Bulletin News

Closing Reception for ‘FAX’ Exhibit Set for Dec. 2


A closing reception for “FAX,” an international traveling exhibition featuring works submitted via fax machine will be held on Thursday, Dec. 2, in the Dowd Gallery at SUNY Cortland.

The reception, at 5 p.m., is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. The exhibit also may be viewed until its end on Friday, Dec. 10, during gallery hours Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The gallery will be closed Thursday, Nov. 25-Friday, Nov. 26, for Thanksgiving.

The exhibit, which features faxed works including sketches, drawings, paintings, photos, text or poetry, presents a group of artists who were invited to submit their work for Dowd Gallery’s rendition of the “FAX” project. Featured are local artists as well as people with professional backgrounds from the U.S. and abroad.

“I’m excited about the questions this show raises: outmoded technology modeling a contemporary exhibit, the idea of authorship, the importance of originality, monetary worth of an object, and validity being bestowed by an established art space,” said Interim Gallery Director Bryan Thomas.

The exhibit is an evolving project with an expanding body of artists that originated in New York City in 2009 through a close collaboration between The Drawing Center, Independent Curators International and guest curator João Ribas. Since its introduction, more than 100 artists and hundreds of fax pages have been sent and received creating a diverse visual portfolio unified by its size, color and delivery system.

“In past FAX exhibits, the audience was witness to different directions and approaches to the fax challenge,” said Dowd Gallery Manager Jaroslava Prihodova. “We are interested in how students of various ages react to the task at hand and compare the physical material in the form of fax pages to the hundreds of faxes we received from previous shows as well as the group of people we invited to participate in our edition of the FAX project.”

Coinciding with this exhibit, the Dowd Gallery staff introduced a program to the SUNY Cortland community with emphasis on art students. Students at Greene (N.Y.) Central Schools were invited to contribute to the exhibition. During this “student fax” program, the youths were given the opportunity to engage with this non-traditional presentation in a traditional gallery setting.

The unconventional exhibit is modified, reconfigured, deconstructed and adapted to local conditions, often simultaneously, in different venues worldwide, according to exhibit literature. In addition to artists, invitations were extended to architects, filmmakers, scientists, designers, writers and musicians. The intention was to think of the fax machine as a drawing tool and a device to transmit and communicate ideas resulting in a collection of concepts that raise questions of reproduction, distribution, obsolescence, mediation and originality.

Because the artwork is gathered in real time, the exhibition information states, this process can also be considered a current commentary on the dynamic nature of communication and perception of art. Through the infinitely reproducible, yet erratic outcomes of producing work via the fax machine, this exhibition not only evokes traditional principles that are still commonly associated with the medium of drawing, but also defines drawings as a generative process. The artist is forced to navigate through the many restrictions and technological deficiencies of the fax machine to find a way to convey a valid visual message.