This work is composed of two almost identical sheets of paper marked with a dot above the caption “Two Dots.” One dot is red and other is black. The fax transmission report appears at the bottom of each sheet.

N.E. Thing Co. Ltd.

(Iain Baxter, b. Middlesbrough, England, 1936; Ingrid Baxter, b. Spokane, Washington, 1938)

 

Send a Lie, Receive the Truth

1968-1970

Typewritten text, graphite, tempera, gouache, pen on paper
27.8 x 21.5 cm
Purchased in 2002
Vancouver Art Gallery, VAG 2002.8.8
© Iain Baxter& and Ingrid Baxter. Photo: Vancouver Art Gallery, Rachel Topham


Send a Lie, Receive the Truth consists of an electronic transmission sheet marked with a red dot above the caption “Two Dots” and a return fax copy of the same page. The transmission process duplicated the original document but also transformed it: the red dot on the original is black on the copy. Strongly influenced by the ideas of the media theorist Marshall McLuhan, the artist duo N.E. Thing Co. Ltd. (NETCO) explored the effects of new technologies on visual perception and made innovative use of communication networks to produce conceptual works.


Although Send a Lie, Receive the Truth dates to 1970, it fittingly represents 1964 here. This work highlights the influence of Marshall McLuhan’s seminal book Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (1964) on the artists. Vancouver-based N.E. Thing Co. (NETCO) was an art collective run from 1966 to 1978 by Iain Baxter (now spelled Baxter&) and Ingrid Baxter, his wife at the time. Their eclectic interdisciplinary production – installations, remotely created works, consultation services, a restaurant called Eye Scream – redefined the artist’s role and made the duo a pioneer of conceptual art in Canada.

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