How are the status and meaning of an artwork—whether an Ancient Greek statuary, a digital photograph, or an American naïve painting—altered through the creation of facsimiles, through exhibition, through the conversion of the object into image or code? How might reproduction, as an aesthetic strategy and a political act, present us with alternatives to the current, convoluted understanding of information as property? Media Replication Services consists of presentations, performances, and provocations in response to these questions by artist William Pope.L, scholar Lisa Gitelman, and poet Caroline Bergvall, facilitated by Triple Canopy editors. The three participants consider, as points of departure, forms of reproduction enacted in Triple Canopy’s 2014 Biennial installation, Pointing Machines.
Media Replication Services and the installation at the museum are components of Triple Canopy’s contribution to the Whitney Biennial, an issue of its magazine also titled Pointing Machines, which continues the reproduction and circulation of the displayed objects beyond the museum’s walls, and includes essays, artist projects, discussions, and performances to be published and presented online and IRL in the next year. Media Replication Services will later be represented as digital projects in this issue, alongside commissioned responses by writers.
- Caroline Bergvall is a writer and artist of French-Norwegian origins and currently based in London. She works across art forms, media, and languages, and her projects alternate between books, audio pieces, collaborative performances, and language installations. For 2012-2013, Bergvall was awarded the Judith Wilson Fellowship in Poetry and Drama from the University of Cambridge. Her most recent book is Meddle English (Nightboat, 2011), and her DVD compilation Gh<>st Pieces: Four Language-Based Installations was just published by John Hansard Gallery. A new collection, Drift, will be released in April 2014 through Nightboat.
- William Pope.L currently lives and works in Chicago, IL, where he is an Associate Professor in the Department of Visual arts at the University of Chicago. His work has been exhibited and performed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Whitney Museum in New York, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, the New Museum in New York and the Renaissance Society in Chicago. Recent exhibitions and performances include Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Grey Art Gallery, New York; Cage Unrequited, in conjunction with Performa, NY; Flux This! With Pope.L and Special Guests at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, NY; and Ruffneck Constructivists at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia.
- Lisa Gitelman is a media historian whose research concerns American book history, techniques of inscription, and the new media of yesterday and today. She is particularly concerned with tracing the patterns according to which new media become meaningful within and against the contexts of older media. Gitelman has just published Paper Knowledge: Toward a Media History of Documents (Duke University Press), which focuses on the meaning of seemingly mundane documents—the library card, the promissory note, the movie ticket, the PDF—as they inhabit various media over time.