Mediated by Pedro Barateiro and Ricardo Valentim, Activity is a collaboratively created artist's book authored by multiple individuals. For over three years these contributors engaged in ongoing discussions around issues of collaboration, accountability, and democracy. The format of an artist's book was chosen as the vehicle for mapping their activity. As the impetus for the project was based primarily in conversation, they decided to employ "the dialogue" itself as the "medium," transforming this project from a mere publication into something more expansive.
With projects ranging from image-based dialogues to the production of social experiences, chain-letter style networks to outsourced interviews and email conversations, Activity gave total agency to the authors by providing them with a unique venue to demonstrate how their own personal practices relate to its themes. Barateiro and Valentim's withdrawal from their positions as the book's authors enabled the shared authorship of all the participants. Unlike the typical artist's book, which usually functions as an extension of an individual artist's practice, Activity instead represents a collective artistic experience, effectively rethinking the role of the artist's book today.
The same concept has been extended to the format of the book launch, with New York based artists Alejandro Cesarco and Adam Pendleton invited to create new projects for the event at Artists Space. As Activity considers the book as a site of production, so the launch event will function in a similar manner, referencing the entire arena of action created by the project.
Alejandro Cesarco is reprinting a letter by Christoph Keller to Roger Willems (originally published in Books Make Friends by Roma Publications, 2006) in the form of a bookmark. The letter is an inspirational text for anyone involved with book production or for those who simply love books. The bookmark will be distributed for free as a token of attendance at the launch.
Adam Pendleton will stage a reading in "no particular order" of some conversation passages in Activity, with the aim of creating a parallel conversation over the multiple voices present in the book.
This publication is part of a series of artists' projects edited by Christoph Keller for JRP/Ringier.
Published by JRP/Ringier Kunstverlag AG, Zürich, 2011