ARTEX is an intercontinental interactive ELECTRONIC ART EXCHANGE and COMMUNICATIONS PROGRAM designed for use by artists and others interested in alternative uses of advanced technology. The program has been kept simple in order to provide easier access for untrained and relatively unsophisticated participants...and to keep user costs to a minimum.


I.P.Sharp Associates of Toronto provides, as part of its world wide computer timesharing service, an electronic communications program called "666 BOX". This very sophisticated but expensive program, designed primarily for corporate users, was made available for "Telecommunications by Artists" projects on several occasions. The success of these projects encouraged some artists to attempt to develop a more permanent electronic network on the "MAILBOX" program (VIEW GROUP) but it soon became clear that the costs of this program made a network of private users impractical.

To overcome this problem Gottfried Bach of the Vienna IPSA office was asked to see if he could come up with a cheaper and simpler program for art exchange ... in October 1980 he produced the ARTBOX prototype for ARTEX.


On ARTEX as in the IPSA system generally, one pays both to send and to receive. Signing on and exchanging 5 messages (say 3 sending and 2 receiving) would cost about 9 dollars (U.S.) regardless of distance. Hardware can be a problem but it is usually possible to borrow equipment for projects and to use the terminals in the local IPSA office, at least in the short run. But portable terminals suitable for timesharing are getting cheaper all the time and many micro-processors are equipped for telephone timesharing or can be easily adapted.


IPSA is a world-wide network with offices linked via a central computer in Toronto. Costs are not related to distance which makes exchanges between artists in Europe and America, Asia and Austrialia possible.

There is no standing charge or enrollment fee on an IPSA user account. You pay only for what you use ... a dormant account costs nothing untill activated for a project for example.

Local offices are autonomous but experience has shown that managers can be very helpful. It is often possible to use the office equipment and there is a general understanding that artists can receive a 40% discount although this is at the discretion of the local manager.


Contact the local IPSA office nearest to you. You will-need to apply for an IPSA userenumber and then apply, through the local office, to join the ARTEX network. The STEWARD of ARTEX is Gottfried Bach, manager of the Vienna office.

A list of I.P.Sharp offices and a plan of the system is attached.

RAX 1982