In the 1970s and 1980s, while new technologies aided the unprecedented global circulation of goods and information, artists and activists across Latin America turned to do-it-yourself and “lo-fi” means to disseminate their own work. They sent art by mail, produced zines and pamphlets, and founded small presses. These systems and platforms allowed them to produce works that could be distributed easily, avoiding the commercial structures of the art world and the policing of repressive political regimes.
Interested in communications technologies, many of these artists also explored the new potential of video and other electronic media, whether through art made for cable networks, interventions in TV programs, or works for Minitel technology. They helped form a burgeoning global community of artists whose work took place outside the protocols of formal institutions and traditional media. However, the results of these alternative approaches entered established art institutions in unexpected ways: for example, by being mailed directly to MoMA’s library, as was the case with many of the print works in this gallery.