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Introduction

Artists‘ publications: analogue  digital!

What are digital artists‘ publications? How are they published and how do they appear as artworks? What emerges artistically explicitly as a digital work? The exhibition Artists‘ Publications: analog – digital! is dedicated to these questions, which have been artistically relevant since the 1960s, but which have been further updated in times of the Corona pandemic.

Artists‘ Publications: analog – digital! provides an overview of the diversity of digital references, media and forms of artists' publications from 1965 to the present. On the one hand, purely digital works are shown. On the other hand, the exhibition focuses on works that appear both as real objects and in electronic form. These forms and media have very different characteristics that identify them as artists' publications, which are reproduced, published and edited artistic works.

In keeping with the theme, Artists‘ Publications: analog – digital! will take place both as a cabinet exhibition at the Center for Artist's Publications and on this website as an online exhibition.

In the cabinet exhibition, the digital artist's publications will be on display, which will appear with an analog expression. Thus, early computer graphics by Frieder Nake, and Miroslav Klivar as well as by Marikke Heinz-Hoek will be shown. There are also artist's books based on computer works by Timm Ulrichs, Pavel Petasz, Paul Heimbach and Marikke Heinz-Hoek.

The Belgian artist Guy Bleus, who was already active in mail art at an early age, has used e-mail as an artistic medium for himself and the artist network of mail art tries to continue art via e-mail. He published his work from 1994 to 1997 in the magazine E-Pêle-Mêle, an electronic mail art netzine.

Parallel to net art, numerous multimedia editions designed by artists were created in the late 1990s. Marikke Heinz-Hoek published artistic works on floppy disk and Jenny Holzer a screensaver on CD-ROM. Other works include polyphemus' eye and other projects (1997) by Concha Jerez and José Iges, outline (1999) by Peter Downsbrough and "kill the poem" (2000) by Johannes Auer and Reinhard Döhl. Under the label ZKM Digital Arts Edition, the ZKM has released a whole series of multimedia editions by artists, including (dis)Locations, 2001, The complete artintact, 2002, as well as Cross Currents (1999) by Dennis Del Favero and Bleeding Through (2003) by Norman M. Klein. Muntadas published the edition Media, Architecture, Installations in 1999.
In terms of digital editions, the 2016 picture ski jumper by Jean-François Guiton, a screensaver for applecomputers, is on display. However, the edition only works in conjunction with the hardware.
Artists' books, artist's magazines and graphics, which are digitally created for Print on Demand (POD), appear as analogue objects produced on demand. Early works created through platforms such as Lulu.com include the artist book The Longest Day (2007) by David Horvitz, which depicted the blue cloudless sky over Los Angeles. Other works are by Silvio Lorusso and Giulia Ciliberto, who in 2011 created Blank on Demand, the smallest book to be produced via Lulu.com, and Jean Keller, who in 2013 created The Black Book, an all-black artist's book with approximately 700 pages, as many pages as can be printed with a printer cartridge. Artist books published through POD and featured in the exhibition were also published by Jonathan Hanahan, Angela Genusa, Ce Jian / Yuzheng Cheng, Antoine Lefebvre and Angela Washko. In the special function of a web-to-print, artists publish individual artist books and also graphics for download and printing - often free of charge - on their websites. Jan van der Til, for example, published the artist book Book III with a dedicated guide to printing. Heman Chong published two graphic posters for self-printing. He not only encouraged his followers on Instagram to go to the polls for the election of the President in Singapore in July 2020, but also to distribute and share his poster Who watches the watcher (2020), which he created for the election, with many others.

In this online presentation those works have been compiled which appear as purely digital works and can only be shown via the Internet itself. This includes digital artist books and artist magazines, websites designed by artists and social media contributions.

Digital artists' books can be created on the one hand on the basis of websites, as in the work Book VIII (j, a, n, v, a, n, d, e, r, t, i and l) by Jan van der Til, and on the other hand as PDF publications, as in the case of Harmen de Hoop's artist book BEELDEN VOOR ROTTERDAM from 2002. The individual issues of the magazine Sync - an ongoing artistic journal in digitally published zines - by Andreas Bülhoff are also published as PDFs, while magazines by Dan Perjovschi appear directly online.

Websites conceived and designed by artists can be viewed simultaneously as an archive, artist book, net art, action base and artwork. Rhizomebook.com, subtitled Rhizomebook a Book by Jan van der Til, is a digital artist book and at the same time a website that functions as an archive, book, catalogue, gallery, portal, publishing site, shop and work. Rhizomebook will be continued in an ongoing process of development and is thus subject to a permanent process of change. The website ABC Days. An Archive of Social Distance, 11 June - 9 July 2020 by the ABC [Artists' Books Cooperative] and Wil van Iersel comprises a total of 29 digital artist books. Twenty-nine international artists* have been invited to produce one book each. The condition was to upload it on a certain day during this period on the website and make it accessible online. Other websites to be considered as works of art are by Helen Thorington, Paul Heimbach, and Ben Vautier.

The use of Facebook and Instagram is increasingly being used by artists for their work, for the fun of social media and/or for marketing purposes. In addition, there are also posts that are considered works of art because of their conception. On 17.03.2020, for example, the Swedish artist Jonas Dahlberg published a 0:39 min long video of a bird on a branch on his Facebook page. During the Corona Pandemic, he added a new, approximately one-minute video of birds in his immediate vicinity almost daily. In the meantime, more than 126 videos have come together on Facebook and Instagram, all of which follow the same aesthetic. Amalia Ulman published photos of herself in various situations on her Instagram account between April and September 2014. In 178 entries the stereotypical fictitious biography of a young woman is presented in the sense of an Instagram performance. Dan Perjovschi, Heman Chong and Renee Carmichael have also made artistic use of social media and eBay.

Anne Thurmann-Jajes

 

Participating artists are:

Artists’ Books Cooperative, Johannes Auer / Reinhard Döhl, Guy Bleus, Andreas Bülhoff, Renee Carmichael, Heman Chong, Concha Jerez / José Iges, Jonas Dahlberg, Peter Downsbrough, Dennis Del Favero, Andres Galeano, Angela Genusa, Jean-François Guiton, Jonathan Hanahan, Agnes Hegedues, Paul Heimbach, Marikke Heinz-Hoek, Jenny Holzer, Harmen de Hoop, David Horvitz, Ian Howard, Ce Jian/Yuzheng Cheng, Jean Keller, Norman M. Klein, Miroslav Klivar, Antoine Lefebvre, Silvio Lorusso/Giulia Ciliberto, Manfred Mohr, Muntadas, Frieder Nake, Susan Norrie, Dan Perjovschi, Pavel Petasz, Noah Travis Phillips, Jeffrey Shaw, Lim Shengen, Paul Soulellis, Jan van der Til, Helen Thorington, Amalia Ulman, Timm Ulrichs, Ben Vautier, Angela Washko, Peter Weibel und andere/ and other.