A Revolution “First-Hand”: Seth Siegelaub’s Journey to Portugal in May 1975

— Sara Martinetti

To Seth, who sadly passed away as I was completing this text, for his inventiveness and generosity.

“Managing the publication of the presentation [of Marx’s writings] is the editor’s task: fabricating a material object, a book, choosing the cover, the layout, the font, etc. In short, a whole artisanal traffic to simulate the mirage of the self-movement of the content.”
– Patrice Loraux[1]

On 25 April 1974, the Carnation Revolution overthrew the dictatorship that had repressed Portugal’s political and intellectual life for nearly half a century. Planned by a group of young officers who opposed the regime, the Armed Forces Movement (Movimento das Forças Armadas – MFA), this coup d’état aimed to end war in the colonies, restore democracy and initiate economic growth in a country poverty-ridden and hampered by archaic structures. The population soon joined the revolutionary struggle, and for several months Portugal, a neighbor of Franco’s Spain, became a laboratory for socialism in Europe that captivated the imagination of politicians and journalists worldwide. But the initial enthusiasm soon gave way to a long drawn-out political and ideological crisis in which power changed hands several times—resulting in six provisional governments, two presidents, two failed coups d’état, three elections, several bombings, strikes and demonstrations and various other popular uprisings—until July 1976, when a government of moderate socialists eventually managed to stabilize the situation.

On 4 May 1975, after a three-day journey squeezed in a Renault 4L, Seth Siegelaub, his partner Rosalind Fay-Boehlinger, and his friends and collaborators, researchers Michèle and Armand Mattelart, arrived in Lisbon. They stayed only six days in Portugal, leaving the way they came on 10 May. Besides the capital, they visited Coimbra, one of the oldest university towns in Europe, and the countryside around Viseu.

It is rather surprising to come upon Seth Siegelaub (1941–2013), who is best known to art historians for his decisive contribution to 1960s and 1970s Conceptual Art in the USA, in this context. Although the situation and the stakes differ, this touristic anecdote is reminiscent of another journey which has often been related and staged: the story of Lucy Lippard, a leading figure in the art world close to Siegelaub, discovering the political entanglement of Argentina’s art scene and speaking of this experience as an epiphany.[2] In Siegelaub’s trajectory, the importance of this journey to revolutionary Portugal— an event that is mentioned nowhere as it had been “rangé dans les cartons” [boxed up], to use one of his favorite expressions—still remains to be assessed. Siegelaub himself incorporated this historic event into his library and bibliog- raphy on political communication, a project initiated in 1972 after his retirement from the art world. The Portuguese “case,” then, allows us to consider a general methodology of writing in Siegelaub’s practice—a practice of printed text, and a general vision of the circulation of ideas—through a clearly defined corpus of documents and archives from this journey, while reconsidering his work with conceptual artists in light of these findings.

The construction of a relation to politics

“It was an opportunity to see a revolution first-hand, nearby. It’s very simple: I would have gone to Cuba if it had been more practical to do that. But this was just a drive from Paris, where I lived, and something inespéré [unhoped for], a rare opportunity which hasn’t come again,” Siegelaub explained later.[3]

In those years Cuba had become a repository of many aspirations, presenting itself as the great model for a new Portugal in the making, as this headline about the Carnation Revolution in the French daily Le Monde in 1975 documents: “It’s Cuba at the end of the motorway to the south.”[4] Accordingly, Portugal became one of the political hotspots which, in the 1960s and 1970s, attracted an international community of agitators and activists. The popular fervor of the revolution encouraged others to “go see,” “take part” and “experience” the process on the ground, as students, intellectuals, activists, exiles, politicians and people with various agendas converged in Portugal. Detailing the multiple aspects of this new infatuation that spread through France and Europe, the historian Victor Pereira has analyzed the original nature of this pilgrimage “at the crossroads of two types of journeys: the militant journey, well-established since 1917, which was the preserve of a caste of intellectuals and politicians, and another kind of journey which became more frequent in the 1950s and 1960s and poured thousands of young people onto the roads who wanted to open up to the world. Portugal, as opposed to other political pilgrimages, therefore attracted a significant number of pilgrims.”[5]

For many time witnesses, the 25 April 1974 echoed previous experiences and rekindled revolutionary memories: May 68 in France, the rallies against the Vietnam War, Salvador Allende coming to power in Chile. Among those who felt concerned were Michèle and Armand Mattelart, who had been living and working in Santiago de Chile since 1962, where they had played an active role in the social government of the Popular Union [Unidad Popular] before General Pinochet’s coup d’état of September 1973 forced them into exile. It was from this experience that Armand Mattelart founded his further research, initiating a reflection on public communication policies and meeting with other researchers on this subject.[6] In Portugal, the couple reconnected with a familiar realm of ideas as well as with many friends in exile; however, due to the brevity of their stay, their active participation in the Carnation Revolution must be described as modest at best.[7]

As for Siegelaub, the importance of this journey varies according to the relation he entertained at that time with all things political. His stay in Portugal in 1975 would remain an exception in his curriculum; after taking part in demonstrations against the Vietnam War in New York at the turn of the 1970s,[8] he was suddenly confronted with the reality of a revolution during six days. In this respect 1972 is the key date in his chronology. While the conceptual artists he had supported were exhibiting in museums and at documenta 5 in Kassel, he went into early retirement from the art world at the age of thirty-one, abandoning his ambitious exhibition and publishing projects. He disappeared from the radar of art history, and the rare studies concerned with his work, which end in those years, suggest that Siegelaub, the brilliant artists’ impresario, had missed a step in his career ladder.[9]

Siegelaub and Fay-Boehlinger moved to Bagnolet, a “red town” in the Paris suburbs, where they engaged in political activities and started working with new people in new fields. While Fay-Boehlinger campaigned for the French Communist Party and became a distributor for political literature, Siegelaub read and catalogued all the Marxist literature of his time. In 1973 he founded the International Mass Media Research Center (IMMRC), which aimed to document all critical theories of communication and, more generally, evidence the role of culture in Marxist thought by building a specialized library, establishing a bibliography and publishing anthologies and essays. By developing the practice of exchanging documents, the IMMRC furthermore took part in an international network of researchers, university groups, associations and governmental bodies.[10] An inventory made at the unwinding of the centre thirteen years later documents the extent of its work: a collection of 3,200 books, 825 bibliographical descriptions and 11 books printed through its publishing house, International General.

Neither a revolutionary field trip nor a romantic encounter with history, the journey to Portugal brought together four specialists in the political economy of communication. Thanks to their networks and various turns of events, they were able to establish a series of contacts before their departure from France, among others with Fernando Dil, author and journalist for O Século Ilustrado, Nuno Brederode Santos, director of the publishing house Iniciativas Editoriais, Fernando Perrone, a Brazilian sociologist exiled in Chile, France and Portugal, not to for- get the military circles with Captain Paulino, the spokesman of Dinamização Cultural, the department of Cultural Dynamisation of the 5th Division of the General Staff of the MFA. According to Armand Mattelart’s account, the group’s interests focused on the Campaigns of Cultural Dynamisation [Campanhas de Dinamização Cultural], which they were able to observe by accompanying soldiers to villages and visiting the itinerant exhibitions conceived by the military to spread their message.[11] Based on shared concerns, Siegelaub’s relationship with the more experienced Armand Mattelart developed, through action, debate and the exchange of ideas. As he did not speak Portuguese, the Mattelarts were his interpreters during the trip.[12] Eventually, this journey would mark the beginning of a long friendship and fruitful working relationship.

First-hand documents

By traveling to Portugal, Siegelaub wanted to get as close as possible to the revolution, to engage in a direct relationship with the physical spaces and writings produced by the event. In his own words, it was a chance “to see a revolution first-hand.” But instead of producing a written account or a photographic diary,[13] he brought back some fifty-odd printed documents for the library of the IMMRC. Rather than a journalist or reporter, he acted as a documentalist—albeit a more daring one. His find was not limited to books but included a large array of printed matter, newspapers, pamphlets, public statements, reports, tracts, etc. He was particularly attentive to posters. All these documents—periodicals, grey and ephemeral literature, etc.—difficult to find and often sourced directly from their authors, contain information of great topicality and accuracy.

Two texts and a selection of images from this collection were published in 1983 in Communication and Class Struggle, which Siegelaub edited together with Mattelart.[14] While the first volume, Capitalism, Imperialism, examines the ideological factors conditioning the society of information, from printed media to tourism, the second volume of this anthology presents different left wing media strategies. The texts that Sieglaub brought back from Portugal, which appear alongside texts on Chile (a situation Mattelart knows well) in the chapter “The intensification of struggles,” evidence the problems the two com- pilers had been able to observe on the ground.[15] Besides the act of collecting, choosing the format of the anthology also indicates the editors’ concern to pass on direct information without analysis, generalization or summary.

Siegelaub’s involvement in these editorial questions goes back to his active role in the emergence of Conceptual Art, as suggested by this manifesto inter- view with Charles Harrison from 1969:

For many years it has been well known that more people are aware of an artist’s work through (1) the printed media or (2) conversation than by direct confrontation with the art itself. For painting and sculpture, where the visual presence—color, scale, size, location—is important to the work, the photograph or verbalization of that work is a bastardization of the art. But when art concerns itself with things not germane to physical pres- ence its intrinsic (communicative) value is not altered by its presentation in printed media. The use of catalogues and books to communicate (and disseminate) art is the most neutral means to present the new art. The cat- alogue can now act as primary information for the exhibition, as opposed to secondary information about art in magazines, catalogues, etc., and in some cases the “exhibition” can be the “catalogue”.[16]

Between 1968 and 1972 Siegelaub put this theory into practice in twenty or so projects that explored the possible variations between books, art and exhibitions: in his “catalogue-exhibitions” the catalogue is the exhibition and refers to nothing else beyond itself. However, the theory of primary and secondary information developed by Siegelaub is based on a conception of writing that asks to be clarified. Indeed, contrary to the photographic reproduction of an original object, changes made to the form of a text—i.e. its various transcriptions and layouts—do not alter the text as such. From this widely accepted assertion, the historian of publishing and reading Roger Chartier derives three implications:

“the permanence of the opposition between the purity of the idea and its corruption by matter, the invention of copyright that established the author’s property in a text considered as always identical, whatever the form of its publication, or again the triumph of an aesthetics that judged works independently of their different and successive materialities.”[17] These issues, which require further analysis, are also at the heart of the theoretical conundrums and dead ends of Conceptual Art, which is commonly perceived as an art of ideas best embodied by the format of the written agreement. In this context, and by dealing with a collection of documents on paper, it is interesting to note that Siegelaub’s editorial work examines the “frameworks” of art and the “margins” of texts— the role of the author, the concept of intellectual property, the dissemination and commerce of books—while engaging in the general circulation of ideas.

Paradoxically, this conception of written matter and the belief in the dematerialization of the artwork are concomitant with a work on the media. Beyond the aestheticized view on conceptual catalogues, it has rarely been noted that Siegelaub’s famous “catalogue-exhibition,” Carl Andre, Robert Barry, Douglas Huebler, Joseph Kosuth, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris, Lawrence Weiner published by Jack Wendler and Siegelaub in 1968 was not photocopied 1,000 times, as its subtitle, Xerox Book, suggests.[18] Rather, the 1,000 copies of the book are traditional offset prints of a set of twenty-five photocopies of standard sheets of paper contributed by each of the seven participating artists. It is the transparency resulting from the superimposition of successive media that flattens the various layers on the cover of the book, “obliterating” the final step of offset printing and thus “neutralizing” the publishing work. Contradicting the tangible materiality of the final object, the book effectively presents the image of a photocopy, as indicated by characteristic Xerox marks. Siegelaub has explained his choice of offset printing by his intention to bring costs down, but these manipulations nevertheless evidence his acute awareness of the various degrees of reproduction and of printing gestures. In relation to the coffee table book, the materiality of the Xerox Book must therefore be considered, not in terms of its qualities as an object, but for the way it inscribes itself into the matter. Against the fetish of the object and in favor of bricolage, Siegelaub himself, according to a manifest system of values, never put a positive spin on what he termed “bad” materiality.

For the anthology Communication and Class Struggle, Siegelaub applied the general norms for the presentation of historic documents in scientific publishing, which favor the text over the document as such. In other words, contrary to the

Xerox Book, where the materiality is suggested by photographic processes, only the text was extracted from the documents collected in Portugal. The words were copied, translated, punctuated, captioned, composed, illustrated and laid out in a newly formatted book. Even if this artisanal montage tries to be as invisible, and the cover as unitary as possible, the publishing process constitutes a material mediation implicit in each new transcription. Re-edited in the anthology, these texts, which had been initially been published locally in party newspaper or political pamphlets, can be read differently: the new cover puts the Portuguese question in the context of a wider theoretical debate, and the publishing of the book in an English translation allows it to gain an international readership.

The examples of the catalogue-exhibition and the anthology highlight the ambiguous status of documents in Siegelaub’s work: although it evidences an idealist conception of the written word, pushed to the end of its logic, the materiality of printed matter is not indifferent to his more or less classic choices as a publisher. Behind the scenes, he made dummies, layouts and mock-ups, fabricating a whole range of stationery for presenting, arranging, positioning, cutting, pasting, etc. This practice was based on various operations of transcription, understood as the shifts and transitions of texts from one medium to another. At the crossroads of exhibition making and publishing, we must therefore describe and comment on these sometimes arcane interventions.

Bibliographing the 25 April

In a footnote in the preface of Communication and Class Struggle, entitled “A communication on communication,” Siegelaub formulates a theory of the use of means of communication in the context of the Carnation Revolution and explains his own method in light of this postulate:

If one wanted to understand the role of communication and the theory produced by this struggle—and there are a number of opposing reasons why one would—and one looked to the usual sources of information such as books, etc., one would find relatively few. If we look at the popular means of communication, public meetings, newspapers, tracts, and especially, the comunicado [press release], however, our understanding becomes a little clearer. It appears to me that the legacy of fifty years of fascism and its retardation of education in general, and newspaper journalism education in particular, played a non negligible part in shaping how this confrontation took place. Unlike advanced capital- ism, where advanced journalism often serves as mediation between social forces and the reality in which they live, in Portugal, it appears that the newspaper and journalism played another role. By often just reprinting, in whole or in part, the comunicados written directly by the many partisan primary actors in this battle (in light, of course, of the conditions within each newspaper), the newspaper, for a certain time, served as a direct and unmediated communicator for the voice of those directly involved in these battles, something which very rarely occurs in monopoly capitalism, even when the latter is threatened. For more information, see the IMMRC bibliographic documen- tation to be included in Fernando Perrone, Portugal: Political Struggle and the Mass Media, N.Y. International General, forthcoming 1979.[19]

It is not surprising to see that Siegelaub was attentive to the comunicados, public notices, announcements, bulletins and reports—all those mostly official docu- ments sent to the press and media to be published “as is” or to fed the journalists’ investigations; in other words, a category of printed matter which, by definition, is used to circulate information. According to him, the newspapers of the revolution, by “reprinting, in whole or in part” these statements without ideological analysis or distortion, carried the voice of the people and those who fight, and therefore paradoxically eluded the category of media and the capitalist model of the press, whose logic is to influence public opinion and make money. The previously mentioned problem of the status of the document must therefore be considered once more. Through the particular use of media in the revolution, Siegelaub discovered the value of documents as raw and primary carriers of actions. Books, on the other hand, remained the preserve of “ideas.” The direct experience of the revolution thus influenced Siegelaub’s practice as a documentalist and his concerns as a bibliographer.

After the trip, Siegelaub planned to write a bibliography of 25 April to be published as a special edition of Marxism and the Mass Media on Portugal, entitled Portugal: Political Struggle and Mass Media and directed by Fernando Perrone. Caught in the rationales of the written and printed text, he later incor- porated the revolutionary episode into the series of bibliographies Marxism and the Mass Media, which he had been publishing since 1972 in various editions and volumes as he progressed with compiling bibliographical descriptions of books, pamphlets, manuscripts, periodicals and roneographs, which he held, or not, in the library of the IMMRC.[20] This, then, leads us from the collection of concrete documents to the accumulation of references.

Siegelaub, as the bibliographer of the IMMRC, watches over the hearth of literary productions of the revolution, skimming through the European press and relying on specialist or common bibliographies such as the quarterly inventory Boletim de bibliografia portuguesa—a general bibliography of the National Library in Lisbon, a few volumes of which he brought back home. While the commentaries and spontaneous analyses of events abound, the literary production of the actors of the revolution remains difficult to delimit for essentially two reasons. Firstly, Mattelart and Siegelaub have indicated that during their trip sources were rare and running dry. Secondly, as Siegelaub suggests in the previously mentioned footnote, the bibliographer must question his method and extend his field of research beyond books— which are often produced in the context of universities and therefore represent a very minor part in the quantity of texts produced—so as to survey the larger spec- trum of printed matter and popular means of communication.[21]

But how can the bibliographer, with the bibliographical tools and techniques at his disposal, give an account of the “paperwork” of dailies, press releases and tracts? Which working methods should he adopt? This difficult, if not incommensurable enterprise becomes a necessary militant act in the words of the Marxist activist: “… capitalism does what it can, systematically and organically, to minimize, marginalize, and deform the production and distribution, and thus consumption of left, critical and progressive theory in communication as elsewhere.”[22] It is therefore in this posture of the mediator and advocate of the free production and circulation of ideas that we must seek the core of Siegelaub’s political activity.

The “PORT” file

Within the library of the IMMRC, all documents and notes on the various subjects that Siegelaub followed were gathered in envelopes. Let us open the file entitled “PORT,” short for “Portugal”. In it we find different things: a typewritten list of names and addresses, a handwritten list of documents loaned by the centre’s library, the logbook of the journey, two library cards for texts, and the dummies for a brochure announcing the bibliographical project Portugal: Political Struggle and the Mass Media. While the bibliographical compilation had not actually started by that time, we can through various documents in the file observe that a complementary task has been undertaken, namely identifying the actors implicated in social communication in Portugal.

The initial stage of this research is found in the logbook of the trip. It takes the artisanal shape of a bundle of paper documents which have been sorted and later stapled together: pages from notebooks, sheets of paper or documents found on site. They contain mainly names, addresses, and telephone numbers of individual people, associations, political institutions and information centers. A handful of vouchers, hotel and restaurant bills, foreign currency receipts and travel tickets document the group’s journey. This notebook, which blends together different forms of record keeping, from a diary to an address book and record of expenses, allows us to consider Siegelaub’s strategies of collecting oral information and documents in terms of the group’s encounters and visits.

When reconstructing how the “PORT” file was put together, one notices that the lists from the notebook are the subject of new lists and that the same names appear several times and on different documents. The last stage, dated 6 November 1976, consisted of classifying and putting all the names and addresses in a neat typewritten list. This document can be considered the completion of the scouting work initiated when meeting the actors of the revolution during the group’s stay. Although there is no title to indicate the future purpose of this list, we can assume that it would have been integrated into the book Portugal: Political Struggle and the Mass Media. Incidentally, this typology of a repertory—the phone book of the revolution, if you will—is characteristic of the resources put in place by an information center.

Field work and documentation, which are often seen as antagonistic, are here part of one and the same approach: the traces of Siegelaub’s journey merge with the project of the IMMRC. While the organizing methods of libraries erase the original context of books in order to integrate them in a standardized entity such as a catalogue or bibliography, the “PORT” file puts the documentary research back into the context of the “first-hand” experience of the revolution, a direct confrontation with complex historic issues, and an unfamiliar communicational situation. The historic nature of the collected documents and the intellectual quality of Siegelaub’s book projects are therefore insufficient to fully appreciate their nature.

In terms of self-referentiality, the question remains whether the archivist did not bibliographize the sources of information at the same time that he documented himself. As the library grew, Siegelaub, who was absorbed by the bibliographical logic, incorporated his own working notes in it. The different roles he played allowed him, within one and the same project, to shift his attention from documentation and publishing to bibliography and archive. His constant attention to retaining traces and his acute sensibility to collecting documents effectively make the library of the IMMRC a voluntarily produced archive. But what to do with documents that have already been marked with the stamp of history? A few years after the termination of the IMMRC in 1986, when Siegelaub donated its fund to the Internationaal Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis (IISG) in Amsterdam, one of the most important study centres on contemporary European social history, his entire methodology was redoubled.

A comprehensive attitude towards work

As an excerpt from the chronology of a life, reconstructed from memories, dispersed testimonies and incomplete projects, the trip to Portugal in May 1975, through Siegelaub’s various approaches and attempts at systematization, points to his search for a method. Shedding light on the production of the IMMRC, with its media, material devices and tools of mediation, has allowed us to clarify the circulations and transformations based on the documents he collected in Portugal: the transition from library to anthology, the extension from the material collection of printed matter to records of bibliographical descriptions, and the compilation of a file. On the backdrop of a historic event, Siegelaub experimented in the field with a system of circulating ideas, texts and documents questioning the readability, economy and politics of work of the artists and authors.[23]

As a documentalist, librarian, bibliographer, publisher, and archivist, Siegelaub worked on a flow of information that implied collecting, conserving, listing, classifying, appropriating and circulating books and documents. When this flow was interrupted, when the system was threatening to get clogged up, his office disappeared under piles of paper. In a letter dated 22 January 1977, he explains: “Returned here in Bagnolet about 4 weeks ago and I still have not caught up with the backlog of work and letters, etc., which continues to come in. I have even begun to get up at 5.30-6.00 am to clear it all up, but this isn’t helping very much either. Hence, the delay in writing you.”[24] Looking at the “sous-mains” [desk blotter]—a term coined by the French philosopher Patrice Loraux to describe the material conditions of intellectual work—and their political implications, we must seek for traces of Siegelaub’s self-critical yet ambiguous work (as suggested by some of his statements) and show the operations on the documents and books. As Loraux, imagining Karl Marx sitting at his desk, has emphasized: “[T]he fabricated aspect, far from transforming into a presentation that erases the work, according to the classic ideal of the book shared by Marx, remains non integrated and continues to show.”[25]

The chronological gaps and shifts between disciplines, supported by Siegelaub’s discourse, convey the impression that there is no connection between his different stages of research, from Conceptual Art to political communication. By considering the particular approach of his “catalogue-exhibitions” in the wider economy of the written and printed word and on the scale of a lifetime, his activity as the main exponent of Conceptual Art in the USA becomes an initial, short-lived but founding moment of an astonishing career. Siegelaub disappeared from the radar of art history but, paradoxically, his curriculum is exemplary in that he approached politics with the means of Conceptual Art and, reciprocally, considered Conceptual Art as a bibliographical activity. What now remains to be done is to consider the various forms of one and the same intellectual attitude.[26]

Siegelaub’s practice, which meets the concerns of theoreticians and resembles the strategies used by numerous artists, cannot be classified into a single category, as it continually questions the limits of auctoriality. Siegelaub himself must be considered in terms of an “information center.” His play with acronyms, letterheads, and various directorships de-personalizes his action. The IMMRC is synonymous with an intellectual approach, an administrative and jurisdictional institution and a physical corpus of collections. Its format seems ideal for constructing a documentation, bibliography and publishing project, both from the technical point of view—the organization of information in networks—and the social point of view—the collaboration between individuals. Here, the collective action is all the more central as it is driven by a Marxist momentum.

Not unparadoxically, the reality of the IMMRC was quite different from what its functioning suggests. These “conceptual” operations partly conceal the real conditions of its work: the information center, which had no walls, relied on one man. The informal and artisanal activity, which supported itself financially through the book sales of the publishing house, took place in Siegelaub’s personal library-cum-office and only required a cellar to stock the provisions of books. Finally, it did not altogether elude the great model it appeared to have renounced: the figure of the nineteenth-century bibliographer as a self-taught erudite compiling from his private library.

From story to story, and from trip to trip, another journey, like a repetition, came to Siegelaub’s mind when he spoke about Portugal. In 1993, during an informal visit to Vietnam, he carried a weighty gift in his suitcase: two sets of the books he had published in the field of political communication. In a symbolic act of restitution, he deposited one set of books at the National Library of Vietnam in Hanoi, the former capital of North Vietnam, and the other at the General Library in Saigon, the former capital of South Vietnam. It was once more through books that Siegelaub’s political intentions were expressed.

Translated from French by Boris Kremer

  1. [1] Patrice Loraux, Les Sous-mains de Marx: Introduction à la critique de la publication politique (Paris: Hachette, 1986), 69.
  2. [2] See Pip Day, “Locating ‘2,972,453’. Lucy Lippard in Argentina,” in From Conceptualism to Feminism: Lucy Lippard’s Numbers Shows 1969-1974, ed. Cornelia Butler (London: Afterall Books, 2012), 78–97.
  3. [3] Telephone conversation with Seth Siegelaub on 23 October 2012.
  4. [4] Gérard Filoche, 68-98. Histoire sans fin (Paris: Flammarion, 1998), 220.
  5. [5] Victor Pereira, “Pèlerinage au Portugal révolutionnaire. Les intellectuels français et la Révolution des Œillets,” in De la dictature à la démocratie, voies ibériques, ed. Anne Dulphy and Yves Léonard, (Brussels: Peter Lang, 2003), 255.
  6. [6] From 1970 onwards the Mattelarts had been involved with the Chilean State publishing house Quimantu, where Michèle worked as a member of the editorial team of the fanzine Onda and Armand was director of the monitoring group of public response to new publications. Armand participated extensively in the media reform as an advisor to the government, an organizer of research groups and a researcher. In 1974 he published a report written in French, Mass Media, idéologies et mouvement révolutionnaire, Chili 1970-1973 (Paris: Anthropos, 1974). See Armand Mattelart and Michel Sénécal, Pour un regard-monde. Entretiens avec Michel Sénécal (Paris: La Découverte, 2010), 101–26.
  7. [7] After several more trips to Portugal, Mattelart published the special report “Le Portugal ou la révolution domestiquée. Bilan de trois années tumultueuses” [Portugal, or the Tamed Revolution: Assessing Three Tumultuous Years] Le Monde diplomatique, April 1977, for which he chose seven texts by Portuguese authors—Nuno Brederode Santos, Pedro Pezarat Coreia, Luis Moita, Luis de França, Luis Salgado de Matos, Ernesto Melo Antunes and Adriano Moreira—preceded by a short introduction by Claude Julien. Telephone conversation with Armand Mattelart on December 5, 2012.
  8. [8] He had joined the Art Workers’ Coalition (“Seth Siegelaub in Art Workers’ Coalition”, Open Hearing, New York, 1969) and organized two fundraising projects: Seth Siegelaub (organizer and moderator), “Time. A Panel Discussion” with Carl Andre, Michael Cain (Pulsa), Douglas Huebler and Ian Wilson at the Shakespeare Theater, New York, November 17, 1969, and ed. Seth Siegelaub, The United States Servicemen’s Fund Art Collection (New York: USSF, 1971).
  9. [9] See Alexander Alberro’s monograph, Conceptual Art and the Politics of Publicity (London: MIT Press, 2003).
  10. [10] The IMMRC took part in the activities of the Paris-based Association internationale des études et recherches sur l’information (AIERI) and is listed in the June 1983 report “Draft list of research institutes, documentation centers and non-governmental organizations working on issues of the new world information and communication order” issued by the Rome-based Centro di Documentazione e Comunicazione Internazionale (IDOC).
  11. [11] The short-term aim of the MFA’s cultural policy, which was set up in September 1974 and reig- nited in a second phase of so-called “civic action” from March 1975 onwards, was to circulate new ideas and material support to rural populations. Beyond the repressive role often associated with the army, this movement of political explanation, awareness raising and education made a singular use of media, from debates and meetings to posters and tracts, constructing cultural infrastructures, etc.
  12. [12] Telephone conversation with Armand Mattelart on December 5, 2012.
  13. [13] In the IMMRC files there is no trace of photographs, which must have been left in Siegelaub’s personal archives, lost, or discarded, provided they ever existed.
  14. [14] Armand Mattelart and Seth Siegelaub (ed.), Communication and Class Struggle: An Anthology in 2 Volumes2. Liberation, Socialism (New York / Bagnolet: International General; IMMRC, 1983), 377–86.
  15. [15] Note also Mattelart and Siegelaub’s interest in the decolonization process of the former Portuguese territories in Africa, one of the factors leading to the Carnation Revolution, as documented by five texts on Angola and Mozambique reprinted in the anthology. Armand Mattelart and Seth Siegelaub, op. cit., 301–13.
  16. [16] Charles Harrison, “On Exhibitions and the World at Large. Interview with Seth Siegelaub,” Studio International, vol. CLXXVIII, no. 917 (December 1969), 202.
  17. [17] Roger Chartier, Inscription and Erasure: Literature and Written Culture from the Eleventh to the Eighteenth Century, trans. Arthur Goldhammer (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007), 181. See also Donald F. McKenzie, Bibliography and the Sociology of Texts, The Panizzi Lectures 1985 (London: British Library, 1986).
  18. [18] Seth Siegelaub and Jack Wendler (eds.), Carl Andre, Robert Barry, Douglas Huebler, Joseph Kosuth, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris, Lawrence Weiner aka Xerox Book (New York: Seth Siegelaub and Jack Wendler, 1968).
  19. [19] Seth Siegelaub, “Preface: A Communication on Communication,” Communication and Class Struggle: An Anthology in 2 Volumes1. Capitalism, Imperialism, ed. Armand Mattelart and Seth Siegelaub (New York / Bagnolet: International General, 1979), 17.
  20. [20] The different volumes of the bibliography: Marxism and the Mass Media. Towards a Basic Bibliography (New York / Bagnolet: International General, vol. I, 1972; vol. II, 1973; vol. III, 1974; vol. IV-V, 1976; vol. I-II-III, 1978; vol. VI-VII, 1980; vol. IV-V, 1986).
  21. [21] Several decades after the events, this work on the Carnation Revolution was accomplished by two large-scale bibliographical undertakings now considered authoritative, both of which take into account periodicals, grey literature and ephemera: the Centro de Documentação 25 de Abril, founded in 1984 by the University of Coimbra and directed by Boaventura de Sousa Santos, man- ages an updated bibliography and gathers archival documents, while in 2005, the library of the Princeton University, with the help of the British historian Kenneth Maxwell, an expert on Latin America and the Iberian peninsula, published the bibliography Documenting the Portuguese Revolution, 1962–1994: Unpublished Conference and Research Papers (1962–1994), Newspapers and Periodicals (1974–1980) and Ephemera.
  22. [22] Seth Siegelaub, “Preface: A Communication on Communication,” in op. cit., 16, 20.
  23. [23]  Siegelaub encountered two case studies of intellectual property. In 1971, he and Robert Projansky wrote The Artist’s Reserved Rights Transfer and Sale Agreement. In 1979, his publishing house International General won the court case launched by the Disney conglomerate against the reprint of comic strips in Ariel Dorfman and Armand Mattelart’s How to Read Donald Duck: Imperialist Ideology in the Disney Comic (New York; Bagnolet: International General, 1971).
  24. [24] Letter from Seth Siegelaub to Stewart Bird dated January 22, 1977 in Bagnolet, Special issue no. 1, “Advertising Council Inc. (New York),” IMMRC Archives, Internationaal Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis, Amsterdam.
  25. [25] Patrice Loraux, op. cit., 68.
  26. [26] The present article incorporates the author’s research for her PhD on “Seth Siegelaub et le commerce des livres. Matérialités et méthodes de l’imprimé, de l’exposition d’art conceptuel à la bibliographie sur l’histoire des textiles” [Seth Siegelaub and the Commerce of Books: Materialities and Methods of Printed Matter, from the Conceptual Art Exhibition to the Bibliography of the History of Fabric] at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) and the Institut national d’histoire de l’art (INHA). The early findings of this research started in 2010 informed the exhibition and publication The Stuff That Matters: Textiles collected by Seth Siegelaub for the CSROT (curated by Sara Martinetti, Alice Motard and Alex Sainsbury), London, Raven Row, March 1– May 6, 2012; see in particular Sara Martinetti, “Seth Siegelaub and the Commerce of Thoughts,” in exhibition catalogue, 31, and “Chronology,” 49.