their infamous The Medium Is the Massage of 1967, McLuhan and Fiore locate the origins of the anxiety of authenticity or authorship in the fteenth-century invention of the printing press.6 Because the printing press reduced the investment of human labor and the human hand and greatly standardized production, notions of authorship were devised to arrest that natural conclusion. The same principle would play itself out with the marketing of conceptual art. The extreme mechanization of artistic production and distribution that characterizes The Xerox Book drew on a strategy Mel Bochner had employed two years earlier in a pivotal exhibition he organized for the School of Visual Arts gallery featuring the photocopied working drawings of a number of artists (g. 6.2).7 Bochner assembled copies of each drawing in four identical loose-leaf notebooks, which he placed on gallery white pedestals in the center of the gallery. This shifted the focus from the particular components of the draw-

the xerox degree of art 133

ings to the medium of communication; from traditional ideas of depth in art to a reection


Mel Bochner, Working Drawings and Other Visible Things on Paper Not Necessarily Meant to Be Viewed as Art, as installed at the Visual Arts Gallery, School of Visual Arts, New York, 1966

on the artwork as interpretive frame.8 Siegelaub did not merely employ the copy machine as a means of reproduction, but requested that the artists treat the new technology as a conceptual component of their work, a further index of his scheme to distribute the artwork to an unprecedently large audience.9 Initially, Siegelaub envisioned that the work of Andre, Barry, Huebler, Kosuth, LeWitt, Weiner, Robert Morris, Walter De Maria, and Robert Smithson would be featured in the Xerox Book project. De Maria and Smithson ultimately decided not to participate, leaving the catalogue-exhibition with seven artists in all. To keep the project impartial and free of hierarchy, Siegelaub asked each of them for the same amount of work: a twenty-ve-page piece on standard 8 1/2 x 11-inch paper to be reproduced seriographically.10 Given the layout restrictions, it is not surprising that The Xerox Book generated several unprecedented and contradictory variations on the conventional exhibition format. On the one hand, it transformed the basic, temporal aspect of an exhibition into a different form of extension. Rather than running for three weeks, the show ran for one hundred and seventy-ve pages. On the other hand, the temporal process of thumbing through twentyve pages was fundamental to each work. In this regard, The Xerox Book fused the static and the lmic, the dimensional and the temporal, all the while inverting a broad range of conventions. Siegelaub found the seriographic process of xerography appealing for several reasons. To begin with, it was novel. As he emphasized in a press release announcing the catalogue-exhibition, this is the rst time that these . . . artists have worked in this process.11 In addition, the mechanical, impersonal nature of xerography depersonalized the production process, negating the skilled hand of the artist in a way that once again resonated with the visionary writings of McLuhan and Fiore, who observed that as new technologies come into play, people are less and less convinced of the importance of self-expression.12 But the feature of the photocopy medium that most interested Siegelaub was its negation of the aesthetic component. As he explicitly asserted in an interview a few months after organizing this project: I chose Xerox as opposed to offset or any other process because its such a bland, shitty reproduction, really just for the exchange of information. Thats all a Xerox is about. I mean, its not even, you know, dened. So Xerox just cuts down on the visual aspects of looking at the information.13 In part, of course, this idea went in tandem with the deskilling practices that characterized much of the work of the artists he represented, and it t into a much

artists rights and product management the xerox degree of art 135

larger anti-aesthetic trend suspicious of the slick work of art. But above all, for Siegelaub the


electrostatic copying machine, with its leveling of all information to the zero degree, emphasized the new arts status as text, as secondary information. Consistent with his strategy of exhibiting works in as literal and disinterested a manner as possible, however, no essays or introduction appeared in the catalogue-exhibition. Furthermore, unlike the Bradford or Windham shows, The Xerox Book was not accompanied by a symposium or by any other public means to establish the identity or legitimacy of the group of artists. But that void of signication was lled with the corporate name Xerox, which of course was loaded with meaning and was anything but disinterested. Indeed, in the weeks prior to the show, Siegelaub lobbied the Xerox Corporation in New York to underwrite the project. His effort to involve industry and large corporations with artists, begun a few years earlier with the founding of Image, Inc., had been moderately successful. Yet the Xerox Corporation, after several meetings with Siegelaub, decided not to support the book.14 Siegelaub immediately turned to Jack Wendler, the independent businessman with whom he had set up Image, Inc., for help in underwriting the project. They concluded that to produce a book entirely in the photocopy medium would be too expensive. Thus, in one of the many material paradoxes of conceptual art, The Xerox Book was duplicated using a regular printing press. Despite this shift in production means, Siegelaub continued to invoke the corporate name Xerox, raising a number of questions: What was it about the sign value of Xerox that was considered appealing? And what did it mean for an exhibition to appropriate a corporate trademark?




Consistent with his efforts to eliminate artistic hierarchy, Siegelaub presented the artists and their work in alphabetical order in The Xerox Book. Hence the catalogue-exhibition began with Andres piece, one in a series of so-called scatter pieces the artist had commenced the previous year.15 Andre simply dropped twenty-ve 1 x 1-inch units of block cardboard onto the screen of the duplicating machine from a height of one and a half feet, and let the natural forces of gravity make the pattern (gs. 6.36.5). The result was a random operation that negated conventions of skill and rational composition. Rather than let all of the individual units of cardboard fall onto the screen at once, however, Andre dropped the pieces one at a time. He made a photocopy each time an additional element was placed on the screen. The work thus addressed the procedure of its own making, the indexical trace of a material pro-


Carl Andre, Untitled, 1968, from The Xerox Book


Carl Andre, Untitled, 1968, from The Xerox Book


Carl Andre, Untitled, 1968, from The Xerox Book


cess, as much as the idea that informed it. As with the operation of Hueblers conceptual art, each stage of the production process of Andres scatter piece (i.e., each of the twenty-ve pages) was equal in status. Without a conventional center, or point of climax, the work was analogous to a structuralist lmic sequence or a serial musical score in which no one frame or bar is suspended and privileged above the others.16 Barrys One Million Dots also involved an accumulation of units over the twenty-ve pages, but here each page was alike. Consisting of twenty-ve photocopies of a paper template featuring 40,000 printed dots, One Million Dots foregrounded temporality and the accumulation of the seemingly endless dots as much as it did the viewers operation of the piece in turning the pages. The relationship between viewer and artwork was thus redened, as the work permitted the viewer a space of direct, tactile and perceptual interaction.17 LeWitt exhibited a schematic drawing that followed logically from the serial systems of three-dimensional cubes he had been working on since 1966, such as Serial Project No. 1 (ABCD) discussed earlier (g. 6.6). These were fully diegetic serial compositions with regulated changes between the parts.18 The artist calculated that there were twenty-four different ways of ordering the rst four ordinate numbers, and thus formulated a system based on the number four. First he assigned a different kind of line to each of the four numbers and drew the lines parallel and very close to one another in boxes.19 Then he devised a system of arranging the boxes based on the divisibility of four so that each of the twenty-four pages featured a different arrangement of sixteen squares. The primary material of the works that Huebler, Kosuth, and Weiner exhibited in The Xerox Book was language, but they employed linguistic denitions in neither a poetic nor a philosophical sense. Instead they used language solely as a means to convey information. This was the gist of Siegelaubs comment in 1969 that the same way that color was information before, language is functioning as information now.20 Huebler put together a number of drawings that joined descriptive language with visual signs, locating lines and points in various spatial relationships. A typical drawing consisted of three dots, A, B and C, a couple of inches apart from each other and midway up the page, with the following caption in Trade Gothic type: B represents a point located one inch ahead of the picture plane. A and C represent two points located on the picture plane. The English caption was translated into French and German as well, thereby juxtaposing the same visual information to various language systems. The experience of viewing thus differed in each case, underscoring the consequential role of codes such as language in discerning information.21


Sol LeWitt, Untitled, 1968, from The Xerox Book


Weiners piece was another variation on his removal series, but unlike in Turf, Stake and String or Six Common Ten Penny Steel Nails of earlier that same year, he indicated the materials and performance dimension of this piece entirely in linguistic terms. In hand-written capital letters, toward the bottom right corner of an 8 1/2 x 11-inch sheet of graph paper, a statement read: rectangular removal from a xeroxed graph sheet in proportion to the overA all dimensions of the sheet (g. 6.7). All twenty-ve pages were identical. Insofar as the process of manufacture thus stipulated and the general artistic concept or information were not coincident, Weiners method of production split apart the primary and secondary information. This artistic paradigm was fundamentally open, and allowed a whole series of contingencies to determine the nal work. A comparison of A Rectangular Removal from a Xeroxed Graph Sheet with an untitled piece Weiner initially proposed for this show but decided at the last moment not to exhibit can clarify this point. The latter consisted of an irregular pattern of blocks of graphic marks, each four integers across and ten down (gs. 6.86.10). As the pages advanced, the pattern shifted from left to right one integer at a time, so that by the last page the twenty-ve integers are to the right of where they were on the rst page. There is an obvious similarity between this earlier work and A Rectangular Removal from a Xeroxed Graph Sheet insofar as both employed twenty-ve sheets of standard graph paper. However, the piece that was ultimately not used invoked narrative, literally focusing on the spatial-temporal procedures within which a serial system of graphic marks could be made to move across a eld over the space of twenty-ve pages. The work was thus absolutely self-referentiala narrative structure with a systematic self-reexivity anticipated by the serial systems of LeWitt. In contrast to his rejected work, however, Weiners A Rectangular Removal was not systematically self-reexive, and did not follow a serial order. The performative dimension of building the piece, of removing a rectangle from a photocopied sheet of graph paper, was left entirely to the anonymous viewer. Accordingly, Weiners A Rectangular Removal was structurally similar to the wall drawings LeWitt began to make at precisely this moment in late 1968. The governing principle of these drawings was that the labor of productionboth conceptually building the piece and actually executing the application of graphic marks on the walldid not have to be carried out by the artist. LeWitt limited his role to providing loosely dened instructions (e.g., somebody draw 500 vertical black lines, 500 horizontal yellow lines, 500 diagonal (l. to r.) blue lines, and 500 diagonal (r. to l.) red lines . . . at random), and encouraged his assistants to contribute conceptually to the partially predened but largely


Lawrence Weiner, A Rectangular Removal from a Xeroxed Graph Sheet in Proportion to the Overall Dimensions of the Sheet, 1968, from The Xerox Book


Lawrence Weiner, Untitled, 1968


Lawrence Weiner, Untitled, 1968


Lawrence Weiner, Untitled, 1968

open drawing scheme.22 Therefore, although the number of lines was predetermined, precisely where they were to be placed on the wall was left open. With A Rectangular Removal Weiner also predened the broader parameters of the piece in the form of general instructions, but he left the labor of production to the viewer rather than to his assistants. Thus, as with Weiners conceptual art in general, the egalitarian dimension of A Rectangular Removal went further than LeWitts conceptual art in that the piece could be executed by anybody. Moreover, insofar as Weiner placed the work in what he referred to as public freehold, it could also be owned by anybody. A few months after the completion of The Xerox Book, Weiner commented on A Rectangular Removal in language that revealed his concern with the works democratic and egalitarian potential:

artists rights and product management the xerox degree of art

The exciting thing about the Xerox Book project was that there were twenty-ve sheets, and it was the same exact piece . . . and that almost helped to show that the removal, as long as it was in proportion, could have been twenty-ve different removals. There was no seeing whether the removal was the art or what was left was the art. And yet it was exactly the same piece. So you had twentyve of exactly the same piece that could look twenty-ve different ways. So for me it was a perfect piece. And that to me is a public freehold piece. Anybody who purchased the Xerox Book owned the piece.23

As utopian a principle as the idea of public freehold initially appeared, there was a slight catch. As Weiner continued to explain in the same interview, Its called public freehold for me, and then theres private freehold, which is where the only people that can own the piece are the people who ask for it when its freehold.24 Thus as the work of art moved from public to private freehold, it became endowed with a more exclusive value. Although not anchored by the artists signature, this value was guaranteed by a peculiar method of verifying authenticity. According to Weiner, the only record that someone owns the piece is led with a lawyer on a typewritten sheet. And led in one set of books that I have and in another set of books thats in a safe-deposit box. Thats the record and complete proof of receivership. The title.25 Property value was thus conferred on a particular work through its legal title, which was securely locked up in a safety deposit box. Kosuths project matter-of-factly itemized the constituent elements employed in the production of The Xerox Book: Title of the project, photograph of the xerox machine

used, xerox machines specications, photograph of collation machine used, collation


machine specications, and so on. The literality of the work echoed LeWitts dictum that art should not instruct the viewer but should self-reexively present information.26 Since the catalogue-exhibition was produced with the use of a regular offset printing press rather than an electrostatic copying machine, however, Kosuths piece ultimately lost much of its relevance. For Siegelaub, Wendler, and the artists who contributed to The Xerox Book, the Xerox machine signied a number of things at once. To begin with, it represented a means by which to level questions of formal aesthetic quality. In addition, the technology the Xerox Corporation manufactured was widely considered to be on the cutting edge of innovation in the 1960s, and therefore an association with this corporation carried the cachet of vanguardism. Siegelaub and Wendlers championing of Xerox was also undoubtedly related to McLuhan and Fiores celebration the previous year of this companys duplicating machine, which they argued made publishing accessible to all and copyright virtually ungovernable: Take any books on any subject and custom-make your own book by simply Xeroxing a chapter from this one, a chapter from that oneinstant steal!27 With its potential for unlimited production and distribution of information and ideas, the photocopy machine constituted a crucial addition to the communications industry.28 For Siegelaub, efcient communication was tantamount to power: For me, power is the ability to get things donefor example, by means of swift global communication.29 Therefore, whether or not an actual copying machine was used for this exhibit was irrelevant to him; what mattered was the issue of what could transpire using such technology.




Repeatedly, in the late 1960s, Siegelaub declared that he conceived of his innovations in tandem with developments in the work of the artists he represented. In one of his most important interviews, he explained the necessary factors in the formation of the exhibition practice he pioneered:

The type of art that Im involved with and concerned about has to do less with materiality than ideas and intangible considerations. And so because I deal with that, or spend time working with artists making art in that area, the needs for presentation of the work, and things of this nature, are quite

a bit different than just putting up walls and making them available to artists, which is what a gallery does.30

artists rights and product management

Siegelaub adds that the artists he works with are obviously interested in going beyond the relatively small, privileged public that frequents galleries and museums. Its very obviously implicit in the work, he insists, that these artists want to reach a much larger public. I mean, they dont make objects in the studio and leave them there, or put something out to only a few galleries. Instead its condition immediately transcends that, its immediately out to the public.31 Thus the concern is not only with reaching a larger public, but with rapid mobilityof reaching that public more quickly than did previous art. Here the symbiotic relationship between Siegelaubs novel distribution strategies and the work of the artists associated with him becomes strikingly apparent. Just as these artists developed a type of work that sought to abandon the limitations of the object, aesthetic concerns, and privileged codes or access, so Siegelaub altered conventional forms of distribution, and thereby the work of arts position within the social hierarchy of cultural information. Insofar as Siegelaubs goal was to distribute the work he represented beyond a specic market or set of consumers, his novel exhibition practice was consistent with the rapidly developing and ever-thickening network of interconnections and interdependencies transforming modern social life in the 1960s. Although Siegelaub placed a small number of catalogues in New York bookstores for sale to the public, he distributed most of them through a direct-mail advertising campaign, in effect planning the future market for the artists and informing those on his evergrowing mailing list of the merchandise he had available for sale.32 This colonization of the future through promoting product recall, a crucial component in the political economy of sign value, came to be a structural feature of the work of the artists Siegelaub represented. His novel marketing strategy of communicating with prospective art collectors through direct-mail catalogues sent from his home came to replace the function of a centrally located gallery. Of course, this was only a new form of merchandising in the context of the prevailing institutional and discursive conventions of art distribution and sales. Once we recognize that in the 1960s the dissemination of direct-mail catalogues informing consumers of newly available products was an increasingly common gambit advocated by advertising rms and practiced by large and small businesses alike, the source of Siegelaubs selling strategy be-

the xerox degree of art 149

comes more clear.33


In effect, then, by late 1968 Siegelaub had accomplished what Allan Kaprow had called for barely one year earlier in Pop Art: Past, Present and Future. Kaprow lauds the lengths to which pop art had gone in integrating art with everyday life, but notes that the job has only begun.34 If pop art deprivileged the status of the aesthetic object, he argues, the distribution form of the work of art still remained in privileged spheres of experience.35 Evaluating this situation and proposing what he felt still needed to be done in order to popularize art fully, Kaprow writes:

The pop artist has to do some additional reevaluating for himself particularly as regards the context in which he presents his work. Thus far he deals only with the smart set, the esthetes, the art world, the fashionable magazine editors. His showplace is the elegant sanctum of the gallery, museum and town house. . . . In order for pop art to overcome its preciosity, it must move out into the open. . . . Consider the possibilities of sky-writing, in dropping leaets, in blimp paintings, or displays dragged through the air. . . . The roads to take are almost unlimited. And if gallery dealers are worried about my proposals for practical reasons, they need not: from their very same desks they can launch the careers of these new ad men, for they can simply change their gallery name to an agency name, and their title to art director.36

The work of the artists afliated with Siegelaub almost programmatically answered Kaprows call, as did the formers newly developed mode of operation: by June 1969 Siegelaub referred to himself simply as a consultant organizing information.37 But as the work moved from the space of the aesthetic object and closer to the space of quotidian objects, as it moved into what Baudrillard has referred to as the xerox degree of culture, not only were all of the privileged aspects of aesthetic objects and experience negated but so too was the possibility of aesthetic judgment. As Baudrillard observes in Beyond the Vanishing Point of Art,

The logic of the disappearance of art is, precisely, inversely proportional to that of the production of culture. The xerox degree of culture in a state of absolute proliferation corresponds to the zerodegree of art: one is the others vanishing point, and absolute simulation.38

Baudrillards extraordinary remark offers a rich picture of the end of art: an end that is a realization. When art is disseminated to a mass public and multiple venues beyond galleries and museums, it loses its specicity. Its potential for proliferation as well as its accessibility

transforms the very character of art, causing it to dissolve and vanish. The radical and indiscernible expansion and proliferation of art calls into question its very nature and pushes it into the domain of publicity. The breakthrough takes place when a mediated object replaces the tangible one, or, to put it in Walter Benjamins terms, when the work becomes more and more designed for reproducibility.39 In this mutation in aesthetic production, traditional forms of material support give way to the most advanced media and their offshoots in photography, lm, video, and more direct channels of the market such as magazines, billboards, newspaper advertisements, and other forms of publicity. Hence, the sphere of art expands, becoming coterminous with market society in such a way that the aesthetic is no longer limited to its earlier, traditional or experimental forms but is consumed throughout daily life itself. The closed space of the aesthetic is thereby opened up to its fully culturalized context. Indeed, as Baudrillard points out, this expansion must also spell the end of the aesthetic itself. When the realm of art increases to the point where everything becomes in one way or another acculturated, the traditional distinctiveness or specicity of the aesthetic (and even of culture as such) is necessarily blurred or lost altogether.40 Yet, as Lippard concluded three years later, despite the potential for a different, radically modied art world composed of a new collective utopian space, such a space was ultimately unrealizable. The reasons for that failure might very well lie in conceptual arts belief in the medium as the sole locus of meaning.41 Or, from a more social perspective, they might be located in the profound naivete of conceptual arts belief that it had evaded the rigorous control of forces governing and structuring the art market by displacing the supposedly unique art object.42 But Siegelaub, even if only for a moment in 1969, grappled with the conundrum of how to operate within the art world without capitulating to its operative conventions that necessitated unambiguous authorship, authenticity, and objectness. Later that same year, as conceptual arts success and acceptance grew, Siegelaub noted with a resigned tone, any form of art which becomes established becomes establishment.43 And it was precisely against this transformation that Siegelaub increasingly worked, as he became more and more attentive to the problem of artists rights.

artists rights and product management the xerox degree of art 151

chapter seven the siegelaub idea

Artists have nally been accepted as idea men and not merely as craftsmen with poetic thoughts. Seth Siegelaub, 19691

Is it so surprising that in a time when postindustrial ephemeralization is rampant, when information bits are speedier and more important than heavy matter or face-to-face contact, when we are bombarded with message units, when time is so precious it almost has become a substance, when space is at a premium, when history forces us to dematerialize, that artists everywhere should come up with Conceptual Art? Conceptual Art is a symptom of globalism and it is the rstSurrealism almost wasreally international art style. John Perreault, 19712

Even before the January 531, 1969 show closed, Siegelaub was planning several more public exhibitions that employed the infrastructure of publicity as medium and problematized the traditional boundaries of artistic production.3 He increasingly came to realize the enor-

mous implications of the art produced in tandem with the practice of presentation he originated. Not only were the new modes of artistic production, presentation, and distribution capable of expanding the works audience, but according to Siegelaub they also rendered the idea of individual ownership of works of art a pass condition, in many cases totally impossible since the experience of an art presented through the infrastructure of publicity and display is everybodys immediately.4 Recall that his advert in Artforum for the Huebler show, in its role as documentation, already constituted a fragment of the work, and therefore whoever possessed the journal had a stake in the artists production; similarly, Barrys Inert Gas was publicly accessible through a telephone answering service in Los Angeles. By harnessing the distribution medium, Siegelaub made an unlimited viewership a real possibility.5 This condition, in which art became unprecedentedly uncircumscribed and mobile, put pressure on structures such as the gallery network that hierarchize through inclusion and exclusion. Now, Siegelaub observed in the spring of 1969, an artist does not have to be involved in a gallery or be uptight about not having a gallery. [Whereas] before it was a sign of shame. It doesnt make any fucking difference anymore.6 Rather than a gallery in a particular xed location, Siegelaubs site of exhibition was as ephemeral as it was vast. I broke down, like, what a gallery does. What is its function? Its primary function is that its a place for artists to put their work out. But it breaks down to many aspects. . . . Theres space, theres money, theres exposure or publicity, you know, there are a number of things. And Ive just, in a sense, eliminated space. My gallery is the world now.7 Of course, the work produced by the artists he represented facilitated this conception of space, since one of the characteristics of a work presented in linguistic and graphic terms as pages in catalogues and magazines was that it could be distributed all over the world very, very quickly.8 Most signicant for Siegelaub at the time was his belief that the ability to distribute the new art as primary information made geographical decentralization possible. I think New York is beginning to break down as a center, he remarked in the summer of 1969. Not that there will be another city to replace it, but rather where any artist is will be the center.9 From Siegelaubs perspective, the deterritorializing properties of conceptual art liberated it not only from traditional institutional sites of display, but also from geographical centers.10 In this sense, Siegelaubs metaphors of a shrinking world of complex connectivity were of a piece with the infamous communications discourse propagated by Marshall

artists rights and product management the siegelaub idea 153

McLuhan and his followers, who exalted advances in telecommunications and their global


message with delirious optimism. McLuhans championing of the medium of communication over the contents of media messages, encapsulated in his formula the medium is the message, transferred meaning onto the medium itself through the technological structure. The sign value of art became triumphant as arts use value (and exchange value) came to be determined by its mode of distribution rather than its content. Not everyone celebrated the potential of new media so uncritically, as is evident in the contemporaneous work of Hans Magnus Enzensberger, who warned against the one-way communication of the media at pains to exclude the possibility of response.11 Enzensbergers argument represents the opposite pole from McLuhans position, a critical standpoint to which Siegelaub would gradually move in the following years. Siegelaubs hyperbolic post-1968 proclamations of global interconnectedness, of the world as his gallery, have direct parallels in the consequences of the cybernetic and informational revolutions for marketing and nance. The postindustrial ephemeralization of the 1960s and 1970s, in which mechanized technologies of communication were intensied to the point that capital and informational transfers could be instantaneously effectuated around the globe from one national zone to another, dramatically announced a new phase of globalization.12 From the instrumental point of view of advanced capitalism, what was heralded was an increased functional proximity, in which deterritorialized spaces and connecting corridors were created to ease the ow of capital (including its commodities and personnel), and the time-space compression of connectivity was matched with a degree of cultural compression.13 The fact that conceptual arts method of production and Siegelaubs method of distribution were at one with globalization soon rendered both profoundly economic, and integrated them into advanced capitalisms generalized commodity system. But this fate was not initially evident.




In 1969 Siegelaub organized a series of shows characterized by greatly broadened exhibition spaces and artworks that further decentered the relationship between primary and secondary information. For Joseph Kosuth, Robert Morris, sponsored by Bradford Junior Colleges Laura Knott Gallery in March of that year, the primary information was presented in the catalogue and the secondary information on the premises of the gallery space.14 This was an

extraordinary reversal of the usual format in which primary information is on view in the exhibition space, and the catalogue is reserved for secondary information. It also indicated a transformation of the very nature of the art represented. As Siegelaub explained in a November 1969 interview,

artists rights and product management

when art does not any longer depend upon its physical presence, when it has become an abstraction, it is not distorted and altered by its representation in books and catalogues. It becomes PRIMARY information; while the reproduction of conventional art in books or catalogues is necessarily SECONDARY information. . . . When information is PRIMARY, the catalogue can become the exhibition.15

the siegelaub idea

Yet, when we consider that Morriss piece at the Joseph Kosuth, Robert Morris show featured a rubber stamp on the paper towels in the restroomspresumably, anyone who handled a paper towel would thus possess the workthe possibility that something else was at play becomes real. By restricting the primary information to the catalogue, Siegelaub had also limited and controlled the potential ownership of the work. Another exhibition Siegelaub organized that year, One Month, took the form of a calendar of the month of March 1969, during which a day was assigned to each of the thirtyone invited artists.16 As with The Xerox Book, the information presented in the catalogue was primary and there was no exhibition site or gallery to be visited.17 You dont need walls to show ideas, Siegelaub explained to Art in Americas David Shirey in the spring of 1969, extolling the virtues of working with primary rather than more conventional secondary information. People who have galleries can show their objects only in one place at a time. Im not limited. I can have my ideas in twenty different places at once. Ideas are faster than tedious objects.18 In other words, the new method of exhibition not only delimited the size of the audience, but also shifted the emphasis from objects to ideas. And according to Siegelaub, now that the object had been eliminated and the art only existed as an idea, to become aware of that idea was to possess it.19 The implications of this new mode of art for the market were enormous, as evidenced by Patricia Norvells somewhat puzzled observation during her early 1969 interview with Siegelaub: You cant make anyone pay for thinking about [art].20 Siegelaub soon found a solution to this obstacle, as the traces of these thoughts came to be offered for sale as



fetishistic substitutes for the lost objects. Here again, the parallels between this new art and advertising (which sells ideas as uidly as objects) are striking, for as Baudrillard shows in For a Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign, advanced capitalism relies on the construction of sign values to establish the relative values of objects.21 With systems of thought and signs (and not just material objects) reied and commodied, even pricelessness can contribute to the marketing of a product by increasing its desirability. The distinction between primary and secondary information was also central to the Simon Fraser Exhibition that Siegelaub organized at the gallery of Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Vancouver for May and June of 1969.22 As he outlined the show to university ofcials:

The exhibition will have no title. . . . The overall plan: 1. Print 1000 copies of the enclosed poster before the exhibition opens, and distribute. 2. During 19 May and 19 June the work of each artist will be introduced into the community at Simon Fraser. 3. (Towards) the end of the exhibition a catalog of the exhibition (what has happened) will be printed and distributed (approximately 12 pages with photosdetails to follow).23

What is striking about this overall plan is the equivalence it posits between the work and its publicity. As he had done on several recent occasions, Siegelaub also organized a symposium with the artists to coincide with the exhibition. In this case, however, he arranged for the artists to communicate with each other and the audience by means of a telephone hookup linking New York (Kosuth, Barry, LeWitt, Weiner, Huebler, and Siegelaub in the role of moderator), Ottawa (Baxter), and Vancouver (local critics and curators). This multicontext electronic conversation was transmitted to an assembled audience over the public address system in the SFU Theater.24 Telephones were also installed in the theater, and, following an exchange between the artists, the audience was invited to participate in the discussion. This use of technology to enhance communications not only indicates the considerable energy and creativity with which Siegelaub operated at the time, but also provides a further example of media fetishization and points to a utopian belief that technology could directly produce communication. This view had been held earlier by Walter Benjamin in dialogue with Bertolt Brecht, and later by Enzensberger who, referring to Brechts essay on the potential use of radio, noted about mass media generally, For the rst time in history, the

media are making possible mass participation in a social and socialized productive process, the practical means of which are in the hands of the masses themselves.25 However, Enzensberger continues, in its present form equipment like television or lm does not serve communication but prevents it. It allows for no reciprocal action between transmitter and receiver.26 This inadequacy occurs not because of a lack of technology for a two-way ow of communication, but rather because the social structure of advanced capitalism prevents its realization.27 According to Enzensberger, without a radical transformation of the basic economic system upon which Western society is based, the overarching unidirectional relationship of transmitter and receiver will not be altered regardless of how revolutionary and potentially communicative the media. This was precisely the situation that confronted Siegelaub. Although he had discovered the means by which to transmit and disseminate art to a broader public, the commodity form was not abolished; the basic capitalist economic structure remained in place and governed how the art market did business. Thus, to return to a concrete example, though the Xerox Corporations photocopy machine potentially provided an ideal means of aesthetic production, as Enzensberger woefully notes, The technically most advanced electrostatic copying machine, which operates with ordinary paperwhich cannot, that is to say, be supervised and is independent of suppliersis the property of a monopoly (Xerox), on principle it is not sold but rented. The rates themselves ensure that it does not get into the wrong hands.28 Which begins to explain why in the end Siegelaub was ultimately denied access to the more advanced technology of Xerox (which was reserved to serve more clearly corporate interests) and had to rely on a conventional printing press for his Xerox Book project. In March of 1969 Siegelaub embarked on a show, July, August, September 1969, that sought to extend over an even greater geographical scope, iterating a certain international sensibility that [he] sensed among artists throughout the world (g. 7.1).29 Metaphorically alluding to the phenomenon of decentralization rapidly coming to characterize modern life, the exhibition took place simultaneously in a number of geographical locations widely separated from one another, but excluding New York City.30 Some of the works were instantaneous, others only accessible part of the time, and yet others observable throughout the length of the show and beyond. The trilingual exhibition catalogue was the only site where the show was presented as a whole.31 According to Siegelaub, the multilingual text enabled the show to transcend a limiting locality, furthering global communications, rather

artists rights and product management the siegelaub idea 157


Cover of July, August, September 1969, 1969

than limited and limiting local distribution.32 Globalization contributed to the catalogues function as a broad frame, marking the global bounds of the primary information presented in this international show. The July, August, September 1969 show crystallized the key aspects of Siegelaubs catalogue-exhibitions. First, the exhibition catalogue was kept as disinterested and neutral as possible. Introductory comments were conspicuously absent, as were explanatory critical essays. Second, the works were presented in an undiscriminating way, precluding hierarchy among the artists. Each artist was allocated the same amount of space: two pages. Third, the thirty-two pages were divided into two sections, one presenting primary information (the work itself) and the other secondary information about where and when the material elements that supplemented that primary information could be seen during the show. Together, the two sections functioned to delineate the parameters of the individual pieces included in the exhibition, thereby making them more comprehensible to the public. In all cases, however, the catalogue served to present the work throughout the world. By reversing the relationship and rendering the material in the catalogue primary information and that at the particular geographical sites secondary information, Siegelaub once again lifted artistic production from its hitherto close connection with physical locality and disseminated it quickly and broadly. This method of distribution paralleled transformations in the dissemination of information brought about by contemporary globalization.33 Siegelaubs euphoria about information going back and forth quickly parallels McLuhans pronouncement of the global village in which electric circuitry has overthrown the regime of time and space and pours upon us instantly and continuously the concerns of all other men.34 Both envision a kind of cyberspace in which culture and, more directly for Siegelaub, art have reached their ultimate dematerialization, as messages pass instantaneously from one nodal point to another across the globe, the formal material world. In this transformation, with artworks become increasingly phanstasmagoric, existing primarily as the dissemination of information, the possibility of devising concrete material structures capable of anchoring ownership seemed more than ever to be an impossibility.

artists rights and product management the siegelaub idea






By the end of 1969, the importance of Siegelaubs catalogues and the work they exhibited

was broadly acknowledged in North America and Europe. Articles in a wide array of news-


papers and journals, including the New York Times, Studio International, New York, Mademoiselle, even the Financial Times, reported on the January 531, 1969 exhibition.35 The rapidly growing focus on Siegelaubs activities culminated in Vogue magazine selecting him as one of the most likely to succeed in the upcoming decade.36 By mid-1969, in one of the more startling inversions of the mode of fabrication, exhibition, and distribution that Siegelaub had spearheaded, not only the totality of his practice but also the work it featured was discussed in the popular press as the Siegelaub idea. Mademoiselle reported that the essence of the Siegelaub idea . . . is: the idea is the work of art.37 This led some to speculate that Siegelaub had crossed the line and taken on the role of an artista role he refused to accept publicly.38 The growing political dimension of Siegelaubs work was reinforced by the disparaging remarks of critics such as Barbara Rose who, in the summer of 1969, noted that a great deal of the new art cannot be bought, sold, owned or traded in the conventional manner, and warned that if one wanted to read a political message into recent American art, it would be that this country is on the way to some form of socialism.39 Placing Siegelaubs art practice in the context of the protest movements of the late 1960s was neither inconsistent nor far-fetched. In 1969 Siegelaub became increasingly involved in the newfound community spirit of the Art Workers Coalition. In April of that year he began to contemplate ways in which artists might receive more rights and exert greater control over their work. He openly wondered during the interview with Norvell: Why dont artists have a community of interest amongst themselves the way musicians have, an ASCAP [American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers] or some musicians union. You know, whereas a man can compose music and be relatively sure that when the music is played somewhere he gets royalties on it.40 Parallel, then, to the growing public if not nancial success of the artists he represented, Siegelaub found it imperative to develop an alternative structure to protect their rights. Though his efforts addressed all artists generally, they were most relevant to the conceptual artists associated with him due to the special nature of their work. As his involvement in the AWC grew, Siegelaubs antagonism toward the status quo intensied, and his efforts to decentralize the art world took on a more explicitly political slant. We get a glimpse of this in his comments to the curator Elayne Varian in a June 1969 interview conducted in preparation for an article she was writing on new practices of dealing:

Im involved with the Art Workers Coalition, and Im becoming very, very concerned about being able to assist in whatever way I can to get artists together to be able to get more power in the community over their art, over their life issues, and things of this nature. Im very concerned with things like unions for artists. And Im very concerned about the international aspects of whats going on, thats why my catalogues, and all of my books in the future, will be in two or three languages.41

artists rights and product management

At the same time, Siegelaubs conception of his function in the art world began to change. He swiftly shifted from the role of a publicist promoting a small group of artists to a catalyst for organizing exhibitions, as he referred to himself in April 1969.42 By the end of the year he divested himself of the artists even further, seeking to push the interest of art rather than pushing artists.43 This transformation was not supercial but structural and systemic. As he wrote in a letter of 9 May 1969 requesting money from potential sponsors to underwrite his activities,

the siegelaub idea

I am presently re-orienting my function in the Art community from that of a so-called dealerconsultant to that of simply a consultant. . . . I have become interested in the broader communications between artists around the world. . . . I am concerned about the artists being able to have their work known no matter where they livenot just artists living in New York.44

Here Siegelaub articulates an idea that would come to fruition only at the end of the century: the global art world. His success in xing his new identity as consultant was debatable, since his creative role in the art world was strong. Indeed when the organizers of Prospect 69, Konrad Fischer and Jrgen Harten, contacted Siegelaub in June 1969 to ask whether he would include the four artists he represented in their show, he responded by proposing thirteen artists instead.45 Fischer and Harten ultimately rejected Siegelaubs expanded proposal, and, reluctantly, the latter agreed to present only the work of Barry, Huebler, Kosuth, and Weiner.46 At play were the struggle between the art world and market and the dehierarchizing practice of Siegelaub. The market system demands individual representatives and artists, and it had already recognized those associated with Siegelaub who had the most potential to succeed. But in the late 1960s the novelty of Siegelaubs practice of presentation continued unabated. For the Prospect 69 show he presented the work of Barry, Huebler, Kosuth, and


Pages from Prospect 69, 1969

Weiner in the form of a series of self-interviews to appear in the exhibition catalogue, recalling the Arthur R. Rose interviews that supplemented the January 531, 1969 exhibition (g. 7.2). Whereas the earlier interviews had served as secondary information publicizing the artists work, they now functioned as primary information; the interviews were the work. Each fragment, formerly incomplete and needing to direct its attention elsewhere, beyond itself, toward what was supposed to complete (and also abolish) it, now constituted a whole artwork in its own right. In the process, publicity took on an art status. The tenuousness of the fragment was superseded by this reconstitution of secondary information as primary.

artists rights and product management




the siegelaub idea



Prospect 69 was the last exhibition in which Siegelaub exclusively presented the work of Barry, Huebler, Kosuth, and Weiner. Rather than representing the concerns of a small group of artists, he now perceived his role to be to disseminate this new, experimental art as widely and extensively as possible.47 Accordingly, in the twelve months following the summer of 1969, Siegelaub helped organize an unafliated series of what he referred to as large, inclusive chaotic exhibitions.48 The egalitarian condition of these shows was unprecedented, as they refused all normative limits previously governing the production and exhibition of art. Any type of proposal demanded to be considered equal in value to any other, and the role of artist was open to anyone regardless of training.49 Not surprisingly, given the contradictory nature of much of the highly innovative art during this period, the opposite reading emerged at the same time. In an April 1969 review of Siegelaubs One Month exhibition in The Nation, for instance, Lawrence Alloway noted that such aphoristic or propositional forms of art integrated the fact that art was essentially a transmittable commodity into their very form. According to Alloway, this made it both more difcult and easier for the dealer to distribute the art. On the one hand, as documents or as irreducible presence, . . . the galleries cannot do much to display such work within the canon of authenticity which is their main source of money. But on the other hand, since the techniques by which art objects are sold can also be applied to the thoughts or the services of the artist, handling coded information rather than precious things leaves the system of distribution of art which the galleries represent . . . basically intact, and in fact



makes the dealers job less expensive and more efcient.50 Alloway thus echoes Kaprows observation cited earlier that as art becomes more and more integrated with advertising, dealers will increasingly be able to manage the careers of the new artists.51 Concomitant with easier and more efcient systems of distribution came an increased anxiety concerning ownership and authorship. For though the artists themselves may have denied or questioned traditional concepts of authorship, this did not arrest anxiety concerning authenticity. Siegelaub had developed a rather efcient means of retailing this art: as early as 1968 he had drawn up the relevant documents to certify ownership that would be transferred to collectors to afrm their property.52 But as he became increasingly politicized in the immediately following years, this marketing strategy was put in the service of protecting artists economic rights and control over their work, culminating in the Artists Reserved Rights Transfer and Sale Agreement (gs. 7.37.5). Commencing in late 1969 and continuing for the better part of a year, Siegelaub conducted exploratory conversations in the art world, particularly in New York but also in Europe, and, with the help of New York lawyer Robert Projansky, drafted a contract that would safeguard the interests of artists. In January 1971, this draft was photocopied and distributed at no cost to ve hundred people through art schools, universities, galleries, museums, artists bars, and Siegelaubs by now extensive mailing list, asking for their opinion.53 Then, with the help of the replies received, the nal form of the contract was prepared, along with information about its use, and widely disseminated in a number of contexts and languages.54 The contract rst appeared in Studio International in April 1971, along with Siegelaubs explanatory preamble outlining how it was initially conceived and the practical details of its current use. The instructions read: 1. To begin Xerox or offset a number of copies of each page of the agreement form. The easily accessible Agreement, distributed as printed matter in journals and magazines, was similar in form to much of the art Siegelaub had recently represented. Projanskys meticulous brief of the legal terms of the Agreement advised artists who might be interested in employing it without incurring legal consultation fees. The contract greatly expanded artists ability to negotiate sales without relying on galleries or other such intermediaries. Both comprehensible and accessible, Siegelaub and Projanskys Agreement pushed the formers efforts to reform dominant art market practices. Now artists could even control the nancial aspects of their production. Broadly speaking, then, the Agreement was a political project that provided the groundwork for substantive artist empowerment. The hidden inequities and injustices it ad-


Seth Siegelaub and Robert Projansky, The Artists Reserved Rights Transfer and Sale Agreement, 1971, as reprinted in Studio International, April 1971


Seth Siegelaub and Robert Projansky, The Artists Reserved Rights Transfer and Sale Agreement, 1971, as reprinted in Studio International, April 1971


Seth Siegelaub and Robert Projansky, The Artists Reserved Rights Transfer and Sale Agreement, 1971, as reprinted in Studio International, April 1971


dressed were commonly acknowledged throughout the art world, which usually protects the collector more than the artist. Siegelaubs explanatory preface claried why, in the context of the uprisings at Kent State and the Vietnam War protests, a contractual approach was considered more desirable than legislation. This route, Siegelaub wrote, involved no organization, no dues, no government agency, no meetings, no public registration, no nothing just your [i.e., the artists] will to use it.55 Thus the Agreement circumvented gallery or bureaucratic intervention, serving as a self-help document in line with the ethos of antiinstitutional trends of the period, such as those crystallized in, for instance, the various editions of The Whole Earth Catalogue. The Agreement was designed to thwart the collectors inordinate amount of control in the art world by giving the artist a number of rights, including the right to some of the prots from resale or from any other form of commercial exploitation of the work (e.g., reproduction, rentals).56 In addition, Siegelaub and Projansky made clear that the contract was also appropriate for transfers of ownership by exchange or even gift, thereby protecting the artist parting with a work without monetary recompense. The Agreement would be binding on all future owners of the work (who were required to sign the legal agreement) and would be in effect for the artists lifetime. Upon the artists death, the rights to the work would revert to the artists heirs.57 The most controversial aspect of the Agreement was the right of the artist to participate in, and to prot from, any increase in the works sumptuary value. Although it addressed many noneconomic rights, this aspect of the contract rapidly became the focus of much harsh evaluation and criticism. Many dealers and artists felt that collectors would not buy art if they could not control the right to use and sell it.58 Further criticism concerned the effect of the lack of privacy on art collecting; the fact that collectors would be obliged to put their name on the contract meant that traditionally undeclared cash owing through the art world would be recorded. Additionally, there was the exibility of pricing. At one point Siegelaub suggested that in certain instances an artist might consider inating the market value of the artwork on the contract, since obviously, the higher the gure you put in, the better the break the new owner is getting.59 Although Siegelaub and Projanskys timely effort capitalized on artists growing resentment of art marketing conventions, it also reconceived these conventions in a way that countered the model of egalitarianism. Siegelaub was very precise about the physical rela-

tionship between the artwork and the Agreement, and he stressed that the Notice concerning Ownership, Transfer, Exhibition and Reproduction of the Work of Art should always be attached to the work.60 According to his instructions, the Notice might be placed on a stretcher bar under a sculpture base or wherever else it will be aesthetically invisible yet easily ndable. It should get a coat of clear polyurethaneor something like itto protect it. It wont hurt to put several copies of the notice on a large work.61 In other words, the Notice, which basically functioned as a bill of sale, would become part of the work. In instances where the art was immaterial and had no physical base, Siegelaub advised: If your work has no place on it for the Notice or your signaturein which case you should always use an ancillary document which describes the work and which bears your signature and which must always be transferred as a (legal) part of the workglue the NOTICE on the document.62 The Notice validated secondary information and materialized primary information. Note as well that the Agreement made a correlation between Notice and signature, and if authorship of the new work was linked to copyright, the Notice functioned as a document indicating copyright. In this transformation, the signature of the artist and its associative sign value once again became the primary product. In the absence not only of iconicity but also of any kind of discernible metaphor or allusion, the artists signature now came to be what the work signied. In the process, the attack carried out by conceptual art upon the cultural system in the preceding years was negated. Regardless of how problematic its form, the work once again entered the market through the signature of the producer. Drafted to protect the rights of the artist, the contract functioned to preserve exclusive ownership of the work. Thus Siegelaub arrived at a concrete solution to his earlier queries of how to market ideas. Although the Agreement, drafted to help destabilize the calcied art industry, may have been politically progressive in its intention, it had the opposite effect, leading conceptual art into what Lippard condemns as the tyranny of a commodity status and marketorientation. For the Agreements precise limitations served to conne even work that existed only as abstract idea or, alternately, only as widely dispersed documentation within its capital relations, and thus inserted conceptual art into the art market as a pure commodity or bill of sale. The aura absent from conceptual art was thereby reintroduced in the auratization of the signature. If conceptual art attacked the privileged nature of art and made the experience of art collecting more practicable than ever before, Siegelaubs contract ensured that one facet of the new art would not be so readily accessiblenamely, the experience of ownership.

artists rights and product management the siegelaub idea 169


With the success of the artists associated with him, Siegelaub gradually dropped out of the picture and became a shadow (g. I.1). Just as the material object of art in some instances gave way to ephemerality and pure concept, Siegelaub too became an idea: the Siegelaub idea. In less than a decade, his identity had shifted from gallery owner to dealer, organizer, publicist, and catalyst. Just as a catalyst may be necessary in a chemical process, though it is disjunct from the nal product, so too Siegelaub ceased to be involved in the early 1970s when conceptual art was legitimized as a bona de art movementbut not before he had succeeded in rupturing a number of the fundamental tenets of the art world, the reverberations of which continue to be felt today.



the contradictions of conceptual art

Seth Siegelaub, in Michel Claura and Seth Siegelaub, Lart conceptuel, Xxe sicle, 41 (December 1973);

reprinted in Alexander Alberro and Blake Stimson, eds., Conceptual Art: A Critical Anthology (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1999), p. 289.

Allan Kaprow, Should the Artist Become a Man of the World?, Art News, 63:6 (October 1964); reprinted as

The Artist as a Man of the World, in Jeff Kelley, ed., Essays on the Blurring of Art and Life: Allan Kaprow (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994), pp. 4748.

Barbara Rose, How to Murder an Avant-Garde, Artforum, 4:3 (November 1965), p. 35; Alan Solomon, New

York: The New Art Scene (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1967), p. 66.

John Murphy, President, Philip Morris Europe, in Live in Your Head: When Attitudes Become Form, exh. cat.

(Bern: Kunsthalle Bern, 1969), n.p.


Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2000), p. 285: The

process of postmodernization or informatization has been demonstrated through the migration from industry to service jobs, a shift that has taken place in the dominant capitalist countries. . . . Services cover a wide range of activities from health care, education, and nance to transportation, entertainment and advertising. The jobs for the most part are highly mobile and involve exible skills. More important, they are characterized in general by the central role played by knowledge, information, affect, and communication. In this sense many call the postindustrial economy an informational economy.



Joseph Kosuth, in Patricia Ann Norvell, interview with Joseph Kosuth, 10 April 1969, Patricia Norvell Archives,

New York.

In 1971 Siegelaub left the art world and relocated to Paris, where he became involved in cultural-political re-

search and publishing. This culminated in the founding of the press International General and the publication in the 1970s of a number of critical anthologies. See Seth Siegelaub and Armand Mattelart, Communication and Class Struggle, vol. 1, Capitalism and Imperialism (New York: International General, 1979), and Siegelaub and Mattelart, Communication and Class Struggle, vol. 2, Liberation and Socialism (New York: International General, 1979).
8. 9.

Siegelaub, in Claura and Siegelaub, Lart Conceptuel, p. 287. For the beginnings of an analysis of the signicant contributions to the early history of conceptual art by artists

who were not male, see Lucy R. Lippard, introduction to c. 7,500, exh. cat. (Valencia, Calif.: California Institute of the Arts, 1973), n.p.; Lippard, Deep in Numbers, Artforum, 12:1 (October 1973), pp. 3539; Lippard, Escape Attempts, in Ann Goldstein and Anne Rorimer, eds., Reconsidering the Object of Art: 19651975, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art; Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1995), pp. viixxii; Anne Rorimer, New Art in the 60s and 70s: Redening Reality (London: Thames & Hudson, 2001), pp. 11119, 160171, 189193; Maurice Berger, Styles of Radical Will: Adrian Piper and the Indexical Present, in Adrian Piper: A Retrospective (Baltimore: University of Maryland Fine Arts Gallery, 1999), pp. 1232; and my Time and Conceptual Art, in Jan Schall, ed., Tempus Fugit: Time Flies (Kansas City: Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 2000), pp. 144157.

See the essays included in Luis Camnitzer, Jane Farber, and Rachel Weiss, Global Conceptualism: Points of

Origin, 1950s1980s, exh. cat. (New York: Queens Museum of Art, 1999), those in Michael Newman and Jon Bird, eds., Rewriting Conceptual Art (London: Reaktion Books, 1999), and many of the entries in Alberro and Stimson, eds., Conceptual Art: A Critical Anthology.

See Lucy R. Lippard, Postface (1973), in Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object from 1966 to

1972 (1973; Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996), p. 263. The most important discussion of the emergence of conceptual art to date remains Benjamin Buchlohs Conceptual Art 19621969: From the Aesthetic of Administration to the Critique of Institutions (1989), in Claude Gintz et al., Lart conceptuel: une perspective, exh. cat. (Paris: Muse dart moderne de la Ville de Paris, 1989), republished in October, 55 (Winter 1990), pp. 105143. Buchloh identies the major paradox of all Conceptual practices: that conceptual arts critical annihilation of cultural conventions, its insistence on artistic autonomy and the demolition of authorship, as much as its campaign to critique conventions of visuality, inevitably ended up miming the operating logic of late capitalism and its positivist instrumentality (pp. 139, 140, 143). Yet I will argue that a more dialectical reading of conceptual arts negation of expression is productive. This will entail applying pressure to one of Buchlohs central claims, namely that it was precisely the utopianism of earlier avant-garde movements . . . that was manifestly absent from Conceptual art throughout its history (p. 141). Although the refusal of a transcendental dimension characterizes key aspects of early conceptual art, other aspects were charged with as much utopianism as the historical avant-garde. Furthermore, conceptualism was given a utopian gloss not only by some of its early practitioners and art critics, but also by a newly constituted public around the Art Workers Coalition in 1969, who found in its practices a parallel to their revolutionary vision.

Siegelaub, in Claura and Siegelaub, Lart conceptuel, p. 289.


Daniel Buren, in Working with Shadows, Working with Words, Art Monthly, 122 (December 1988/January

notes to pages 37

1989); reprinted in Alberro and Stimson, eds., Conceptual Art: A Critical Anthology, pp. 437438: Seth was able to do a show that was a catalogue; it was possible to put on a show simultaneously in Paris, London, New York and New Mexico; it was possible to do a show in a small village. . . . In the Sixties there was an explosion; we could show anywhere, and anyone could show.

Lawrence Weiner, Lawrence Weiner at Amsterdam: Interview with Willoughby Sharp, Avalanche, 4 (Spring

1972), p. 73; italics mine. The interview was conducted 15 May 1971.

chapter one

art, advertising, sign value


Carl Andre, Bradford Junior College symposium, 8 February 1968, in Lucy R. Lippard papers, Archives of

American Art, uncatalogued recent acquisition; hereafter abbreviated LRLARCH.


See Image. Art Programs for Industry, Inc., brochure in Seth Siegelaub Archives, New York (hereafter

SSARCH), Box 1, File 28.


The crucial texts here are those of Paul Dimaggio and Michael Unseem, especially Social Class and Arts Con-

sumption: The Origins and Consequences of Class Differences in Exposure to the Arts in America, Theory and Society, 5:2 (March 1978), pp. 141161; and Cultural Democracy in a Period of Cultural Expansion: The Social Composition of Arts Audiences in the United States, Social Problems, 26:2 (December 1978), pp. 179197.

Sam Hunter, in The Harry N. Abrams Family Collection, exh. cat. (New York: Jewish Museum, 1966), n.p.

Though not a particularly authoritative source on this matter, especially in comparison with the excellent articles cited in the previous footnote, Hunters discernment of the emergence of a new class of art patrons interestingly captures the tension between the newly arrived collectors and the more established cognoscenti of the New York art world. Note that Hunter is ultimately disdainful of the new collectors, and of the effect they are having on art production.

Two contemporary books on art and nance, Gerald Reitlingers The Economics of Taste: The Rise and Fall of

Picture Prices 17601960 (London: Barrie and Rockliff, 1961) and Richard H. Rushs Art as an Investment (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1961), discouraged the purchase of contemporary art. Rush, an investment banker whose book jacket featured a blurb that blared You can make a fortune collecting art!, purported to introduce the reader to the world of art and its market in order to aid the reader in selecting objects that would increase in dollar value. Yet he warned that while there exists a great demand for Abstract painting and there is little question that this type of painting is in vogue in the year 1961, this school may be already over the top in public performance (p. 409). Dealers found that their sales directly reected the patterns of the national economy: If you can tell me what will happen to the stock market, Arnold Kagan said in 1970, I can tell you what will happen to the art market. Joseph Poindexter, Can the Art Market Survive the Recession?, Auction, 4:1 (September 1970), p. 30.

Sold Out Art: More Buyers Than Ever Sail into a Broadening Market, Life 55 (20 September 1963),

pp. 125129.

Anonymous, Vanity Fair: The New York Art Scene, Newsweek (4 January 1965), pp. 5459, esp. p. 54. For 173

an analysis of the market for pop art in the mid-1960s, see Jennifer Wells, The Sixties: Pop Goes the Market, in Denitive Statements: American Art 196466 (Providence, R.I.: List Art Center, Brown University, 1986), pp. 5361. For a good overview of pop art collectors, see John Rublowsky, Pop Art (New York: Basic Books, 1965).



Articles appeared not only in Life, Time, and Newsweek, but also in magazines such as Vogue and Ladies

Home Journal.

Anonymous, You Bought It Now You Live with It: The Countrys Leading Collectors of Pop Art Enthusiastically

Fill Their Homes with It, Life (July 1965), p. 72.

10. 11.

Leon Kraushar, cited in ibid., p. 71. Francis V. OConnor, Notes on Patronage: The 1960s, Artforum, 11 (September 1972), p. 52. It is notewor-

thy, too, that although increasingly the desired product in the 1960s was American, the boom in art transcended national barriers. In 1975, as the Western economies slipped into the rst major postwar recession, New York Times critic John Russell reected on the economic conditions for art in the previous decade: That was the 1960s: a boom time for art. . . . There was so much to be done with art in the 1960s and so much money and so many reputations to be made out of it. There was the American market and there was the German market, and a Japanese market. Art was treasure quite literally and anyone who could produce it was hunted as the stag is hunted in the west of England. John Russell, Museum Shows of the 70s Will Have Less Art and More Content, New York Times, 18 August 1975, section 2, p. 19.

Harold Rosenberg, Adding Up: The Reign of the Art Market, in Rosenberg, Art on the Edge (Chicago: Uni-

versity of Chicago Press, 1975), p. 276.


Seth Siegelaub, interview with Patricia Norvell, 17 April 1969, in Alexander Alberro and Patricia Norvell, eds.,

Recording Conceptual Art (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001), p. 46.


Seth Siegelaub, in On Exhibitions and the World at Large, Seth Siegelaub in Conversation with Charles Har-

rison, September 1969, Studio International, 178:917 (December 1969); reprinted in Alexander Alberro and Blake Stimson, eds., Conceptual Art: A Critical Anthology (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1999), p. 199.

Steven W. Naifeh, Culture Making: Money, Success, and the New York Art World (Princeton, N.J.: History De-

partment of Princeton University, 1976), p. 96.


Harrison C. White and Cynthia A. White, Canvases and Careers: Institutional Change in the French Painting

World (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993).


The rug business was a partnership, entitled Seth Siegelaub and Robert Gaile Oriental Rugs. The partnership

with Robert Gaile (Robert Galek) began in late 1964. See letter to Joseph Kosofsky (11 December 1964) in SSARCH, Box 3, File 53. Siegelaubs partner soon departed as the Oriental rug business collapsed, leaving Siegelaub exclusively in the role of an art dealer.

For preparatory notes and press release to this show, see SSARCH, Box 3, File 62. The following artists were

featured in this exhibition: Pierre Clerk, Michael Eastman, Alfred Michael Iarusso, Herbert Livesey, Denis McCarthy, Lawrence Weiner, and Edward Whiteman.
19. 20.

Seth Siegelaub, in SSARCH, Box 3, File 61. Indeed, the happening, which ultimately turned out to be remarkably different from what Siegelaub described

to the Sculls, did receive a surprisingly broad coverage in the local press. Several newspapers (including the New York Times) noted the event, and in January 1965 John Wilcock of the Village Voice wrote that the most fascinating (and least noticed) opening of the season so far was that of Arni Hendin at the Siegelaub Gallery during Christmas week. John Wilcock, Whats Happening with Happenings, Village Voice, 21 January 1965, p. 2. Other reviews included New York Times, 6 December 1964; and an unidentied clipping in SSARCH, Box 3, File 61.


This point of view was at the time most commonly associated with the dealer Leo Castelli, identied in the New

notes to pages 813

York Times in 1966 as the Svengali of Pop Art. See Josh Greeneld, Sort of the Svengali of Pop, New York Times Magazine, 8 May 1966, p. 34. As Jasper Johns famously recalled in a 1970 interview with Emile De Antonio about his primary impetus for the prodution of Painted Bronze, 1960: I was doing at that time sculptures of small objectsashlights and light bulbs. Then I heard a story about Willem de Kooning. He was annoyed with my dealer, Leo Castelli, for some reason, and said something like, That son-of-a-bitch; you could give him two beer cans and he could sell them. I heard this and thought, What a sculpturetwo beer cans. It seemed to me to t in perfectly with what he was doing, so I did them and Leo sold them. Emile De Antonio, Painters Painting: The New York Art Scene 19401970 (1972; Montauk, N.Y.: Mystic Fire Video, 1989).

Allan Kaprow, The Legacy of Jackson Pollock, Art News, 57:6 (October 1958); reprinted in Jeff Kelley, ed.,

Essays on the Blurring of Art and Life: Allan Kaprow (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994), pp. 79.

Active spectatorship dominated the 1960s happenings of Kaprow, who mandated that everyone who attended

one of his events be literally a participant. As New York Times critic Brian ODoherty wrote in a review of Kaprows Push and Pull: A Furniture Comedy for Hans Hoffmann at the Santini Warehouse in Long Island City: Mr. Kaprow invites the participation of his fellow man. He (or they) can rearrange the rooms, re-create them, deface the walls, feel free to change to more appropriate clothes, relate to the environment in any positive or negative way. After years of ignoring the spectator, art apparently wants to make restitution. Brian ODoherty, Art: Furniture Comedy, New York Times, 19 April 1963, p. 40.

Sophie Burnham, The Art Crowd (New York: David McKay Company, 1973), p. 25. Note that these gures are

somewhat at odds with those of Steven Naifeh, who claims that there were 287 active galleries in New York City in 1970. Nevertheless, Naifehs account also indicates the proliferation of galleries in New York in the 1960s, from 154 in 1960, to 246 in 1965, to 287 at the end of the decade. See Naifeh, Culture Making, p. 96.

Kindly note my change of address from 16 West 56 street to 1100 Madison Avenue (82nd St.), his new form

letter stated. Along with this change is a change in status from a public gallery to a private dealer. Noting his change of address and status, his correspondence also promoted the artists he represented: I would like at this point to propose the work of Lawrence Weiner [and] Douglas Huebler, he wrote Dorothy Miller of the Museum of Modern Art. You had seen Mr. Weiners show at my gallery in November 1965, but the work has changed substantially since then. Mr. Hueblers work was seen by you (a small pink Formica piece) at my gallery when you were in to see Pierre Clerks show (April 1966). I would welcome the opportunity to show you both of these mens recent work at your earliest convenience. See letter to Dorothy Miller, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, dated 28 October 1966, in SSARCH, Box 3, File 53.
26. 27.

See Image. Art Programs for Industry, Inc. brochure, in SSARCH, Box 1, File 28. The premise here is that signiers and signieds that have been removed from context can be rejoined to other

similarly abstracted signiers and signieds to build new signs of identity. This is the heart of what Robert Goldman and Stephen Papson call the commodity sign machinea mercurial process of recombining meaning systems in order to generate additional value and desirability for brand-name commodities. See Robert Goldman and Stephen Papson, Sign Wars: The Cluttered Landscape of Advertising (New York: Guilford Press, 1996), pp. 58.

See C. Douglas Dillon, Cross-Cultural Communication through the Arts, Columbia Journal of World Business 175

(September-October 1971), pp. 3138; David Antin, Art and the Corporations, Art News (September 1971),


pp. 2225, 5255; George Dent, The Growing Corporate Investment in the Arts, Art News (January 1973), pp. 2125; Marylin Bender, Business Aids the Arts . . . And Itself, New York Times, 20 October 1974, section 3, pp. 1, 3.

Thomas Frank, The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism

(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997), pp. 2526: The 1960s were a time of revolution in American business, as they were in so many aspects of American life, an era that saw both the rise of market segmentation and a shift from a management culture that revered hierarchy and efciency to one that emphasized individualism and creativity. . . . Far from opposing the larger cultural revolution of those years, the business revolution paralleledand in some cases actually anticipatedthe impulses and new values associated with the counterculture.

Nina Kaiden, The New Collectors, in Artist and Advocate: An Essay on Corporate Patronage (New York: Re-

naissance Editions, 1967), p. 13.


John R. Bunting, president of the First Pennsylvania Corporation: To say that a corporation has a social con-

science is simply to say that it acts consistently from enlightened self-interest. As cited in Gideon Chagy, The New Patrons of the Arts (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1972), p. 59. Indeed, the rapidly emerging trend toward the involvement of corporations in the artsbetween 1965 and 1970 alone corporate support increased by 150 percent (Chagy, p. 15) led in 1967 to the creation by some of the most inuential U.S. business leaders of the Business Committee for the Arts, whose aim was to help stimulate corporate arts support. The committee was nanced by four major foundationsthe Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Ford Foundation, and Rockefeller Foundationin response to the Rockefeller Panel Report of 1965 (see following note).

The Rockefeller Panel Report was prepared by a group of thirty distinguished foundation executives, artists,

educators, editors, and corporate and labor ofcials, cooperating under the chairmanship of John D. Rockefeller III. Among other things, the panel examined the consequences of the decline of the traditional sources of patronage for the arts and the possibility of generating signicant support from Federal, state, and local governments and business corporations. For an outline of the Rockefeller Panel Report, see Chagy, The New Patrons of the Arts, pp. 4670. In its survey of actual and potential sources of support for the arts, the panel urged that corporations do more for the arts than they had in the past: Corporate dollars are important dollars, capable of making the difference between life or death for an arts organization. If business corporations have not done so, as most of them have not, the Panel urges that they look carefully at the arts and their place in the community. Support for the arts is a part of community responsibility, and a healthy cultural environment is clearly in the self-interest of the business community. Quoted in Chagy, p. 70.

As Chagy puts it in The New Patrons of the Arts, most businessmen acknowledge that art moves goods in the

marketplace (p. 38).


Pierre Bourdieu, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste, trans. Richard Nice (Cambridge,

Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1984), pp. 114116. Bourdieus concept of cultural capital covers a wide variety of resources, such as linguistic competence, erudition, grace, savoir faire, aesthetic preferences, scientic knowledge, and educational credentials. His point is to suggest that culture (in the broadest sense of the term) can become a currency deployed in power markets. Bourdieu directly applies this concept to corporations in Free Exchange (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1995), pp. 1619.

Jean Baudrillard, Sign Function in Class Logic (1969), in Baudrillard, For a Critique of the Political Economy

of the Sign, trans. Charles Levin (St. Louis: Telos Press, 1981), p. 38.

36. 37. 38.

Frank, The Conquest of Cool, passim. Siegelaub, interview with Norvell, in Alberro and Norvell, eds., Recording Conceptual Art, p. 38. The Laura Knott Gallery show ran from 4 February to 2 March 1968; the one at Windham College from 30 April

notes to pages 1320

to 31 May 1968. One of the people in the audience at the symposium that coincided with the exhibition at Bradford Junior College was the sculptor Chuck Ginnever, who was then teaching at Windham College. Ginnever invited Siegelaub to organize the second exhibition with the same three artists at his college.
39. 40.

Seth Siegelaub, The Enclosure, in SSARCH, Box 4, File 80. See Donald Judd, Specic Objects, Arts Yearbook, 8 (New York: Art Digest, 1965), reprinted in Judd, Com-

plete Writings, 19591975 (Halifax: Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design; New York: New York University Press, 1975), pp. 181189; and Robert Morris, Notes on Sculpture, Artforum, 4:6 (February 1966), pp. 4244, and Notes on Sculpture, Part 2, Artforum, 5:2 (October 1966), pp. 2023; both reprinted in Robert Morris, Continuous Project Altered Daily: The Writings of Robert Morris (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1993), pp. 18 and 1121, respectively.

Arthur R. Rose, Three since Windham, in SSARCH, Box 5, File 111. Emphasis mine. As it turns out, Arthur

R. Rose was a pseudonym of Joseph Kosuth. Needless to say, the Windham show was not the rst outdoor show. It was certainly preceded by Kaprows Yard (1961), which, as Robert Haywood shows, was one of the rst outdoor, nonillusionistic, antipictorial environmental pieces in the post-Pollock era in the United States. See Haywood, Critique of Instrumental Labor: Meyer Shapiros and Allan Kaprows Theory of Avant-Garde Art, in Benjamin H. D. Buchloh and Judith Rodenbeck, eds., Experiments in the Everyday: Allan Kaprow and Robert WattsEvents, Objects, Documents (New York: Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery of Columbia University, 1999), pp. 2746.

Siegelaub himself decided that he did not want to moderate this symposium, feeling that the organizational lo-

gistics alone were overwhelming. Weiner suggested that Dan Graham be asked to moderate the event. Graham had by that time achieved a considerable success as a young artist-critic, and his incisive brilliance in comprehending and articulating recent developments in art was widely respected among his peers. He had recently written a catalogue essay for Dan Flavins show at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and was a regular writer for journals such as Arts Magazine, Artforum, and Art and Artists.

Dan Graham, Windham College symposium, 30 April 1968, in LRLARCH. The concept of place in art dis-

course was in the 1960s associated primarily with Andre, who proposed that the course of development of modern sculpture went from sculpture as form, to sculpture as structure, to sculpture as place. Carl Andre, in David Bourdon, The Razed Sites of Carl Andre, Artforum, 5:2 (October 1966), p. 15.

Place means dening a eld, Graham writes in Subject Matter, as Andre actually did outdoors at Wind-

ham College in 1968, basing his unit of measured size and weight on the base product of the areabales of hay. . . . The eld is perceptual as it is specic (the literal area). It is a rule that things in the perceptual eld tend to be in contact with the ground (instead of in the air). Dan Graham, Subject Matter, in Endmoments (New York: Dan Graham, 1969); reprinted in Graham, Rock My Religion: Writings and Art Projects 19651990, ed. Brian Wallis (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1993), p. 39.

Andre explained: I selected hay because I had to work with materials that were available. It is rather materi177

alistic in the Marxian sense that you cant do something that does not exist for you. If you dont have control of the means


of production, you cant produce anything, so you have to nd the means of production that you can control. Hay was this means at Windham College. I always use particles, so a bale of hay was a particle of sufcient size to remain in a coherent array. Carl Andre, Windham College symposium, 30 April 1968, in LRLARCH.
46. 47. 48.

Carl Andre, in Phyllis Tuchman, An Interview with Carl Andre, Artforum, 8:10 (June 1970), p. 57. Dan Graham, in Anna Nosei Weber and Otto Hahn, La sda del sistema, Metro, 14 (June 1968), p. 52. Of course, a reference to farmed elds is signicantly different from a reference to the mass-produced com-

modity. My point, however, is that both deprivilege art to an unprecedented degree and deal with contemporary social reality on a larger level than is normally common for artworks. Yet, whenever his work was discussed in the context of pop art, Andre was at pains to make clear the differences between the two approaches. At Windham College, for instance, he stated: I believe in using the materials of the society in the form the society does not use them, whereas things like Pop Art use the forms of the society, but using different materials to make those forms. See Andre, Windham College symposium, in LRLARCH. Rather than the pop artists, Andre at the time cited Judd and Flavin as the artists with whom he felt aligned most absolutely in temperament. Andre, Bradford Junior College symposium, in LRLARCH.

Indeed, a good argument could be made that, more than pop and minimalism, it is European arte povera, with

its employment of common, inexpensive materials, that Andres Joint most closely parallels. For the beginnings of such a comparison, see Jean-Franois Chevrier, The Year 1967: From Objects to Public Things, or Variations on the Conquest of Space (Barcelona: Fundaci Antoni Tpies, 1997), pp. 155156.
50. 51.

Andre, Windham College symposium, in LRLARCH. As Benjamin Buchloh has noted, the condition of the work of art as the ultimate subject of a legal denition

had been anticipated in the 1910s by the readymades of Duchamp, and introduced for the rst time in 1944 when Duchamp hired a notary to inscribe a statement of authenticity on his 1919 L.H.O.O.Q., afrming that . . . this is to certify that this is the original ready-made L.H.O.O.Q. Paris 1919. See Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Conceptual Art 19621969: From the Aesthetic of Administration to the Critique of Institutions, in Claude Gintz et al., Lart conceptual: une perspective, exh. cat. (Paris: Muse dart moderne de la Ville de Paris, 1989), pp. 118119. Buchloh goes on to discuss how this same maneuver becomes one of the constituent features of subsequent development in Conceptual art, resurfacing in the early 1960s in the certicates issued by Piero Manzoni dening persons or partial persons as temporary or lifetime works of art, in Yves Kleins certicates assigning zones of immaterial pictorial sensibility to the various collectors who acquired them, and in Robert Morriss Document (Statement of Aesthetic Withdrawal) which legally voids the aesthetic content of a previous work by Morris entitled Litanies. Yet Buchloh stops this discussion at the work of Morris and does not explore the directions the employment of a legal certicate of authenticity (and later a contract) would take in the practices of Flavin, Andre, and, more importantly for conceptual art, the artists afliated with Siegelaub in the late 1960s.

During the Bradford Junior College symposium Andre was asked what was preventing someone who liked his

work from making an exact replica, and he replied in a way that reafrmed his works essentially private nature: You could copy one of my works very easily I am sure, but you would have to make sure that, like if you put your name or my name to one of your checks, you would have to make it clear to the bank that it was a forgery. Andre, Bradford Junior College symposium, in LRLARCH.

See Frank, The Conquest of Cool, esp. pp. 104130.

chapter two

art as idea

notes to pages 2228


Allan Kaprow, Pop Art: Past, Present and Future, Malahat Review, 3 (July 1967); reprinted in Carol Ann Mah-

sun, ed., Pop Art: The Critical Dialogue (Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1989), p. 68.

Joseph Kosuth, in Arthur R. Rose [pseud.], Four Interviews with Barry, Huebler, Kosuth, Weiner, Arts Mag-

azine, 43:4 (February 1969); reprinted in Gregory Battcock, ed., Idea Art: A Critical Anthology (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1973), p. 146.

Pierre Bourdieu, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste, trans. Richard Nice (Cambridge,

Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1984), p. 122.


For a full bibliography of Kosuths writings for Art Magazine, see Joseph Kosuth, Art after Philosophy and Af-

ter: Collected Writings, 19661990, ed. Gabriele Guercio (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1991), pp. 257258.

See Exhibitions: A Hint, a Shadow, a Clue, Time, 14 June 1968, p. 63; Howard Junker, The New Art: Its

Way, Way Out, Newsweek, 29 July 1968, pp. 5663.

6. 7. 8. 9.

Junker, The New Art: Its Way, Way Out, p. 61. Joseph Kosuth, interview with the author, 26 May 1994. The journal project collapsed after one issue. See Straight (New York), 1:1 (April 1968). The gallery was named after Lannis Louis Spencer, a cousin of Kosuths. Spencer arrived in New York in early

1967 with a great deal of money and wanted to open a poster gallery. Together with Kosuth and Kozlov, they found a medium-sized art deco space at 315 East 12th Street in New York. Kosuth and Kozlov persuaded Spencer to sponsor serious art shows; they would be responsible for the promotion and Spencer would provide the space. The gallery was named after Spencer for his material support. Joseph Kosuth, interview with author, 4 October 1993; and Christine Kozlov, interview with author, 2 February 1994.

See for example G[ordon] D. B[rown], Kosuth, Kozlov, Rinaldi, Rossi, Arts Magazine, 41:7 (May 1967),

p. 61; Lucy R. Lippard and John Chandler, The Dematerialization of Art, Art International, 12:2 (February 1968), p. 32.
11. 12.

Junker, The New Art: Its Way, Way Out, p. 56. B[rown], Kosuth, Kozlov, Rinaldi, Rossi, p. 61. This exhibition was entitled Non-Anthropomorphic Art by

Four Young Artists and featured the work of Kosuth, Kozlov, Michael Rinaldi, and Ernest Rossi.

Joseph Kosuth, in Patricia Ann Norvell, interview with Joseph Kosuth, 10 April 1969, Patricia Norvell Archives,

New York.

See the introduction to Non-Anthropomorphic Art by Four Young Artists, exh. cat. (New York: Lannis Gallery,

1967), n.p. This antisubjective, anti-anthropomorphic discourse was current in minimal art circles and had already been articulated by, among others, Carl Andre, Preface to Stripe Painting, in Dorothy C. Miller, Sixteen Americans, exh. cat. (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1959), p. 76; Susan Sontag, Against Interpretation (1964), in Against Interpretation and Other Essays (New York: Delta, 1967), pp. 314; Donald Judd, Specic Objects, (1965), reprinted in Judd, Complete Writings, 19591975 (Halifax: Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design; New York: New York University Press, 1975), pp. 181189; and Barbara Rose, ABC Art, Art in America, 53:5 (October/November 1965), reprinted in Gregory Battcock, ed., Minimal Art: A Critical Anthology (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1968), pp. 274297. 179

Christine Kozlov, in Non-Anthropomorphic Art by Four Young Artists, n.p.



In an obvious sense, Kozlovs pictorial operation parallels that of her then-neighbor and friend On Kawara, who

in January 1966 began a series of date paintings. Each of Kawaras paintings represents a single daythe one inscribed on the otherwise black monochrome canvas in white letters, numerals, and punctuation marks designated by the actual date on which the work was made. Supported on 2-inch-deep frames, the canvas is tucked around the sides and xed to the back, with both sides painted in acrylic. With some exceptions, each painting is kept in a specially made cardboard box. Often, part of a page, or sometimes an entire page, from the local daily newspaper is enclosed in the cardboard box. Similarly, in the Non-Anthropomorphic Art show Kozlov exhibited a piece consisting of a pile of calendar strips systematically canceled and arranged on a display table, and another for which a 16mm lm of all-white leader tape was exhibited, placed inside a lm canister with the lid removed.
17. 18. 19.

Dore Ashton, Kosuth: The Facts, Studio International, 179:919 (February 1970), p. 44. Kosuth, in Rose [pseud.], Four Interviews with Barry, Huebler, Kosuth, Weiner, p. 146. Italics mine. The rst sentence of Judds Specic Objects reads: Half of the best new work in the last few years has been

neither painting nor sculpture. See Judd, Specic Objects, p. 181. Judd declares in a 1964 interview: Im totally uninterested in European art and I think its over with. See Bruce Glaser, Questions to Stella and Judd, in Battcock, ed., Minimal Art: A Critical Anthology, p. 154.

Kosuth and Kozlov had changed the name of the Lannis Gallery to the Museum of Normal Art in the summer

of 1967.

As Kosuth put it in an early interview, I certainly came out of a painting and sculpture context, I never was a

poet, never wrote, and so for me words are just a media, but a transparent media. Kosuth, in Norvell, interview with Kosuth, 10 April 1969, Norvell Archives.

These things are thought laudable, agreeable, without much thought, wrote Judd in late 1964 about the

iconography employed by Lichtenstein, in a language that could easily have been used to describe the iconography Kosuth employed in his early photostats of dictionary denitions: No one pays much attention to them; probably no one is enthusiastic about one; there isnt anything there to dislike. They are pleasant, bland, empty. . . . The stuff just exists, not objectionably to many people, slightly agreeable to many. Basically, again, no one has thought about it. Its in limbo. Donald Judd, In the GalleriesRoy Lichtenstein, Arts Magazine (December 1964); reprinted in Judd, Complete Writings, 19591975, p. 146. Indeed, the same pleasant, bland, empty quality that Judd sees in Lichtensteins early paintings of comic strip characters is echoed in Kosuths photostats, where one of the earliest denitions is of the word empty, followed by nothing, black, white, gray, water, steam, and other terms that just exist, including what is arguably the epitome of banality, the denition of each of the four cardinal directions: north, south, east, west.

Moreover, Kosuth, like Warhol, was enthralled by Duchamps legacy and his persona of the dandy. In this con-

text it is revealing to note that Kosuth even went so far as to take the pseudonym Arthur R. Rose, echoing Duchamps Rrose Slavy.
24. 25. 26.

John Perreault, Art: Its Only Words, Village Voice, 20 May 1971, p. 24. Junker, The New Art: Its Way, Way Out, p. 57. See for instance Rose, ABC Art.


See Thierry de Duve, The Monochrome and the Blank Canvas, in Kant after Duchamp (Cambridge, Mass.:

notes to pages 2939

MIT Press, 1996), pp. 199279, esp. 244248.

28. 29.

Kosuth, interview with the author, 4 October 1993. Joseph Kosuth, in Jeanne Siegel, Joseph Kosuth: Art as Idea as Idea, WBAI-FM New York radio interview,

7 April 1970; published in Jeanne Siegel, Artwords: Discourse on the 60s and 70s (New York: Da Capo Press, 1985), p. 227.

This denition of seriality has its roots in the serial music of Arnold Schoenberg, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and

Pierre Boulez, and was articulated by Mel Bochner in 1967: Seriality is premised on the idea that the succession of terms (divisions) within a single work is based on a numerical or otherwise predetermined derivation (progression, permutation, rotation, reversal) from one or more of the preceding terms in that piece. Furthermore the idea is carried out to its logical conclusion, which, without adjustments based on taste or chance, is the work. Bochner, Serial Art, Systems, Solipsism, Arts Magazine, 41:8 (Summer 1967); reprinted in revised form in Battcock, ed., Minimal Art: A Critical Anthology, p. 100. Although Bochners article focuses on the work of Andre, Flavin, and LeWitt, the latter is singled out as the one who has most integrated these ideas of seriality (in part derived from a synthesis of the work of the former two) into his work. The result of work that in procedure, if not in results, . . . very closely resembles some contemporary serialist music, writes Bochner, is an interesting example of conceptual art. Bochner, Serial Art, Systems, Solipsism, Arts Magazine, 41:8 (Summer 1967), p. 42.

Sol LeWitt, Paragraphs on Conceptual Art, Artforum, 5:10 (Summer 1967); reprinted in Alexander Alberro

and Blake Stimson, eds., Conceptual Art: A Critical Anthology (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1999), pp. 12, 16.

Joseph Kosuth, Art after Philosophy III, Studio International, 178:917 (December 1969); reprinted in Ko-

suth, Art after Philosophy and After, p. 31.

33. 34. 35. 36.

Sol LeWitt, Serial Project No 1 (ABCD), Aspen, 56 (Fall-Winter 1967), n.p. LeWitt, Paragraphs on Conceptual Art, p. 13. Sol LeWitt, Serial Project No 1 (ABCD), n.p. The term text should be stressed, for it is essentially a substitution of text, or eld, for work, or object, that

is carried out by conceptual artists, marking a deep change in the way artists and audiences conceive of the properties and limits of the phenomena that comprise the domain of art. The text is thus dened as the system of codes coordinating the various propositions activated by the artistic gesture. The crucial essays here are by Roland Barthes. These include The Death of the Author, rst published in Aspen, 56 (Fall-Winter 1967), ed. Brian ODoherty, trans. Richard Howard, n.p., and subsequently in Roland Barthes, Image Music Text, trans. Stephen Heath (New York: Hill and Wang, 1977), pp. 142148; From Work to Text (1971), in Barthes, Image Music Text, pp. 155164; and Research: The Young (1972), in Barthes, The Rustle of Language, trans. Richard Howard (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989), pp. 6975. Note that the reception of the writings of Roland Barthes by New York artistis rst takes place through the pages of the journal Evergreen Review, which in the mid-1960s published several articles by the author in translation.

Sol LeWitt, interview with Patricia Norvell, 12 June 1969, in Alexander Alberro and Patricia Norvell, eds.,

Recording Conceptual Art (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001), pp. 121122. For an early account of the irrational dimension of LeWitts work, see Lippard and Chandler, The Dematerialization of Art, p. 32: Some of the most 181


rationally conceived art is visually non-sense. The extent to which rationality is taken can be so obsessive and so personal that rationality is nally subverted and the most conceptual art can take on an aura of the utmost irrationality. On the difference between rational and logical operations in LeWitts artistic practice see Rosalind Krauss, LeWitt in Progress (1977), in Krauss, The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1985), pp. 244258.

The transformation from an art that can be decoded to an art that does not serve any purpose of meaning, rep-

resentation, or signication, other than its proper operational functions, was best articulated by Barthes in Death of the Author, an essay written for the same issue of Aspen in which Sontags The Aesthetics of Silence, and LeWitts Serial Project No 1 (ABCD) rst appeared. In the multiplicity of writing, writes Barthes, everything is to be disentangled, nothing deciphered; the structure can be followed, run (like the thread of a stocking) at every point and at every level, but there is nothing beneath: the space of writing is to be ranged over, not pierced. Barthes, The Death of the Author, in Barthes, Image Music Text, p. 147.
39. 40.

Joseph Kosuth, in correspondence to Lucy R. Lippard, 13 May 1968, in LRLARCH. Ibid. It is in this context that statements by Kosuth such as the following to Lippard in 1968 gain resonance:

I consider my work art and have stated emphatically that they are not paintings or sculptures and have nothing to do with that specic history. Joseph Kosuth, in correspondence to Lucy R. Lippard, 6 May 1968, in LRLARCH.

Joseph Kosuth, in John Chandler, The Last Word in Graphic Art, Art International, 12:9 (November

1968), p. 26.
42. 43. 44.

Ibid. Kosuth, in correspondence to Lippard, 13 May 1968, in LRLARCH. Kosuth, in correspondence to Lippard, 6 May 1968, in LRLARCH. For Kosuth it was neither the act of com-

munication nor the material residue of a communication act but the idea communicated that was of utmost importance. At the same time, he explicitly stipulated that the idea had to be new. Art, he told Howard Junker, is a matter of doing what no one has done before. This pursuit of the new, of new ideas of art, was how Kosuth legitimated his work, and as the following statement makes plain, it was also the underpinning of his dictum Art as Idea as Idea: Art as idea was obvious; ideas or concepts as the work itself. But this is a reicationits using the idea as an object, to function within the prevailing formalist ideology of art. The addition of the second partArt as Idea as Ideaintended to suggest that the real creative process, and the radical shift, was in changing the idea of art itself. Junker, The New Art: Its Way, Way Out, p. 61.
45. 46. 47.

Kosuth, in Norvell, interview with Kosuth, 10 April 1969, Norvell Archives. Exhibitions: A Hint, a Shadow, a Clue, Time, 14 June 1968, p. 63. Ibid. John Powers, a Madison Avenue executive who became president of the Prentice-Hall publishing com-

pany, was a prolic collector of pop art.

48. 49. 50.

Junker, The New Art: Its Way, Way Out, p. 61. Junker: Museums practically pull contemporary work out of the studios. Ibid. Joseph Kosuth, Art after Philosophy I, Studio International, 178:915 (October 1969); reprinted in Kosuth,

Art after Philosophy and After, p. 23.


Jean Baudrillard, The System of Objects (1968; London: Verso, 1996), p. 166.


Joseph Kosuth, Lart de la prsentation (de lart), interview with Andr Ducret and Catherine Queloz, Archi-

notes to pages 3947

Bref (March 1985); reprinted in Joseph Kosuth, Joseph Kosuth: Interviews (Stuttgart: Patricia Schwarz, 1989), p. 78.
53. 54.

Kosuth, in Norvell, interview with Kosuth, 10 April 1969, Norvell Archives. Kosuth related this aspect of his activity to what he had learned from Reinhardt: What makes [Ad Reinhardt]

an artist isnt just that he painted black paintings. What those paintings mean is a product of his total signifying activity: lectures, panel discussions, The Rules For A New Academy, cartoons, and so forth. Our experience, and the meaning of that experience, is framed by language, by information. Seeing is not as simple as looking. Joseph Kosuth, in Jeanne Siegel, Joseph Kosuth: Art as Idea as Idea, pp. 228229.
55. 56.

Baudrillard, The System of Objects, p. 164. Kosuth was the Director of The Museum of Normal Art. Lannis Spencer was the Chairman. The Trustees

were Richard Bellamy, Dan Graham, Klaus Kertess, Kasper Knig, Christine Kozlov, Lucy Lippard, Michael Rinaldi, and John Weber.
57. 58.

Richard Bellamy, in Junker, The New Art: Its Way, Way Out, p. 61. Junker, The New Art: Its Way, Way Out, p. 61. The fear of a relationship being drawn between conceptual

art and drug culture was real. As one writer put it in 1969, The inuence of the drug culture on concept artists is conjectural but one knows that with the use of drugs the borders are erased and separate entities blend into each other. Color can be experienced as sound, sound as color and immovable objects as movable. The drug culture demands gratication now; no object is for the ages. An exploration of inner self with an almost religious fervor is stimulated by drug use. All are common to concept art. See Barbara Goldsmith, Where Is the Art? Join the Concept of the Month Club and Find Out, in LRLARCH.

Siegelaub had lobbied for the publication of the article in Arts Magazine later in 1968. Although a press re-

lease of the journal cited the article as forthcoming, Three since Windham was never published. For the press release see SSARCH, Box 5, File 111.

Arthur R. Rose [pseud.], Three since Windham, in SSARCH, Box 5, File 111. Note that this contradicts what

Andre said at Bradford about art being a way into the world of matter.
61. 62. 63.

Ibid. Ibid. On 29 November 1968 Siegelaub sent out a form letter to a wide array of critics, collectors, and dealers in the

New York City area announcing that he was planning to open a gallery from 5 January to 31 January 1969, featuring eight works from each of the following ve artists: Robert Barry, Douglas Huebler, Joseph Kosuth, Lawrence Weiner, and Ian Wilson. Continuing his recent practice of circumventing the established institutional structures of exhibition and distribution by which artistic products were conventionally displayed and disseminated, Siegelaub emphasized that the landmark exhibition he was organizing will be extensively catalogued. The show, he insisted, will be unique for a number of reasons, not least of which will be that the catalogue and the exhibition will articulate some basic ideas regarding conceptuality and immateriality. See Seth Siegelaub, letter to Patrick Lannan, 29 November 1968, in SSARCH, Box 5, File 108. In the end Wilson, whose work relied solely on language communicated through speech rather than in written form, was not included in the show: he and Siegelaub could not come to an agreement about how to present his work in a way 183 that did not privilege it over the other participants.


Siegelaub enlisted the help of another private New York dealer, Manuel Greer, to work out the logistics for the exhibition. Greer in turn informed one of the collectors whom he regularly dealt with, the New York City stockbroker Robert Topol, about the upcoming show, and on 18 December Topol informed Siegelaub and Greer that an acquaintance who owned a midtown ofce building had a space that was free for the month of January. The ofce space was located on 44 East 52nd Street, between Park and Madison avenues, and consisted of two rooms of equal size. The previous tenants had vacated the premises in haste in the rst weeks of December, and the new occupants would not be moving into the space until the beginning of February. This was precisely the type of exhibition space for which Siegelaub was searching, since it was completely outside the conventional institutional structures. Thus on 20 December a contract was drawn up renting the ofce space to Siegelaub and Greer for the month of January 1969. See contract between Seth Siegelaub, Manuel Greer, and James F. Mackin, signed 20 December 169, SSARCH, Box 5, File 108.
64. 65.

Kosuth, Art after Philosophy III, p. 31. Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore, The Medium Is the Massage (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1967),

p. 68.

For an overview of the phenomenon of works for magazine and newspaper pages, a quintessential concep-

tual art stratagem, see Anne Rorimer, Siting the Page: Exhibiting Works in PublicationsSome Examples of Conceptual Art in the USA, in Michael Newman and Jon Bird, Rewriting Conceptual Art (London: Reaktion Books, 1999), pp. 1126; and my A Media Art: Conceptual Art in Latin America, in ibid., 140151.

Lozano was concerned enough about Kosuths interest in her artistic ideas to put them down on paper in the

form of a letter (of 4 March 1968) to the artist, copied to Philip Leider and Lucy Lippard: Dear Joseph, This is to put in writing our several recent discussions concerning a particular idea I got on February 1, 1968. The idea, succinctly, is as follows: buy space in the publication of your choice . . . for the time duration of your choice. Use the space in each issue as a box for the idea or ideas of your choice. Part of the page of an art mag is as good a material for an artist to use as any other . . . , and your ideas, piggyback as they go, would have guaranteed, fast, wide distribution. Lee Lozano, correspondence with Joseph Kosuth, in LRLARCH. Lozano was at the time working closely with Graham, and their inuence was mutual.

The piece Existence, for example, was in four parts. The rst appeared in the New York Times on 5 January

1969 and read: I. Existence A. Being in the Abstract 1. Existence 2. Nonexistence The second part was published in the January 1969 issue of Museum News: B. Being in the Concrete 3. Substantiality 4. Unsubstantiality

The third part was inserted into the January 1969 issue of Artforum: C. Formal Existence 5. Intrinsicality 6. Extrinsicality And the fourth and nal part appeared in The Nation on 23 December 1968: D. Modal Existence 7. State 8. Circumstance

notes to pages 4755

The piece Time was in ve parts, published in ve different London newspapers on 27 December 1968: the Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Financial Times, the Daily Express, and the Observer.
69. 70.

Kosuth, in Norvell, interview with Kosuth, 10 April 1969, Norvell Archives. Joseph Kosuth, as cited by David L. Shirey, in Impossible ArtWhat Is It?, Art in America, 57:3 (May/June

1969), p. 41.

Joseph Kosuth, in Konrad Fischer and Hans Strelow, Prospect 69, exh. cat. (Dsseldorf: Dsseldorf Kunst-

halle, 1969), p. 27. Kosuth continues: Anyway, the investigation 2 series is about a two or three year project consisting of 43 works with 190 separate sections. . . . On a specic level these works deal with every aspect of mans cognizance, at leastinterestingly enoughin a practical and ordinary linguistic sense.

Kosuth: The rst Art as Idea as Idea seriesthe blow-ups of dictionary denitionsbegan to disturb me in

their iconic nature, not in a visual sense because I had successfully resolved that, but in the sense of a single, isolated iconic idea, with amplied boundaries, and a beginning and an ending. . . . So later I tried to neutralize this iconic quality. I rst began this in the second investigation, The Synopsis of Categories, which was in 1968. In this work I used as a form of presentation whatever was the normal information or advertising media for that societysuch as newspaper, magazine, subway, bus and billboard advertising, or handbills, or television, and so on. It was anonymous of course, so that meaning was dependent on, rst, certain situations we could refer to as cultural functions and, secondly, an understanding (whenever it comes) of the conceptual nature of art. See Joseph Kosuth, Introduction to The Sixth Investigation 1969, Proposition 14, exh. cat. (Cologne: Gerd de Vries, 1971); reprinted as Context Text, in Kosuth, Art after Philosophy and After, p. 87.

Kosuth, in Norvell, interview with Kosuth, 10 April 1969, Norvell Archives.


primary and secondary information


Robert Barry, interview with Patricia Norvell, 30 May 1969, in Alexander Alberro and Patricia Norvell, eds.,

Recording Conceptual Art (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001), p. 97.


Seth Siegelaub, interview with Patricia Norvell, in Alberro and Norvell, eds., Recording Conceptual Art, 185

pp. 3334.



Seth Siegelaub, in On Exhibitions and the World at Large, Seth Siegelaub in Conversation with Charles Harri-

son, September 1969, Studio International, 178:917 (December 1969); reprinted in Alexander Alberro and Blake Stimson, eds., Conceptual Art: A Critical Anthology (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1999), p. 199. Italics in the original. Note that this was a self-interview orchestrated by Siegelaub. Harrison appears in name alone; Siegelaub framed all of the questions and answers. Charles Harrison, in conversation with author, 4 February 1994.
4. 5.

Siegelaub, interview with Norvell, in Alberro and Norvell, eds., Recording Conceptual Art, p. 34. Seth Siegelaub, from Elayne Varian, interview with Seth Siegelaub, June 1969. Tape recording in Finch College

Museum of Art papers, Archives of American Art, Washington. Siegelaub continues: Sol LeWitt refers to this distinction between the art and its presentation as the difference between content and form. And were just beginning to understand that content is one thing, and the form is something else.
6. 7.

Ibid. Seth Siegelaub, from Ursula Meyer, interview with Seth Siegelaub, November 1969, in LRLARCH. Segments of

this interview were published in Lucy R. Lippard, Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object from 1966 to 1972 (1973; Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996), pp. 124126.

Siegelaub: Communication relates to art three ways. 1. Artists knowing what other artists are doing. 2. The art

community knowing what artists are doing. 3. The world knowing what artists are doing. Perhaps it is cynical, but I tend to think that art is for artists. No one gets turned on by art as artists do. Of course, a persons approach to an artists work is necessarily subjective. This is where I come in. The point is to objectify the work of the artist. And that is a question of numbers. Its my concern to make it known to the multitudes. Siegelaub interview with Ursula Meyer, November 1969, in Lippard, Six Years, p. 124. (Italics mine.)

chapter three

locations, variables, and durations


Douglas Huebler, from Artists & Photographs (New York: Multiples, Inc., 1970); reprinted in Ursula Meyer, Con-

ceptual Art (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1972), p. 137.


The most signicant exhibition at Seth Siegelaub Contemporary Art, the 25 show (126 March 1966),

included works by John Chamberlain, Joseph Cornell, Willem de Kooning, Phillip Guston, Al Held, Hans Hofmann, Ellsworth Kelly, Franz Kline, Martin Maloney, Robert Motherwell, Louise Nevelson, Barnett Newman, George Ortman, Jackson Pollock, Kenneth Price, Ad Reinhardt, David Smith, Jack Tworkov, Lawrence Weiner, Adja Yunkers, and Larry Zox. Dore Ashton, who was evidently impressed by Siegelaubs entrepreneurial spirit, helped the young dealer to prepare this show. Ashton seems to have taught Siegelaub about the logistics of organizing a show of such caliber, for it was an unqualied success. With unprecedented attendance and several signicant sales, this exhibition elevated the visibility and reputation of Siegelaubs gallery.

Douglas Huebler, interview with Patricia Norvell, 25 July 1969, in Alexander Alberro and Patricia Norvell, eds.,

Recording Conceptual Art (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001), p. 136.


Douglas Huebler, statement, in Kynaston Mcshine, Primary Structures, exh. cat. (New York: Jewish Museum,

27 April12 June 1966), n.p. In this connection it is interesting to note that Dan Flavin wrote in the same year about the

way his uorescent lamps lack the look of history. See Dan Flavin, Some Remarks . . . Excerpts from a Spleenish Journal, Artforum, 5:4 (December 1966), p. 27.

notes to pages 5665

Douglas Huebler, in Ruth K. Meyer, Doug Huebler: An Interview, Part 1, Ohio Arts Journal (March-April

1981), p. 14.
6. 7. 8. 9.

Douglas Huebler, interview with the author, 9 February 1993. Douglas Huebler, correspondence with Seth Siegelaub, 17 February 1966, in SSARCH, Box 5, File 118. Ibid., 7 March 1966. By this time, Huebler had been formally asked by McShine to exhibit a 40 x 40-inch sculpture from the artists

so-called Bradford Series in Primary Structures, which opened later that year. He had also been invited to exhibit one of his works in the 1966 Annual Exhibition of Sculpture and Prints at the Whitney Museum of American Art. It is therefore not surprising that Siegelaub was interested in representing Huebler, whose work he was promoting already by April 1966. See SSARCH, Box 5, File 118.
10. 11. 12.

Huebler, interview with Norvell, in Alberro and Norvell, eds., Recording Conceptual Art, pp. 136137. Seth Siegelaub, The Role of the Frame, in SSARCH, Box 4, File 80. Samuel Wagstaff Jr., Talking with Tony Smith, in Gregory Battcock, ed., Minimal Art: A Critical Anthology

(New York: E. P. Dutton, 1968), p. 386.


By the end of the year Heizer had, according to Howard Junker writing in the Saturday Evening Post, moved

12 tons of dirt, and carved the mud ats of Nevada and California with 20 negative objects, including one 520-mile series of holes linking eight dry lakes. Howard Junker, The New Sculpture: Getting Down to the Nitty-Gritty, Saturday Evening Post, 2 November 1968, p. 42.

When Oppenheim rolled up the fence at the end of the season, the eld was marked by huge bare spots, in-

dentations, bringing to mind the cuts Andre had made into the gallery in the previous years with his peculiar deployment of rebricks. But for Oppenheim the photographs taken at the end of the growing season were secondary to the work. My feeling, he explained to Roy Bongartz of the New York Times Magazine in early 1970, was that the experience of directing the harvest was the main work, not the pictures. See New York Times Magazine, 1 February 1970, p. 27. According to Oppenheim, then, the piece was the actual performance of and chronicling of a system, in which every step of the process was considered equal. Not surprisingly, when asked in a discussion with Heizer and Robert Smithson to identify some of the major inuences on his work, Oppenheim singled out Andres concept of sculpture as place and LeWitts concern with systems as opposed to the manual making and placement of object art as having had the greatest impact on his work. See Robert Smithson, Discussions with Heizer, Oppenheim, Smithson (fall 1970), in The Writings of Robert Smithson, ed. Nancy Holt (New York: New York University Press, 1979), p. 174.

New Yorks Feigen Gallery featured Christos work in the exhibition Macrostructures, and Dan Graham

included a photograph of Christos Lower Manhattan Packed Buildings (1964) in a review of the Feigen show and two other recent exhibitions. See Dan Graham, Models and Monuments: The Plague of Architecture, Arts Magazine, 41:5 (March 1967), p. 32. Furthermore, in The Dematerialization of Art, Lippard and Chandler reproduced an image of Christos proposal to wrap the National Gallery of Rome both inside and out with heavy brown tarpaulins (Lucy R. Lippard and John Chandler, The Dematerialization of Art, Art International, 12:2 [February 1968], p. 32). Later in 1968 Christo wrapped 187 the Kunsthalle in Bern, Switzerland, an activity that he was to repeat several times in the following years.



Of course, these projects seem to have been completely anticipated by Claes Oldenburgs monumental pro-

posals of the 1960s that were in many instances impossible to produce or realize.
17. 18.

Huebler, interview with Norvell, in Alberro and Norvell, eds., Recording Conceptual Art, p. 137. See for instance Douglas Huebler, interview with Irmeline Lebeer, in Chroniques de lart vivant, 38 (April 1973),

pp. 2123; and Huebler, interview with Norvell, in Alberro and Norvell, eds., Recording Conceptual Art, pp. 135141.

Huebler on various occasions referred to the parallels between his work and that of Robbe-Grillet. See Doug-

las Huebler in Time, a symposium at the New York Shakespeare Theater, moderated by Seth Siegelaub and including Carl Andre, Michael Cain, and Ian Wilson. Tape recording in LRLARCH. Some (edited) excerpts of this discussion appear in Lucy R. Lippard, Time: A Panel Discussion, Art International, 13:9 (November 1969), p. 22. Also see Douglas Huebler, in Ruth K. Meyer, Doug Huebler: An Interview, Part II, Ohio Arts Journal (May-June 1981), p. 15.

Klaus Honnef, Introduction, trans. John Anthony Thwaites, in Douglas Huebler, exh. cat. (Mnster: West-

flischer Kunstverein, 1972), p. 8.


Douglas Huebler, in Elaine A. King, Douglas Huebler. 10+, exh. cat. (Evanston: Dittmar Memorial Gallery,

1980), n.p.

Fredric Jameson, Periodizing the 60s, in Sohnya Sayres et al., eds., The 60s without Apology (Minneapolis:

University of Minnesota Press, 1984); reprinted in Fredric Jameson, The Ideologies of Theory: Essays 19711986, vol. 2, Syntax of History (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988), p. 197. Jameson acknowledges Jorge Luis Borges for this image.

In this regard, Hueblers new works successfully presented time-motion without anything actually moving,

as Lippard and Chandler put it in 1968 when describing the operation of the serial structures of another contemporary artist, Sol LeWitt. See Lippard and Chandler, The Dematerialization of Art, p. 31.
24. 25.

Douglas Huebler, letter to Seth Siegelaub, undated, spring 1968. SSARCH, Box 5, le 118. Huebler in fact was at the time quite explicit about the mechanized procedure he employed to make photo-

graphs and described it in terms of a shift in focus away from the photographic object (as source and locus of meaning) to the overarching system or idea that regulates the work: Of course, by making a dot on a map, you really are covering perhaps twenty or forty square feet, or circular feet. And theres no proof that when you get there youre pointing your camera, or putting that marker on the exact spot, which is of course part of the point too. It doesnt matter, you see; it doesnt matter. It could have been three feet over, or you could have miscalculated just because your pencil was too thick, you know. Any number of things. So what it nally comes back to is the idea of these locations, the idea of the system. Huebler, interview with Norvell, in Alberro and Norvell, eds., Recording Conceptual Art, p. 139.

Douglas Huebler, in Arthur R. Rose [pseud.], Four Interviews with Barry, Huebler, Kosuth, Weiner, Arts Mag-

azine, 43:4 (February 1969); reprinted in Gregory Battcock, ed., Idea Art: A Critical Anthology (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1973), p. 144.

Robert Smithson, in Paul Cummings, Interview with Robert Smithson for the Archives of American Art/ Smith-

sonian Institute. July 14 and 19, 1972, published in The Writings of Robert Smithson, p. 155.

The descriptive passage read as follows: On October 22, 1968 a small quantity of dirt was removed from each

of the ve sites (each being located approximately 1.33 miles from a central point on the Windham College campus) and

then mixed with an epoxy composition that was cured to nally form a wedge shape. In turn the ve wedges so formed were placed together in such a manner as to describe a small pentagonal shape that was exactly similar to the shape created by sites A B C D E. That object, two maps locating A B C D E and ve Polaroid photographs of the site formed the presentation of the piece that was located at the central point (Windham College). Approximately one month later the wedges were returned to the earth and the maps, photographs and this statement constitute the completed work. See Douglas Huebler, in Meyer, Doug Huebler: An Interview, Part 1, p. 14.

notes to pages 6572

As is well known, in Art and Objecthood Fried warned about the emergence in the 1960s of a condition,

which he termed theatricality, that threw the idea that an artwork could offer an experience transcending the material conditions of its existence irrevocably into a distant and irretrievable past. Michael Fried, Art and Objecthood, Artforum, 5:10 (June 1967), pp. 1223; reprinted in Battcock, ed., Minimal Art: A Critical Anthology, pp. 116147.

The archi-trace, according to Derrida, is an erasure of the present and thus of the subject, of that which is

proper to the subject. . . . The concept of a . . . subject necessarily refers to the concept of substanceand thus of presenceout of which it is born. See Jacques Derrida, Freud and the Scene of Writing (1967), in Writing and Difference, trans. Alan Bass (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978), p. 229.

This view of the operation of Smithsons work is indebted to Craig Owenss Earthwords, October, 10 (Fall

1979); republished in Scott Bryson, Barbara Kruger, et al., eds., Craig Owens. Beyond Recognition: Representation, Power, Culture (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992), pp. 4051.

Douglas Huebler, from Conversation between Douglas Huebler and Donald Burgy, Bradford, Massachu-

setts, October 1971, in LRLARCH. Some (edited) excerpts of this discussion appear in Lucy R. Lippard, Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object from 1966 to 1972 (1973; Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996), pp. 250252.

Douglas Huebler, in Michael Auping, Talking with Douglas Huebler, LAICA Journal, 15 (July-August 1977),

p. 41.

In particular I am referring to Frieds concept of pure presentness, which aimed to ground the advanced

visual arts in an autonomy of vision that appears as if instantaneously present, suspending notions of time and space. This is a continuation of the late modernist paradigm, especially insofar as the purported aim was to uncover and display the conditions of vision itself by paring away everything extraneous to vision, separating the visual domain from the other senses.

Douglas Huebler, in Harald Szeemann, Live in Your Head: When Attitudes Become Form, exh. cat. (Bern:

Kunsthalle Bern, 1969), n.p.

36. 37.

Huebler, in Auping, Talking with Douglas Huebler, pp. 37, 4041. Seth Siegelaub, memo dated 25 June 1968, in SSARCH, Box 5, File 118: In October 1968, Douglas Huebler

will have an exhibition of the site sculptures. The exhibition will consist of eight sculptures located on as many sites, situated in the Eastern half of the United States. The exhibition will be seen by travelling from one site to another. The exhibition will be extensively documented with a catalogue (to be published in conjunction with the exhibition in October) which will contain photographs and other documents pertinent to each sculpture, with appropriate credit to the collector or institution that has commissioned each sculpture. . . . Each sculpture will be made specically for each site. It 189


will be unique and immovable. In each case Mr. Huebler will have to see the specic site to determine how it will be dealt with. The site will to a great extent, determine the nature and size (and cost) of each sculpture.

The works, ten in all, were to be distinguished according to Site Types, of which Siegelaub provided a list:

Flat grass site; Road site; Thick wooded site; Water site; City site; and so on. The targeted patrons were informed that a number of works were still available, as only the pieces on the 2 mile diameter site, the 90 foot slope site, and the thick wooded site had been sold. In fact, none of these works had been sold. As will become clear in the following pages, this strategy of conveying misleading information about the availability of works by artists he represented was a marketing ploy that Siegelaub would use repeatedly in the next few years.

On top of that, there would be a at rate of $750 for the artists time and concept. Seth Siegelaub, memo dated

25 June 1968, in SSARCH, Box 5, File 118.


Seth Siegelaub, form letter dated 8 July 1968, in SSARCH, Box 5, File 118. The letters were sent to six col-

lectors, including J. Patrick Lannan, John Powers, Albert A. List, Burton G. Tremaine, Howard Lipman, and Stephen Paine. Siegelaub: This information has been compiled to function as an offer to sell the sculpture.

Raymond Dirks was a young stockbroker who underwrote many of the projects organized by Siegelaub. Not

really an art collector, he seems to have provided money at crucial moments in order to be part of the scene in which Siegelaub and the artists afliated with him maneuvered.

Seth Siegelaub, in On Exhibitions and the World at Large, Seth Siegelaub in Conversation with Charles Har-

rison, September 1969, Studio International, 178:917 (December 1969); reprinted in Alexander Alberro and Blake Stimson, eds., Conceptual Art: A Critical Anthology (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1999), p. 199.

These works were begun in 1965 and include Scheme (1965), Schema (March 1966) (1966), Homes for

America (19661967), Figurative (1967), Side Effect/Common Drug (1968), and Detumescence (1969). The historical signicance of Grahams magazine pieces was rst addressed by Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Moments of History in the Work of Dan Graham, in Dan Graham: Articles (Eindhoven: Van Abbemuseum, 1978), pp. 7378; reprinted in Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Neo-Avantgarde and Culture Industry: Essays on European and American Art from 1955 to 1975 (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2000), pp. 179201. See also Anne Rorimer, Dan Graham: An Introduction, in Anne Rorimer, Building and Signs, exh. cat. (Chicago: Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, 1981), p. 5.

In an important sense the strategy Graham employs is inconceivable without the immediate precedent of the

investigations of reductivism and site specicity in the work of artists such as Dan Flavin, Robert Morris, and Hans Haacke. From this perspective, Graham problematized the development of site specicity and turned the discussion to questions of where and how the work is read, to whom it is addressed, and within which social context it functions. The reconguration of public space reected in Grahams magazine pieces was informed by pop artists of the early 1960s, and in particular Ed Ruschas strategy, employed in such works as Twenty-six Gasoline Stations (1962), Some Los Angeles Apartments (1965), and Every Building on Sunset Strip (1966), of making the distribution form the works point of departure.

To supplement the information presented in the catalogue, what Siegelaub referred to in the memo of 25 June

as the relevant documents to certify ownership, the latter drew up a certicate of ownership which read:

I, Douglas Huebler, hereby certify that the piece known as _________, located on the property of _________ or _________ or _________, located _________ miles, _________ degrees from _________ Bradford, the place of the artists residence (at the time of execution of the piece). Attached also nd pertinent information that will permanently document the existence of the piece: 1) Photographs, 2) Map, 3) Drawings, 4) Receipt for cost of the piece. Signed ___________ Notarized ____________

notes to pages 7375

See SSARCH, Box 5, File 118.


The possibility of the documentation replacing or becoming the work was a controversial one that divided

artists at the time. Some, such as Oppenheim, were completely dismissive of the role of documentation, and saw it as entirely separate from the artistic process to the extent that persons other than the artist should perform it. Others, such as Robert Morris, were more ambivalent and saw the photograph as having a more metonymic function, as being one small part of the entire work. For yet others, and here we can cite LeWitt, the documents were an integral part of the whole artistic process. For Huebler, though, the documents carried the idea. For a more in-depth discussion of the role of documentation in conceptual art see my At the Threshold of Art as Information, in Alberro and Norvell, eds., Recording Conceptual Art, pp. 115.

Douglas Huebler, in Konrad Fischer and Hans Strelow, Prospect 69, exh. cat. (Dsseldorf: Dsseldorf Kunst-

halle, 1969), p. 26.


Douglas Huebler in Art without Space, symposium at WBAI-FM New York, moderated by Seth Siegelaub

and including Robert Barry, Joseph Kosuth, and Lawrence Weiner, 2 November 1969; transcript in LRLARCH. It took several years for this point of view to emerge. In the mid-1960s, Flavins lamps were criticized precisely for this reason. See Jacob Grossbergs and David Bourdons reviews of Flavins Green Gallery show, 18 November12 December 1964, cited in James Meyer, Minimalism: Art and Polemics in the Sixties (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001), p. 106. Hueblers and Grahams conceptual reading of Flavin and Andre shows a sympathy for their practice that many critics at the time lacked. On the other hand, the reading of their work as conceptual was not one that Flavin or Andre would have liked either.

Siegelaub, in On Exhibitions and the World at Large, Seth Siegelaub in conversation with Charles Harrison,

p. 200.

For Huebler, the question was one of viability. Some of the pieces I made that summer, he noted with hind-

sight, were so unlike anything Id ever seen that I worried that Seth might regard them as so absurd that hed call off the whole project. I knew of no criteria by which to judge what I was doing, no way to know if the work was good, bad, indifferent, or even if it could be regarded as Art. I was just being swept along by one idea after another that I wanted to try out, and hoped that Seth would go along. As it turned out he did, and I think that summer proved to be a real education for both of us. Douglas Huebler, in Frederic Paul, Truro, Massachusetts, October 1114, 1992. Frederic Paul and Douglas Huebler, in Douglas Huebler. Variable, etc., exh. cat. (Limoges: F.R.A.C. Limousin, 1993), p. 127.

See Seth Siegelaub, as quoted by Jack Burnham, Alices Head: Reections of Conceptual Art, Artforum, 8:6

(February 1970), p. 39. Siegelaubs notion of the groundbreaking aspects of his collaboration with Huebler can be understood by introducing the contents of a letter he sent to New York Times columnist Grace Glueck on 12 September 191


1968: This coming November I will be organizing a one-man exhibition of the recent work of Douglas Huebler. The show will consist of primarily outdoor pieces running along the East Coast of the United States. Some of the pieces will be inter-city. For the exhibition I will be publishing an extensive catalog to document the existence of the work. (There will be a number of works in New York City.) This will be the rst time that an exhibition has been treated on such a broad scale, and the implications of the work will be very important in the future. Seth Siegelaub, letter to Grace Glueck, 12 September 1968, in SSARCH, Box 5, File 118.

Thus for example catalogue no. 14 was an isometric drawing of a 2 1/2-inch-square plane drawn and described

as straightforwardly as possible. Even a somewhat more complex drawing, catalogue no. 12, was presented in an extremely matter-of-fact way. It was made up of four horizontal bands of vertical lines, eight in each band, and simply described as Top Row: The ends of eight 1 lines positioned at 90 degrees to the picture plane; 2nd row: eight 1 lines positioned at 30 degrees to the picture plane; 3rd row: eight 1 lines positioned at 60 degrees to the picture plane; Bottom row: eight 1 lines positioned on the surface of the picture plane.

Huebler refers to Cage as his soulmate in his interview with Norvell, in Alberro and Norvell, eds., Recording

Conceptual Art, p. 145.


The photographs, numbered from one to twelve, are presented in the catalogue with a brief description: Doc-

umentation: 12 photographs each 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 (Photographed at 2 minute intervals). Collection: Mr. Raymond L. Dirks, N.Y. Placed on a black background and arranged in three rows of four, they chart the disintegration of the line of sand on the highway as cars go by, until there is virtually no trace of it in the twelfth and nal picture.
55. 56.

Douglas Huebler, in Marian Goodman, Artists and Photographs, exh. cat. (New York: Multiples, 1969), n.p. Huebler, in Fischer and Strelow, Prospect 69, p. 26: The photographs really are documents and as such have

no function as representations. They complete and complement the language of the statement.
57. 58.

Huebler, in Rose [pseud.], Four Interviews with Barry, Huebler, Kosuth, Weiner, p. 144. Four maps of midtown Manhattan, each equal in size, were traced in ink onto paper (13 x 12 inches). Below

the maps, under the heading Site Sculpture Project / New York Variable Piece #1, were the following specications hand-written in capital letters: 1. All sites shown as located in Manhattan. 2. A 3 B 3 C 3 D 3markers placed on automobiles and trucks thereby being carried into random and horizontal directions. 3. A 2 B 2 C 2 D 2markers placed in static and permanent location. 4. A1 B1 C1 D1markers placed in elevators thereby being carried into random and vertical directions. At the top of the page of the catalogue, below the title, appears the information that the sixteen markers employed to carry out this work are 1 x 5/8-inch oval stickers made of fabric.

Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Andy Warhols One-Dimensional Art: 19561966, in Kynaston McShine, ed.,

Andy Warhol: A Retrospective, exh. cat. (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1989), p. 45; reprinted (slightly modied) in Buchloh, Neo-Avantgarde and Culture Industry, p. 485.

See Huebler, in Meyer, Doug Huebler: An Interview, Part 1, p. 15: The intention of the work has never re-

ally been properly understood in that it serves as a possibility for action or interaction between the artist and percipient through the mediation of the piece itself. . . . Somewhere in between those two thingsthe art content or the cultural context and the social or real contexta third kind of discourse or dialectic is produced that IS the content of the work.


Douglas Huebler, in C. C. Cook, Douglas Huebler, exh. cat. (Andover, Mass.: Addison Gallery of American Art,

notes to pages 75 86

1970), n.p.

Huebler, from Conversation between Douglas Huebler and Donald Burgy, Bradford, Massachusetts, Octo-

ber 1971, in LRLARCH.

63. 64.

Huebler, in Meyer, Doug Huebler: An Interview, Part II, p. 15. Clement Greenberg, introduction to Three New American Painters: Louis, Noland, Olitski, exh. cat. (Regina,

Saskatchewan: Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery, 1963), reprinted in Clement Greenberg: The Collected Essays and Criticism, vol. 4: Modernism with a Vengeance, 19571969, ed. John OBrian (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993), p. 153.

As Huebler puts it in Auping, Talking with Douglas Huebler, p. 41: My basic concern, and I would call it

conceptual in this sense, is to point out that there is an equation built, as Ive been saying, between the perceived image or sign and the language that directs your attention to the sign. Whether the sign is a photograph, a dot on a page, a series of photographs or a series of dots or lines, it doesnt matter. There is a relationship between the visual and the cultural, the language. These signs are givens.

Douglas Huebler, as quoted in Lucy R. Lippard, Everything about Everything, Art News, 71 (December

1972), p. 29.

Roland Barthes, Musica Practica (1970), in Barthes, Image Music Text, trans. Stephen Heath (New York:

Hill and Wang, 1977), p. 153: Just as the reading of the modern text (such at least as it may be postulated) consists not in receiving, in knowing or in feeling that text, but in writing it anew, in crossing its writing with a fresh inscription, so too reading this Beethoven is to operate his music, to draw it (it is willing to be drawn) into an unknown praxis. The artist, Huebler wrote in another context, sets the language of his work but need not designate its meaning. Douglas Huebler, in Cook, Douglas Huebler, n.p.
68. 69.

Huebler, interview with Norvell, in Alberro and Norvell, eds., Recording Conceptual Art, p. 152. Seth Siegelaub, from Ursula Meyer, interview with Seth Siegelaub, November 1969, in LRLARCH.

chapter four

the linguistic turn


Lawrence Weiner, interview with Patricia Norvell, 3 June 1969, in Alexander Alberro and Patricia Norvell, eds.,

Recording Conceptual Art (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001), p. 136.


Weiner had two one-person shows of his paintings at Seth Siegelaub Contemporary Art:

10 November5 December 1964, and 227 November 1965.


See for instance Harold Rosenberg, The American Action Painters, Art News (Decem-

ber 1952), pp. 2223, 4850.

4. 5.

Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore, The Medium Is the Massage (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1967), p. 16. As one critic put it in what is clearly a reference to the similarities between Weiners and Lichtensteins paint-

ings of the same period: Weiners attack is rather like that of an abstract comic strip artist. Michael Benedikt, New York Letter, Art International, 10:1 (January 1966), p. 87. 193

Lawrence Weiner, in Willoughby Sharp, Lawrence Weiner at Amsterdam, Avalanche, 4 (Spring 1972), p. 67.



Donald Judd, In the Galleries, Arts Magazine (November 1963); reprinted in Judd, Complete Writings,

19591975 (Halifax: Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design; New York: New York University Press, 1975), p. 101.
8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

McLuhan and Fiore, The Medium Is the Massage, p. 63. Ibid., p. 22. Ibid., p. 53. Douglas Huebler, in Michael Auping, Talking with Douglas Huebler, LAICA Journal, 15 (July-August 1977), p. 37. Weiner, interview with Norvell, in Alberro and Norvell, eds., Recording Conceptual Art, p. 101. In this sense, Weiners Staples, Stakes, Twine, Turf is a prime example of the type of work that depends on

the beholder, is incomplete without him . . . has been waiting for him . . . refuses, obstinately, to let him alone, as Michael Fried disparagingly described minimal art a few months earlier in Art and Objecthood, Artforum, 5:10 (June 1967), p. 21.
14. 15.

Weiner, interview with Norvell, in Alberro and Norvell, eds., Recording Conceptual Art, p. 105. The generative role of the title also characterized key works of postminimalism at the time. As with the work

Weiner began in 1968, postminimalist works such as Richard Serras Verb List, 19671968, also speak of a materials manipulation in time.

The sticker Turf, Stake, and String was inserted into S.M.S. (New York), no. 5 (1968), n.p., with the words

handwritten on a grid pattern. A brief instructional text encouraged the magazine reader to remove the Kleen-stik covering and adhere the sticker to any vertical surface.

The schematic use of typographical design resonates with McLuhan and Fiores contemporary theories of lan-

guage. As the authors observe in The Medium Is the Massage, the introduction of the phonetic alphabet, a medium that depends solely on the eye for comprehension . . . , is a construct of fragmental bits and parts which have no semantic meaning in themselves, and which must be strung together in a line, bead-like, and in a prescribed order. Its use fostered and encouraged the habit of perceiving all environment in visual and spatial termsparticularly in terms of a space and of a time that are uniform (p. 44).

Thus, for example, a two inch wide one foot deep trench cut across a standard one car driveway; one hole

in the ground approximately one foot by one foot by one foot. one gallon water base white paint poured into this hole; one aerosol can of enamel sprayed to conclusion directly upon the oor are specic statements. On the other hand, an amount of paint poured directly upon the oor and allowed to dry; a removal to the lathing or support wall of plaster or wall board from a wall; a eld cratered by structured simultaneous tnt explosions are general statements.

The ambiguity would soon also be played out in translation from one language to another. As he explained in

an early interview, gummiball (rubber ball in German) differs from rubber ball in English, and a shallow trench in fteen different countries means fteen different things. And yet its still a shallow trench. White paint in France looks completely different than white paint in Germany. They use different pigments, different bases, but its still white paint. So the language, really, in my eyes, helps to get away from this thing of what something should look like and just deals with it as a general thing. Weiner, interview with Norvell, in Alberro and Norvell, eds., Recording Conceptual Art, p. 107.

John Anthony Thwaites, Lawrence Weiner: An Interview and an Interpretation, Art and Artists, 7 (August

1972), p. 23.


Here one might recall the type of differential play, the syntax or logic of gural displacement that Jacques Der-

notes to pages 86100

rida discerned in the poetry of Stphane Mallarm. Writing about a short prose text by Mallarm Mimique, Derrida notes, The temporal and textual structure of the thing (what shall we call it?) presents itself, for the time being, thus: a mimodrama takes place, as a gestural writing, preceded by no booklet; a preface is planned and then written after the event to precede a booklet written after the fact, reecting the mimodrama rather than programming it. Jacques Derrida, The Double Session (1970), in Dissemination, trans. Barbara Johnson (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981), p. 199. In other words, Derrida presents Mallarms writings as the site of a series of textual displacements, complications, and swerves from origin that make it impossible to know for sure which came rst, the mimic performance that was ostensibly at the origin of his account, or the writing that seems to invent that performance in the very act of recollecting it. In an important way, this notion of a writing that pays maximum regard to syntax, pressing the signifying potential of language to a point where it exceeds a logocentric order of meaning or truth, and where writing acquires the kind of spatial quality possessed by various forms of hieroglyphic or ideogrammic script, parallels what I am arguing is one of the key dimensions of Weiners work.

The parallel here is to a metaphor Roland Barthes employs in The Death of the Author to elucidate

(post)structuralist analysis: everything is to be distinguished but nothing deciphered; structure can be threaded (like a stocking that has a run) in all its recurrences and all its stages. Barthes, The Death of the Author (1967), in Barthes, Image Music Text, trans. Stephen Heath (New York: Hill and Wang, 1977), p. 147.

Douglas Huebler, in Ruth K. Meyer, Doug Huebler: An Interview, Part 1, Ohio Arts Journal (March-April

1981), p. 15.
24. 25.

Lawrence Weiner, in January 531, 1969, exh. cat. (New York: Seth Siegelaub, 1969), n.p. Weiner repeatedly emphasized this characteristic of his work in the late 1960s. For instance, in the interview

with Norvell, he states: I want the art to be accessible. . . . See, the price becomes almost unimportant because all the arts given away when you think about it. I go through a lot of trouble to get things published all the time. So the pieces are published, the information is public, anybody that really is excited can make a reproduction. So in fact, the art is all freehold. Weiner, interview with Norvell, in Alberro and Norvell, eds., Recording Conceptual Art, p. 104.

In his interview with Norvell, Weiner explicitly noted that the transformation of the execution into part of the

representation was primarily motivated by an attempt to negate traditional concepts of the unique object and artist from the art discourse: In the utilization of just natural materials, standard process materials and standard natural resources, I can help eliminate the unique object. I can even eliminate the unique artist. Ibid., p. 107.

See Brian ODoherty, The Gallery as a Gesture, Artforum, 20:4 (December 1981), pp. 2534; and ODoherty,

Inside the White Cube: The Ideology of the Gallery Space (1986; Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999).

Only a couple of years earlier, Roland Barthes theorized (and called for) this transition from author to reader

in The Death of the Author: The birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the Author (p. 148).

Kosuth for instance explicitly acknowledged at the time that the ownership of his work was extremely difcult

to enforce: The new work is not connected with a precious objectits accessible to as many people as are interested. . . . It can be dealt with by being torn out of its publication and inserted into a notebook or stapled to the wallor not torn out at allbut any such decision is unrelated to the art. Joseph Kosuth, in Arthur R. Rose [pseud.], Four In195


terviews with Barry, Huebler, Kosuth, Weiner, Arts Magazine, 43:4 (February 1969); reprinted in Gregory Battcock, ed., Idea Art: A Critical Anthology (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1973), pp. 145146.

chapter five



Robert Barry, interview with Patricia Norvell, in Alexander Alberro and Patricia Norvell, eds., Recording Con-

ceptual Art (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001), p. 93.


Eight Young Artists, at the Hudson River Museum from 11 to 25 October 1964, also featured work by Carl

Andre, Walter Darby Bannard, Robert Huot, Patricia Johanson, Antoni Milkowski, Douglas Ohlson, and Terrence Syverson. See Eugene C. Goossen, Eight Young Artists, exh. cat. (Yonkers, N.Y.: Hudson River Museum, 1964). Barry had met Newman in the early 1960s through Tony Smith, the formers M.F.A. advisor at Hunter College.

Elisabeth Stevens, Art News, 63:4 (November 1964), p. 53. The show, at the Westerly Gallery in New York City,

ran from 6 to 24 October 1964.

4. 5. 6. 7.

Lawrence Alloway, Background to Systemic, Art News, 65:6 (October 1966), p. 33. Ibid., p. 32. Sol LeWitt, interview with Patricia Norvell, in Alberro and Norvell, eds., Recording Conceptual Art, p. 113. Orange Edges was rst exhibited in the show titled Distillation, curated by Eugene Goossen for the Tibor

de Nagy and Stable galleries in 1966.

8. 9.

Eugene C. Goossen, Distillation: A Joint Showing, Artforum, 5:3 (November 1966), p. 33. Michael Fried, Three American Painters: Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, Frank Stella (Cambridge, Mass.: Fogg

Art Museum, 1965), p. 40: [The] rst black paintings . . . amounted to the most extreme statement yet made advocating the importance of the literal character of the picture-support for the determination of the pictorial structure.
10. 11.

The show took place in the Stephen Radich Gallery. Siegelaub had in fact met Barry a few years earlier. In the fall of 1964 when Barry had his rst one-person show

at the Westerly Gallery on 56th Street in New York, he had stopped by Seth Siegelaub Contemporary Art and introduced himself to Siegelaub.
12. 13. 14.

Robert Barry, interview with the author, 15 October 1992. Robert Barry, Bradford Junior College symposium, 8 February 1968, in LRLARCH. For example, one sculpture made for an interior space consisted of four bright red plastic cubes (one foot on

a side) forming a 20 x 20-foot eld. Others were much larger and were explicitly meant for an exterior space. One of these was made of four white plaster blocks (5 x 5 x 5 feet) arranged in a large square format (75 x 75 feet) in a broad, level, open expanse of land.

One of the sculptures, for instance, featured a block placed in each of the four corners of the exhibition room,

and others presented blocks placed a few feet from each corner.

See Robert Morris, Notes on Sculpture, Artforum, 4:6 (February 1966); reprinted in Morris, Continuous Proj-

ect Altered Daily: The Writings of Robert Morris (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1993), pp. 68.


This is Robert Morriss idea, introduced in Notes on Sculpture, 1966, and Notes on Sculpture, Part 2, 1966,

notes to pages 102114

both reprinted in Morris, Continuous Project Altered Daily, pp. 18 and 1121, respectively.

Barry has since discussed the way in which this painting accented the structural support: My idea of paint-

ing was that those yellow squares, being put on the wall as delineating a virtual square or rectangle, were involving the wall itself within the piece and, in this sense, compared to what is usually a work of art, a painting, this piece was somehow reversing the usual terms of the esthetic proposition. Usually, you see the painting and you ignore the wall. Here you had the wall coming through the paintingand the painting itself, the painted pieces, become a standpoint to make the wall appear. See Robert Barry, in Ren Denizot, Discussion: Ren Denizot, Robert Barry, Its about time/Il est temps (Paris: Yvon Lambert, 1980), p. 9. Indeed, a preoccupation with the delimiting structure of the frame characterized much of Barrys work of the late 1960s, as it did the work of Huebler and Weiner. Questioned, for example, during the Bradford symposium about the nature of his work and the primary concerns that it sought to address, Barry singled out the idea of extending the parameters of art beyond the frame: I try to deal with things that maybe other people havent thought about, emptiness, making a painting that isnt a painting, or that deals with the wall around the painting. For years people have been concerned with what goes on inside the frame. Well maybe there is something going on outside the frame that could be considered as an artistic idea. Barry, Bradford Junior College symposium, in LRLARCH.

In turn, the paintings generated a reconsideration of the traditions of viewing and reading works of art, and

questioned the notion that genuine art objects were in and of themselves complete, as Fried would assert in his attack on minimalism in 1967. See Michael Fried, Art and Objecthood, Artforum, 5:10 (June 1967), pp. 1223; slightly revised version in Gregory Battcock, ed., Minimal Art: A Critical Anthology (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1968), pp. 116147.
20. 21. 22. 23. 24.

Robert Barry, in Robin White, Interview with Robert Barry, View, 1:2 (May 1978), p. 4. Ibid. Once the leader had fully run through the projector, Barry would leave it on for another minute, empty. Barry, Bradford Junior College symposium, in LRLARCH. Barry described his untitled piece at Windham College in the context of his lms: When I made movies, he

explained, I tried to use the auditorium and the darkness and the sound of the projector. They were an integral part of my movies. . . . Here, . . . I wanted to use the land, circle it in some way, emphasize it, create something in proportion to the buildings around it, to the piece of land itself. Robert Barry, Windham College symposium, 30 April 1968, in LRLARCH.
25. 26.

Ibid. The work was thus purely invisible. As Barry explained, the only way it could be detected was with the aid of

a radio: The wires were so thin and were in certain places stretched so high above the ground that it was virtually impossible to see themor to photograph them. And from that I went to things that could be neither seen nor perceived in any way. . . . I guess it was the rst invisible art. It could not be perceived directly. Barry, Bradford Junior College symposium, in LRLARCH.

Robert Barry, in Ursula Meyer, Conversation with Robert Barry, 12 October 1969, in Meyer, Conceptual Art

(New York: E. P. Dutton, 1972), pp. 3638. 197



Robert Barry, in Arthur R. Rose [pseud.], Four Interviews with Barry, Huebler, Kosuth, Weiner, Arts Maga-

zine, 43:4 (February 1969); reprinted in Gregory Battcock, ed., Idea Art: A Critical Anthology (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1973), p. 142.

A case in point is Outdoor Monolament Installation (1968), which consists of 65 feet by 43 feet of nylon

monolament fastened to a large white house and surrounding trees on the property of the collectors, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Topol of Mamaroneck, New York.

Robert Barry, in Rose [pseud.], Four Interviews with Barry, Huebler, Kosuth, Weiner, p. 142. The dimen-

sions of this object were recorded in the catalogue in meters, megacycles, and watts: 10 meters; 28 megacycles; 180 watts.
31. 32.

Barry, in Meyer, Conversation with Robert Barry, 12 October 1969, p. 37. Barry exhibited an even more unconventional piece, 0.5 Microcurie Radiation Installation, which consisted

of a small amount of barium 133 buried in Central Park, New York, on 5 January 1969. Barium 133, a radioactive isotope, slowly decays and emits radiation over time. According to the amount of barium 133 employed, the piece was deemed to have a duration of approximately ten years, even though the work would continue to emit smaller amounts of radiation into the atmosphere for much longer. As Barry explained to the critic Ursula Meyer later in 1969: Radiation waves are way up in the upper echelon of the electromagnetic wave spectrum; they are much shorter than light waves. Light will stop at the wall. Radiation will go right through it. A radioactive isotope is an articial material. It has what they call Zero timebeautiful expression! That is the time when it is created. On the label of the small plastic vial in which it is contained, its Zero time is printed. From that moment on it starts losing its energy. Now the half-life in this particular case was ten years, which means that every ten years its energy is decreased by half; but it goes on to innity, it never goes to nothing. Some isotopes have a half-life of a millionth of a second, some have a half-life of four billion years and some of fteen minutes: i.e., every fteen minutes the energy is halved. But it never goes out of existence. They are perfectly harmless. A world of things can be done with this incredible material. And it is just letting them do what they are supposed to do. You cannot change a carrier or radiation wave; you can only know what it is supposed to do and let it do it. Thats enough. Barry, in Meyer, Conversation with Robert Barry, 12 October 1969, p. 38.

Carl Andre, in Phyllis Tuchman, An Interview with Carl Andre, Artforum, 8:10 (June 1970), pp. 5960: I

dont think of them as at. I think, in a sense, that each piece supports a column of air that extends to the top of the atmosphere. Theyre zones. I hardly think of them as at, any more than one would consider a country at, just because if you look at it on a map it appears at. Again, obviously, they are at but, thats curious, I dont think of them as being at.

On 3 March 1969 Barry and the patron went to a scientic supply shop and bought one liter of argon and one

of krypton, then traveled to an undesignated site and released the gases. The next day the two repeated the procedure, this time with one liter of xenon, and on 5 March they released one cubic foot of helium.

Talking about this exhibition and the unusual materials employed, Barry said: I chose to work with inert gas

because there was not the constant presence of a small object or device that produced the art. Inert gas is a material that is imperceivableit does not combine with any other element. . . . It goes from measured volume to indenite expansion. . . . It continues to expand forever in the atmosphere, constantly changing and it does all of this without anybody being able to see it. Barry, in Meyer, Conversation with Robert Barry, 12 October 1969, pp. 3839. Barry continues: In the desert we released all kinds of gases: Neon and xenon, the so-called noble gases. The gas is purchased in gas

asks or tanks. The label on the Pyrex ask might read 2 liter Xenonyet you see nothing. You have to trust the manufacturer. When we released a tank in the desertin the middle of nowhereit made a whistling sound. Thats all we know about its being there (p. 39).

notes to pages 114 120

As Barry explained to Norvell, you see, I sort of allow photographs because they sort of prove the point that

there was nothing to photograph. Barry, interview with Norvell, in Alberro and Norvell, eds., Recording Conceptual Art, p. 91. It should be stressed, however, that Barry did not allow any photographs to be shown in the initial exhibition of the series.

See Seth Siegelaub, organizational notes for the Robert Barry/Inert Gas Series/April 1969 exhibition, in

SSARCH, Box 5, File 117. Six hundred posters were mailed.


Such advertising is egalitarian, not privileging any particular consumers. The editor of the trade journal Ad-

vertising Age sheds light on the ideological underpinnings of the democratic dimension of advertising: Ive always felt that advertising is one of the greatest democratizers our society has ever known, for it brings the masses information on new products and services formerly reserved for an elite. . . . What some critics object to, Ive discovered, is not advertising itself but the fact that it enables everyone to have access to the same information, thereby breaking down one more barrier between the great unwashed and the self-proclaimed chosen few. Rance Crain, Advertising: The Brick and Mortar of Our Economy, Advertising Age, 30 April 1980, p. 1.

Baudrillard argues that spendingshoppingelevates the commodity form into sign value. Consumer ob-

jects can then create needs in advance of the consumers awareness of a need. See Jean Baudrillard, For a Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign, trans. Charles Levin (St. Louis: Telos Press, 1981), esp. pp. 204212.

Jean Baudrillard, Beyond the Vanishing Point of Art (1988), in Paul Taylor, ed., Post-Pop Art (Cambridge,

Mass.: MIT Press, 1989), p. 178.

41. 42. 43.

Ibid., p. 173. Barbara Rose, Why Read Art Criticism?, New York, 3 March 1969, pp. 4445. Harold Rosenberg, Adding Up: The Reign of the Art Market, in Rosenberg, Art on the Edge (Chicago: Uni-

versity of Chicago Press, 1975), p. 276.


That there is a true conceptual art, as opposed to derivative work with conceptual aspects, has been most per-

suasively articulated by Charles Harrison in Conceptual Art and the Suppression of the Beholder, in Harrison, Essays on Art & Language (1991; Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2001), pp. 2962. Harrison identies genuine conceptual art as critical Conceptual art, as against post-Minimal art with conceptual aspects. The latter is described as a branch of the various anti-formal tendencies of the later 1960s that relaxed the ontological limits of art associated with the dominant art-critical regime of modernism. Art of this sort, Harrison argues, was a secondary consequence to minimalisms qualitative shift away from the prioritization of painting and sculpture in modernism to objects, and subsequently, to postobjects. Furthermore, the beholder of postminimalist conceptual art was reduced to witnessing passively the artists speculations and concepts, and was thereby disempowered to an unprecedented degree. This leads Harrison to maintain that the aesthetic objects of postminimalism were subject to even more sophisticated forms of mystication than the typical late modernist art objects. In contrast, critical Conceptual art (by which Harrison primarily means the work of Art & Language) was not a consequence of minimalist theory, but rather a different response to the conditions minimalism had ad199 dressed. Like minimalism, critical conceptual art realized that if the historicist tendency of modernism was to be opposed,


the competencies of the privileged beholder (i.e., the adequately sensitive, adequately informed, spectator) posited by modernism would have to be challenged. This challenge was to be mounted, according to Harrison, by breaching the division between producers and explainers. Rather than produce an idea object as postminimalism had done, the task for critical conceptual art was to puzzle discursively at the consequences and implications of abandoning the object altogether. While I do not necessarily want to take issue with most of what Harrison says about Art & Language (though I do disagree with the claim that the practice of Art & Language was a development parallel rather than subsequent to minimalism), I would argue that what he groups under the rubric of post-Minimal Conceptual art was in fact a broader and more diverse range of artistic strategies and practices than can be encompassed by a single category. Furthermore, such monolithic denitions of postminimalist conceptualism, combined with the emphasis placed on the mediation of minimalism by this conceptualist tendency, lead to formulations of the status of the art object and the role of the beholder in conceptual art that in their narrowness are unable to take into account the equally important impact of other art movements of the 1960s on conceptualism.


artists rights and product management

1. 2. 3.

Lucy Lippard, from Ursula Meyer, interview with Lucy Lippard, December 1969, LRLARCH. Barbara Rose, Why Read Art Criticism?, New York, 3 March 1969, p. 44. Gregory Battcock, Painting Is Obsolete, New York Free Press, 23 January 1969; reprinted in Alexander Al-

berro and Blake Stimson, eds., Conceptual Art: A Critical Anthology (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1999), p. 88.
4. 5.

Ibid. Emphasis in the original. Lucy R. Lippard, Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object from 1966 to 1972 (1973; Berkeley: Uni-

versity of California Press, 1996), p. 263.


The 1968 Venice Biennial and the Documenta exhibition in Kassel, West Germany, that same year were met

with unprecedentedly large protests. For reports on these protests, see Joseph James Akston, Editorial, Arts Magazine, 43:1 (September-October 1968), p. 5; and Lil Picard, Protest and Rebellion, Arts Magazine, 44:7 (May 1970), pp. 1824.

Two days following the confrontation of 3 January 1969, Takis and his cohorts met with several other interested

artists and critics (including Battcock) in the downtown loft of the young art critic Willoughby Sharp. The group decided to petition others to join them in another action at the museum if their request for an open hearing was not promptly heeded. Meetings were then held every few days, and the faction grew exponentially. Lowry agreed to meet with six representatives of the swelling movement later that month. In the days prior to the meeting, the artists and critics augmented Takiss four complaints into Thirteen Demands, expanding the conict beyond the specic incident between Takis and the Museum of Modern Art to the general state of relations between artists and museums. It was around these Thirteen Demands that the soon-to-be-named Art Workers Coalition (AWC) was formed. For the Thirteen Demands, as submitted to Bates Lowry on 28 January 1969, see Press Release: Artists Protest against Museum of Modern Art, 14 March 1969, signed by Carl Andre, Hans Haacke, and Tom Lloyd, in Hans Haacke Archives, Art Workers Coalition le.


Many in the growing movement sensed that one of the museums greatest fears was a prolonged sit-in by the

notes to pages 123128

artists. Given what had happened in the wake of the large student sit-in at Columbia the previous spring, the perils of a similar chain of events at the museum appeared to be great. As one observer noted at the time, last years demonstrations in the universities may take place this year in the museums. . . . No one should be surprised if the museums do become such targets, though it is to be hoped for that works of art will not be damaged. Alex Gross, Artists Attack MOMA, East Village Other, 24 January 1969; reprinted in Art Workers Coalition, Documents, 1 (New York: Art Workers Coalition, 1969), p. 11.

The Art Workers Coalition began a concerted campaign to inform artists about these events, and about the

crucial importance of their coming together around these issues. Thus, for example, when Siegelaub, as moderator of a March 1969 symposium at the New York Shakespeare Festival Theater (organized for the Student Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam) entitled Time, asked Andre to begin the discussion, the latter responded with a plea to fellow artists to join him in the creation of a new artists guild: I think that its time that artists got together to recognize their social power and social worth. I urge you all to consider joining together with a group of concerned artists called the Art Workers Coalition that has already started to act so they can inuence their own destinies rather than be subject to the cultural institutions of our society. Every artist moans about the way hes treated, and if we moan together maybe some of the noise will be heard. Thats the time I feel most strongly right now. Carl Andre, in Time, a symposium at the New York Shakespeare Theater, moderated by Seth Siegelaub and including Carl Andre, Michael Cain, Douglas Huebler, and Ian Wilson. Tape recording in LRLARCH. Some (edited) excerpts of this discussion appear in Lucy R. Lippard, Time: A Panel Discussion, Art International, 13:9 (November 1969), p. 20. Kosuth, who was by this time on the faculty of the SVA, was the intermediary between the AWC and Rhodes. That very month, Kosuth employed essentially the same medium of offset printing Siegelaub was using for the exhibition and dissemination of the works of the artists associated with him to produce a replica of the MoMAs annual pass. Multiple copies of the fake membership card were printed and openly distributed by Art Workers in front of the museum as an act of agitation.

The yer announcing the meeting, written, published, and widely distributed by the Public Hearing Commit-

tee of the Art Workers Coalition, stated that every art worker who wishes to air his views will be permitted to make a statement of his attitudes and complaints about all art institutions and conditions. Open Hearing yer, reprinted in Art Workers Coalition, An Open Hearing (New York: Art Workers Coalition, 1969), n.p. Emphasis in the original.
11. 12.

Gregory Battcock, in Art Workers Coalition, An Open Hearing, n.p. Ibid. The very deployment of negation in art was thus theorized as political, insofar as it was meant to suggest

and register the profound complicity of cultural institutions in the Vietnam War as a defense of Western values: something that also presupposes a high level of investment in ofcial culture and high cultures inuential status in society as an extension of state power.
13. 14.

Seth Siegelaub, in Art Workers Coalition, An Open Hearing, n.p. As Kosuth asserted at the time, The new work is not connected with the precious objectits accessible to

as many people as are interested. Kosuth, in Arthur R. Rose [pseud.], Four Interviews with Barry, Huebler, Kosuth, Weiner, Arts Magazine, 43:4 (February 1969); reprinted in Gregory Battcock, ed., Idea Art: A Critical Anthology (New 201 York: E. P. Dutton, 1973), p. 146.



Seth Siegelaub, interview with Patricia Norvell, in Alexander Alberro and Patricia Norvell, eds., Recording Con-

ceptual Art (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001), pp. 39, 40.

Open Hearing yer, reprinted in Art Workers Coalition, An Open Hearing, n.p. Emphasis in the original.

chapter six

the xerox degree of art


Douglas Huebler, statement in Seth Siegelaub, January 531, 1969, exh. cat. (New York: Seth Siegelaub,

1969), n.p.

Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore, The Medium Is the Massage (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1967),

p. 123.
3. 4.

See Artforum, 7:3 (November 1968), p. 8. See The Xerox Book, also known as Carl Andre, Robert Barry, Douglas Huebler, Joseph Kosuth, Sol LeWitt,

Robert Morris, Lawrence Weiner (New York: Seth Siegelaub & John Wendler, 1968).

To that extent, The Xerox Book performs three decades later many of the issues central to Walter Benjamins

The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (1936). In this seminal essay Benjamin unreservedly celebrates the available technology capable of enabling art to be truly democratized and made accessible to the masses. He remains ambivalent about one crucial issue, however, which is the necessary loss of the aura of authenticity that occurs in the process of mechanized reproduction. Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (1936), in Benjamin, Illuminations, ed. Hannah Arendt (New York: Schocken, 1968), pp. 217251.

As they note, Authorshipin the sense we know it today, individual intellectual effort related to the book as

an economic commoditywas practically unknown before the advent of print technology. . . . The invention of printing did away with anonymity, fostering ideas of literary fame and the habit of considering intellectual effort as private property. McLuhan and Fiore, The Medium Is the Massage, p. 122.

Bochner titled the photocopied working drawings Working Drawings and Other Visible Things on Paper Not

Necessarily Meant to Be Viewed as Art. They were rst exhibited 223 December 1966 at the Visual Arts Gallery, The School of Visual Arts, New York. See James Meyer, The Second Degree: Working Drawings and Other Visible Things on Paper Not Necessarily Meant to Be Viewed as Art, in Mel Bochner: Thought Made Visible 19661973 (New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 1996), pp. 95106. The Working Drawings project was recently documented in an edition published on the occasion of the exhibition Mel Bochner: Projets ltude: 19661996 at the Cabinet des estampes du Muse dart et dhistoire, Geneva (27 February13 April 1997).

Besides copies of artists drawings, Bochners Working Drawings and Other Visible Things on Paper Not Nec-

essarily Meant to Be Viewed as Art included photocopied plans of the Visual Arts Gallery and a blueprint of the Xerox machine used.

Bochner also used the technology of the duplicating machine as a conceptual component of his Working Draw-

ings installation at the Visual Arts Gallery. However, all of the copies were made by himindeed, most of the artists participating in the installation were not aware that their drawings would be duplicated. Furthermore, whereas Bochners multiples (four identical volumes) remained part of an installation, The Xerox Book did not exist as an installation but was explicitly made to be circulated.


According to Siegelaub, this meant involving the use of the procedure of xerography in the communication

notes to pages 128 140

of art. See Seth Siegelaub, letter to Louis Kellner, 9 September 1968, in SSARCH, Box 5, File 110.
11. 12.

See Seth Siegelaub, memorandum dated 22 November 1968, in SSARCH, Box 5, File 110. Siegelaub, memorandum dated 22 November 1968, in SSARCH, Box 5, File 110; and McLuhan and Fiore,

The Medium Is the Massage, p. 123.


Seth Siegelaub, interview with Patricia Norvell, in Alexander Alberro and Patricia Norvell, eds., Recording Con-

ceptual Art (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001), p. 39.


On 14 November Siegelaub wrote a letter to the head of the public relations department at the Xerox Corpo-

ration outlining the project and requesting that the Corporation cover the printing costs. We are presently in the process of producing a book which will be printed by your Xerox Systems Center in New York City, wrote Siegelaub. The book consists of 25 drawings from each of 7 major contemporary American artists, and will be printed in a xerox/offset process. The book implicitly deals with standard Xerox reproduction in the context of a valid ne art medium. The book will be distributed to Museums, Universities and Art Institutions throughout the world. Seth Siegelaub, letter to Mr. A. Zipser, Public Relations Department, Xerox Corporation, 14 November 1968, in SSARCH, Box 5, File 110.
15. 16.

The initial Scatter Piece (1967) was made of small identical plastic blocks. As was the case with his earlier scatter pieces, Andres project for The Xerox Book completely devalued a

single position or xed point of view, functioning instead, to quote Graham once again, in an inverse relation to the tradition of pictorial linear perspective where the eye (from a xed viewing position) penetrates inside the frame continuously to reach the vanishing point at the core of the picture. Dan Graham, Carl Andre, Arts Magazine, 42:3 (December 1967/January 1968), p. 35. Of course, the impulse that culminated in Andres scatter pieces begins with Mallarms Un coup de ds jamais nabolira le hasard (1897), Duchamps Three Standard Stoppages (1913), and the collages Jean Arp produced in the mid-1910s according to the laws of chance.

Morriss piece in this catalogue-exhibition also employed the principle of serial repetition, but it did not put into

practice a temporal dimension such as governed Barrys One Million Dots. Morris used twenty-ve identical reproductions of a photograph of the planet Earth from outer space. In the deadpan serial repetition there is no development of form (in terms of line, shape, color relationships, and so on); no conventional linear part-by-part reading logic from one image to another or from one page to another; no hierarchy of versions or order of facts or ideas within versions.

As LeWitt proclaimed in the text that accompanied his rst serial work, the artist follows his predetermined

premise to its conclusion avoiding subjectivity. Chance, taste, or unconsciously remembered forms . . . play no part in the outcome. The serial artist does not attempt to produce a beautiful or mysterious object but functions merely as a clerk cataloguing the results of his premise. Sol LeWitt, Serial Project No 1 (ABCD), Aspen, 56 (Fall-Winter 1967), n.p.

The number one was a vertical line, two a horizontal line, three a diagonal right to left, and four a diagonal left

to right
20. 21.

Siegelaub, interview with Norvell, in Alberro and Norvell, eds., Recording Conceptual Art, p. 42. For instance, ten of the drawings consisted of two dots, A and B, a few inches apart and midway up the page.

Visually, the ten drawings appeared identical. But the captions below described them differently. In one case the caption read: A represents a point located 1,000,000,000 miles behind the picture plane. B represents a point located one inch 203 behind the picture plane. The drawing thus brought language into visual experience and recognized the primary role


language plays in constructing experience, especially when compared to visuality. The potential of language to open the work up to a large number of people was further amplied by the translation into three languages.

See Sol LeWitt, All Wall Drawings, Arts Magazine, 46:4 (February 1972), pp. 3944. The instructions I cite

are from the wall drawing made for the Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, January 1970, as cited on p. 40.

Lawrence Weiner, interview with Patricia Norvell, in Alberro and Norvell, eds., Recording Conceptual Art,

pp. 104105.
24. 25. 26.

Ibid., p. 105. Ibid., p. 102. See LeWitt, Serial Project No 1 (ABCD), n.p. One could also draw an interesting link between Kosuths work

for The Xerox Book and Robert Morriss Card File (1962). Like Kosuths work for The Xerox Book which employs the record of an activity, the mere notation of materials, as the work itself, Morriss Card File consists of a le of index cards on which all of the steps, materials, and events that were integral to the production of this object were meticulously recorded.
27. 28.

McLuhan and Fiore, The Medium Is the Massage, p. 123. Writers and media theorists as diverse as Marshall McLuhan and Hans Magnus Enzensberger acknowledged

the importance of the photocopy machine in the 1960s. See Enzensbergers Constituents of a Theory of the Media (1970), in Enzensberger, The Consciousness Industry: On Literature, Politics and the Media (New York: Seabury Press, 1974), pp. 95128.

Seth Siegelaub, from Ursula Meyer, interview with Seth Siegelaub, November 1969, in LRLARCH. Siegelaub

continues later in the interview: My interest in art transcends the present establishments limited art collectors scope of communications. . . . For me power is not recorded in dollars and cents. This is very important. It does not have to do with things I control but has to do with things I am in a position to make happen.
30. 31. 32.

Siegelaub, interview with Norvell, in Alberro and Norvell, eds., Recording Conceptual Art, p. 32. Ibid., p. 40. Importantly, the catalogues signaled (and publicized) those works that were already in private collections and

therefore not available for sale.


See Herbert Zeltner, Proliferation, Specialization Mark Media Trends in Past Fifty Years, Advertising Age,

30 April 1980, p. 155. Several reports indicate that Siegelaubs employment of advanced forms of advertising seem to have gotten ahead of his entire marketing operation. As Siegelaubs then-companion Lucy Lippard recalled in an early 1970s discussion of Hueblers rst Conceptual show, what those people who tracked down the address in search of a gallery would nd was anything but a slick merchandising operation: The catalogue alone communicated the art to its audience by mail. The map pieces and site sculptures tended to bafe those who received it, especially those who tried to visit the gallery to see the real art, only to be met at the door of a rather seedy apartment by the rather seedy dealer (Seth Siegelaub) in his usual working costumebathing suit or undershorts. Lucy R. Lippard, Everything about Everything, Art News, 71 (December 1972), p. 29.

Allan Kaprow, Pop Art: Past, Present and Future, Malahat Review, 3 (July 1967); reprinted in Carol Ann

Mahsun, ed., Pop Art: The Critical Dialogue (Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1989), p. 72.


Admittedly, large silkscreen editions were a step in expanding the accessibility of the work of art, but they were

notes to pages 147153

still limited editions, and certainly priced at much higher than the $20 for which The Xerox Book sold.
36. 37.

Kaprow, Pop Art: Past, Present and Future, pp. 7274. Seth Siegelaub, from Elayne Varian, interview with Seth Siegelaub, June 1969. Tape recording in Finch Col-

lege Museum of Art papers, Archives of American Art.


Jean Baudrillard, Beyond the Vanishing Point of Art (1988), in Paul Taylor, ed., Post-Pop Art (Cambridge,

Mass.: MIT Press, 1989), p. 173.

39. 40. 41.

Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, p. 224. Baudrillard, Beyond the Vanishing Point of Art, p. 176. Hans Magnus Enzensbergers observation from 1970 about the media determinism of conceptual art remains

relevant for much art practice today: Short cuts, of the kind Concept Art peddles, writes Enzensberger, are based on the banal and false conclusion that the development of the productive forces renders all work superuous. With the same justication, one could leave a computer to its own devices on the assumption that a random generator will organize material production by itself. Enzensberger, Constituents of a Theory of the Media, p. 128.

See Daniel Buren, Critical Limits (1970), trans. Laurent Sauerwein, in Buren, Five Texts (New York: John

Weber Gallery; London: Jack Wendler Gallery, 1973), p. 52


Siegelaub, from Meyer, interview with Siegelaub, November 1969, in LRLARCH.

chapter seven

the siegelaub idea


Seth Siegelaub, as cited in David L. Shirey, Impossible ArtWhat Is It?, Art in America, 57:3 (May/June

1969), p. 39.

John Perreault, Its Only Words, Village Voice, 20 May 1971; reprinted in Gregory Battcock, ed., Idea Art: A

Critical Anthology (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1973), pp. 137138.


The form letter sent to artists inviting them to participate in the March Show is dated 21 January 1969. See

SSARCH, Box 5, File 120. Siegelaub began planning for Joseph Kosuth, Robert Morris as early as 16 November 1968. See Seth Siegelaub, double entry ledger, January 1968December 1969, in SSARCH, Box 5, File 109.

Seth Siegelaub, interview with Patricia Norvell, in Alexander Alberro and Patricia Norvell, eds., Recording Con-

ceptual Art (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001), p. 39.


As Siegelaub noted to Norvell in April 1969, by making a piece that is an unlimited edition of, say, a million

copies in the case of big newspapers, or something like that, youve ready made your art; youve extended your art to a million people. Ibid., p. 40.
6. 7. 8. 9.

Ibid., p. 51. Ibid., p. 38. Ibid., p. 52. Seth Siegelaub, in On Exhibitions and the World at Large, Seth Siegelaub in Conversation with Charles Harri205

son, September 1969, Studio International, 178:917 (December 1969); reprinted in Alexander Alberro and Blake Stimson, eds., Conceptual Art: A Critical Anthology (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1999), p. 201.



As he put it, its now getting to the point where a man can live in Africa and make great art, by which he

meant actively participate in the avant-garde art world. Siegelaub, interview with Norvell, in Alberro and Norvell, eds., Recording Conceptual Art, p. 52.

In a footnote to The Industrialization of the Mind, Enzensberger notes: No matter how ingenious, no mat-

ter how shrewd and fresh some of [McLuhans] observations may seem, his understanding of media hardly deserves the name of a theory. His cheerful disregard of their social and political implications is pathetic. It is all too easy to see why the slogan The medium is the message has met with unbounded enthusiasm on the part of the media, since it does away, by a quick x worthy of a cardsharp, with the question of truth. Whether the message is a lie or not has become irrelevant, since in the light of McLuhanism truth itself resides in the very existence of the medium, no matter what it may convey: the proof of the network is in the network. It is a pity Goebbels had not lived to see this redemption of his oeuvre. Enzensberger, The Industrialization of the Mind (1962), in his The Consciousness Industry: On Literature, Politics and the Media (New York: Seabury Press, 1974), p. 171, n. 3.
12. 13.

Perreault, Its Only Words, p. 137. See David Held, ed., A Globalizing World? Culture, Economics, Politics (London: Routledge, 2000),

pp. 4954. Hardt and Negri describe this compression as a quintessential effect of postmodernization: In the postmodernization of global economy, the creation of wealth tends ever more to what we will call biopolitical production, the production of social life itself, in which the economic, the political, and the cultural increasingly overlap and invest one another. Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2000), p. xiii. In this regard, also see Fredric Jameson, Transformations of the Image in Postmodernity, in Jameson, The Cultural Turn: Selected Writings on the Postmodern 19831998 (London: Verso, 1998).

Morriss work, There Are Two Temperatures: One Outside, One Inside (1969), was presented in two parts. Mor-

ris gave Siegelaub instructions to have a 4 x 8-inch stamp made with the title of the piece enclosed by a rectangular black line with rounded corners. The stamp was then applied to every brown paper towel placed in dispensers in the gallery buildings washrooms. According to Morris, the washroom was selected because of the paper towels. Because of how they are peeled off like the layers of an artichoke. Because of the low keyed delivery. Like a soft, damp, linguistic whisper accompanying the wiping. A kind of rustling of words around the hands that reminded of the perpetual banishment of stasis, of two faces in one: motion and heat. A reminder of that inseparable bond between life and heat, and of that vague anxiety just out of sight that could have appeared as the crumpled towel fell silently into the receptacleheat death but a few million years away. Robert Morris, correspondence with the author, 31 December 1994. At the same time, a log documented the daily temperature inside the washrooms as well as the temperature outside of the building during this show. The log was displayed in the gallery, and every day of the exhibition the temperatures were written in. Kosuth exhibited another part of his Second Investigation, section II of the rst class of Rogets Synopsis of Categories, Relation, that consisted of three parts: A. Absolute Relation; B. Partial Relation; and C. Correspondence of Relationship. This information was presented in the catalogue, where Kosuth also indicated that each part of the category Relation would appear separately and anonymously in a different local publication. The latter included the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune (3 March 1969), The Quill (20 March 1969), and the Haverhill Gazette (31 March 1969).
15. 16.

Seth Siegelaub, from Ursula Meyer, interview with Seth Siegelaub, November 1969, in LRLARCH. See One Month, also known as March 131, 1969 (New York: Seth Siegelaub, 1969).


Instead, the work consisted solely of verbal information presented in the catalogue, printed in an edition of

notes to pages 153156

2,000 and distributed free of charge. See Seth Siegelaub, notes, in SSARCH, Box 5, File 120.

Seth Siegelaub, as cited in Shirey, Impossible ArtWhat Is It?, p. 39. Italics mine. For One Month, Siege-

laub sent each of the artists a form letter describing the project and asking that they return to him by post any relevant information regarding the nature of the work to be published in the catalogue. See Seth Siegelaub, form letter sent to artists inviting them to participate in March Show, dated 21 January 1969, SSARCH, Box 5, File 120. An index of the thirty-one artists, listed alphabetically, was included in the letter, and Siegelaub went down the list assigning each a day in the month of March. The catalogue begins with a copy of Siegelaubs form letter to the artists. The latter are given three choices: (1) to have their names listed, with a description of their work and/or relevant information; (2) to have their names listed with no other information; and (3) not to have their names listed at all. The artists who did not respond were Carl Andre, Michael Asher, Dan Flavin, On Kawara, Sol LeWitt, Bruce Nauman, and Ed Ruscha. But according to Siegelaub, for some of these the very fact of not responding was their participation. As Siegelaub recollected a few months later: With the March Show I gave each of the artists a day, which was quite presumptuous. And a lot of people did great things, but there was also absolute terrible shit in there. But I wasnt really concerned about that. Thats their responsibility. . . . In all, there were seven people who didnt participate with a reply. But some of them consider themselves to have participated just by keeping the page blank, whereas others abstained not wanting anything to do with the damn thing. Thats their decision, I dont really care. Some of them felt very uptight about being sent a mimeographed letter, and they didnt want to participate because they wanted a more personal approach. Siegelaub, interview with Norvell, in Alberro and Norvell, eds., Recording Conceptual Art, p. 36.

In contrast to an object, its not something you have to wait to see until it comes to you. Siegelaub, from

Meyer, interview with Siegelaub, November 1969, in LRLARCH. It was precisely in facilitating the rapid communication of ideas that the new media were particularly adept. As he explained to Meyer, Whereas it took years to get a work to Europe or California, now it takes a telephone call. . . . The idea of swift communication implies that no one has anything. Ibid.
20. 21.

Siegelaub, interview with Norvell, in Alberro and Norvell, eds., Recording Conceptual Art, p. 46. Jean Baudrillard, The Art Auction: Sign Exchange and Sumptuary Value, in Baudrillard, For a Critique of the

Political Economy of the Sign, trans. Charles Levin (1972; St. Louis: Telos Press, 1981), pp. 115116.

See Simon Fraser Exhibition, also known as May 19June 19, 1969 (Vancouver: Simon Fraser University,

1969). The artists who particpated in this exhibition included Terry Atkinson, Michael Baldwin, Robert Barry, Iain Baxter, Jan Dibbets, Stephen Kaltenbach, Joseph Kosuth, Sol LeWitt, Lawrence Weiner, and Douglas Huebler. The exhibition catalogue is distinct from Siegelaubs previous projects insofar as it is clearly divided into two sections. Section One, Catalogue, presents a list of the artists, followed by the titles and dates of their works. In some cases, a brief description of the work is included. Some of the descriptions focus on the materials, others on the temporal process of making, and yet others on both. Thus for example Dibbetss Perspective Correction (1969) is described as a 3 1/2 x 5 1/2-inch printed postcard, whereas Barrys Telepathic Piece (1969) is described as follows: During the exhibition I shall try to communicate telepathically a work of art, the nature of which is a series of thoughts; they are not applicable to language or image. In the case of others, such as Hueblers Duration Piece #8 (1968), both the material (rubbed surfaces) and the temporal pro207 cess of making (32 days) are described. For most, however, only the title and date of the piece are acknowledged. These


include Atkinson and Baldwins two pieces, Hot Warm Cool Cold (1967) and 22 Sentences: The French Army (1968), Kaltenbachs Life Drama (1969), Kosuths VIII. Eventuality (Art as Idea as Idea) (1968), and Weiners A Rubber Ball Thrown at the Sea (1969). Section Two, Presentation, provides information on the means/method through which each piece is to be communicated during the exhibition. Some of this information is brief, such as that signaling Barrys contribution: At the conclusion of the exhibition (June 19, 1969), the information about the work of art was made known in this catalogue, or Weiners piece, which reported that on 23 May 1969 the words a rubber ball thrown at the sea were typed in block letters immediately above the artists name on an 8 1/2 x11-inch sheet of white paper with Simon Fraser University letterhead, photocopied, and distributed in the mailboxes of all students and faculty members and mailed out to all interested parties.
23. 24. 25.

See Seth Siegelaub, letter to James W. Feltner, 15 April 1969, in SSARCH, Box 4, File 73. The teleconference took place on 17 June 1969 at 12 p.m. local (Vancouver) time. Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Constituents of a Theory of the Media, in Enzensberger, The Consciousness

Industry, p. 97. See Bertolt Brecht, The Radio as an Apparatus of Communication (1926), in John Hanhardt, eds., Video Culture: A Critical Investigation (Rochester, N.Y.: Visual Studies Workshop Press, 1986), pp. 5355.

Enzensberger, Constituents of a Theory of the Media, p. 97. Brecht remarked on the same problem in 1926

when he stated, Radio would be the nest possible communication apparatus in public life, a vast network of pipes. That is to say, it would be if it knew how to receive as well as to transmit. Brecht, The Radio as an Apparatus of Communication, p. 53.

Enzensberger is quick to note that communist societies are no different from capitalist in thwarting the full re-

ciprocal and therefore political potential of communication apparatuses in order to maintain as much control over information as possible.
28. 29.

Enzensberger, Constituents of a Theory of the Media, p. 100. The exhibition was initially to include thirteen artists, each of whom was asked to make one work in one lo-

cation anywhere in the world. Seth Siegelaub, form letter, 16 April 1969, in SSARCH, Box 4, File 75. Siegelaub outlined how he envisioned the exhibition in a letter to J. Patrick Lannan, 21 April 1969, in SSARCH, Box 4, File 75, requesting that the latter consider underwriting the show: The exhibition is the rst of its kind, and one of its purposes is to (implicitly) articulate a certain international sensibility that I have sensed among artists throughout the world. . . . The nature of the exhibition transcends any of the traditional sources of patronage (i.e. museums), because the art will be located in many different places, and not brought together under the (traditional) museum roof. Only Baldwin and Atkinson, who had begun to separate themselves from what they considered impure or existential conceptual art, refused Siegelaubs invitation. Their recalcitrance is signicant because it indicates that already by the spring of 1969 the notion of what could properly be termed conceptual art was in dispute. For an early statement of the differences between Atkinson and Baldwin and the artists associated with Seth Siegelaub, see Terry Atkinson, From an Art & Language Point of View, Art-Language, 1:2 (February 1970), pp. 2560.

Andres piece was in The Hague, Barrys in Baltimore, Burens in Paris, Dibbetss in Amsterdam, Hueblers in

Los Angeles, Kosuths in Portales, New Mexico, LeWitts in Dsseldorf, Longs in Bristol, England, Iain Baxters in Vancouver, Smithsons in the Yucatn peninsula, and Weiners in Niagara Falls.


Echoing the Douglas Huebler: November 1968 exhibition, the catalogue for the July, August, September

notes to pages 156161

1969 show also featured a map on the cover. In keeping with the expanded scope of Siegelaubs exhibition practices, however, rather than presenting a map of the United States as had been the case in the earlier catalogue-exhibition, this one featured a map of the world.
32. 33.

Siegelaub, from Meyer, interview with Siegelaub, November 1969, in LRLARCH. By mid-1969 the theme of decentralization and the fabulous potential of the increased speed and breadth of

communications had become the central motivating force of Siegelaubs exhibition practices. Part of whats going on and prompted me to do this show that Ill be doing during the summer, he observed in an interview while organizing the July, August, September 1969 show, is the idea that information is going back and forth so quickly. I like that idea and can see myself working in this area very much, being able to ship not things but ideas and people, and ideas about things all over the world very, very quickly. . . . Id kind of like to spend the time, as I will in the next few months, to begin working on something that will really begin to speed up the communications abroad, people abroad, ideas going back and forth. Siegelaub, interview with Norvell, in Alberro and Norvell, eds., Recording Conceptual Art, p. 52.

Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore, The Medium Is the Massage (New York: Simon and Schuster,

1967), p. 16.

See John Perreault, Disturbances, Village Voice, 23 January 1969, pp. 14, 18; Gregory Battcock, Painting

Is Obsolete, New York Free Press, 23 January 1969, p. 7; Rosalind Constable, The New Art: Big Ideas for Sale, New York, 10 March 1969; Lil Picard, Art, East Village Other, 7 February 1969, p. 13; Dore Ashton, New York Commentary, Studio International, 177:909 (March 1969), p. 136; Peter Frank, Variations (VI or Merz(bau) or Whatever, Barnard Bulletin, 19 February 1969, p. 7; Grace Glueck, Art Notes, New York Times, 16 March 1969; Leo Lerman, Export Import: The Siegelaub Idea, Mademoiselle, June 1969, pp. 116117; Don McDonagh, Oh Wall!, Financial Times, 16 July 1969.
36. 37.

Bets for the 70s, Vogue, 155:1 (1 January 1970), pp. 149150. Lerman, Export Import, p. 117. Siegelaub expressed an awareness of this phenomenon in a December

1969 interview with Charles Harrison: SS: By keeping the exhibition situation as uniform as possible for each and all of the artists in the exhibition and not relying on outside verbal information like catalogue introductions, thematic titles, etc., Ive tried to avoid prejudicing the viewing situation. CH: This holds good as long as no one can begin to identify a house style in what you do. SS: True. Failure is imminent. Unfortunately over a period of twenty exhibitions one begins to become the theme and the cement; which begins to be as offensive as prefaces, thematic titles, etc. On Exhibitions and the World at Large, Seth Siegelaub in Conversation with Charles Harrison, pp. 200201.

Witness the following exchange between Stephen Kaltenbach and Patricia Norvell concerning Siegelaub: PN:

Hes becoming an artist, although he wont say that. SK: No, he wont admit it. Ive tried to get him to admit it. Stephen Kaltenbach, interview with Patricia Norvell, 24 May 1969, in Alberro and Norvell, eds., Recording Conceptual Art, p. 83.
39. 40. 41.

Barbara Rose, Why Read Art Criticism?, New York, 3 March 1969, p. 44. Siegelaub, interview with Norvell, in Alberro and Norvell, eds., Recording Conceptual Art, p. 43. Elayne Varian, interview with Seth Siegelaub, June 1969. Tape recording in Finch College Museum of Art 209

papers, Archives of American Art. Siegelaub continues: Im very much concerned about the communication between


artists here and in Europe. . . . I would want to be able to create a fabric whereby they can participate in the community as quickly and as equally as possible. Its not a question of getting involved in the New York scene, which I think stinks, rather I want to equalize that. Also, the European art is much more politically aware of whats going on.
42. 43. 44.

Siegelaub, interview with Norvell, in Alberro and Norvell, eds., Recording Conceptual Art, p. 50. Siegelaub, from Meyer, interview with Siegelaub, November 1969, in LRLARCH. Seth Siegelaub, Statement of Condition, 9 May 1969, a memorandum sent to potential sponsors requesting

money to underwrite his future activities; in SSARCH, Box 1, File 3.


These included Dibbets, Buren, Kosuth, N.E. Thing Co., Kaltenbach, Ruscha, Atkinson, Baldwin, Weiner, Wil-

son, and Huot. See Konrad Fischer, letter to Seth Siegelaub, 11 June 1969, in SSARCH, Box 1, File 7. Also see Seth Siegelaub, letter to Konrad Fischer, 27 June 1969, in SSARCH, Box 1, File 9.

Fischer and Harten argued that although we nd the suggestion good and the choice of artists excellent, . . .

this sort of presentation by one person does not meet this years conception of PROSPECT. See Konrad Fischer, letter to Seth Siegelaub, 7 July 1969, in SSARCH, Box 1, File 9.

As he explained to Ursula Meyer in the fall of 1969: For the last few years I have been interested in getting a

certain type of art out into the world. One of the things you have to do is to promote the interest of specic artists. Now I much prefer to push the interest of art rather than pushing artists, making possible situations in which artists can show their work. But I no longer want to be responsible for the selection of artists. I prefer to make it possible for other people to do the type of exhibition they want to do by providing these people with organizational and nancial support. Siegelaub, from Meyer, interview with Siegelaub, November 1969, in LRLARCH.
48. 49.

Seth Siegelaub, letter to Harald Szeemann, 5 July 1969, in SSARCH Box 1, File 7. For an overview of the large kaleidoscopic shows of 19691970, see Ian Jeffery, Art Theory and the De-

cline of the Object, Studio International, 186:961 (December 1973), pp. 267271; and Bruce Altshuler, The AvantGarde in Exhibition: New Art in the 20th Century (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1994), esp. 236255.
50. 51.

Lawrence Alloway, Art, The Nation, 7 April 1969, p. 446. See Allan Kaprow, Pop Art: Past, Present and Future, Malahat Review, 3 (July 1967); reprinted in Carol Ann

Mahsun, ed., Pop Art: The Critical Dialogue (Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1989), pp. 7274.

See letters, dated 8 July 1968, sent by Seth Siegelaub to six collectors, including J. Patrick Lannan, John Pow-

ers, et al., in SSARCH, Box 5, File 118.


Siegelaub: We feel that this Agreement form will, in a few months, be the standard instrument for the trans-

fer of all contemporary art. We would like to make it as simple, fair and useful as possible. To do so, we would like your comments and opinions. Siegelaub, Artists Reserved Rights Sale Agreement, dated 30 January 1971, in SSARCH, Box 1, File 26.

Seth Siegelaub, in The Artists Contract: An Interview with Seth Siegelaub and Bob Projansky, New York El-

ement, 2:5 (June-July 1971), p. 8: We are making the plates for the contract forms and the explanatory material available without charge to any school, museum, magazine, institutionanyonewho wants to reproduce and distribute them. They are now being translated into French, German, Italian and Spanish, and will soon be distributed in art mag-

azines and in the form of a poster. By the end of this year practically everyone in the art world will have seen this material and should be familiar with or at least aware of the contract.

notes to pages 161169

Seth Siegelaub, The Artists Reserved Rights Transfer and Sale Agreement, Studio International, 181:932

(April 1971), p. 144. The rst publication of the Agreement (with an explanatory preface by Siegelaub) was in ibid., 142144.

Independent of its actual value and therefore possible resale prots, a work of art can be protable in other

ways, e.g., at exhibitions or by reproduction, either as postcards, printed copies, or in the various forms on sale at museums, art galleries, and specialty shops. These prots can be high, and consequently the payments made to the artist employing the Agreement could be substantial. In the Agreement, the artist reserves all the reproduction and copying rights, which includes the right to authorize reproduction (intellectual property) and to receive payments for this. The right to exhibit the work is divided between the artist and the owner.

Siegelaub, Artists Reserved Rights Transfer and Sale Agreement, p. 142: The Agreement is designed to

give the artist: 15% of any increase in the value of each work each time it is transferred in the future; a record of who owns each work at any given time; the right to be notied when the work is to be exhibited, so the artist can advise upon or veto the proposed exhibition of his/her work; the right to borrow the work for exhibition for 2 months every ve years (at no cost to the owner); the right to be consulted if repairs become necessary; half of any rental income paid to the owner for the use of the work at exhibitions, if there ever is any; all reproduction rights in the work. The economic benets would accrue to the artist for life, plus the life of a surviving spouse (if any) plus 21 years, so as to benet the artists children while they are growing up. The artist would maintain aesthetic control only for his/her lifetime.

As the dealer Andr Emmerich states: It would be the death to the art business. See Douglas Davis, New

Deal for Art?, Newsweek, 29 March 1971, p. 67.

59. 60.

Siegelaub, Artists Reserved Rights Transfer and Sale Agreement, p. 143. Ibid. Siegelaub continues: Before the work is delivered, be sure that a copy of the NOTICE is afxed to the

61. 62.

Ibid. Ibid.


selected bibliography

Primary Sources
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Carl Andre Papers Gregory Battcock Papers Finch College Museum of Art Papers Lucy R. Lippard Papers Robert Smithson Papers

Paula Cooper Gallery, New York City

Carl Andre Papers

Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia College of Art and Design Papers

Fairleigh Dickinson University Archives, Madison, New Jersey

New York Cultural Center Papers

Leo Castelli Gallery Archives, New York City

Robert Barry Papers Douglas Huebler Papers Joseph Kosuth Papers Robert Morris Papers Lawrence Weiner Papers

Sonnabend Gallery Archives, New York City

Mel Bochner Papers

John Weber Gallery Archives, New York City

Daniel Buren Papers Sol LeWitt Papers

Personal archives
Robert Barry Archives, Teaneck, New Jersey Daniel Buren Archives, Paris Raymond Dirks Archives, New York City Dan Graham Archives, New York City Hans Haacke Archives, New York City Jon Hendricks Archives, New York City Joseph Kosuth Archives, New York City Christine Kozlov Archives, London Ursula Meyer Archives, New York City Patricia Norvell Archives, New York City Brian ODoherty Archives, New York City Theresa Schwartz Archives, New York City Seth Siegelaub Archives, Teaneck, New Jersey, and Amsterdam Lawrence Weiner Archives, New York City

Altshuler, Bruce J. The Avant-Garde in Exhibition: New Art in the Twentieth Century.
New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1994.

selected bibliography

Antin, David. Art and the Corporations.

Art News (September 1971), pp. 2225, 5255.

Armstrong, Elizabeth, and Joan Rothfuss. In the Spirit of Fluxus.

Exh. cat. Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 1993.

Armstrong, Richard, and Richard Marshall. The New Sculpture 196575: Between Geometry and Gesture.
Exh. cat. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1990.

Art in Process IV.

Exh. cat. New York: Finch College Museum of Art, 1969.

Art in Process: The Visual Development of a Structure.

Exh. cat. New York: Finch College Museum of Art, 1966.

Art in Series.

Secondary Sources
Adorno, Theodor W. Aesthetic Theory.
Ed. Gretel Adorno and Rolf Tiedemann. Trans. Robert HullotKentor. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1998.

Exh. cat. New York: Finch College Museum of Art, 1968.

Art in the Mind.

Exh. cat. Oberlin, Ohio: Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, 1970.

(Coventry, England), 1:1 (May 1969).

Adorno, Theodor W. Philosophy of Modern Music.

Trans. Anne G. Mitchell and Wesley V. Blomster. New York: Seabury Press, 1973.

Art Workers Coalition. Documents 1.

New York: Art Workers Coalition, 1969.

Advertising Age. Special 50th Anniversary Issue.

30 April 1980.

Art Workers Coalition. An Open Hearing on the Subject: What Should Be the Program of the Art Workers Regarding Museum Reform and to Establish the Program of an Open Art Workers Coalition.
New York: Art Workers Coalition, 1969.

Alberro, Alexander, and Patricia Norvell, eds. Recording Conceptual Art.

Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.

Alberro, Alexander, and Blake Stimson, eds. Conceptual Art: A Critical Anthology.
Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1999.

Ashton, Dore. New York Commentary.

Studio International, 177:909 (March 1969), pp. 135137.

Atkinson, Terry. From an Art & Language Point of View.

Art-Language, 1:2 (February 1970), pp. 2560.

Alloway, Lawrence. Network: The Artworld Described as a System.

Artforum, 11:1 (September 1972), pp. 2832.

Auping, Michael. Talking with Douglas Huebler.

LAICA Journal, 15 (July-August 1977), pp. 3744.

Alloway, Lawrence. Topics in American Art since 1945.


New York: W. W. Norton, 1975.


Barthes, Roland. Critical Essays.

Trans. Richard Howard. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1972.

Bloom, Harold. The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry.

New York: Oxford University Press, 1973.

Barthes, Roland. Image Music Text.

Trans. Stephen Heath. New York: Hill and Wang, 1977.

Bochner, Mel. Art In ProcessStructures.

Arts Magazine, 40:9 (September-October 1966), pp. 3839.

Barthes, Roland. The Rustle of Language.

Trans. Richard Howard. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989.

Bochner, Mel. Primary Structures: A Declaration of a New Attitude as Revealed by an Important Current Exhibition.
Arts Magazine, 40:8 (June 1966), pp. 3235.

Battcock, Gregory, ed. Idea Art: A Critical Anthology.

New York: E. P Dutton, 1973. .

Bourdieu, Pierre. Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste.

Trans. Richard Nice. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1984.

Battcock, Gregory, ed. Minimal Art: A Critical Anthology.

New York: E. P Dutton, 1968. .

Battcock, Gregory, ed. The New Art: A Critical Anthology.

New York: E. P Dutton, 1966. .

Brecht, Bertolt. The Radio as an Apparatus of Communication.

In John Hanhardt, ed., Video Culture: A Critical Investigation. Rochester, N.Y Visual Studies Workshop .: Press, 1986.

Baudrillard, Jean. De la marchandise absolue.

Artstudio, 8 (Spring 1988), pp. 612.

Baudrillard, Jean. For a Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign.

Trans. Charles Levin. St. Louis: Telos Press, 1981.

Buchloh, Benjamin H. D. Conceptual Art 19621969: From the Aesthetic of Administration to the Critique of Institutions.
October, 55 (Winter 1990), pp. 105143.

Baudrillard, Jean. The System of Objects.

Trans. James Benedict. London: Verso, 1996.

Becker, Howard. Art Worlds.

Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982.

Buchloh, Benjamin H. D. Neo-Avantgarde and Culture Industry: Essays on European and American Art from 1955 to 1975.
Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2000.

Belford, Marilyn, and Jerry Herman, eds. Time and Space Concepts in Art.
New York: Pleiades Gallery, 1980.

Buchloh, Benjamin H. D. Reply to Joseph Kosuth and Seth Siegelaub.

October, 57 (Summer 1991), pp. 158161.

Benjamin, Walter. Illuminations.

Ed. Hannah Arendt. Trans. Harry Zohn. New York: Schocken Books, 1969.

Buchloh, Benjamin H. D., and Judith Rodenbeck, eds. Experiments in the Everyday: Allan Kaprow and Robert Watts, Events, Objects, Documents.
New York: Columbia University, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, 1999.

Berger, Maurice. Labyrinths: Robert Morris, Minimalism, and the 1960s.

New York: Harper and Row, 1989.

Bets for the 70s.

Vogue Magazine, 155:1 (1 January 1970), pp. 146153.

Buck-Morss, Susan. The Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project.
Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1989.

Bloom, Alexander, and Wini Breines, eds. Takin It to the Streets: A Sixties Reader.
New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Buren, Daniel. Les crits (19651990).

3 vols. Ed. Jean-Marc Poinsot. Bordeaux: Centre dart plastique contemporain, Muse dart contemporain, 1991.

Chevrier, Jean-Franois. The Year 1967 from Art Objects to Public Things: Or Variations on the Conquest of Space.
Barcelona: Fundaci Antoni Tpies, 1997.

selected bibliography

Brger, Peter. The Theory of the Avant-Garde.

Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, 1984.

Christov-Bakargiev, Carolyn, ed. Arte Povera.

London: Phaidon Press, 1999.

Burgin, Victor. The End of Art Theory: Criticism and Postmodernity.

Atlantic Highlands, N.J.: Humanities Press International, 1986.

Claura, Michel. Actualit.

VH 101, no. 5 (Spring 1971), pp. 4047.

Claura, Michel. Art pauvre, antiforme, art impossible, etc. . . . Berne.

Les Lettres Franaises, 2 April 1969, pp. 2627.

Burgin, Victor. Situational Aesthetics.

Studio International, 178:915 (October 1969), pp. 118121.

Burnham, Jack. Great Western Salt Works: Essays on the Meaning of Post-Formalist Art.
New York: George Braziller, 1974.

Claura, Michel. 18 Paris IV 70.

Opus International, 17 (April 1970), p. 12.

Claura, Michel. Extrmisme et rupture (1).

Les Lettres Franaises, 24 September 1969, pp. 2627.

Burnham, Sophie. The Art Crowd.

New York: David McKay, 1973.

Claura, Michel. Extrmisme et rupture (2).

Les Lettres Franaises, 1 October 1969, pp. 2627.

C. 7,500.
Exh. cat. Valencia: California Institute of the Arts, 1973.

Colpitt, Frances. Minimal Art: A Critical Perspective.

Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1990.

Camnitzer, Luis, Jane Farber, and Rachel Weiss. Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin, 1950s1980s.
Exh. cat. New York: Queens Museum of Art, 1999.

Conceptual Art and Conceptual Aspects.

Exh. cat. New York: New York Cultural Center, 1970.

Carl Andre, Robert Barry, Douglas Huebler, Joseph Kosuth, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris, Lawrence Weiner. [The Xerox Book.]
Exh. cat. New York: Seth Siegelaub and Jack Wendler, 1968.

Conceptual Art and the Reception of Duchamp.

October, 70 (Fall 1994), pp. 127146.

Crow, Thomas. Modern Art in the Common Culture.

New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996.

Crow, Thomas. The Rise of the Sixties: American and European Art in the Era of Dissent.
New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1996.

Cavallo, Dominick. A Fiction of the Past: The Sixties in American History.

New York: St. Martins Press, 1999.

Davis, Douglas. Art and the Future: A History/Prophecy of the Collaboration between Science, Technology and Art.
New York: Praeger, 1973.

Celant, Germano. Arte Povera: Art Povera: Earthworks, Impossible Art, Actual Art, Conceptual Art.
New York: Praeger, 1969.

Celant, Germano. Book as Artwork 1960/1970.

Data, 1:1 (September 1971), pp. 3549.

De Antonio, Emile, and Mitch Tuchman. Painters Painting: A Candid History of the Modern Art Scene, 19401970.
New York: Abbeville Press, 1984.

Celant, Germano. Conceptual Art, Part One.

Casabella, 34:347 (April 1970), pp. 4249.

Chagy, Gideon. The New Patrons of the Arts.

New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1972.

Debord, Guy. The Society of the Spectacle.


Detroit: Black and Red, 1977.


Debray, Rgis. Manifestes mdialogiques.

Paris: Gallimard, 1994.

Dimaggio, Paul, and Michael Unseem. Cultural Property and Public Policy: Emerging Tensions in Government Support for the Arts.
Social Research, 45 (Summer 1978), pp. 356389.

De Coppet, Laura, and Alan Jones. The Art Dealers: The Powers Behind the Scene Talk about the Business of Art.
New York: Potter, 1984.

Dimaggio, Paul, and Michael Unseem. Social Class and Arts Consumption: The Origins and Consequences of Class Differences in Exposure to the Arts in America.
Theory and Society, 5:2 (March 1978), pp. 141161.

Definitive Statements. American Art: 196466.

Exh. cat. Providence, R.I.: Department of Art, Brown University, 1986.

Denizot, Ren. Ian Wilson, for Example: Texts on Words.

Artforum, 18:7 (March 1980), pp. 6870.

Documenta 5: Befragung der Realitt: Bildwelten heute.

Exh. cat. 3 vols. Kassel: Neue Galerie and Museum Fridericianum, 1972.

Denizot, Ren. La limite du concept.

Opus International, 17 (April 1970), pp. 1416.

Douglas Huebler.
Exh. cat. Eindhoven: Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, 1979.

Denizot, Ren. Word for Word: Its about Time/ Mot pour mot/ Il est temps.
Paris: Yvon Lambert, 1980.

Douglas Huebler: November 1968.

Exh. cat. New York: Seth Siegelaub, 1968.

Douglas Huebler: Variable, etc.

Exh. cat. Limoges: F .R.A.C. Limousin, 1992.

Dent, George. The Growing Corporate Investment in the Arts.

Art News (January 1973), pp. 2125.

Duve, Thierry de. Kant after Duchamp.

Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1996.

Derrida, Jacques. Dissemination.

Trans. Barbara Johnson. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981.

Enzensberger, Hans Magnus. The Consciousness Industry: On Literature, Politics and the Media.
New York: Seabury Press, 1974.

Derrida, Jacques. Writing and Difference.

Trans. Alan Bass. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978.

Farber, David, ed. The Sixties: From Memory to History.

Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1994.

Feigen, Richard. Art Boom: Inflationary Hedge and Deflationary Refuge.

Arts Magazine, 41:3 (December 1966January 1967), pp. 2324.

Diamondstein, Barbaralee. Inside New Yorks Art World.

New York: Rizzoli, 1979.

Dillon, C. Douglas. Cross-Cultural Communication through the Arts.

Columbia Journal of World Business (September-October 1971), pp. 3138.

Field, Richard, ed. Mel Bochner: Thought Made Visible 19661973.

Exh. cat. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 1995.

Seattle: Seattle Art Museum, 1969.

Dimaggio, Paul, and Michael Unseem. Cultural Democracy in a Period of Cultural Expansion: The Social Composition of Arts Audiences in the United States.
Social Problems, 26:2 (December 1978), pp. 179197.

Foster, Hal, ed. Discussions in Contemporary Culture.

Seattle: Bay Press, 1987.

Foster, Hal. The Return of the Real: The Avant-Garde at the End of the Century.
Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1996.

Graham, Dan. Rock My Religion: Writings and Art Projects 19651990.

Ed. Brian Wallace. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1993.

selected bibliography

Frank, Thomas. The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997.

Greenberg, Clement. The Collected Essays and Criticism. Vol. 4: Modernism with a Vengeance, 19571969.
Ed. John OBrian. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.

Fried, Michael. Art and Objecthood: Essays and Reviews.

Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.

Habermas, Jrgen. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society.
Trans. Thomas Burger. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1995.

Fried, Michael. Three American Painters: Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, Frank Stella.
Cambridge, Mass.: Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, 1965.

Friedman, Ken, ed. The Fluxus Reader.

Chicester, West Sussex; New York: Academy Editions, 1998.

Hans Haacke: Framing and Being Framed: 7 Works 19701975.

Halifax: Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design; New York: New York University Press, 1975.

Garrels, Gary, ed. The Work of Andy Warhol.

Seattle: Bay Press, 1989.

Hans Haacke: Unfinished Business.

Exh. cat. New York: New Museum of Contemporary Art; Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1986.

Gintz, Claude, ed. Lart conceptuel, une perspective.

Exh. cat. Paris: Muse dart moderne de la Ville de Paris, 1989.

Hardt, Michael, and Antonio Negri. Empire.

Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2000.

Gitlin, Todd. The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage.

New York: Bantam, 1987.

Harrison, Charles. Against Precedents.

Studio International, 178:914 (September 1969), pp. 9093.

Goldman, Robert, and Stephen Papson. Sign Wars: The Cluttered Landscape of Advertising.
New York: Guilford Press, 1996.

Harrison, Charles. Essays on Art & Language.

Cambridge, Mass.: Basil Blackwell, 1991. Rpt., Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2001.

Goldstein, Ann, and Anne Rorimer, eds. Reconsidering the Object of Art: 19651975.
Exh. cat. Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art; Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1996.

Harrison, Charles. A Very Abstract Context.

Studio International, 180:927 (November 1970), pp. 194197.

Harrison, Charles, and Fred Orton. A Provisional History of Art & Language.
Paris: Editions Eric Fabre, 1982.

Graham, Dan. Articles.

Ed. R. H. Fuchs. Eindhoven: Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, 1978.

Haskell, Barbara. Blam! The Explosion of Pop, Minimalism, and Performance 19581964.
Exh. cat. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1984.

Graham, Dan, ed. Aspen, 8

(Fall-Winter 19701971).

Graham, Dan. Endmoments.


New York: Dan Graham, 1969.


Haug, W. F. Critique of Commodity Aesthetics: Appearance, Sexuality and Advertising in Capitalist Society.
Trans. Robert Bock. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1986.

Jeffery, Ian. Art Theory and the Decline of the Art Object.
Studio International, 186:961 (December 1973), pp. 267271.

Jones, Caroline. Machine in the Studio: Constructing the Postwar American Artist.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.

Haywood, Robert. Allan Kaprow and Claes Oldenburg: Art, Happenings, and Cultural Politics, c. 1958 1970.
New Haven: Yale University Press, forthcoming.

Joseph Kosuth, Robert Morris.

Exh. cat. Bradford, Mass.: Laura Knott Gallery, Bradford Junior College, 1969.

Heiss, Alanna, ed. Dennis Oppenheim: Selected Works 196790.

Exh. cat. New York: Institute for Contemporary Art, P 1 .S. Museum, and Harry N. Abrams, 1992.

Judd, Donald. Complete Writings, 19591975.

Halifax: Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design; New York: New York University Press, 1975.

Hobbs, Robert, ed. Robert Smithson: Sculpture.

Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1981.

Junker, Howard. Idea as Art.

Newsweek, 11 August 1969, p. 81.

Honnef, Klaus. Concept Art.

Cologne: Phaidon, 1971.

Junker, Howard. The New Art: Its Way, Way Out.

Newsweek, 29 July 1968, pp. 5663.

Honnef, Klaus. Conceptual-Art.

Kunst-Bulletin, 4 (April 1972), pp. 16.

Junker, Howard. The New Sculpture: Getting Down to the Nitty Gritty.
Saturday Evening Post, 2 November 1968, pp. 4247.

Honnef, Klaus. Douglas Huebler.

Art and Artists, 7:10 (January 1973), pp. 2225.

Howard, Gerald, ed. The Sixties: Art, Politics and Media of Our Most Explosive Decade.
New York: Paragon House, 1991.

Kaiden, Nina, and Bartlett Hays, eds. Artist and Advocate: An Essay on Corporate Patronage.
New York: Renaissance Editions, 1967.

Huebler, Douglas. 10 +.
Exh. cat. Evanston: Ditmar Memorial Gallery, Northwestern University, 1980.

Kaprow, Allan. Essays on the Blurring of Art and Life.

Ed. Jeff Kelley. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994.

Hunter, Sam, ed. The Harry N. Abrams Family Collection.

Exh. cat. New York: Jewish Museum, 1966.

Kastner, Jeffrey, and Brian Wallis, eds. Land and Environmental Art.
London: Phaidon, 1998.

Exh. cat. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1970.

Kellein, Thomas. Fluxus.

London: Thames and Hudson, 1995.

Jameson, Fredric. The Cultural Turn: Selected Writings on the Postmodern 19831998.
London: Verso, 1998.

Kirby, Michael, ed. Happenings.

New York: E. P Dutton, 1965. .

Exh. cat. Leverkusen: Stdtisches Museum, 1969.

Kosuth, Joseph. Art after Philosophy and After: Collected Writings, 19661990.
Ed. Gabriele Guercio. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1991.

Krauss, Rosalind E. A Voyage on the North Sea: Art in the Age of the Post-Medium Condition.
New York: Thames and Hudson, 2000.

selected bibliography

Kristeva, Julia. Revolution in Poetic Language.

New York: Columbia University Press, 1984.

Kosuth, Joseph. Joseph Kosuth: Interviews.

Stuttgart: Patricia Schwarz, 1989.

Lawrence Weiner: Specific and General Works.

Exh. cat. Villeurbanne: Le Nouveau Muse/Institut dart contemporain, 1993.

Kosuth, Joseph. Reply to Benjamin Buchloh on Conceptual Art.

October, 57 (Summer 1991), pp. 152154.

Lawrence Weiner. Statements.

New York: Seth Siegelaub with the Louis Kellner Foundation, 1968.

Kosuth, Joseph, and Christine Kozlov. Ad Reinhardt: Evolution into DarknessThe Art of an Informal Formalist; Negativity, Purity, and the Clearness of Ambiguity.
Unpublished typescript for the School of Visual Arts, New York, May 1966.

Leen, Frederik. Seth Siegelaub: Conceptual Art Exhibitions.

Forum International, 2:9 (September 1991), pp. 6472.

Lefebvre, Henri. Everyday Life in the Modern World.

Trans. Sacha Rabinovitch. New York: Harper and Row, 1971.

Kozloff, Max. 9 in a Warehouse: An Attack on the Status of the Object.

Artforum, 7 (February 1969), pp. 3842.

Legg, Alicia, ed. Sol LeWitt.

Exh. cat. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1978.

Kozloff, Max. The Trouble with Art-as-Idea.

Artforum, 11:1 (September 1972), pp. 3337.

Leider, Phillip. Literalism and Abstraction: Frank Stellas Retrospective at the Modern.
Artforum, 8:8 (April 1970), pp. 4451.

Kramer, Hilton. About MOMA, the AWC and Political Causes.

New York Times, 8 February 1970, pp. II:2324.

Lerman, Leo. Export Import: The Siegelaub Idea.

Mademoiselle (June 1969), pp. 116117.

Kramer, Hilton. Are We Fed Up with the Artist? Is the Work of Art Over?
New York Times, 20 September 1970, p. II:29.

Lippard, Lucy R. The Art Workers Coalition: Not a History.

Studio International, 180 (November 1970), pp. 171174.

Kramer, Hilton. Art: Xeroxophilia Rages out of Control.

New York Times, 11 April 1970, p. C27.

Lippard, Lucy R. Changing: Essays in Art Criticism.

New York: E. P Dutton, 1971. .

Kramer, Hilton. Do You Believe in the Principle of Museums?

New York Times, 18 January 1970, p. II:25.

Lippard, Lucy R. Deep in Numbers.

Artforum, 12:2 (October 1973), pp. 3539.

Krauss, Rosalind E. The Optical Unconscious.

Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1993.

Lippard, Lucy R. Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object from 1966 to 1972.
New York: Praeger, 1973. Rpt., Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996.

Krauss, Rosalind E. The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths.
Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1987.

Lippard, Lucy R. Time: A Panel Discussion.

Art International, 13:9 (November 1969), pp. 2023, 39.



Madoff, Steven Henry. Pop Art: A Critical History.

Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997.

Meyer, Ursula. De-Objectification of the Object.

Arts Magazine, 43:8 (Summer 1969), pp. 2022.

Mahsun, Carol Anne, ed. Pop Art: The Critical Dialogue.

Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1989.

Migliorini, Ermanno. Conceptual Art.

Florence: Il Fiorini, 1972.

Mamiya, Christin J. Pop Art and Consumer Culture: American Super Market.
Austin: University of Texas Press, 1992.

Miller, James E., and Paul D. Herring, eds. The Arts and the Public.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1967.

Martineau, Pierre. Motivation in Advertising: Motives That Make People Buy.

New York: McGraw-Hill, 1957.

Millet, Catherine. Lart conceptuel.

Opus International, 15 (December 1969), pp. 2023.

Millet, Catherine. Lart conceptuel.

VH 101, no. 3 (Autumn 1970), pp. 153.

Marwick, Arthur. The Sixties: Cultural Revolution in Britain, France, Italy and the United States, c. 1958c. 1974.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Morgan, Edward P. The 60s Experience: Hard Lessons about Modern America.
Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1991.

Masotta, Oscar. Happenings.

Buenos Aires: Editorial J. Alvarez, 1967.

Morgan, Robert C. Conceptual Art: An American Perspective.

Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland and Co., 1996.

May 19June 19, 1969 [Simon Fraser Exhibition].

Burnaby, B.C.: Center for Communications and the Arts, Simon Fraser University, 1969.

Morgan, Robert C. The Situation of Conceptual Art: The January Show and After.
Arts Magazine, 63:6 (February 1989), pp. 4043.

McLuhan, Marshall. The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man.

Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1962.

Morris, Robert. Continuous Project Altered Daily: The Writings of Robert Morris.
Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1993.

McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media.

New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964.

Muller, Gregoire. The New Avant-Garde.

New York: Praeger, 1972.

McLuhan, Marshall, and Quentin Fiore. The Medium Is the Massage.

New York: Simon and Schuster, 1967.

Naifeh, Stephen W. Culture Making: Money, Success and the New York Artworld.
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1976.

Messer, Thomas M. Impossible Art Why Is It?

Art in America, 57:3 (May-June 1969), pp. 3031.

Newman, Michael, and Jon Bird, eds. Rewriting Conceptual Art.

London: Reaktion Books, 1999.

Meyer, James, ed. Minimalism.

London: Phaidon, 2000.

Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery, 1970.

Meyer, James. Minimalism: Art and Polemics in the Sixties.

New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001.

Non-Anthropomorphic Art by Four Young Artists: Joseph Kosuth, Christine Kozlov, Michael Rinaldi, Ernest Rossi.
New York: Lannis Gallery, 1967.

Meyer, Ursula. Conceptual Art.

New York: E. P Dutton, 1972. .

selected bibliography

OConnor, Francis V. Notes on Patronage: The 1960s.

Artforum, 11 (September 1972), pp. 5256.

Report on the Activities of the N. E. Thing Co. at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, and Other Locations, June 4July 6.
Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1969.

ODoherty, Brian, ed. Aspen, 56 (Fall-Winter 1967). ODoherty, Brian. Inside the White Cube: The Ideology of the Gallery Space.
Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.

Robert Morris.
Exh. cat. Washington: Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1969.

Op losse schroeven: Situaties en cryptostructuren.

Exh. cat. Amsterdam: Stedelijk Museum, 1969.

Robert Morris: The Mind/Body Problem.

Exh. cat. New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1994.

Owens, Craig. Beyond Recognition: Representation, Power, and Culture.

Ed. Scott Bryson, Barbara Kruger, Lynne Tillman, and Jane Weinstock. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992.

Rorimer, Anne. New Art in the 60s and 70s: Redefining Reality.
London: Thames and Hudson, 2001.

Peck, Abe. Uncovering the Sixties: The Life and Times of the Underground Press.
New York: Citadel Press, 1991.

Rose, Barbara. How to Murder an Avant-Garde.

Artforum, 4:3 (November 1965), p. 35.

Rose, Barbara. The Politics of Art, Part III.

Artforum, 7:9 (May 1969), pp. 3136.

Perreault, John. Art: Whose Art?

Village Voice, 9 January 1969, p. 17.

Rose, Barbara. Why Read Art Criticism?

New York, 3 March 1969, p. 44.

Perreault, John. Disturbances.

Village Voice, 23 January 1969, pp. 14, 18.

Rosenberg, Harold. The American Action Painters.

Art News (December 1952), pp. 2223, 4850.

Perreault, John. A Minimal Future?Union Made: Report on a Phenomenon.

Arts Magazine, 41:5 (March 1967), pp. 2631.

Rosenberg, Harold. Art on the Edge: Creators and Situations.

New York: Macmillan, 1975.

Picard, Lil. Protest and Rebellion.

Arts Magazine, 44:1 (May 1970), pp. 1824.

Rosenberg, Harold. De-Aestheticization.

New Yorker, 24 January 1970, pp. 6267.

Pincus-Witten, Robert. Theatre of the Conceptual: Autobiography and Myth.

Artforum, 12:2 (October 1973), pp. 4046.

Rosenberg, Harold. The De-Definition of Art: Action Art to Pop to Earthworks.

New York: Horizon Press, 1972.

Ratcliff, Carter. New York Letter: Spring (Part I).

Art International, 25:4 (20 April 1971), pp. 2528, 31, 69.

Rublowsky, John. Pop Art.

New York: Basic Books, 1965.

Ratcliff, Carter. New York Letter: Spring (Part II).

Art International, 25:5 (20 May 1971), pp. 3239, 45.

Rush, Richard M. Art as an Investment.

Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1961.

Ratcliff, Carter. New York Letter: Spring Part III (Conclusion).

Art International, 25:6 (20 June 1971), pp. 9499, 105108.

Sandford, Mariellen R., ed. Happenings and Other Acts.

London: Routledge, 1995.

Sandler, Irving. American Art of the 1960s.

New York: Harper and Row, 1988.

Reitlinger, Gerald. The Economics of Taste. Vol. 3: The Art Market in the 1960s.


London: Barrie and Jenkins, 1970.


Sayres, Sohnya, Anders Stephanson, et al., eds. The 60s without Apology.
Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984.

Siegelaub, Seth. The Artists Reserved Rights Transfer and Sale Agreement.
Studio International, 181:932 (April 1971), pp. 142144.

Schell, Jonathan. The Time of Illusion.

New York: Knopf, 1976.

Siegelaub, Seth. Carl Andre, Robert Barry, Douglas Huebler, Joseph Kosuth, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris, Lawrence Weiner.
[The Xerox Book.] New York: Seth Siegelaub & John Wendler, 1968.

Schiller, Herbert I. Culture, Inc.: The Corporate Takeover of Public Expression.

New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.

Schwartz, Theresa. The Politicalization of the AvantGarde.

Art in America, 59 (November 1971), pp. 96105.

Siegelaub, Seth. 18 Paris IV. 70.

Paris: Seth Siegelaub, 1970.

Siegelaub, Seth. January 531, 1969.

New York: Seth Siegelaub, 1969.

Schwartz, Theresa. The Politicalization of the AvantGarde: Part II.

Art in America, 60 (March 1972), pp. 7079.

Siegelaub, Seth. Joseph Kosuth, Robert Morris.

Bradford, Mass.: Bradford Junior College, 1969.

Schwartz, Theresa. The Politicalization of the AvantGarde: Part III.

Art in America, 61 (March 1973), pp. 6771.

Siegelaub, Seth. July-August 1970.

Studio International, 180:924 (July-August 1970), pp. 1 48. Also published as July/August Exhibition Book. London: Studio International and Seth Siegelaub, 1970.

Schwartz, Theresa. The Politicalization of the AvantGarde: Part IV.

Art in America, 62 (January/February 1974), pp. 8084.

Siegelaub, Seth. July, August, September 1969.

New York: Seth Siegelaub, 1969.

Schwarz, Dieter, ed. Lawrence Weiner: Books 1968 1989.

Cologne: Walter Knig; Villeurbanne: Le Nouveau Muse, 1989.

Siegelaub, Seth. March 131, 1969.

[One Month.] New York: Seth Siegelaub, 1969.

Siegelaub, Seth. Reply to Benjamin Buchloh on Conceptual Art.

October, 57 (Summer 1991), pp. 155157.

Sharp, Willoughby. An Interview with Dennis Oppenheim.

Studio International, 182:983 (November 1971), pp. 186193.

Siegelaub, Seth, and Armand Mattelart, eds. Communication and Class Struggle.
2 vols. New York: International General, 1979.

Sharp, Willoughby. Lawrence Weiner at Amsterdam: Interview with Willoughby Sharp.

Avalanche, 4 (Spring 1972), pp. 6673.

Smith, Owen. Fluxus: The History of an Attitude.

San Diego: San Diego State University Press, 1998.

Smithson, Robert. Robert Smithson: The Collected Writings.

Ed. Jack Flam. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996.

Shirey, David L. Impossible ArtWhat Is It?

Art in America, 57:3 (May-June 1969), pp. 3247.

Siegel, Jeanne, ed. Artwords: Discourse on the 60s and 70s.

New York: Da Capo Press, 1985.

Smithson, Robert. The Writings of Robert Smithson.

Ed. Nancy Holt. New York: New York University Press, 1979.

Sold Out Art: More Buyers than Ever Sail in to a Broadening Market.
Life 55 (20 September 1963), pp. 125129.

When Attitudes Become Form: Works Concepts ProcessesSituationsInformation: Live in Your Head.
Exh. cat. Bern: Kunsthalle, 1969.

selected bibliography

Solomon, Alan. New York: The New Art Scene.

New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1967.

White, Harrison C., and Cynthia A. White. Canvases and Careers: Institutional Change in the French Painting World.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.

Staniszewski, Mary Anne. Conceptual Supplement.

Flash Art, 143 (November-December 1988), pp. 88117.

Steigerwald, David. The Sixties and the End of Modern America.

New York: St. Martins Press, 1995.

White, Robin. Interview with Robert Barry.

View, 1:2 (May 1978), pp. 224.

Stemmrich, Gregor. Minimal ArtUnderlying Concepts.

In Minimal Art and Its Inuence on International Art of the 1990s. Exh. cat. Ed. Peter Friese. Bremen: Neues Museum Weserburg, 1998.

Whiting, Ccile. A Taste for Pop: Pop Art, Gender and Consumer Culture.
Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

Taylor, Paul, ed. Post-Pop Art.

Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1989.

Toffler, Alvin. The Culture Consumers: A Study of Art and Affluence in America.
New York: St. Martins Press, 1964.

Trini, Tommaso. Intervista con Ian Wilson/ Ian Wilson, an Interview.

Data, 1:1 (September 1971), pp. 3234.

Tuchman, Phyllis. An Interview with Carl Andre. Artforum, 8:10 (June 1970), pp. 5561. 2,972,453.
Exh. cat. Buenos Aires: Centro de Arte y Comunicacin, 1971.

Vanity Fair: The New York Art Scene.

Newsweek, 4 January 1965, pp. 5459.

Varian, Elayne H. New Dealing.

Art in America, 8 (January-February 1970), pp. 6873.

Waldman, Diane. Holes without History.

Art News, 70 (May 1971), pp. 4547, 6667.

Wall, Jeff. Dan Grahams Kammerspiel.

Toronto: Art Metropole, 1991.



Abstract expressionism, 44, 45, 65, 105. See also New York School Action art, 11 Advertising. See also Publicity Andre on, 6 as art, 49, 5152, 100 in Artforum, 132 and artistic practices, 41, 49, 52, 100, 131, 185n72 and artists, 40, 42 in buses, 51 campaign, 42, 130 direct mail, 12, 72 as discourse, 42 as documentation, 131132 egalitarian aspect of, 199n38 and fragmentation, 133 Kosuth on, 42, 51, 185n72 language of, 41 in newspapers, 42, 49, 100

and patronage, 40 and postmodernization, 171n5 practice of, 41 proliferation of, 2 and promotion of art, 1516, 24, 118, 131, 204n33 relationship to art, 5, 41, 49, 52, 100, 120, 131, 156, 164 as secondary information, 133 Siegelaubs use of, 16, 118, 204n33 strategies of, 42, 118, 131 in trains, 51 venue, 52 Advertising Age, 199n38 Alcoa (Aluminum Company of America), 127 Alloway, Lawrence, 103, 105, 163164 Aluminum series (Stella), 88 American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T), 127 AMK Corporation, 127

Amount of Bleach Poured on a Rug and Allowed to Bleach (Weiner), 98, 128 Andre, Carl on advertising, 6 on art and matter, 183n60 and arte povera, 178n49 artwork by, 17, 20, 21 as art worker, 22 and Art Workers Coalition, 125, 128, 200n9 and certicate of authenticity, 23, 178n51 and conceptual art, 191n48 correspondence with Siegelaub, 207n18 exhibitions, 16, 27, 187n14, 196n2 Graham on, 20, 22, 191n48, 203n16 Huebler on, 191n48 and idea, 44, 74 inuence on Huebler, 74 inuence on Kosuth, 3435, 100 Joint, 2023, 52, 111, 113, 178n49 Kosuth on, 44 and materials, 2223, 34, 44, 89, 97, 117, 122, 177n45, 187n14, 198n33 and minimalism, 23, 52 and patronage, 74, 177n43 and place, 20, 187n14 and pop art, 23, 178n48 and practice of art, 23 and presentation of art, 2223, 111, 203n16 and reception of art, 24 relationship to Graham, 20, 100, 191n48 on replication, 178n52 Scatter Piece, 203n15 at School of Visual Arts, 27 and seriality, 20, 181n30 and temporality, 20, 23, 113 at Windham College symposium, 19 Andre Emmerich Gallery, 44 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, 176n31 Annual Exhibition of Sculpture and Prints (Whitney Museum), 187n9 Antihumanism, 28 Archi-traces (Derrida), 70, 189n30 Areas (Mangold), 88 Art and Artists, 177n42

Art criticism, 41, 120121 Arte povera, 178n49 Artforum, 9, 47, 49, 131132, 177n42, 179n4 Art in America, 49, 155 Artists Reserved Rights Transfer and Sale Agreement, 164169, 210n53, 211nn5557 Artists rights, 123 Art-Language Hot Warm Cool Cold, 208n22 22 Sentences: The French Army, 208n22 Art market, 710, 13, 40, 157, 161, 173nn45 Art News, 11 Art patrons. See Patrons Arts Magazine, 27, 57, 177n42, 183n60 Art Workers Coalition (AWC), 125, 128, 160161, 172n11, 200n7, 201nn910 ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers), 160 Asher, Michael, 207n18 Ashton, Dore, 60, 62, 63, 186n2 Associated Press, 127 Atkinson, Conrad, 4 Atkinson, Terry, 207n22, 208n29, 210n45. See also Art-Language 22 Sentences: The French Army, 208n22 Avant-Garde, 79, 80, 172n11. See also Vanguard Baldwin, Michael, 207n22, 208n29, 210n45. See also Art-Language 22 Sentences: The French Army, 208n22 Bannard, Walter Darby, 196n2 Barry, Robert artwork by, 17, 23, 56, 83, 103119, 198n32, 208n22, 209n30 and Art Workers Coalition, 125 88 mc Carrier Wave (FM), 115116 exhibitions, 16, 17, 47, 102, 103, 106, 107, 111, 115, 118, 156, 161, 163, 183n63, 196n2, 207n22 lms, 113, 197n24 and fragmentation, 109 Green Line, 103, 105 and idea, 115 Inert Gas Series, 118

index 225


Barry, Robert (cont.) Inert Gas Series: Helium, 119 and materials, 114115, 117, 197n26, 198nn32,34,35, 199n36 and media fetishization, 156 and minimalism, 107, 114, 117 and negation of visual, 113115, 117118, 122 New York to Luxembourg CB Carrier Wave, January 531, 1969, 115 One Million Dots, 203n17 Orange Edges, 105106, 196n7 Outdoor Monolament Installation, 198n29 and photography, 199n36 and place, 106, 111, 113, 209n30 and practice of art, 55, 89, 98, 100, 103, 105, 107, 117, 118, 122 and presentation of art, 102, 106107, 109, 114115, 117118, 197n18, 203n17, 208n22 publicity photo of, 58 on radiation waves, 198n32 and reception of art, 23, 107, 109, 111, 113115, 122 relationship to Cage, 113 Scenes, 113 and site specicity, 117 1600 kc Carrier Wave (AM), 115116 and systemic painting, 103, 105 Telepathic Piece, 208n22 and temporality, 113114, 203n17 Untitled (1967), 110 Untitled (19671968), 108 Untitled (1968), 112 at Windham College symposium, 19 0.5 Microcurie Radiation Installation, 198n32 Barthes, Roland, 82, 181n36, 182n38, 193n67, 195nn22,28 Battcock, Gregory, 123125, 127, 129, 200n7 Baudrillard, Jean, 15, 41, 42, 120, 156, 199n39 Baxter, Iain, 156, 207n22, 209n30 Bellamy, Richard, 44, 183n56 Benjamin, Walter, 156, 202n5 Bochner, Mel, 133134, 181n30, 202n7 Working Drawings and Other Visible Things on Paper Not Necessarily Meant to Be Viewed as Art, 133, 202nn79

Bongartz, Roy, 187n14 Borges, Jorge Luis, 188n22 Boston-New York Exchange Shape (Huebler), 77, 79 Boulez, Pierre, 181n30 Bourdieu, Pierre, 14, 2627, 176n34 Brecht, Bertolt, 156, 208n26 Brown, Gordon, 28, 57 Brown, Trisha, 92 Buchloh, Benjamin H. D., 80, 178n51 Bunting, John R., 176n31 Buren, Daniel, 5, 209n30, 210n45 Burgin, Victor, 4 Business Committee for the Arts, 176n31 Butler, Eugenia, 32 Cage, John, 77, 113, 192n53 Cain, Michael, 200n9 Capitalism, 2, 7, 100, 154, 157, 171n5, 172n11, 208n27 Card File (Morris), 204n26 Carl Andre, Robert Barry, Douglas Huebler, Joseph Kosuth, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris, Lawrence Weiner, 202n4. See also The Xerox Book Carrier waves, 114115 Castelli, Leo, 175n21. See also Leo Castelli Gallery Castoro, Rosemarie, 4 CBS, 127 Certicate of authenticity, 73, 120, 178n51 Chamberlain, John, 186n2 Chandler, John, 188n23 Christo, 22, 23, 65 Lower Manhattan Packed Buildings, 187n15 Clerk, Pierre, 174n18, 175n25 Collectors. See also Patrons and art milieu, 121 and art production, 173n4 and businessmen, 12, 40 and capitalism, 7 and certicate of ownership, 4, 73 critique of, 11 and documentation, 4, 73 and idea, 1 and image, 8, 10 increase in numbers of, 11 and investment potential, 7, 40

new type of, 8, 173n4 and privacy, 168 relationship to artists, 2, 9, 89, 106, 168 relationship to artwork, 8, 40, 89 relationship to dealers, 10, 121 rights of, 168 Siegelaub on, 9 and value of art, 9, 40 Commodity art as, 4, 22, 100, 169 form, 15, 22 objects, 32, 178n48 sign machine, 175n27 supplier of, 7 Conceptual art and advanced capitalism, 2 Andres art as, 191n48 as art movement, 124, 170, 199200n44, 208n29 and aura, 169, 181n37 and certicates, 178n51, 191n46 commercial packaging of, 5 and commodity status of art, 4 and context specicity, 20 criticism of, 120, 172n11 and cultural system, 169 denition of, 35, 40, 56, 73, 131 and drug culture, 183n58 and economic aspect, 1 emergence, 3, 4, 5, 172n11 exhibitions, 23, 124, 129 Flavins art as, 191n48 history of, 4, 172nn9,11 of individual artists, 51, 80, 82, 92, 93, 96, 98, 100, 115, 122 for magazines and newspapers, 184n66 marketing of, 133 media determinism of, 205n41 and method of production, 154 and minimalism, 199200n44 and negation of expression, 172n11 participatory nature of, 80, 98 political economy of, 4 public conception of, 128 reception of, 80, 98, 128 and serial music, 181n30

and site specicity, 20 and text, 181n36 theory of, 77 Consumer culture, 2 Consumer society, 84 Context-specic art, 20, 117 Copy machine, 135, 204n28. See also Photocopy; Xerography Copyright, 169 Cornell, Joseph, 186n2 Corporations and advertising, 15 and association with art, 1314, 176n31 as collectors, 13 and cultural capital, 15, 176n34 funds of, 13 ideology of, 13 interests of, 16 and laissez-faire economics, 13 logos, 41 as patrons, 1315, 16, 176n32 practice of, 15 and public relations, 1314 social conscience, 176n31 and sponsorship, 2, 176n31 Counterculture, 176n29 Cultural capital (Bourdieu), 15, 176n34 Cunningham, Merce, 92 Dance Diagrams, 80 Darboven, Hanne, 4 De Antonio, Emile, 175n21 Decentering of artwork, 7374, 96 of art world, 4 of communications, 209n33 of modern life, 157 De Kooning, Willem, 175n21, 186n2 De Maria, Walter, 18 Mile Long Drawing, 65 Derrida, Jacques, 70, 195n21 De Stijl, 29 Detumescence (Graham), 190n43 Dibbets, Jan, 207n22, 209n30, 210n45 Dirks, Raymond, 190n41

index 227


Distillation, 196n7 Distribution, 3, 5, 15, 49, 73, 74, 83, 121, 183n63 Documenta, 125, 200n6 Document (Statement of Aesthetic Withdrawal) (Morris), 178n51 Do It Yourself (Warhol), 80 Douglas Huebler: November 1968, 72, 7476, 130, 132, 209n31 Duchamp, Marcel, 30, 34 L.H.O.O.Q., 178n51 Duration Piece #2 (Huebler), 77 Duration Piece #8 (Huebler), 208n22 Duration Pieces (Huebler), 77, 80 Dwan Gallery, 40, 93 Eastman, Michael, 174n18 Egalitarianism, 68, 9698, 121, 163, 168, 199n38 18 Happenings in Six Parts (Kaprow), 68, 80 88 mc Carrier Wave (FM) (Barry), 115116 Eight Young Artists, 102, 196n2 Electromagnetic elds, 115 Environments, 11 Enzensberger, Hans Magnus, 154, 156157, 204n28, 205n41, 206n11, 208n27 Evergreen Review, 181n36 Every Building on Sunset Strip (Ruscha), 190n44 Exhibition of the void, 114 Exhibitions and advertising, 131 catalogue-exhibitions, 95, 100, 203n18 catalogues, 28, 57, 7275, 80, 98, 120, 154155, 157, 159, 173n13, 183n63, 192nn5152, 204nn3233, 207nn17,18,22, 209n31 context, 109 and ephemerality of artwork, 92 format of, 135 and fragmentation, 96 of groups, 16 and mass media, 11 newspapers reporting on, 7 organization of, 1112 practices and strategies, 3, 5, 10, 12, 121, 130, 148, 183n63, 209n37, 210n47 production of, 11 publicity, 7, 11, 16

and space, 24, 39, 52, 66, 184n63 and temporality, 135 transformation of, 12 and value of art, 211n56 Fascism, 92, 96 Feigen Gallery, 187n15 Ferus Gallery, 32 Figurative (Graham), 190n43 Financial Times, 160 Fiore, Quentin, 47, 86, 88, 130, 133, 135, 194n17 First Investigations (Kosuth), 32, 51 First Pennsylvania Corporation, 176n31 Fischer, Konrad, 161, 210n45 Flag (Johns), 8485 Flavin, Dan Bochner on, 181n30 and certicate of authenticity, 23, 74, 178n51 correspondence with Siegelaub, 207n18 exhibition of artwork by, 52, 177n42, 178n48, 191n48, 207n18 and exhibition space, 52 Graham on, 177n42, 191n48 Huebler on, 191n48 and materials, 34, 89, 97, 100, 122 and minimalism, 3435, 52, 97 and patronage, 74 and reception of art, 34, 100 and site specicity, 190n44 Ford Foundation, 176n31 Forti, Simone, 92 Ford Motor Company, 127 Fragmentation, 49, 52, 70, 96, 109, 121, 131, 133, 163 Framing and conceptual art, 40 conventions, 18, 6465 the environment (outdoors), 6365 and experience, 64 extending art beyond, 6365, 120, 197n18 by language, 183n54 and reception of art, 120 and secondary information, 117 Siegelaub on, 64 Frampton, Hollis, 113

Frank, Thomas, 15 Fried, Lawrence, 43 Fried, Michael, 70, 71, 107, 189nn29,34, 194n13, 197n19 Friedman, Milton, 13 Gallery 669, 32, 33 General Motors Corporation, 127 Ginnever, Chuck, 177n38 Globalization, 154, 159 Global village (McLuhan), 159 Glueck, Grace, 191n51 Goldman, Robert, 175n27 Goossen, Eugene, 102, 105106, 196n7 Graham, Dan on Andre, 2223 and art as commodity, 22, 52, 100 on Christo, 187n15 and context specicity, 20 as critic, 20, 22, 191n48, 203n16 Detumescence, 190n43 Figurative, 190n43 on Flavin, 191n48, 203n16 Homes for America, 190n43 inuence of Lozano on, 184n67 and minimalism, 23 as moderator, 177n42 and Museum of Normal Art, 183n56 and place, 20, 177n44 and pop art, 20, 23 and practice of art, 7374 and publicity, 73 Schema (March 1966), 190n43 Scheme, 190n43 at School of Visual Arts, 27 Side Effect/Common Drug, 190n43 and site reception of art, 73 and specicity, 20, 74, 190n44 and temporality, 23 at Windham College symposium, 19 Greenberg, Clement, 34 Green Gallery, 44 Green Line (Barry), 103, 105 Greer, Manuel, 184n63 Grinstein, Stanley, 118

Guggenheim, Solomon R., Museum, 103 Guston, Phillip, 186n2 Haacke, Hans, 190n44 Halprin, Ann, 92 Happenings, 10, 11, 68, 80, 8990, 174n20, 175n23 Hardt, Michael, 2, 206n13 Harrison, Charles, 910, 5556, 186n3, 199n44, 209n37 Harten, Jrgen, 161, 210n46 Hay, Deborah, 92 Haywood, Robert, 177n41 Heizer, Michael, 18, 65, 187nn1314 Held, Al, 186n2 Hendin, Arni, 10, 174n20 Hofmann, Hans, 186n2 Hollywood, 1, 12 Homes for America (Graham), 190n43 Hot Warm Cool Cold (Art-Language), 208n22 Hudson River Museum, 102 Huebler, Douglas and abstract expressionism, 65 and art history, 82, 100 artwork by, 6063, 6668, 7581 and Art Workers Coalition, 125 Boston-New York Exchange Shape, 77, 79 and documentation, 60, 66, 6971, 75, 77, 131132, 191n46, 204n33 Duration Piece #2, 77 Duration Piece #8, 208n22 Duration Pieces, 77, 80 exhibitions, 47, 63, 72, 74, 130, 156, 161, 163, 183n63, 187n9, 189190n37, 192n51, 204n33, 207n22 and fragmentation, 70, 82, 96, 131 on framing, 6365, 197n18 and happenings, 68 and idea, 191n46 and language, 68, 7073, 193n65 and materials, 61, 66, 6869, 71, 73, 75, 77, 97, 130, 208n22 and minimalism, 62, 77 and negation of visual, 60, 62 and patronage, 74

index 229


Huebler, Douglas (cont.) and photography, 188n25, 193n65 and place, 68, 6971, 77, 209n30 and pop art, 131 and practice of art, 68, 7172, 77, 89, 98, 130, 133 and presentation of art, 61, 6364, 66, 77, 98, 100, 102, 115, 122, 131, 133, 156, 209n30 and publicity, 57, 131, 175n25 publicity photo of, 58 and reception of art, 62, 66, 72, 7475, 80, 8283, 88, 92, 97, 100 relationship to Cage, 77, 192n53 relationship to Siegelaub, 63, 75, 102, 187n9, 191nn5051 and Robbe-Grillet, 66, 188n19 Rochester Trip, 6768 and secondary information, 6970, 115 and serialization, 71, 188n23 Siegelaub on, 175n25, 189190n37, 192n51 and site of exhibition, 6970, 122 Site Sculpture Project. Windham College Pentagram, 69 and site specicity, 6970, 72, 74 and temporality, 71, 77, 80, 82, 208n22 texts by, 68, 80 Truro Series 3-66, 61 Variable Piece #1, 80 Variable Pieces, 8081 Hultn, Pontus, 125 Humanism, 28, 82 Huot, Robert, 113, 196n2, 210n45 Iarusso, Alfred Michael, 174n18 Image. Art Programs for Industry, Inc., 1213, 14, 16 Inert Gas Series (Barry), 118 Inert Gas Series: Helium (Barry), 119 Informatization, 2, 3 International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), 8 International General, 172n6 Iris Clert Gallery, 114 Jameson, Fredric, 66 January 531, 1969, 47, 49, 50, 58, 98, 115, 116, 123, 129, 160, 163 Jewish Museum (New York), 62

Johanson, Patricia, 196n2 John Daniels Gallery, 20 Johns, Jasper, 89, 93, 175n21 Flag series, 84, 86 Painted Bronze, 175n21 Joint (Andre), 2023, 52, 111, 113, 178n49 Joseph Kosuth, Robert Morris, 154155 Judd, Donald, 18, 27, 29, 34, 35, 41, 52, 86, 106, 122, 178n48, 180nn19,22 Judson Dance Theater, 92 July, August, September 1969, 158, 209nn31,33 July, August, September 1969, 159 Junker, Howard, 44, 187n13 Kaltenbach, Stephen, 207n22, 209n38, 210n45 Kaprow, Allan, 2, 11, 26, 92, 164, 175n23, 177n41 18 Happenings in Six Parts, 68, 80 Yard, 177n41 Kawara, On, 30, 180n16, 207n18 Kelly, Ellsworth, 186n2 Kelly, Mary, 4 Kertess, Klaus, 183n56 Klein, Yves, 114, 178n51 Kline, Franz, 186n2 Knight, John, 4 Knig, Kasper, 183n56 Kosuth, Joseph. See also Rose, Arthur R. and advertising, 30, 40, 4142, 49, 52, 96, 184n67 artwork by, 3033, 43, 44, 48, 50, 204n26, 206n14, 209n30 and Art Workers Coalition, 125, 200n9 and conceptual art, 35, 40, 51 and context specicity, 34 correspondence with Siegelaub, 207n18 as critic, 2628, 41, 47, 49, 51, 57, 179n4 and de Stijl, 29 and documentation, 34 and drug culture, 44 exhibitions, 2829, 32, 47, 156, 161, 179n12, 183n63, 207n22, 208n22, 210n45 First Investigations, 32, 51 and fragmentation, 49, 52 and history of art, 26, 182n40 and idea, 35, 40, 86, 182n44 inuence of Andre on, 3445

inuence of Flavin on, 3435 inuence of Judd on, 34 inuence of LeWitt on, 51 inuence of Robbe-Grillet on, 28 inuence on Huebler, 100 and language, 30, 45, 180n21, 183n54 and Lannis Gallery, 2728, 30, 179n9, 180n20 and mass media, 27 and materials, 29, 34, 47, 180n21, 204n26 and minimalism, 30, 3435, 52 and Museum of Normal Art, 2930, 44, 180n20, 183n56 and negation of visual, 49, 128 and nouveau roman, 28 and ownership of art, 195n29 photostats, 30, 32, 4042, 47, 49, 51, 180n22 and pop art, 27, 30, 32, 34 and practice of art, 29, 32, 34, 4142, 49, 51, 53, 98, 182n44, 184n67 and presentation of art, 42, 47, 49, 51, 102, 184n67, 201n14 and primary information, 122 pseudonym, 26, 41, 49, 57, 177n41, 180n23 and publicity, 2628, 4142, 52, 179n9 publicity photo of, 43, 58 and reception of art, 128, 156, 201n14 relationship to Kozlov, 4, 2729, 179n9 relationship to Siegelaub, 26, 42, 44, 47, 5253, 56, 102, 161, 163 relationship to Warhol, 27, 30, 32, 86, 180n23 at School of Visual Arts, 27 Second Investigation, 47, 4952, 100, 128, 206n14 and seriality, 30, 35, 49 and temporality, 51 Titled (Art as Idea as Idea) (1967), 31, 47, 48 Titled (Art as Idea as Idea) (1968), 33 and value of art, 96 VIII. Eventuality (Art as Idea as Idea), 208n22 Kruger, Barbara, 4 Kunsthalle (Bern), 187n15 Ladies Home Journal, 174n8 Laissez-faire economics, 13 Land art, 65

Language II, 93 Lannan, J. Patrick, 208n29 Lannis Gallery, 2728, 30, 179n9. See also Museum of Normal Art Laura Knott Gallery, 1618, 22, 107, 109, 111, 154, 177n38 Leider, Philip, 184n67 Leo Castelli Gallery, 44 LeWitt, Sol artwork by, 36, 37, 156, 209n30 and conceptual art, 35, 77, 96, 98 correspondence with Siegelaub, 207n18 and decentering role of artist, 38 and documentation, 191n46 exhibitions, 207nn18,22 and fragmentation, 96 and idea, 35, 38 inuence on Kosuth, 51 and materials, 65 and minimalism, 39 and practice of art, 38, 65, 98, 105, 181n37 and presentation of art, 35, 98 and reception of art, 51, 98, 156 at School of Visual Arts, 27 and seriality, 35, 38, 181n30, 188n23, 203n18 L.H.O.O.Q. (Duchamp), 178n51 Lichtenstein, Dorothy, 47 Lichtenstein, Roy, 27, 47, 86, 180n22, 193n5 Life (magazine), 7, 8, 9, 174n8 Lippard, Lucy R., 4, 82, 123125, 169, 183n56, 184n67, 188n23, 204n33 Litanies (Morris), 178n51 Livesey, Herbert, 174n18 Long, Richard, 65, 209n30 Lower Manhattan Packed Buildings (Christo), 187n15 Lowry, Bates, 125, 200n7 Lozano, Lee, 4, 47, 52, 100, 184n67 The Machine as Seen at the End of the Mechanical Age, 125126 Macrostructures, 187n15 Mademoiselle, 160 Mallarm, Stphane, 195n21 Maloney, Martin, 186n2

index 231


Mangold, Robert, 88, 93 Areas, 88 Manzoni, Piero, 178n51 March 131, 1969, 207n16. See also One Month Mass culture, 20, 32, 52, 73, 86 Mass media, 8, 11, 27, 52, 156 Maxs Kansas City, 12, 27, 106 May 19June19, 1969, 207n22. See also Simon Fraser Exhibition McLuhan, Marshall, 49, 86, 88, 130, 133, 135, 154, 194n17, 204n28, 206n11 McShine, Kynaston, 6263, 187n9 Meyer, Ursula, 198n32, 210n47 Mile Long Drawing (De Maria), 65 Milkowski, Antoni, 196n2 Miller, Dorothy, 175n25 Minimalism, 18, 23, 30, 3445, 52, 62, 77, 88, 97, 107, 114, 117, 178n49, 179n14, 194nn13,15, 197n19, 199n39 Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Company, 127 Morris, Robert, 18, 41, 107, 178n51, 190n43, 191n46, 197n17, 203n17, 206n14 Card File, 204n26 Document (Statement of Aesthetic Withdrawal), 178n51 Litanies, 178n51 There Are Two Temperatures: One Outside, One Inside, 206n14 Motherwell, Robert, 186n2 Museum for Contemporary Art (Chicago), 177n42 Museum of Modern Art (MoMA, New York), 125128, 175n25, 200n7, 201nn89 Museum of Normal Art, 29, 44, 180n20, 183n56. See also Lannis Gallery Naifeh, Steven, 175n24 Nation, 163 Nauman, Bruce, 207n18 NBC, 127 Negri, Antonio, 2, 206n13 N.E. Thing Co., 210n45 Nevelson, Louise, 186n2 Newman, Barnett, 102, 105, 186n2, 196n2 Newsweek, 7, 2728, 32, 40, 42, 43, 44, 174n8 New York, 160

New York School, 9, 11, 84, 103. See also Abstract expressionism New York Times, 9, 127, 160, 174nn11,20, 175n23, 184n68, 191n51 New York Times Magazine, 175n21, 187n14 New York to Luxembourg CB Carrier Wave, January 531, 1969 (Barry), 115 Noland, Kenneth, 105 Non-Anthropomorphic Art by Four Young Artists, 28, 179nn12,14, 180n16 Non-Site (Smithson), 69, 70, 71 Norvell, Patricia, 155, 160, 195n26, 199n36, 209n38 Nouveau roman, 28, 96 OConnor, Francis, 8 ODoherty, Brian, 175n23 Ohlson, Douglas, 196n2 Oldenburg, Claes, 27, 188n16 One Hole in the Ground Approximately One Foot by One Foot / One Gallon Waterbased White Paint Poured into This Hole (Weiner), 95 One Million Dots (Barry), 203n17 One Month, 155, 163. See also March 131, 1969 One Pint Gloss White Lacquer Poured Directly upon the Floor and Allowed to Dry, 9293 Oppenheim, Dennis, 18, 187n14, 191n46 Surface Indentations, 65 Opticality (Fried), 107 Orange Edges (Barry), 105106, 196n7 Ortman, George, 186n2 Outdoor Monolament Installation (Barry), 198n29 Ownership, 1, 4, 40, 73, 74, 82, 120, 153, 155, 159, 164, 169 Painted Bronze (Johns), 175n21 Papson, Stephen, 175n27 Patrons. See also Collectors and art movements, 53 and certicates of authenticity, 23 and certicates of ownership, 4 and corporations, 1315, 16 and direct-mail advertising, 72 and distribution of art, 120

of innovative art, 7 new type of, 7, 173n4 prestige of, 7 relationship to art, 4, 89 relationship to artists, 40 role of, 74 and Siegelaub, 190n38 traditional types of, 89, 176n32, 208n29 Paxton, Steve, 92 Perreault, John, 32 Phenomenology, 62, 63, 75, 82, 89, 107, 111, 114 Philip Morris Europe, 2 Photocopy, 135, 157, 164, 204n28. See also Copy machine; Xerography Photostat, 30, 32, 4042, 47, 49, 51, 180n22 Piene, Otto, 65 Piper, Adrian, 4 Place, 20, 68, 6971, 77, 106, 111, 113, 177n44, 187n14, 209n30 Pollock, Jackson, 44, 89, 93, 186n2 Pop art, 20, 23, 27, 30, 32, 34, 86, 88, 89, 97, 131, 173n7, 178nn4849, 182n47, 190n43 Postindustrial economy, 171n5 Postindustrial ephemeralization (Perreault), 152, 154 Postmodernization, 171n5 Powers, John, 40 Price, Kenneth, 186n2 Primary information (Siegelaub), 56, 69, 73, 115, 122, 155156, 159, 163, 169 Primary Structures, 63, 187n9 Printing press, 133, 202n6 Projansky, Robert, 164168 Propeller series (Weiner), 8486, 88, 93 Prospect 69, 161163 catalogue, 74, 162, 163 Public art, 129 Publicity, 912, 16, 20, 4142, 52, 56, 57, 58, 73, 106, 118, 122, 130131, 156, 161, 163, 170 Public space, 11, 24, 57, 128 Radiation waves, 198n32 Radio waves, 117 Rainer, Yvonne, 4, 92 Raw information (Huebler), 71

Readymade, 23, 30, 34, 100, 178n51 Reinhardt, Ad, 27, 30, 32, 102103, 183n54, 186n2 Removal series (Weiner), 8889, 9293, 95 Rhodes, Silas, 125 Riley, Bridget, 105 Rinaldi, Michael, 179n12, 183n56 Robbe-Grillet, Alain, 28, 66, 71 Rochester Trip (Huebler), 6768 Rockefeller, John D., III, 176n32 Rockefeller Brothers Fund, 176n31 Rockefeller Foundation, 176n31 Rockefeller Panel Report, 14, 176nn3132 Rogets Thesaurus, 47, 49, 51, 52, 206n14 Rose, Arthur R., 20, 26, 41, 44, 57, 163, 177n41, 180n23. See also Kosuth, Joseph Rose, Barbara, 2, 120121, 123, 160 Rosenberg, Harold, 9 Rosler, Martha, 4 Rossi, Ernest, 179n12 Rubber Ball Thrown at the Sea (Weiner), 208n22 Ruscha, Ed, 190n44, 207n18, 210n45 Some Los Angeles Apartments, 190n44 Twenty-six Gasoline Stations, 190n44 Russell, John, 174n11 Saturday Evening Post, 187n13 Scatter Piece (Andre), 203n15 Scenes (Barry), 113 Schema (March 1966) (Graham), 190n43 Scheme (Graham), 190n43 Schoenberg, Arnold, 181n30 School of Visual Arts (New York), 27, 29, 125, 127 Visual Arts Gallery, 133134, 202nn79 Scull, Ethel, 10, 174n20 Scull, Robert, 10, 174n20 Secondary information (Siegelaub), 56, 69, 73, 83, 96, 115, 117, 122, 133, 154156, 159, 163, 169 Second Investigation (Kosuth), 47, 4952, 100, 128, 206n14 Semiology, 96 Seriality, 30, 47, 49, 51, 71, 84, 8889, 92, 96, 105, 118119, 181n30, 203nn1718 Serra, Richard Verb List, 194n15

index 233


Seth Siegelaub and Robert Gaile Oriental Rugs, 174n17 Seth Siegelaub Contemporary Art, 10, 11, 12, 63, 84, 85, 174n20, 186n2, 196n11 Sharp, Willoughby, 200n7 Shirey, David, 155 Side Effect/Common Drug (Graham), 190n43 Sidney Janis Gallery, 44 Siegelaub, Seth. See also Seth Siegelaub Contemporary Art and advertising, 12, 1516, 24, 72, 149, 204n33 as art dealer, 174n17, 204n33 as artist, 58, 106, 160, 165167, 209n38 artists represented by, 4, 16, 47, 107, 114, 117, 150, 161, 163, 187n9, 207n18 and Artists Reserved Rights Transfer and Sale Agreement, 164169, 210n53 and artists rights, 151, 160, 164 and Art Workers Coalition, 125, 128, 160, 161, 201n9 and certicate of authenticity, 120, 178n51, 190n45 and conceptual art, 3, 5, 55, 56, 128129, 152, 153, 169170 as consultant, 161 and corporations, 1314, 136 correspondence with artists, 207n18, 208n29 distribution practices, 3, 5, 74, 120121, 131, 133, 148149, 157, 159160, 164, 205n5, 207n19 and economic aspect of art, 1, 5 exhibition catalogues, 5657, 7275, 120, 149, 157, 159, 204n33 exhibition practices, 3, 5, 10, 35, 122, 128129, 130, 131, 209nn31,33,37 exhibitions organized by, 3, 16, 18, 47, 60, 74, 115, 122, 123, 129, 134, 154, 155, 159, 161, 163, 177n38, 186n2, 190n41, 206n14, 207n18, 208n29 and exhibition space, 24, 74, 128, 153, 154 and framing, 18, 6465, 120 and globalization, 154 and group exhibitions, 16, 18 and Image. Art Programs for Industry, Inc., 1214, 16, 136

and language, 140, 157 on LeWitt, 186n5 as moderator, 177n42, 201n9 and ownership of art, 4, 73, 120, 164, 168169 and patrons, 1011, 12, 1314, 16, 72, 73, 149, 168, 204n29 photograph of, 3 and primary information, 56, 73, 153155, 159 and promotion of art, 3, 5, 1215, 24, 42, 55, 5657, 72, 120122, 164, 169, 190n38, 204n33, 207n19 and publicity, 9, 1011, 16, 24, 5657, 106, 122, 130131, 152, 161, 183nn59,63, 186n8 and public relations, 6, 12, 1314, 16 relationship to Barry, 106, 196n11 relationship to Huebler, 6265, 75, 133, 191nn5051 relationship to Kosuth, 26, 42, 47, 5253 and secondary information, 56, 73, 117, 122, 135136, 154155 and Seth Siegelaub Contemporary Art, 1011, 12, 63, 196n11 and site specicity, 74 and value of art, 9 Weiner on, 5 and xerography, 134136, 148, 155, 157, 203nn10,14 Siegelaub idea, 160, 170 Signature, 4, 47, 86, 169 Sign value, 6, 15, 120, 131, 154, 156, 169, 199n39 Simon Fraser Exhibition, 156, 207n22. See also May19June 19, 1969 Site Sculpture Project. Windham College Pentagram (Huebler), 69 Site specicity, 18, 20, 70, 72, 74, 117, 190n44 Six Ten Penny Common Steel Nails. Nails to Be Driven into Floor at Indicated Terminal Points (Weiner), 9395 1600 kc Carrier Wave (AM) (Barry), 115116 Smith, David, 186n2 Smith, Tony, 6465, 196n2 Smithson, Robert, 27, 41, 187n14, 188n31, 209n30 Non-Sites, 6971 Snow, Michael, 113 Social capital, 26

Solomon, Alan, 2 Some Los Angeles Apartments (Ruscha), 190n44 Sontag, Susan, 182n38 Spencer, Lannis Louis, 27, 179n9, 183n56 Stable Gallery, 196n7 Staples, Stakes, Twine, Turf (Weiner), 8991, 111, 113, 194n13 Statement of Intent (Weiner), 9798 Statements (Weiner), 95 Stella, Frank, 93, 106 Aluminum series, 88 Stephen Radich Gallery, 196n10 Stevens, Elisabeth, 103 Stockhausen, Karlheinz, 181n30 Straight, 27, 42 Structuralism, 77, 82 Studio International, 160, 164167 Surface Indentations (Oppenheim), 65 Systemic Painting, 103, 105 Syverson, Terrence, 196n2 Takis, Vassilakis, 125126, 200n7 Tele-Sculpture, 125126 Telepathic Piece (Barry), 208n22 Tele-Sculpture (Takis), 125126 There Are Two Temperatures: One Outside, One Inside (Morris), 206n14 36 x 36 Removal to the Lathing or Support Wall of Plaster or Wallboard from a Wall (Weiner), 9899 Tibor de Nagy Gallery, 196n7 Time (magazine), 9, 27, 40, 174n8 Titled (Art as Idea as Idea) (Kosuth, 1967), 31, 47, 48 Titled (Art as Idea as Idea) (Kosuth, 1968), 33 Topol, Robert, 184n63, 198n29 Trademark, 41 Truro Series 3-66 (Huebler), 61 Tudor, David, 77 Turf, Stake, and String (Weiner), 93, 95, 194n16 25, 63, 186n2 Twenty-six Gasoline Stations (Ruscha), 190n44 Two Minutes of Spray Paint Directly upon the Floor from a Standard Spray Aerosol Can (Weiner), 44, 46, 9293 Tworkov, Jack, 186n2

Ultrasonic sound, 115117 United Fruit Company, 127 Untitled (Barry, 1967), 110 Untitled (Barry, 19671968), 108 Untitled (Barry, 1968), 112 Untitled (Weiner, 1966), 88 Use value, 15, 49, 120, 131, 154 Utopianism, 172n11 Value aesthetic, 3, 8 artistic, 5, 40 of artwork, 7, 9, 14, 15, 22, 35, 168 economies of, 5 exchange, of art, 7, 8, 22, 49, 120, 154 investment, of art, 7 market, of art, 22, 168 and materials, 22 prestige, of art, 15 of public relations, 14, 16, 26 relative, of objects, 156 sumptuary, of art, 168 Vanguard, 810. See also Avant-garde Variable Piece #1 (Huebler), 80 Variable Pieces (Huebler), 8081 Varian, Elayne, 160 Venice Biennial, 125, 200n6 Verb List (Serra), 194n15 Vietnam War, 127, 168, 200n12 VIII. Eventuality (Art as Idea as Idea) (Kosuth), 208n22 Village Voice, 32, 174n20 Visual Arts Gallery. See School of Visual Arts Vogue, 160, 174n8 Wagstaff, Samuel, Jr., 64 Warhol, Andy, 22, 23, 27, 29, 30, 32, 35, 52, 77, 80, 86, 120, 122, 124, 180n23 Do It Yourself, 80 Weber, John, 183n56 Weiner, Lawrence and advertising, 5, 100 An Amount of Bleach Poured on a Rug and Allowed to Bleach, 98, 128 and art history, 100

index 235


Weiner, Lawrence (cont.) artwork by, 17, 46, 8495, 97, 98, 209n30 on Barry, 106 catalogue-exhibition of, 95 and chance, 93 and conceptual art, 93, 97, 100, 115 and consumer society, 86 and decentering role of artist, 84, 89, 92, 9697, 100, 128, 195nn2526 exhibitions, 16, 47, 89, 93, 95, 156, 161, 163, 183n63, 186n2, 207208n22, 210n45 and fragmentation, 96 and framing, 197n18 and happenings, 89, 92 inuence of Andre on, 89 inuence of Flavin on, 89 inuence of Warhol on, 86, 88 Kosuth on, 45 and language, 45, 93, 9596, 98, 195n21 and material, 86, 89, 92, 95, 96, 97, 113 and minimalism, 88, 194n15 and nouveau roman, 96 One Hole in the Ground Approximately One Foot by One Foot / One Gallon Waterbased White Paint Poured into This Hole, 95 One Pint Gloss White Lacquer Poured Directly upon the Floor and Allowed to Dry, 9293 and patrons, 89 and pop art, 86, 89, 193n5 and practice of art, 45, 88, 89, 92 and presentation of art, 45, 84, 88, 89, 97, 111, 122, 209n30 Propeller series, 8486, 88, 93 publicity photo of, 58 and reception of art, 2324, 68, 86, 88, 89, 92, 9698, 111, 194n13 relationship to Graham, 20, 177n42 relationship to Siegelaub, 5, 16, 102, 106, 163, 175n25 Removal series, 8889, 9293, 95 A Rubber Ball Thrown at the Sea, 208n22 and secondary information, 96 on Siegelaub, 5 Six Ten Penny Common Steel Nails. Nails to Be Driven into Floor at Indicated Terminal Points, 9395

Staples, Stakes, Twine, Turf, 8991, 111, 113, 194n13 Statement of Intent, 9798 Statements, 95 and temporality, 97 A 36 x 36 Removal to the Lathing or Support Wall of Plaster or Wallboard from a Wall, 9899 Turf, Stake, and String, 93, 95, 194n16 Two Minutes of Spray Paint Directly upon the Floor from a Standard Spray Aerosol Can, 44, 46, 9293 Untitled (1966), 88 at Windham College symposium, 19 Wendler, Jack, 6, 13, 16 Westerly Gallery, 104, 196nn3,11 When Attitudes Become Form, 2 White, Cynthia, 10 Whitney Museum of American Art, 127, 187n9 Whole Earth Catalogue, 168 Wilcock, John, 174n20 Wilson, Ian, 47, 183n63, 210n45 Windham College exhibition, 16, 18, 2023, 44, 52, 64, 89, 111113, 120 symposium, 19, 113, 197n24 Working Drawings and Other Visible Things on Paper Not Necessarily Meant to Be Viewed as Art (Bochner), 133, 202nn79 Xerography, 124, 133, 135, 202n8. See also Copy machine; Photocopy Xerox Book, 133, 155, 157, 202nn4,5,9, 203n16, 204n26, 205n35 Xerox Corporation, 157 Xerox-degree of culture (Baudrillard), 120 Yard (Kaprow), 177n41 Yunkers, Adja, 186n2 0.5 Microcurie Radiation Installation (Barry), 198n32 Zox, Larry, 186n2