History of Disappearance
The C-Series (2004)

In the 1970s Franklin Furnace began collecting and archiving artists’ books. Artists were invited to submit three copies of each of their books to Franklin Furnace. In a radical move, all entries were democratically accepted without regard to content or aesthetic quality. Ultimately, this collection grew to include thousands of national and international objects. In 1993, Franklin Furnace transferred the main body of the collection to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). After the transfer, MoMA returned the third, or ‘C’ copy, of many of the artists’ books to Franklin Furnace.

Continuing in their original function, Franklin Furnace currently houses these objects.

The C-Series artists’ books collection on display at BALTIC was originally curated by Courtney J. Martin for the Nathan Cummings Foundation in New York. The selection takes its name from the collection. It presents work created by collectives, community based groups, or individuals working with ideological stances of political, social, or community activism and organisation. The ‘C-Series’ artists’ books have a dual role as a new way of art making and a form of social critique. The books included in this exhibition showcase conceptual, technical, and visual documentation of national and international issues explored within the process of art making.

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