Catalogue. Documenta11_Platform 5: Exhibition, Cantz, [2002], pp. 380-81, & 574.

I will visit several people to ask whether their activities could and should be thought of as art.

1. I will arrive and talk with each person about what it is they are doing and take some digital photographs. The conversation will be recorded.

2. I will transcribe portions of the discussion into a computer and paste-in an image to make a broadside.

3. With the time remaining in the day, I will then print out copies of the broadside and distribute them in and around the neighborhood where I had the discussion with the participant.

4. The number of copies printed will depend upon the amount of time available after the discussion. Only one day will be devoted to each person visited.

5. Just prior to the opening of Documenta I will reprint all of the broadsides into one publication.

6. In the exhibition space and for the length of the exhibition I will be

a. displaying my portable publishing apparatus (see equipment below) and
b. distributing the publication (mentioned above) for people to take away for free.

In this way, visitors to the Museum will be able to take a group show home with them.


Laptop computer with rechargeable batteries
Portable printer with rechargeable batteries
Ink cartridges for the printer
Embroidered project labels
Digital camera
Tape recorder

Moveable Type No Documenta refers to my own activity in Kassel and the history of project art. Project art is characterized by being outside of the museum or centralized power construct and usually functions without a single point of meaning or a primary object. In this particular case, Moveable Type No Documenta will investigate the question of whether value can be generated in a non-art context through an art discourse. Equally, the non-art site will reflect upon the art and history of Documenta through the valuing of people’s activities outside of the exhibition space.

In the early 1450s Johannes Gutenberg invents moveable type and by 1453 begins printing his 42 line Bible in Mainz. Due to the English Civil War, from 1640-1660, there is a dramatic growth in publishing by extreme Protestant and political groups; the printing press has become a relatively cheap and portable piece of equipment giving voice to “masterless men” and contributing to the decentralization of government. By the time censorship is resumed with the restoration of Charles II, the control of government has shifted away from a divine King and to an elected Parliament. In December, 1966, Mel Bochner uses the New York School of Visual Arts’ first Xerox machine to create Working Drawings, a bound series of photocopies of receipts, sketches, and notes from various artists presented as an exhibition. Later, in early 1969, Seth Siegelaub produces March 1-31, 1969, an off-set publication which is mailed around the world as an exhibition in publication format only. Both projects blur the distinction between artist and curator and contribute to a decentralization of the museum and gallery.

By the year 2000, 54 million households in the United States are able to self-publish through the use of a computer and printer.