Robert Adrian

Robert Adrian X’s (1935-2015) work with telecommunications technologies began in the late 1970s and encompasses a wide range of media including fax, slow-scan TV, amateur radio, electronic bulletin board systems, and other virtual communication tools. Considered a pioneer in artistic practices that first incorporated these emerging technologies, Adrian X participated in the Artists’ Use of Telecommunications Conference, a telematic art conference organized by Bill Bartlett for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1980. The conference brought together artists located in San Francisco, New York, Toronto, Vancouver, Vienna, and Tokyo working with telecommunications, and took place in “telecommunication space.” Die Welt in 24 Stunden (The World in 24 Hours), one of Adrian X’s most recognized works, was first presented at Ars Electronica in 1982. It was an ambitious project using low-tech, telephone-based communications equipment to establish a global network of participating artists and groups, where each organized a contribution from their location using any or all readily available telecommunications technologies. These concerns are further explored in Adrian X’s impressive body of work since the 1980s, which redefines and reuses communication tools to establish creative and participatory environments.