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The CAYC Files: An ICAA/MFAH and ISLAA Collaboration

Lee esta entrada en español.

We are excited to announce the launch of the CAYC Files, the first initiative organized as part of a long-term partnership between the International Center for the Arts of the Americas (ICAA) at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA), New York.

With the aim of making archival resources open-access to international scholars, this collaboration centers on the digitization and annotation of key documents published by the Buenos Aires-based Centro de Arte y Comunicación (CAYC). The CAYC Files will be made available free of charge through an ISLAA-ICAA microsite on the ICAA’s Documents of Latin American and Latino Art digital platform. The newsletters included in the CAYC Files can also be found in Documents Project. The initial launch of nearly 250 digitized files on Thursday, June 15, 2023, will be followed by the release of 350 additional files throughout the fall of 2023. The remaining files will be released alongside corresponding programming through spring 2024.

Since its founding in 2011, ISLAA has assembled primary-source media from an array of CAYC participants, including over 600 “gacetillas” or newsletters. These newsletters, aimed at publicizing CAYC’s activities and initiatives, are the primary focus of the first phase of the CAYC Files collaboration.

For the past two years, a team of CAYC experts in Buenos Aires supported by ISLAA has been researching and annotating each newsletter, and the ICAA is processing these documents for publication on the ISLAA-ICAA microsite. The initial set of files treated by the researchers concentrates on the CAYC’s innovative approach to exhibitions.

Founded by Jorge Glusberg, the CAYC operated as a laboratory for experimental multi-disciplinary artistic practices in Argentina and beyond. During its peak years of activity (from 1968 to 1977), the CAYC produced over 900 one or two-page “gacetillas” that Glusberg mailed to hundreds of sympathizers and media outlets across the globe. These documents created a network of figures invested in pursuing new forms of artistic communication and exchange across continents. The “gacetillas” represent an invaluable cache of documents critical for studying key movements of the 1960s and 70s, as well as the discourse around movements including Conceptualism, Systems Art, Minimalism, Video Art, and New Media

Despite their significance for the study of contemporary art, the “gacetillas” have, until now, been largely inaccessible and dispersed among many institutions and other repositories, resulting in a partial picture of the CAYC archive. This initiative will create the first centralized digital resource for the comprehensive study of the CAYC and its significance for Latin American art in the 1960s and 70s.

Glusberg, Jorge y Centro de Arte y Comunicación. Hacia un perfil del Arte latinoamericano, no. GT-129. Buenos Aires: Centro de Arte y Comunicación, June 12, 1972. CAYC Gacetillas Collection, Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA) Library and Archives. ICAA Record ID: 1476310

The CAYC Files is presented by the International Center for the Arts of The Americas (ICAA) at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in partnership with the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA), New York.

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