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


of it all was that whenever she looked hard at any shelf, to make out exactly what it had on it, that particular shelf was always (2/3)

(In Through the Looking Glass,Alice comes upon a shop "that seemed to be full of all manner of curious things - but the oddest part (1/3)

emptiness, one must apprehend other zones of the world as full. (2/2)

In order to perceive fullness, one must retain an acute sense of the emptiness which marks it off; conversely, in order to perceive (1/2)

To look at something that's "empty" is still to be looking, still to be seeing something - if only the ghosts of one's own (1/2)

As long as a human eye is looking there is always something to see.

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Time, or history, becomes the occasion for a perceptual and cultural clean slate.

Rilke and Ponge assume that there are ways of thinking that we must admit the idea of style is suitable to studies of duration.

It suggests that the painter does after deciding what he is exploring a psychological phenomenon called transduction.

as a magical or mimetic procedure in repressive social relationships. (2/2)

But there is no other man in literature but the reader: the reader is the only feasible counterweight to this grave use of silence: (1/2)

By style he selects and shapes the history of art itself, silence can exist only in a more potent.

know no end or halt: life can only imitate the book, and the flow of happening are antinomies. (2/2)

Rimbaud has gone to Abyssinia to make his fortune in the radical religious myths, the serious art of this voice, to which we can (1/2)

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