Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Signals


Signals (1964-1966)

I thought Signals was really nice because it was about communications. And that name was taken from sculptures by Takis ‘Signals’, he first made the sculptures that you would touch to make sounds and later electro-magnetic signals. I just loved that idea that
you can communicate.         
                                                  David Medalla, 20091

Introduction
Signals was a periodical that was published in association with the London-based contemporary art gallery Signals (1964-66) in ten newspaper-sized issues, with the third number being a double issue making a total of 11 published altogether. The masthead for the periodical describes it as a “Newsbulletin” and each issue was published to coincide with a new exhibition in the gallery, thus serving both a documentary function and as an exhibition catalogue. The periodical’s editor was the Filipino artist David Medalla and the director of the gallery was Paul Keeler.

The histories of both Signals the periodical, and Signals the gallery are intertwined with that of the name of a group that appears under the Signals masthead for the first two issues, which states that the publication was the “Newsbulletin of the Centre for Advanced Creative Study.”2 The Centre for Advanced Creative Study (1964) was originally a group of six men who were drawn together through their shared artistic interests and who hoped through the newsbulletin to “…provide a forum for all those who believe passionately in the correlation of the arts and Art’s imaginative integration with technology, science, architecture and our entire environment.”3 The individual members were the artists, David Medalla, Gustave Metzger (1926-2017), and Marcello Salvadori (1928-2002), musician Christopher Walker, art critic Guy Brett, and curator Paul Keeler.4

The editorial in the first issue of Signals (#1, 1964) outlines in greater detail the cross-disciplinary aims of the Centre for Advanced Creative Study, and it addresses the types of information the newsbulletin planned to include, as well as indicating the curatorial direction of the future gallery in exhibiting works by the international avant-garde, with a particular emphasis on kinetic art and work by artists from Latin America.

Singalz will contain news items on the activities of the Centre, documentation and critical studies on the Centre’s artists, as well as original writings by the artists themselves…we hope to expand and increase our pages in the future: to include essays by architects, art historians, scientists, technologists, economists, sociologists, and town planners….Signalz shall bring to the attention of the artist new developments in technology and science which might be of assistance in the formation of the artist’s discipline, in the choice of his materials and the improvement of his technique.5

The formation of Signals at this particular moment in time parallels other international groups which were also exploring the intersection of art and science including the Parisian Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel (GRAV, 1960-68, E.A.T. (Experiments in Art and Technology launched in 1967) and the German Group Zero (1957-1966).6 The editorial continues adding that “…such an integration can only be accomplished by most rigorous means: by the exercise of the highest aesthetic standards, and when society gives to the artist its available materials, its support, — and complete freedom in the pursuit of his (the artist’s) art.”7

By the time of the first issue of Signals in August 1964, Medalla and Keeler were living together in “…an elegant Georgian house in Cornwall Gardens, off the Gloucester Road,”8 and Keeler was frenetically promoting the kinetic arts including curating an important exhibition at the Redfern Gallery in 1964 titled “Structure Vivantes: Mobiles/Images.” This exhibition was deemed by one expert on the period as “…effectively the first survey of kinetic art and optical art held in Britain…”.9 Other curating opportunities included a nighttime exhibit of kinetic art during the 1964 Venice Bienniale, as well as presenting two exhibitions of the same in their house at Cornwall Gardens. When Keeler’s father, an optical instruments manufacturer, offered to lease him his four-story building on Wigmore Street and Welbeck Street in the center of London, Keeler accepted and “the building became the showroom of SIGNALS, London’s centre for the international avant-garde.”10

In Signal’s editorial in the second issue in September, 1964 (and before the move to Wigmore Street) Medalla is upbeat about the reception of kinetic art and subsequently the production for this issue was increased from the first issue’s four pages and 3000 copies to the current issue’s 16 pages and a print run of 10,000 copies.11 Next to this editorial is an announcement for their latest exhibition at Cornwall Gardens titled a “Festival of Modern Art from Latin America,” that was comprised of over 100 artworks, and because of its size would be staged in two phases lasting two weeks each. Parallel to this statement and on the opposite page is information about the move to Wigmore Street in November with details about the building, as well as announcing that the inaugural show would be a one-man exhibition by the Greek kinetic artist, Takis.

Signals the gallery would be in operation from November 1964, to September 1966, an almost two-year period in which major exhibitions of kinetic art and works by Latin American artists, and others were presented in this large showroom of a gallery in its prominent central London location. The gallery was abruptly closed when Keeler’s conservative American father withdrew his backing after the publication in Signals, #8 of an address by Lewis Mumford in his position as President of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and an accompanying letter by the poet Robert Lowell, in which both of them decried America’s involvement in the war in Vietnam.

Looking for Signals: Issues #1–2 (1964)
I want now to turn by my attention to the first two issues of Signals as they establish the format, design and scope of the periodical as well as Medalla’s own personal vision for the newsbulletin before the move to Wigmore street. Signals was not Medalla’s first foray into the world of publishing as he explains in this 2009 interview;

Long before I did the Newsbulletin, when I was a young lad, I was I think twelve, I was in the Camp Rising Sun, a scholarship camp in New York and I edited the newspaper, but it was only a small paper, and I did something similar when I was back in Manilla, I would hang out with the newspaper workers that published my poems in major magazines. So I could go to the Manila Times and all these magazines so I knew how I think newspapers were put together – just by osmosis.12

It should also be noted that as a well-respected artist himself, Medalla was very much a part of the lively arts environment in London, and his own ground-breaking works included kinetic bubble mobiles and sand machines both of which he claimed were the first examples of “auto-creative art.” Since that time Medalla has continued to be engaged, in his own whimsical fashion with the artworld and more recently he had two installation works in the 2017 Venice Biennale. See center-page spread below from Signals, #2, Sept., 1964 with photographs of Madella's "Cloud Canyons: Bubble Mobiles (1964)."

Signals, #2, Sept., 1964
By the time Medalla was living in Cornwall Gardens he had already published a small catalogue about his art, and had established a friendly relationship with the printers in Windsor. One day in conversation with them they suggested “…better than a catalogue why don’t you do the newspaper for the arts.” Medalla goes on to note that there was a newspaper of the arts at this time which was published by the gallerist Iris Clert in Paris titled Iris Time (#1-46, 1962-1975), and while recognizing the need for a periodical of this kind, he was critical of its thrust as the periodical was “…really about her!”13,14

Signals, #1, Aug., 1964

Singalz #1, establishes the initial prototype for the page design and typography of the periodical with this issue’s four pages of quotes from famous artists and scientists, poems, reviews of international exhibitions and books, updates on different artists’ activities, photographs of artists and their works. Also included is a summary of the planned exhibitions at the Cornwall Garden location, as well as feedback on the surprisingly large attendance at the most recent exhibition with 1,983 visitors to this “…first pilot of the Centre for Advanced Creative Study last month…”15

This issue also contains a half page of Medalla’s writings in which he outlines a number of ideas for creating new artworks using a variety of natural systems. Accompanying this text is a brief, but comprehensive autobiographical profile of this 22-year-old artists’ burgeoning career.

The design of this black and white issue is sparse with the title and masthead running down the right side, with the texts occupying four columns interspersed with black and white photographs of individuals and artworks throughout the publication. One rather unique feature, and one that would be a constant throughout the life of the publication, is Medalla’s habit of printing all proper names in bold so that they stand out from the rest of the texts. Medalla remarks on this feature in his 2009 interview stating “…people used to be annoyed with it because they like the idea of normal newspapers. I think it was my own creation.”16 However, I consider it a savvy networking strategy in which Medalla’s literal ‘name dropping’ helped to create a sense of a network and a community of interested and supportive individuals around the periodical and the gallery, and by extension both kinetic art and contemporary art from Latin America.

Signals #2, Sept., 1964 [note cover image of a detail of one of 
Medalla's"Cloud Canyons: Bubble Mobiles (1964)]

Signals #2, solidifies the cover design and inside format as seen in Signals #1 and this design would be used for the next four issues (#2-6) with the major addition being the inclusion of different colors in the front and back covers, as well as each issue’s title, date and the dividing lines used to delineate the columns of text. Interestingly, on the front page of this issue is a work by the Venezuelan poet Robert Ganzó reproduced in Spanish which serves to proudly announce the international perspective of this periodical. The editorial further outlines this international strategy in acknowledging for this issue “…the cooperation and assistance of the Embassies of Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, Venezuela and other Latin American countries.”17 In addition, the editorial lists where they planned to distribute copies of this issue, in what can only be described as a expansive and inclusive international strategy, stating;

2,500 copies of this issue will go direct to leading art collectors in Great Britain, America, Europe, Canada and Japan. A further 3,000 copies will go to leading industrialists and heads of business firms in Great Britain and the Commonwealth. The rest of this exciting number will go to schools, clubs, technical colleges, museums, libraries, art galleries and universities in Great Britain, Asia, Africa, South America, the U.S.A., Australia and Europe.18

This issue contains a feature on art and architecture in Brazil and Venezuela, four manifestoes by the Centre for Advanced Creative Study member, Gustav Metzger and the center pages feature photographic documentation of David Madella’s bubble machine works from 1964.

Signals #3/4–6 (1964-1965)
Notable amongst these four issues is Signals #3/4, which is a hefty twenty-four-page double issue dedicated to Takis and published for the inaugural exhibition at the newly opened Wigmore Street gallery. For the first time, the masthead lists Medalla as the editor, and the name of the Centre for Advanced Creative Study has been dropped from the masthead and replaced with the following “Signals London is a non-profit organization dedicated to the adventures of the modern spirit.”19

Signals, #3/4, Oct., - Nov., 1964
Signals, #5, Dec., 1964 - Jan., 1965
Signals, #6, Feb., - March, 1964
In an article by Medalla discussing his activities during the 1960s he reflects on his experiences as Signals’ editor;

Signals newsbulletin was issued in conjunction with each and every exhibition at Signals. I was its sole editor, typist, lay-out artist and copy reader. Each issue was a veritable-tour-de-force. In a short space of time (sometimes less than 48 hours) I had to collate the widely divergent materials and relate them to the wealth of images: photos of the artists’ works we were exhibiting, as well as images from the world of science. Our interest at that time in the inter-relationship between the arts and the sciences were strong.20

Medalla continues in his reminiscences and illustrates the periodical’s wide reach across different artistic mediums when he notes that “The issue contained contributions by Takis’s many admirers, including…Brion Gysin, Sinclair Beiles, Harold Norse, George Andrews, Alain Jouffroy and Marcel Duchamp.”21

Reflecting on his role as editor, Medalla addresses below the issues he confronted when he wanted the periodical to become more inclusive and his strategies for achieving this;

…I had a difficult position because I wanted to expand it, and the gallery became known as a gallery for kinetic artists and Latin American artists, but a lot of my artists friends were actually American artists. I think in only one of these issues I managed to get Barnett Newman in it, and I wanted to put things from Rothko and all these people but you see the gallery, Signals, had this thing called the gallery ‘line’ or ‘style’ and that was not my cup of tea really so we did things like Soundings where I can put in all kinds of other artists. This was very important, in those days there was a rather monolithic demeanour and also the art world in London for contemporary art was very small.22

Furthermore, Medalla notes how he actively worked to expand the periodical’s contributors stating “…I liked to put good literature in it, I had the good fortune to meet Jose Luis Borges, William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg and they all contributed to it.”23

When asked by an interviewer what was unique about the Signals gallery Medalla responded by stating;

Almost every day it was a different situation. People actually met there and it was open 24 hours. In the day the great scientist J.D. Bernal would pass by and I remember once Jonathon Miller was looking around trying to find ideas and people would come in and have a look and talk to each other and people met. It was a good meeting place and we always had good refreshments! And then there were a lot of literary people so a lot of poets would meet there and the musicians, classic music and popular music. This was what Signals was very famous for…24

This feeling that Signals was more than just a gallery, but a free-flowing environment in which people from different walks of life felt comfortable enough to meet and converse, all the while surrounded by cutting edge contemporary art from Europe and Latin America, reflects a new kind of gallery that mirrored the burgeoning counter-culture that was emerging in both the UK, Europe and the USA. And this sense of a loose international community of individuals was also reflected in the range of subjects, people and art world news that Medalla managed to cram into the pages of Signals.25 While these ‘newsbulletins’ initially were intended to be a voice piece for the activities of the Centre for Advanced Creative Study, the publication really comes into its own with the move to Wigmore Street. Furthermore, I want to propose that the naming of the periodical as a ‘newsbulletin’, traditionally a publication with news about a particular organization for its membership, coupled with Medalla’s practice of printing people’s names in bold, can both be viewed as smart discursive strategies through which a sense of ‘community’ was actively cultivated amongst readers of the periodical, and visitors to the gallery.  

Signaling Ahead #7–11 (1965-1966)
I now want to briefly survey the remaining five issues that complete the life cycle of this periodical. 

Signals, #7, April - May, 1965

Signals, #7, April - May, 1965 [Lygia Clark, "Walking Along - Do It Yourself"]
Signals, #8, June - July, 1965


Signals #7 and #8 both have a new and spacious design for their front covers with the name of the periodical in big bold letters located at the bottom of the front cover. Signals #7 is devoted to the work of the Brazilian artist Lygia Clark (1920-1988) and her exhibition at Signals was comprised of approximately 60 works created over a 15-year period. This 12-page issue is devoted to exploring the interactive art of this major Brazilian artist and includes the following statement about her philosophy of the artwork stating “The work of art should call for the immediate participation of the spectator and the latter should be immersed in it.”26 As if to reinforce this idea, on page seven is a printed work by Clark titled “Walking Along – Do It Yourself,” with instructions to cut out either of 3 boxes of paired letters in which the participant is then instructed to glue the ends of these strips together and to start cutting them in order to create a Moebius loop and to;

…go on cutting always in the same direction until the strip becomes so narrow that it is impossible to continue. Attention: bear in mind that the expression is your own, and it consists entirely in cutting, that is the act.27

This printed matter piece really stands out as the one work in the life of the periodical that invites the reader to physically interact with the periodical in the creation of an artwork, as well as illustrating a recurrent theme that runs through all of the issues, as well as that of the Signals’ group itself, and that is interactivity.

Signals #8 is connected to the Soundings Two exhibition with articles and images of many of the works and artists included in the exhibition. Two other notable features of this typically jampacked issue is the inclusion of an informative and positive article from The Guardian newspaper by M. G. McNay, who surveys the gallery’s activities and in particular its young director, Paul Keeler in a column entitled “Laboratory of the Invisible.”28 But perhaps the most important, or infamous, are the pieces by Lewis Mumford and Robert Lowell in statements against the Vietnam war. These two pieces represent the most overtly political writings in the life of the periodical, as well as being the ones that aroused the ire of Paul Keeler’s father and his subsequent termination of their use of the Wigmore Street building, and the demise of both the Signals gallery and the periodical, eight months later.

The final three Signals, #9–11 all have different cover designs with a much smaller masthead located in a variety of locations on the front cover. Issues #10–11 like the Takis issue, are the three largest issues comprising twenty-four pages each issue.

Signals, #9, Aug., - Sept., - Oct., 1965

Signals #9 is dedicated to the first exhibition in the UK of the Venezuelan artist Carolos Cruz-Diez’s works (physichromies) which play with the viewers vision as s/he moves in front of the works. Beginning on page three is a dense two-page text on modern physics that Medalla coaxed out of the famous physicist Werner Heisenberg. This issue also contains the only writings by an American artist, in this case Barnett Newman and the whole inside back page is taken up with a variety of reviews about Signals’ recent and current exhibitions. One review offers some insight into the location of the gallery and the well-healed environment in which this avant-garde gallery was located, observing, “In a quarter full of doctors, opticians, and dentists, it has three good floors of exhibition space with good lighting and facilities demonstrating kinetic devices dependent on electricity, magnetism or motors.”29

Signals, #10, Nov., - Dec., 1965

Signals #10 is wholly taken up with the retrospective of the Venezuelan artist Jesús-Rafael Soto. This issue represents a substantial catalogue for Soto’s exhibition and as usual color has been used in the front and back covers, and in a new departure there is color in two pages inside the periodical. Soto’s retrospective marks the one-year anniversary of Signals and this issue includes a detailed listing of all the exhibitions that had taken place during this time. Additionally, there is a listing of exhibitions with which Signals had collaborated, in locations outside the confines of the gallery. At the end of this piece is a short note by Medalla emphasizing the documentary function of the periodical stating “Full documentation on all our exhibitions appears regularly in SIGNALS Newsbulletin (edited by David Medalla), which has now completed its first volume.”30

Signals, #11, Jan., - Feb., - March., 1966

The final issue is Signals #11, which once again is a substantial twenty-four-page issue with a two-color cover, dedicated to the retrospective exhibition at Signals titled “A Quarter of a Century of the Art of Alejandro Otero: 1940-1965.” The issue contains a large number of texts dedicated to this Venezuelan artists’ work as well as a number of reviews of the show scattered about the periodical, coupled with an interview and three pieces of writing by Otero himself. On the back page is a short notification from Paul Keeler informing readers that this issue of Signals introduces a new quarterly publication schedule from its previous bi-monthly one, with Keeler blaming the high costs of production as well as the need for the editor to “…concentrate on his own sculpture, and partly to make for issues which will have a broader scope.” Interestingly, he also notes that financing for the periodical comes from the “…sales of art works from our showrooms, including works donated by various artists.”31

Summary
I want now to conclude this brief examination of this curiously hybrid periodical and to detail a number of themes and issues embedded within its pages.

At the beginning of this study I relate how the printers of a catalogue of Medalla’s works had enjoined him to go beyond this particular genre and to do a “…newspaper for the arts,” and in many ways this is exactly what Medalla achieved with Signals, despite its mostly bi-monthly publishing schedule.32 That ‘news’ would be a staple of the periodical is also reinforced by its self-proclaimed identity as a ‘newsbulletin,’ as well as the newspaper format it was printed in, and even more so when presented in its folded format. In varying degrees, throughout the life of the periodical Medalla included all sorts of newsworthy titbits of information about what was happening in the artworld, both nationally and internationally to the artists and others within the gallery’s orbit and beyond. This chatty informality is always accompanied with his practice of printing proper names in bold, a typographic strategy of ‘name dropping’ that I would argue served to create a galaxy of associations and connections, indeed an ‘imagined community’33 of these people, who often came from varied backgrounds—artists, writers, scientists and London’s larger social scene. One writer has suggested that, “The publication was part newsletter and part society page (my emphasis)” and I would concur that there certainly is a sense of Signals being a kind of society page for the arts that tracked both the comings and goings of a variety of players and supporters of the avant-garde arts of the time.34

As I have observed at the beginning of this text, Signals also served a double role as both a catalogue for exhibitions at the gallery, and a documentary function by recording the activities of the gallery, as well as the larger field of kinetic art and the Latin American avant-garde. The inclusion of reviews of exhibitions at Signals were often accompanied with the critic’s assessment on the general activities of the gallery, coupled with their responses to specific exhibitions at Signals, this despite some reviewers’ reluctance to really engage with the issues that this new kinetic art confronted them with.35

John A. Tyson in a particularly insightful and detailed text on Signals proposes that Signals be viewed as an “alternative space for art,” applying art historian Gwen Allen’s term in her groundbreaking book on artists’ magazines.36 My understanding of this term is two-fold, one application refers to artists’ magazines as providing a space for conceptually based works which, because of their heavy text-based nature, are ideally suited to being realized on the printed page. My other entrée into this term rests on the distinction between the two terms representational and presentational, with the former illustrating the ways in which traditional magazines 'represent' or simply reproduce images of artworks on their pages, as distinct from artists' magazines where the works 'presented' fuse with the materiality of the page as their field or canvas, allowing the artwork to be more fully realized. However, from this I would have to conclude that while Signals is certainly a space for art, I wouldn't define it as an 'alternative space' although it was certainly showcasing artwork that was cutting edge and challenging to audiences of the period. Neither would I argue that Signals functioned in the presentational manner of artists' magazines. Indeed, there is only one exception to this and this is the work, which I described earlier, titled "Walking Along - Do It Yourself" (#7, 1965) by Lygia Clark, in which the viewer is instructed to cut the piece out of the page in order to create their own mobius strip artwork.

Following on from the above, the question that now hangs in the air is how to describe Medalla’s Signals. Is it simply a ‘newsbulletin’, or a ‘newspaper of the arts’ as his printers in Windsor proposed, and he implicitly recognizes in his musings about precursors (Iris Time), or an altogether different animal? I want to propose below that Signals functioned simultaneously on a number of different levels.

Firstly, in its original manifestation, Signals was created to serve as an inhouse newsbulletin for the activities of the Centre for Advanced Creative Study, and later expanded to cover the programming of the Signals gallery. Thus, I have no issue with defining it in terms of a traditional newsbulletin, since it was created to inform a quite specific community of artists and others interested in the intersection of arts and the sciences.

Secondly, I would describe it as a newspaper, with the arts and the artworld as its subject and its audience although it never followed the periodicity of traditional newspapers. Signals served in much the same manner as a traditional newspaper, with news of artists’ and artworld activities, current developments in the cultural sphere, and all of this diced through with the gallery’s activities, and snippets of art world goings-on in the style of newspapers society pages.   

Finally, I would also define Signals as an artists’ newspaper for a number of different reasons, not the least being that the editor himself was a well-respected artist. Even a cursory look at Signals reveals that Medalla has taken any number of liberties with the standard newspaper format – the bolded proper names, the typographic play seen throughout the issues, and the varied layouts illustrating artists’ writings, texts and images of artworks. All of this variety creates a compelling frisson for the readership, and it’s something that one does not see in the design and layout of our daily newspapers. 

The other dimension to my definition of Signals as an artists’ newspaper, is that I would argue that the whole publishing project represents an artwork that Medalla created in the medium of print. This is not the place to go into a lengthy discussion of Medalla’s particular way of working, but the story of how it came about via a suggestion by some printers in Windsor, England, is a wonderful example of the open and fluid manner in which he channels inspiration for new works. It also illustrates one commentator’s take on his working method who stated “His approach to life is protean, which is to say, he is a versatile actor capable of playing many roles.”37 Indeed, in the very same book from which this quote was taken is a copy of an article from the Saturday Mirror, Manila (1954) titled “Boy Sleeps, Finds Himself in Hong Kong.” The article describes how Medalla, as a 12-year old schoolboy, fell asleep in a cabin of the SS President Wilson that was docked in Manila, and awoke to find himself 694 miles away in Hong Kong!

Futhermore, this 'protean' quality was also illustrated to me while I was working with Medalla on an installation and he sent me a hilarious text for the catalogue. The text describes how in 1961 he came to create the University of Failure, initiated in exactly the same manner through a chance encounter in Paris”.38 This improvisatory approach to life and artmaking, is the constant thread with which this self-proclaimed transcendental-hedonist 39 has stitched together a totally original artistic career in a wide variety of media, and the circumstances of the birth of Signals is no exception.

In a most profound sense Medalla's career has been a continuous improvisation and the resulting 'works' are but the residue of these unexpected journeys. Signals however, occupies a unique place within Medalla's ouevre, and this printed matter piece stands out as a singularly 'embodied' work within the larger territory and context of his artistic practice.



           






Footnotes

1.         Leak, Darren and Bianca Chu, Signals, S/2, Sotheby’s London, 2018, p. 122. This paper and my research on Signals has been greatly helped by the publication of a boxed-set facsimile of Signals reprinted by Iniva in 1995.

            I also want to acknowledge here the expert editorial assistance that Lillian Sizemore has provided me in preparing this article for publication.

2.         From issue #3-8 the new title of the masthead of the periodical reads: Newsbulletin of Signals London. For the last 3 issues the title is just Signals.  Note: in the first issue Signalz is spelt with a ‘z,’ and thereafter spelt Signals.

3.         Signalz, #1, 1964, London, p. 1.

4.         Soon after the formation of the gallery “…the original group had dispersed. Salvadori would form his own ‘Centre for the Study of Science in Art’ in Chalk Farm, London and a fallout between Metzger and Medalla led the artists to part ways.” Metzger would go on to organize the infamous 1966 “Destruction in Art Symposium.” Leak, Darren and Bianca Chu, Signals, S/2, Sotheby’s London, 2018, p. 26

5.         Signalz, #1, 1964, London, p. 1.

6.         Leak, Darren and Bianca Chu, Signals, S/2, Sotheby’s London, 2018, p. 25.

7.         Signalz, #1, 1964, London, p. 1.

8.         Medalla, David, “Memories of the Sixties,” in And, No. 17, 1988, p. 14.

9.         Brett, Guy, Exploding Galaxies: The Art of David Medalla, Kala Press, London, 1995, p. 47.

10.       Medalla, David, “Memories of the Sixties,” in And, No. 17, 1988, p. 14, 16.

11.       Signals, Vol. 1, #2, September 1964, p. 2.

12.       Leak, Darren and Bianca Chu, Signals, S/2, Sotheby’s London, 2018, p. 121.

13.       Leak, Darren and Bianca Chu, Signals, S/2, Sotheby’s London, 2018, p. 121.

14.       Iris Time was a two-page newspaper published in 46 issues between 1962-1975 and “Replacing the traditional invitation, each issue announced upcoming shows, including critics reviews, Indian horoscopes and reactions of famous guests at the vernissage.” Source: https://www.fabernett.com/pages/books/48824/iris-time-unlimited-no-1-6-october-1962-through-no-46-april-1975-all-published

15.       Signalz Vol. 1, No. 1, August 1964, p. 2.

16.       Leak, Darren and Bianca Chu, Signals, S/2, Sotheby’s London, 2018, p. 121.
           
            John A. Tyson in the most detailed exploration of Signals that I have found also comments on this feature of the periodical, suggesting its strategy mirrors that of a section found in a particular type of periodical stating, “The publication was part newsletter and part society page (my emphasis).” In: John A. Tyson, Signals Crossing Borders: Cybernetic Words and Images and 1960s Avant-Garde Art, Interfaces #36, Fall, 2017, p. 90.

17.       Editorial, Signals #2, 1964, p. 2.

18.       Ibid., p. 2.

19.       Signals #3/4, 1964, p. 1.

20.       Medalla, David, “Memories of the Sixties,” in And, No. 17, 1988, p. 16.

21.       Ibid. p. 16.

22.       Leak, Darren and Bianca Chu, Signals, S/2, Sotheby’s London, 2018, p. 122.

23.       Ibid., p. 122.

24.       Ibid. p. 127. Medalla also notes that when Signals closed, the Indica gallery emerged as the trendy spot for Signals patrons and the younger arty London crowd.

25.       Issues #1 – 8 include the word ‘newsbulletin’ in the periodical’s masthead, but is dropped from for the last three issues.

26.       Signals #7, 1966, p. 4.

27.       Ibid., p. 7.

28.       Signals #8, 1965, p. 2.

29.       Signals #9, 1965, p. 14.

30.       Signals #10, 1965, p. 15.

31.       Signals #11, 1966, p. 24.  Aside from the first two issues of Signals all of the other nine issues were published bi-monthly.

            Note should be made of Medalla’s developing career at this time with his kinetic sculptures, in particular his Bubble Machines, which are still being exhibited and collected by major artworld institutions.

32.       Leak, Darren and Bianca Chu, Signals, S/2, Sotheby’s London, 2018, p. 121.

33.       This term was coined to describe the discursive effects of newspapers in the construction of national identity, see Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities, Verso, London, 1991.

34.       Tyson, John A., Signals Crossing Borders: Cybernetic Words and Images and 1960s Avant-Garde Art, Interfaces #36, Fall, 2017, p. 90.

            As I note in footnote #15 this is a detailed and sophisticated analysis of Signals and would be required reading for anyone trying to understand Signals.

35.       As I have related in this text the three issues with the largest numbers of pages were substantial exhibition catalogues devoted to the works of Takis (#3/4, 1964), Soto (#10, 1965) and Otero (#11, 1966).

36.       John A. Tyson, Signals Crossing Borders: Cybernetic Words and Images and 1960s Avant-Garde Art, Interfaces #36, Fall, 2017, p. 68.

            Allen, Gwen, Artists’ Magazines: An Alternative Space for Art, MIT Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2011, p. 7.

37.       Dore Ashton in: Brett, Guy, Exploding Galaxies: The Art of David Medalla, Kala Press, London, 1995, p. 9.

38.       This text below, “University of Failure (1961-2003)” was published in the catalogue for his installation “There’s nothing so underrated as a great shit,” WC Gallery, January 15 – April 16, 2005, De Pere, WI, curated by myself.

In the summer of 1961 I was in Paris. A handsome young poet told me told me that if I can get a student’s card, I could eat in a student’s restaurant in Paris and thus save money on food bills. He recommended a course on French civilisation at the Sorbonne for me to enroll in, but when I went to the Sorbonne, the course was over for the year. Instead, there was at the Sorbonne an international congress of college principals and university presidents from all over the world. The registrar asked me what academic institution I came from. I said (with thinly disguised irony) that I came from the Isle de Failure (Island of Failure) somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, and that I am the president of the struggling university there. I was duly registered in the international academic congress. I met many of the delegates who expressed interest in the imaginary correspondence courses I conducted. I gave them my name and address in England. When I returned to London I received letters from people all over the world who wanted to enroll in the University of Failure. Soon I started a variety of courses whereby I David Medalla, president of the University of Failure, will guarantee to fail anyone in any course he/she chooses? I failed a wife in Bombay who keep failing. I failed a cowboy in Montana who could not have a proper erection. Soon, however, the Ministry of Education ordered me to stop my courses. And so, I failed as the president of the University of Failure.

39.       David Medalla in: Perkins, Stephen, There’s nothing so underrated as a great shit: A Participatory installation by David Medalla, exhibition catalogue, WC Gallery, De Pere, WI, 2005, np.