In conjunction with the exhibition Experiments in Electrostatics: Photocopy Art from the Whitney’s Collection, 1966–1986, curatorial fellow Michelle Donnelly will explore the use of the copier as a creative tool in the pre-digital era. While the machine’s role as a duplication device in street art, mail art, and conceptual art has been widely documented, Donnelly will reveal its lesser-known history as a hybrid camera/printing press in the production of unique and limited edition prints. She will discuss how the Xerox machine’s low cost and democratic availability enabled artists of varied backgrounds to re-think their artmaking practices beyond the confines of the studio. Contextualizing the works on view with broader period experimentations in printmaking, photography, and time-based media, she will demonstrate how artists achieved singularity from a machine designed for replication.
Donnelly is the curator of Experiments in Electrostatics and the manager of the Sondra Gilman Study Center, a storage, research, and display facility that houses of the majority of the 18,000 works on paper in the Whitney’s collection.
Individual and Dual Insiders Series members are invited to this event. For Individual members, the invitation is for one; for Dual members, the invitation is for two. Registration instructions will be provided by email. To join or upgrade, call (212) 570-3641.