CHAIN LETTER LONDON: the Swarm of Consciousness

We were invited by curator Doug Harvey to create the London Satellite. We chose to engineer a hyperbolic tree and make a virtual site in order to gather a large global community of artists. We felt this would reflect more about the international status of London.

Choosing these 10 seed artists that we admired they thus became the start of this trees' cultivation.

Doug Harvey (Los Angeles: Exhibitions curator), Marnie Weber (Los Angeles), Kevin Sampson (New York City) , Paul Noble (London), Judith McNicol (Hertfordshire), John Lundberg (Huddersfield), Stephen O'Malley (Paris) , Stu Mead (Berlin), Pierre Gauvin (Montreal Quebec), Gast Bouschet & Nadine Hilbert (Luxembourg / Brussels)

Our artists have thus spread their chains (and different forms of chosen artists) into many countries: including Iceland, Sweden, Australia, Korea, France, United States of America, Canada, Quebec, Norway, Finland, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Italy, Mexico, and many others.


Chain Letter is a group exhibition based on admiration. This exhibition is rooted in the ideals of inclusion, and offers the potential to exponentially represent all artists that are currently working and admired by their peers. Chain Letter mimics communication today and the way in which information is passed. The outcome will be a testament to the power of connectivity within society at present.

Initially conceived in Los Angeles in 2006 by Christian Cummings and Doug Harvey, this current exhibition is on an ambitious scale with participating venues worldwide. Inclusion in the exhibition is based on invitation by someone who admires your work. Each artist invited then invites ten other artists whom they admire, and so on, circulating for thirty days, at the end of which, all exhibitions, real and virtual are shown.

The originators have invited collaborators in other world cities to be part of the project. These collaborators then start a form of Chain Letter exhibition devised by themselves. Some venues have opened an exhibition for one evening only; another curated 10 artists to participate in virtual space; another couriered works from NY to Berlin and yet another was a virtual Hyperbolic Tree. All are different, all with many experiences by those involved, but all unified with a shared aim of mapping a creative network and illustrating the powers of communication conveyed by a very simple letter. Artists naturally sympathise and understand the problems that many unrecognized and overlooked artists have with gaining attention for their work. Chain Letter has broken barriers and the unrecognised as well as many great public figures in art have sat alongside each other in these exhibitions.

The satellites are: Los Angeles (Shoshana Wayne Gallery 23rd July -25th August) London (The Swarm of Consciousness) New York City (AC Collaborative) Boston (Sampson Projects) Philadelphia (BaseKamp) Seoul (DoBasBacSa). Berlin (Journey: NY-Berlin), Zurich (Gibs Mir) San Francisco, Paris, Johannesburg.

The official website with all venues listed: www.chainletter2011.com

About the originators:

Born in Los Angeles (1979), Christain Cummings is known for his work with ghosts (Spectral Psychographs 2004-2009 a collaboration with Michael Decker), which have shown extensively in Los Angeles and abroad. Since receiving his MFA (2009) from USC, he describes his work as "self portraits of my channel-surfing consciousness", a self he views as a spontaneous other with whom he shares a body. He's also a self described "living room minstrel", a home-recording artist and founding member of the bands Flugeldar, Carnivorous Birds, Baker and Able, and curator for WFMU's Free Music Archive project. Preparing for a solo exhibition Free Music Archive project. Preparing for a solo exhibition at Steve Turner Contemporary in October of this year, Cummings currently resides in Los Angeles.

Since graduating with an MFA in painting from UCLA in 1994, Doug Harvey has written extensively about the Los Angeles and International art scenes and other aspects of popular culture, primarily as the main art critic for LA WEEKLY for 13 years. His writing has also appeared in Art issues, Art in America, The New York Times, The Nation, Modern Painter, ArtReview, and numerous other publications. He has written museum and gallery catalogue essays for Jim Shaw, Jeffrey Vallance, Tim Hawkinson, Marnie Weber, Lari Pittman, Georganne Deen, Gary Panter, Margaret Keane, Thomas Kinkade, and many others. His curatorial projects have ranged from many traditional gallery exhibitions (including the short-lived Annual LA Weekly Biennials, 2008's Aspects of Mel's Hole: Artists Respond to a Paranormal Land Event Occurring in Radiospace and Arataland! A Mid career Survey of Artworks by Michael Arata at Beacon Arts Building in Spring of 2011) to CD compilations of sound art, programs of found and experimental films, performance events, experimental radio, artist's comic books and zines, artist's comic books and zines, and an LA solo gallery exhibit determined by raffle. Mr. Harvey also continues to maintain an active art career, exhibiting his visual art (painting-based multimedia) locally and internationally. AiA critic Constance Mallinson said of his October 2010 solo painting show at Jancar Gallery "Harvey's work reeks of rot and decay." He lives and works in Los Angeles and maintains a blog at www.dougharvey.blogspot.com and a website at www.dougharvey.la.

About us:

Cathy Ward & Eric Wright have collaborated for many years as well as maintaining individual practices. Together they have created a diverse body of work that includes large-scale installation, research projects, sculpture, films, paintings and more. Previously nominated for the Smithsonian Artists Research Fellowship (Washington DC) as well as completing residencies at the Center For Land Use Interpretation (Wendover, UT), CSFU Grand Central Art Center (Santa Ana, CA), The Banff Center (Canada). Their work has been exhibited at P.S.1/MoMA, NY; Museum of Fine Arts at FSU, Florida; Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; Aspex, Portsmouth; Art Paris & Brussels Artfair, and many public and private galleries in the UK, Europe and the USA. They are represented by Armand Hein, Galerie Toxic, Luxembourg.

Websites: www.ward-wright.comwww.transromantik.comwww.catharyneward.com.

Tender Vessels Publication available now.

"... The result in visual terms is a kind of post-industrial folk art, offering a detailed glimpse of lives spent in the shadow of dark and terrible forces. Ward and Wright examine the baleful influence of industry and empire as historical processes – a theme ably discussed in the accompanying essays by Mark Pilkington and Doug Harvey respectively."
Review by Ken Hollings (See www.kenhollings.com)

Published by Strange Attractor Press and Galerie Toxic, Luxembourg
£19.99, full colour, PB, 120pp
ISBN 9781907222047

contact us at info@ward-wright.com