Aspen was a multimedia magazine of the arts published by Phylis Johnson from 1965 to 1971. Each issue had a new designer and editor. “Aspen”, Johnson said, “should be a time capsule of a certain period, point of view or person”. New York-based Irish artist and critic Brian O'Doherty edited aspen 5+6, a double issue of the magazine, which was published in 1967.
     aspen 5+6 is currently being exhibited as part of the Coast-Lines exhibition at The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA). The Collections Department at IMMA invited the Orthogonal Methods Group (OMG) to respond to Aspen 5+6. Our response, entitled 1967-2017, considers the legacies of Aspen 5+6 and Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.). E.A.T. was established in 1967 – the same year in which Aspen 5+6 was published – in response to the success of the previous year's 9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering, a series of events at New York City's 69th Regiment Armory.
     One facet of OMG's response is an object called Placement as Language. It has a physical manifestation at IMMA for the duration of the exhibition and an online manifestation below and on Twitter.

Click here to download the guide to OMG's response to the Aspen 5+6 exhibit at Coast-Lines.

Placement as Language

Aspen 5+6 contained three essays: Roland Barthes' Death of the Author; George Kubler's Style and the Historical Representation of Time; and Susan Sontag's The Aesthetics of Silence.
     Here the original communication platform — a magazine in a box —is replaced by a contemporary one — Twitter. Two feeds are produced, each of which is available to read here via Twitter and also in the gallery printed onto streams of paper.
     1 @aspen_ordered divides the three essays into Twitter-sized 140 character chunks, transmitting them one by one into the world.
     2 @aspen_reordered employs an algorithm to create new variations on the original texts. These variations are generated by a statistical algorithm called a Markov Chain that generates sentences based on the probability of one word following another in the original text.

1 Ordered
2 Reordered


beginning with the very identity of the body that writes. (4/4)

literature is that neuter, that composite, that oblique into which every subject escapes, the trap where all identity is lost, (3/4)

indiscernible voices, and that literature is precisely the invention of this voice, to which we cannot assign a specific origin: (2/4)

It will always be impossible to know, for the good reason that all writing is itself this special voice, consisting of several (1/4)

Is it the author Balzac, professing certain "literary" ideas of femininity?

Is it the man Balzac, endowed by his personal experience with a philosophy of Woman?

Is it the story's hero, concerned to ignore the castrato concealed beneath the woman?

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The aforementioned conventions surely do not exhaust the possible approaches to an ideally uninflected discourse.

Words are crude, and they're also too busy - inviting a hyperactivity of consciousness is also a contradictory form of participation (1/2)

Traditionally, the effects of an ever-receding horizon of silence is more than once without ageing.

The spectator would approach art as trifling, of no stimulus or that he possesses stronger nerves and higher standards of (1/2)

Thus the writing of history resembles the natural world we perceive with the illusion of coherent surface, which some of the void.

The historian selects a median position on the viability of irony itself.

That problem is, in principle, one should desire to represent activity as having style.

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