David Hammons

Global Fax Festival

David Hammons

Global Fax Festival



Edition Size



DVD, Facsimile, Offset print


Box set


Box Set


New York, NY

$ 3,000.00


View Collectors

Biblioteca de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Biblioteca Nacional de España

Kunsthalle Basel

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SF MOMA)

Smithsonian Institute, National Gallery of Art Library

The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

The University of Granada

Universitat de Barcelona

University of Delaware Library

University of Illinois

University of Minnesota

Yale University Art Gallery (YUAG)

Global Fax Festival is an artists’ book/box set that documents a conceptual/performance/installation of the same name by respected American artist David Hammons. A plastic folding enclosure printed in red and black contains an exhibition catalog (a full-color brochure describing the location of the festival, as well as the concept behind it), a DVD (which documents both a live musical performance by American Jazz and experimental music composer Butch Morris during the event, and the event in general), a large format poster and a pamphlet about the event (which also requests participation), and 600 of the original faxes from around the world created at the event. Thus the resulting box set embodies more than just the documentation of the event but is a part of it, a globally assembled artists’ book formed within an elegant interactive installation. This copy is unsigned.

The exhibition took place at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia Palacio de Cristal Parque del Retiro (AKA the Crystal Palace), in Madrid, Spain from June 1st through November 6th, 2000. In the exhibition, held in what is colloquially known as the Palacio de Cristal, the artist provided the public with nine fax numbers corresponding to nine fax machines Hammons suspended from the ceiling of the Crystal Palace. During the event, faxes were sent by various artists and people from all over the world and they rained down from the sky to paper the floor. The multi-layered structure of Global Fax Festival was designed by Hammons to draw on the parallel between the surroundings, where the leaves of the trees in the Retiro park follow the same path. Another intention for the exhibition, which was created especially for the Palacio de Cristal, was to involve the building’s architecture, which Hammons defined as being like “a sacred cathedral”. This sacrosanct dimension does not only belong to the space, but also to the materials and objects, and is a constant in his work.

Among the thousands of faxes received over the five months of the exhibition, there are newspaper stories, adverts, drawings, artist dossiers, obituaries, letters, declarations of love, collages, social statements, messages for David Hammons, instructions on origami techniques, famous phrases and proclamations, graphic humor, poems, short stories and book excerpts, music scores, photos of people, puzzles, slogans, etc., all of which demonstrate the boundless diversity of possible expression through paper. The sounds inside of the Palacio de Cristal, the trill of the birds in the park, the noise of the fax machine, and the falling paper, are equally part of the installation and fulfill the artist’s intentions. Thus the resulting box set embodies more than just the documentation of the event but is actually a part of it, a globally assembled artists’ book formed within an elegant interactive installation. Perhaps it could best be described as a ‘crowdsourced’ artwork.

“…Hammons has fiercely guarded his status as a cultural outsider, while simultaneously continuing to produce work that reinforces his reputation as one of the most relevant and influential living American artists.” — Laura Hoptman, Museum of Modern Art, Curator, Painting & Sculpture