From artists’ books, magazines, and museum catalogues to opening announcements, advertisements, and event scores, printed matter has long been a dynamic element of art discourse and practice. But these materials, ephemeral by nature, have not always been preserved. Today, with our unprecedented access to information—virtual, downloadable, on-demand—there is a renewed interest in print’s material dimensions and the ways publication can be both a historical resource and a platform for art-making.
View Primary Information’s online residency.
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Primary Information was formed in New York in 2006 by James Hoff and Miriam Katzeff to foster intergenerational dialogue through the publication and distribution of artists’ books and writings by artists. In addition to new projects by contemporary artists, Primary Information republishes rare or forgotten works with the goal of bringing them back into circulation. Leading up to ICA’s 50th anniversary in fall 2013, Primary Information has been invited to delve into our archive and to reflect on its contemporary potential. Through an engagement with ICA’s own critical history of publishing, Primary Information’s Excursus will unfold over the coming weeks with a series of events in the installation and interventions on the Excursus website, including providing access to a selection of out-of-print ICA exhibition catalogues. Taking a cue from ICA’s seminal exhibition, Video Art (1975), the installation features archival material as well as a viewing area where videos from the original show will play on rotation. Sarah Crowner’s Curtains (Vidas Perfectas) (2011) provides a literal backdrop for the dialogic activities that will take place in the space and that will reflect back on the distribution networks espoused by Primary Information’s past and present projects.
ExcursusThe Programs That Were: Grace Ambrose Reflects on Programming at ICAA Place to Share Things: Wendy Yao Brings Ooga Booga to ICAEast of Borneo: Seventies FlashbackA Painting with a Purpose: Sarah Crowner and Primary Information at ICA