The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
The first and longest section of this document is presented as an interview between Harry Gamboa Jr. and Gronk, two of the members of the artist group, ASCO. In it, the artists describe the conceptual media genre called “No Movies,” which they created in the 1970s. “No Movies” was about making movies without film—that is, as a series of life events perceived within a “cinemagraphic” framework, and intended as a rebuff to the capitalist and exclusionary United States film industry. The interview also incorporates two shorter texts and is illustrated by a photo-text collage by Gamboa, titled Young Boy 1950s. The first of these shorter texts mimics a dictionary definition of “ASCO (Nausea),” combining common definitions of the term with the names of ASCO members. The final text lists graffiti interventions by ASCO created in 1972–73, which included spray-painting the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and writing anti-Vietnam War messages on billboards in the same city.
This is a highly rhetorical text that describes the artists’ conceptual art practices, but which also functions as a conceptual work in itself. Written during Gronk’s and Gamboa’s collaboration in ASCO, a visual and performance art group active in Los Angeles in the 1970s and ‘80s. Other members of the collective included Patssi Valdez and Willie Herrón. This text could be considered part of the “No Movie” genre since it is through interviews such as this one that the work comes alive. In another proposal, the artists exhibited photos of the graffiti tags on the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as a conceptual artwork known as Project Pie in De/Face or Spray Paint LACMA.