Exhibition Catalogue: Alternative Imaging , 1979

Exhibition Catalogue: Alternative Imaging
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Object Specific Text

In 1979, the Everson Museum of Art, the Xerox Corporation, and Light Work sponsored an exhibition of Alternative Imaging Systems. The Xerox Corporation provided Xerox machines and materials for several visiting artists to produce new work during the exhibition. 

Douglas Davis, in an essay on art and technology, commented '...To oppose technology in art is to oppose it in life, for technology is as much a part of man as his home or his road or his clothes... It seems we must learn again that art can incorporate any material and any process, when employed in the service of imagination.' Alternative Imaging Systems evidences the use of many technologies in the art process. The machines used by the artists in this show have become identified as 'copy machines' as this is their most common function. They are used mostly for this purpose, as they are a fast and permanent means of making a facsimile of another object, usually a piece of paper. But these same attributes have attracted the attention of a group of artists who have sensed the spirit of this process and the unique possibilities afforded by the various systems.

The relationship between the artist and the machine is one of interaction. Each define the other, not in terms of a stereotyped function, but rather by balancing the individual expectation of the artist with the intrinsic imaging potentials of each machine. Thus the same machine can be for different artists, a camera, a printing press, an animation machine or a generative system. Similarly, the artist may choose from a variety of imaging systems that enable him/her to make images with heat, pressure and static electricity at the push of a button. This exhibition's concern is with the ongoing interaction of imaging machines and art, and presents the work of 36 artists, each employing the tools and knowledge of these technologies in a unique and personal manner.