‘Everything was a dream at that time period’ declared American artist Dan Graham, guest editor of Aspen no. 8 (1970), in an interview conducted in 2012. By saying so, he shed light on the cutting-edge character of Aspen, to which he contributed long with other major cultural figures in America and Britain. Aspen was produced irregularly between 1965 and 1971 in New York, and distributed by post to subscribers. The founder of the magazine, as well as its first editor and publisher, was Phyllis Johnson.
Aspen was conceived of as a multimedia publication that would engage all the senses. The magazine took the shape of a box, and its contents included poetry, artists’ interventions designed specifically for the box, seminal texts that changed the course of literature and art criticism, such as Roland Barthes’ Death of the Author, as well as 8mm avant-garde films and sound recordings, most notably experimental music of the time by such artists as John Cage, La Monte Young, Yoko Ono, John Lennon, Philip Glass and Peter Walker.
This exhibition evokes the original concepts of interdisciplinarity and collective reading, which the magazine was designed around, by unpacking the films and sound recordings from the boxes and giving visitors access to the ten original issues of the magazine. This exhibition is the first project at MWW realized in collaboration with the Whitechapel Gallery in London.
Its opening coincides with the international conference “Playground: Magazines and Books as Sites for Art”.
Video Conference: http://goo.gl/jmZDzk