Formats
Anthologies
125
Audio
297
Catalogues
329
Clothing
20
Editions
23
Ephemera
59
Literary
39
Monographs
85
Posters
239
Video
40
Zines
117

Shop > Artists' Books

#14978

Re-print #2: Shanghai Fax (1996) “Let’s Talk About Money”

Artists
Hank Bull, Shi Yong, Ding Yi, Shen Fan, and Zhou Tiehai
Price
$18.00
Date
2015
Publisher
3-Ply
Format
Artists' Books
ISBN
978-0-9873555-6-0
Genre
Fax/Facsimile art, Photocopy
Description

In 1996, Vancouver-based artist Hank Bull collaborated with Shanghai-based artists Shi Yong, Ding Yi, Shen Fan and Zhou Tiehai in the production of a staple-bound, photocopied catalogue, printed in an edition of 500, to accompany the exhibition Shanghai Fax, which took place in Hua Shan College of Art, March 15 – 25 1996. Re-print #2: Shanghai Fax (1996) “Let’s Talk About Money” presents this catalogue in a 1:1 scale reprint.

The Re-print project is a curated series that reintroduces out-of-print artist publications to a contemporary audience. The series also exploits the character of the reprints to insert interventions in public archives: introducing material that was never legally deposited, or reinserting previously archived publications in the form of mediated replications, thereby indexing the originals.

Shanghai Fax, purportedly the first artist-organised international exhibition to be staged in China, took place in the underground bunker gallery of Hua Shan College of Art from March 15 – 25 1996, timed to coincide with the inaugural Shanghai Biennale. Shanghai Fax coalesced an idiosyncratic survey of artistic commentaries, theologies, and personal politics concerning the global economy, its individual affects and its absurdities. It was a low-fi, artist-driven project that mobilised fax works from an unusual constellation of artists: a network of pioneering collaborators in experimental telecommunications art; stars of the nascent Chinese art market; lesser known artists who would later be heralded as the new vanguard of Chinese contemporary art; and a scattering of anonymous contributors and individuals outside the art sphere, including a local real estate agent, whose advertisements of properties currently for sale were diligently added to the exhibition.

For an emerging generation of Chinese artists, Shanghai Fax dismantled prevailing norms of state-proscribed exhibiting strategies (mechanisms for strategic cultural and commercial diplomacy), and empowered experimental artist-direction of curatorial, exhibition and collaboration frameworks. However, for many of the Chinese participants in Shanghai Fax, the exhibition would ultimately prove a rarity on their resumes, as commercial success (and for some, the demands to upscale production for the international circuit) eclipsed less lucrative, artist-networked projects.

Shanghai Fax occurred in an era predating the expansion of the internet in China, the global connectivity of smartphones and social media, the exposure of PRISM and other state-directed surveillance of personal communications, and the routine deployment of malware and Trojan apps designed to mask interference while reinforcing a re-centralisation of information control. Shanghai Fax thus warrants contemporary attention as a counterpoint to our present situation, as a case study of technologically facilitated, decentralised, direct artistic collaboration in an epoch when electronic communications stirred utopian ideals of unfettered, grassroots artistic agency. Since his early years of practice, Hank Bull had been deeply influenced by Robert Filliou’s theories of horizontal technologies. Through Shanghai Fax, Bull, Shi Yong, Ding Yi, Shen Fan and Zhou Tiehai successfully de-privileged both art-as-commodity and professional hierarchy, in favour of Filliou’s credo that “The most important work one can do as an artist to support the valid work of another artist.”

For archivists, faxes are notoriously problematic, being highly unstable, prone to darkening or fading, sensitive to light and temperature, and subject to considerable loss of image data. Soon, if not already, the surfaces of the fax works of Shanghai Fax will be blank. Archival records of the exhibition will then rely heavily on secondary material: a few photographs of the original show; limited documentation from a reshowing of the degraded faxed works at ShanghART gallery in 2011; the original catalogue, though most copies seem to have vanished; and this Re-print.

A fax is of course itself a reprint, the telephonic transmission of a bitmap-encoded scan of an original document. But rather than producing an exact replication, a faxed work is always marked by the mechanical and electronic transfer processes of its transit: scanlines, noise artifacts, blurring, smears, perspectival distortions, the conversion of discrete sheets of paper into elongated strips of imagery, and the addition of heterogeneous time/date/sender/receiver stamps. Indeed, the narrative of Shanghai Fax, from the original works through to this publication, could be recounted by tracing the actions and mutations of successive reprints (faxing, photographing, re-faxing, pasting, photocopying, re-photographing, scanning, photoshop, digital pdf, offset printing). The design of this Re-print, at 1:1 scale but sitting within a larger page, allows it to function as an index to the iterative processes of artistic exchange, intervention, distortion, mutation, de-materialisation, re-materialisation and discursive revisiting, that have attended Shanghai Fax.

  1. Re-print #2: Shanghai Fax (1996) “Let’s Talk About Money”
  2. Re-print #2: Shanghai Fax (1996) “Let’s Talk About Money”
  3. Re-print #2: Shanghai Fax (1996) “Let’s Talk About Money”
  4. Re-print #2: Shanghai Fax (1996) “Let’s Talk About Money”
  5. Re-print #2: Shanghai Fax (1996) “Let’s Talk About Money”
Images:12345
 

Related Items

  1. Due to Injuries...
  2. LERY
  3. Peter Sutherland and Andrew Sutherland: Trash Talk
  4. Tel-Talk
  5. Portraits by Waiters
  6. Justin Yong: gentle
  7. Maria Bussmann: Waldrolle
  8. FiZZZ BZZZZ: PERKOMETRY: Snout No. 3
  9. Paul Dutton: Aurealities
  10. Momentarily: Learning from Mega Events
  11. Gert Robijns: RE-SHAPE
  12. Benjamin Tong: The Parrot Lecture
  13. Klassik 1989-2005
  14. Dave Allen: song drawings / paintings 1996 - 2005 (Bootleg Series #4)
  15. cherry kutti: WEIRD W/O U
  16. Fly: PEOPs #7
  17. Dave Allen: song drawings / paintings 1996 - 2005 (Bootleg Series #4)
  18. Karen Elaine Spencer: Dream Listener
  19. Image Bank Archives / Excyclopedia Project / Image Recycle
  20. Seth Fluker: Dressed for Space - SPECIAL EDITIONIncludes signed artists print
  21. Allan Kaprow: Rates of Exchange
  22. Wheels and Trophies
  23. Alex Durlak: The Amateur Printer
  24. Garry Neill Kennedy: Page Seventy: Page Fourteen
  25. Maia Asshaq, Sanja Grozdanic, Patricia No, and Megan Stockton: You Can’t Fail (unless someone expects you to succeed)
  26. Erik van der Weijde: Havaianas
  27. Kenneth Goldsmith: Letter to Bettina Funcke
  28. Nicholas Frank: The Sound of the Horn
  29. Yvonne Rainer: Poems
  30. the pace of days
  31. Bernhard Cella: and . learning english has no use
  32. Ron Benner: State of the Art
  33. Erik van der Weijde: Type 1
  34. Shawna Dempsey and Lori Millan: In the Life