Artists Space

The Serving Library

October 30 – December 18, 2011

The danger is that it’s just talk. Then again, the danger is that it’s not. I believe you can speak things into existence. - Jay-Z, Decoded, 2010

The Serving Library is a long-term project conceived by Dexter Sinister with writer Angie Keefer. Founded on a consideration of how the role of the library has changed over time – from fixed archive through circulating collection to a point of distribution – the format has become an umbrella project for all of Dexter Sinister’s activities. It consists of: 1) an ambitious public website; 2) a small physical library space; and 3) a publishing program which runs through #1 and #2.

A diagram overlays a blurry image of a folding wooden chair facing a small wooden bookshelf, upon which several clusters of colorful books rest. Behind the chair and bookshelf is a blank, white wall. The diagram is composed of a simplistic icon that loosely resembles an open book. Circling the book icon are several hand-drawn arrows that point to various handwritten words and phrases, such as "PDF
[A diagram overlays a blurry image of a folding wooden chair facing a small wooden bookshelf, upon which several clusters of colorful books rest. Behind the chair and bookshelf is a blank, white wall. The diagram is composed of a simplistic icon that loosely resembles an open book. Circling the book icon are several hand-drawn arrows that point to various handwritten words and phrases, such as "PDF's" and "Followed remotely." Below the book icon are hand-drawn drops of liquid and a puddle.]

At Artists Space, The Serving Library constitutes a 1:1 model of the library space, conceived less as an active reading room, more as a mini-expo that portrays how the institution will eventually appear and function. The physical library here comprises two collections, of books and artifacts, both drawn from ten years and twenty issues of Dexter Sinister’s house journal Dot Dot Dot. Each one of the artifacts served as original source material for an illustration accompanying an essay in an issue of the journal, and the bound books collate the most frequently cited works in Dot Dot Dot.

With the now defunct Dot Dot Dot as precedent, the online library, www.servinglibrary.org, distributes freely-downloadable “bulletins” – individual PDF essays and articles published in themed batches over six month periods and collected as a printed journal Bulletins of The Serving Library at the end of each season. The second issue of Bulletins will be published to accompany the Artists Space exhibition.

The Serving Library represents an itinerant set of parts assembled through processes of conceptual and economic exchange. Taking shape through projects at different host venues, the eventual manifestation of the Library will be as a non-profit organization with a fixed home in the US. The presentation of The Serving Library in temporary ‘expo’ form highlights this evolving project as a pooling of knowledge around the tools with which information and ideas are communicated.

The Serving Library welcomes offers regarding its eventual fixed home.

www.servinglibrary.org

This exhibition runs concurrently with "Identity". For more information click here.

Conceived and produced by Dexter Sinister (Stuart Bailey and David Reinfurt) with Angie Keefer.

December 4, 2011

Junior Aspirin Records
Listening Session
7pm

December 10, 2011

John McHale:
The Expendable Reader

Book Launch & Conversation
7pm

A red, glowing neon light installed on a gallery wall just above eye-level is visible through a doorway opening in a white-walled space. To the left of the opening is a block of faint text on the gallery wall.
Installation view from The Serving Library, Artists Space, 2011. Photo: Daniel Pérez [A red, glowing neon light installed on a gallery wall just above eye-level is visible through a doorway opening in a white-walled space. To the left of the opening is a block of faint text on the gallery wall.]
A large number of framed posters, photographs, and other ephemera of varying sizes hang on a white gallery wall. A poster hung on the left side of the wall has large black lettering that reads: "THE TEMPERAMENTAL BAROMETRIC CONTORTIONIST!" A white pole is situated at the center of the space, in front of the exhibition wall.
Installation view from The Serving Library, Artists Space, 2011. Photo: Daniel Pérez [A large number of framed posters, photographs, and other ephemera of varying sizes hang on a white gallery wall. A poster hung on the left side of the wall has large black lettering that reads: "THE TEMPERAMENTAL BAROMETRIC CONTORTIONIST!" A white pole is situated at the center of the space, in front of the exhibition wall.]
A three-shelf, wooden bookshelf sits in a small enclave in a white-walled room. Various multicolored books fill the shelves and additional books rest on top of the bookshlef. Installed on the wall directly to the right of the shelf is a glowing, red neon tube that gently illuminates the room.
Installation view from The Serving Library, Artists Space, 2011. Photo: Daniel Pérez [A three-shelf, wooden bookshelf sits in a small enclave in a white-walled room. Various multicolored books fill the shelves and additional books rest on top of the bookshlef. Installed on the wall directly to the right of the shelf is a glowing, red neon tube that gently illuminates the room.]
Several framed posters, photographs, and other ephemera of varying sizes hang on a white gallery wall. At the center of the wall is a doorway-shaped opening, through which more of the gallery space is visible.
Installation view from The Serving Library, Artists Space, 2011. Photo: Daniel Pérez [Several framed posters, photographs, and other ephemera of varying sizes hang on a white gallery wall. At the center of the wall is a doorway-shaped opening, through which more of the gallery space is visible.]
Several framed posters, photographs, and ephemera varying sizes hang on a white gallery wall. On the right side of the wall hangs a photographic portrait of a figure in a striped shirt standing against a striped wall.
Installation view from The Serving Library, Artists Space, 2011. Photo: Daniel Pérez [Several framed posters, photographs, and ephemera varying sizes hang on a white gallery wall. On the right side of the wall hangs a photographic portrait of a figure in a striped shirt standing against a striped wall.]

Supported by The New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, and The Friends of Artists Space