The XeroX Book Library, 2010 - ongoing. Ami Clarke @ Banner Repeater.
The Xerox Book 1968.
Curators / Editors: Seth Siegelaub / John Wendler, and included contributions of 25 consecutive pages each from the conceptual artists: Carl Andre, Robert Barry, Douglas Huebler, Joseph Korsuth, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris, Lawrence Weiner.
"My thought about xeroxing - of course I have control over what the men did - was that 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. That's all a Xerox is about. I mean its not even you know, defined. So Xerox just cuts down on the visual aspect of looking at the information."
During the late 60S a more comprehensive understanding of the interconnectivity of all aspects of life accelerated. Much of the art of the conceptualists shared a concern with minimal art, in that it was concerned with systems. The era developed from a growing sense of socio-political awareness, and was the period when artists became aware that they operated within a highly complex and sophisticated set of rules, that were indicative of not only the art world, but of society itself. Institutional critique was borne of these self-reflective moments drawing attention to the constructs of the apparatus that supported the art world.
As the political concerns of many artists resulted in a de-materialisation of art, in an attempt at de-commodification, technology advanced at an increasingly speedy rate, with the Pentagon employing its first systems analyst.
Unfortunately de-materialisation did not evade the market, as due to its often ephemeral quality it required documentation, sometimes the event itself being simply instructions of the work, often in the form of text, relating the event; a receipt of sorts. In this way the work started to require administration and began to mirror the ever increasingly administered-to world of work: documentation enabling an ever-increasing profitability through statistical analyses. It was as if once the capacity for storing immense amounts of data had been achieved, the work was then to fulfill that capacity, whilst forever increasing the potential.
Taking a cue from these ideas the Xerox book library will continue to amass as a volume of individually donated contributions, each copy inscribed with its own specific legacy, necessarily including its own photocopier id
Library: copies of the Xerox book by Jack Wendler and Seth Siegelaub, 1968.A photocopy of the Xerox book is on permanent display, at Banner Repeater, and is exemplifies the attempt to make available an otherwise hard to access item; one invested in the desire at the time to de-commodify art by printing cheaply as a Xerox (but actually realised as a lithograph edition), which integrated seamlessly into the market as a precious object. The copy we first acquired came about by being photocopied to allow people to browse the book for the Jack Wendler exhibition at Chelsea space, eventually achieving its intended status. A small library of these is growing with on-going contributions. They are intended for educational purposes only, and have no monetary value.
Each Xerox book copy details its precedent: as a copy of a copy of a copy, and so on, and maps how it became part of the library, and the photocopier used in the printing of each copy.