BRUCE NAUMAN, Footsteps, 1968 [sound piece on tape]

Footsteps, 1968
6,6 x 27,5 x 6,6 cm / 7.25 w x 11.75 h inches
offset, tape
edition 2000, of which 1500 have been in fact printed, including one hundred signed, portfolio #5
published by The Letter Edged in Black Press Incorporated, London, 1968

A loose piece of magnetic tape featuring sounds of walking wrapped around a triptych folded card with the following instructions:
Set the tape recorder for the speed indicated (3½)
Use a bottle or anything else you can think of to keep tension on the loop after you thread it on the machine (if there is no sound on the tape, it may be upside down)
Play the tape quite loudly for as long as you want or can stand

William Copley, American surrealist painter and art dealer, invited artists in 1968 to contribute to his periodical entitled S.M.S., which stood for “Shit Must Stop.” Copley was inspired by the Fluxus movement.

Decades later the factual printed edition of 1500 got water damaged which left most of the items of portfolio #5 to a total of ca 800 copies.

The Letter Edged In Black Press Inc.
American William Copley founded the publishing house The Letter Edged in Black Press Inc. that produced 6 SMS (abbreviation for “Shit Must Stop”) portfolios released in 1968. In addition to providing a place for artists to work, Copley published a series of artists’ multiples sold by subscription. The artists represented ranged from the very well known to less known artists, including Christian Henning, Ben Patterson, Dick Higgins, Christo, Walter de Maria, Julian Levy, La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela, James Lee Byars, Marcel Duchamp, Bruce Conner, Meret Oppenheim, Ray Johnson, Nicolas Calas, José Cortes, H.C. Westermann, Hannah Weiner, Allan Kaprow, Joseph Kosuth, Roland Penrose, Man Ray, Terry Riley, Dick Higgins, Enrico Baj, Roy Lichtenstein, Arman, John Cage, On Kawara, Robert Watts, Hollis Frampton, Yoko Ono, Mel Ramos, Lawrence Weiner, Angus MacLise, Bruce Nauman, Walter Marchetti, Dian Wakoski, Richard Artschwager, John Giorno, Diter Rot, Claes Oldenburg, and many other with an open mind, covering many areas of art. Among the 73 individual works, 6 involved sound, while the majority were visual or written works. Meticulously reproduced, each item was a distinctive artistic work giving each issue a widely varying character.

Ref. SMS nrs 1 – 6