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Plexus International 1982
Plexus Perfomance Space, 516 West 25 St, New York

Plexus was founded in New York, in 1982,  by Sandro Dernini, Roberto Brambilla, Gianni Longo and Richard Flood. It was at once an idea and a space, under the name of Plexus International Center for Urban Resources, located in a 7000 sq. feet loft at 516 W. 25 St., in the Chelsea area of New York.

The seminal idea of what was called later “Plexus” came out in the fall of 1981, in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, in the kitchen of Sandro Dernini, from all night talks with Giancarlo Schiaffini and other two Italian musicians, Antonello Neri and Massimo Cohen, discussing limitations of expression for experimental art works within cultural institutions setting. It was envisioned an independent multi-arts space in which artists could have the freedom to express their researches and to be free to have their open critical dialogues, without filters, pressures, mediators (art critics, dealers, etc.) from the art system. 

In April 1982, Roberto Brambilla and Gianni Longo, founding architects of The Institute for Environmental Action, invited Sandro Dernini, who was directing the NYU Centre for Italian Contemporary Culture, to create a new performance space in a 7000 sq.ft row loft, at 516 West 25 St, placed within a real estate complex that Brambilla and Longo were developing in the Chelsea neighbourhood of Manhattan. Richard Flood, an art critic and book editor of Art Forum Magazine who lived also in that building, accepted to join the project.  The name of “Plexus” came out later from a research conducted by a professional marketing firm to identify the proper name and the Plexus logo was made by Fred Troller, one of the best modernist international style graphic designers in New York. In June of 1982, the presentation of the Plexus project was held in the row loft. It was conceived by Sandro Dernini as a modern sacrifice party dedicated to the modern gods of the modern cities. Richard Flood wrote the statement of mission for Plexus:


PLEXUS is about the city - any city,  every city.  It is about the wonder of a skyline that won't stop climbing and a blanket of pollution that can't stop spreading. 

It's about an atmosphere that swell culture and swallows real estate.  It's about a dream that is as illogical as soft watches and as seductive as the promise of immortality. PLEXUS is dedicated to the preposition that all cities are not created equal,  only the people who inhabit them. It is further committed to the proposition that the people of cities are creative survivalists who refuse and acknowledge the laws of nature and who glory in adversity. 

There is, in the collective heart of the people of the cities, a wild, unremitting thirst for the impossible contradictions that make them simultaneous victims and victors. PLEXUS believes that the creative involvement of the individual can do more to enhance a responsive environment than all the bureaucratic machinations of infinity of public agencies. To this end PLEXUS is designed to foster an international network of urban dreamers and realists, theoreticians and pragmatists. PLEXUS means to proceed from observation through discussion and celebration. Its goals are the achievement of a heightened understanding of the possibilities of the city and the definition of alternatives which will accelerate the realization of those possibilities.

After, it came out from Brambilla & Longo that no funding sources were available for the development of the project as well as for the renovation of the loft and Richard Flood decided to end his collaboration.

Then, Sandro Dernini found two club organizers, John Hanti and Louis Tropea to help the loft renovation  with the agreement to use the space also for a night club activity. For New Year Eve 1982, Plexus rennovated loft was opened as a club by The Garden of Fuzz, a very successful party, featuring exotic entertainments performed by Ann Magnuson and John Sex, with champagne & French cuisine by Frederick Fontaine. But, the night club had a very short life.