The cover of this issue of Flash Art
portrays Tony Conrad, an avant-garde filmmaker, pioneering musician, artist, theorist, philosopher, committed teacher, and activist. On the occasion of Conrad's traveling retrospective, soon on view at the MIT List Visual Arts Center and the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University, we dedicate a twelve-page dossier to this unique figure in the recent history of arts and culture. An essay by Nora N. Khan considers Conrad's vast creative output, the result of his dedication to challenging the boundaries between artistic categories. “Nearly every piece in Conrad's oeuvre shows evidence of a shifted frame, from the instruments made from rusty Band-Aid boxes, coke bottles, tin foil, copper tubing, wire, scraps of wood, and tape, to the many hours of rangy, hysterical, buoyant, and strange video works,” Khan writes. “Creating new taxonomies by pushing the frame was a political act: not only the literal frame, but any attempt to frame, to position, to establish criteria that go unexamined… The choice of a frame was the moment of creating meaning.” Along with Khan's text, musician and artist Charlemagne Palestine pays homage to Conrad's memory by recounting their musical partnership — fifty years of what he calls “aural symbiosis.”
This issue includes also the “CCCO (Cultural Capital Cooperative Object) License Agreement,” a document drafted by artists Nikita Gale, Sidsel Meineche Hansen, Candice Lin, Nour Mobarak, Blaine O'Neill, and Patrick Staff
, working as the Cultural Capital Cooperative (CCC). The licensing agreement, which the cooperative drafted in dialogue with lawyer Daniel McClean, provides an answer to questions about how to collectively produce works of art, and moreover, how the cooperative as a model of mutual ownership might envision the future sale and transfer of works. In CCC's words, “[it] seeks to counter the contemporary art market's usual focus on the individual isolated artist.” In doing so, the license agreement is a legal mechanism available to other artists — “as an instrument, as a proposition… and with a knowing possibility for its further unauthorized reproduction or adaptation.”
is an international bimonthly magazine and publishing platform
dedicated to thinking about contemporary art, exploring the evolving cultural landscape through the work of leading artists, writers, curators and others.
One of Europe's oldest art magazines, Flash Art
was founded in Rome in 1967, before relocating to Milan in 1971, and was originally bilingual, published in both Italian and English. In 1978 two separate editions were launched: Flash Art International
and Flash Art Italia
. Today the magazine remains one of the most recognizable and widely read publications of its kind, and is distributed in 87 countries.