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Commerce 16

Conceptual Art Shuffle
a project by Jonathan Monk

with the voices of James Lee Byars, Alain Jacquet, Sol LeWitt, and Robert Smithson

In 1969, curator Jan Van Der Marck organized an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago titled Art by Telephone. For the exhibition, Van Der Marck invited thirty-seven artists to phone him with an idea for an artwork that was, in his words, “described with enough detail so that the museum could create the actual piece in Chicago, while the artist remained at home.”

For this issue of Commerce, artist Jonathan Monk has selected keywords from the telephone calls of James Lee Byars, Alain Jacquet, Sol LeWitt, and Robert Smithson, all of whom participated in Van Der Marck’s exhibition and all of whom have since died. Monk then used these key words as search functions in the iTunes Store to create a custom soundtrack for each artist.

These soundtracks were then loaded onto 1GB iPod Shuffles, beginning with the recording of each artist’s original telephone call. The packing for each Shuffle has been elegantly rebranded with the name of each artist.

The Byars Shuffle: Carnival
available in gold, pink and red

The Jacquet Shuffle: No Feeling
available in blue, green, and pink

The LeWitt Shuffle: Within
available in green, silver and silver

The Smithson Shuffle: Entropy
available in gold, green and silver

edition of 12
three versions of each Shuffle
one artist’s proof each
hand-numbered and stamped with Jonathan Monk
authentic Apple-issue iPod Shuffle (1GB), Apple-issue clear plastic clamshell packaging, archival inkjet on Ink Press Duo Bond 80 facsimile brand identity, pen and ink


$1,250 each, global insured shipping included


In Memoriam: Jan Van Der Marck, 1929-2010