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The End(s) Of The Library

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The End(s) of the Library
With Julieta Aranda, Fia Backström & R. Lyon; David Horvitz; Christian Philipp Müller; and The Serving Library

October 30, 2012 – June 21, 2013
Goethe-Institut New York Library
72 Spring Street, 11th Floor, NY, NY 10012
CURATED BY
Jenny Jaskey

ARCHITECTURE & GRAPHIC DESIGN
common room and Geoff Han

SITE ARCHITECTURE
Jonas Lund

SPECIAL THANKS TO
Brigitte Doellgast, Katherine Lorimer, Karly Wildenhaus, Dustin Cosentino, Horst Weber, Cameron Rowland


www.goethe.de/theendsofthelibrary

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CONTENTS

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INTRODUCTION

The End(s) of the Library is a series of commissioned exhibitions and a discursive program with Julieta Aranda, Fia Backström & R. Lyon, David Horvitz, Christian Philipp Müller, and The Serving Library taking place at the Goethe-Institut New York Library for a period of eight months. The contributors will address how previous library configurations have given way to new forms and revised values in the digital age, emphasizing the fact that the library is neither a monolithic system nor an abandoned utopia, but an ever-contested site demanding new readings of its organizational frameworks: an institution whose ends are without end.
The End(s) of the Library situates itself at a moment when libraries are experiencing a profound paradigm shift. Historically, the library has positioned itself as a physical site to collectively exchange books, an alternative to market-based systems, as well as a heterotopic social space preserved for the public good. Yet with the rise of digital distribution, experience-driven information providers, and evolving notions of the public sphere, libraries face new questions about their identities. Rather than idealize the library in crisis by offering a nostalgic look at its past or recuperative speculation about its future, the invited artists propose a number of divergent positions from within the library, showing it to be a site of infinite invention.
David Horvitz, the first artist in the series, addresses the challenges of ownership in the context of digital distribution. Working with a group of artists and independent publishers, Horvitz will attempt to make a sizeable donation of digitized artist books free of copyright restrictions to the Goethe-Institut New York Library. His project will highlight the role of third-party distributors and the library’s new dependence on digital platform providers to make their holdings accessible to the public. Christian Philipp Müller will similarly consider the nature of ownership, yet focus his attention on the archive. Bringing a rare set of materials from the Documenta archives in Kassel (where he lives and works), Müller will put these holdings in conversation with the Goethe-Institut New York Library’s collection to raise questions about how material values affect cultural exchange and accessibility. Fia Backström and her collaborators Julieta Aranda and R. Lyon will query the way that digital repositories structure, mediate, and produce knowledge in ways fundamentally different to their analog predecessors in order to develop the methods for accessing knowledge and information in the library context. Finally, in light of the library’s changing relationship to digital publishing, The End(s) of the Library will be both sponsor and catalyst for the fifth issue of Bulletins of the Serving Library, compiled and edited by Stuart Bailey, Angie Keefer, and David Reinfurt, to be released in summer 2013. The Serving Library’s archive of artifacts, variously drawn from previous issues of the journal and its forerunner, Dot Dot Dot, will be on view at the Goethe-Institut New York Library in advance of the publication.
This series of commissions could not have been possible without the initiative of Brigitte Doellgast, Director of the Goethe-Institut New York Library. Her desire to generate new perspectives on the library, especially the views of artists, led to my invitation by and to the generous support of the Goethe-Institut. She and the library staff have patiently watched us transform their work environment, and I hope that these efforts will have lasting effects. May the library be without end.

Jenny Jaskey

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EVENTS

UPCOMING

The Serving Library
Opening Reception
Tuesday, April 2, 6–8pm
Goethe-Institut New York Library
72 Spring Street, 11th floor


PAST

documenta-Archive and The Getty Research Institute in Conversation
A discussion with Karin Stengel and Glenn Phillips, moderated by Christian Philipp Müller and Jenny Jaskey
Friday, March 8, 2013, 7pm
Goethe-Institut New York Library
72 Spring Street, 11th floor

Join Karin Stengel, Director of documenta-Archive, and Glenn Phillips, Principal Project Specialist and Consulting Curator in the Department of Architecture and Contemporary Art at The Getty Research Institute, for an evening of conversation on topics related to the Harald Szeemann archive at The Getty Research Institute and the documenta-Archive in Kassel. Materials from both institutions are on view in Christian Philipp Müller’s exhibition Elective Affinities.


Screening and Discussion: Deutschland im Herbst (Germany in Autumn)
Introduction by Nora M. Alter and discussion with Christian Philipp Müller and Jenny Jaskey
Thursday, February 28, 2013, 7pm
Goethe-Institut New York Library
72 Spring Street, 11th floor

Film historian Nora M. Alter introduces an anthology of short fiction and documentary films by Hans Peter Cloos, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Katja Rupe, Alexander Kluge, and Maximiliane Mainka. Set in the politically volatile summer of 1977, Deutschland im Herbst marks an important moment in New German Cinema as it grapples with the “terrorism” of the period.
Nora M. Alter is author of Vietnam Protest Theatre: The Television War on Stage (Indiana University Press), Projecting History: Non-Fiction German Film (University of Michigan Press) and Chris Marker (University of Illinois Press), and co-editor with Lutz Koepnick of Sound Matters: Essays on the Acoustics of Modern German Culture (Berghahn Books). She has published more than fifty essays on a broad range of topics including film and media studies, German and European studies, cultural and visual studies and contemporary art.



Elective Affinities: Christian Philipp Müller
Opening Reception
Tuesday, February 26, 2013, 6pm–8pm
Goethe-Institut New York Library
72 Spring Street, 11th floor


pΓσ₠§§℩η⅁: Game Night with Lydia Liu
Saturday, February 16, 2013: 6–8pm
Goethe-Institut New York Library
72 Spring Street, 11th floor
“...if there is no question, there is no game, if there is no structure, there is no question...”

For the last in their series of inquiries at the Goethe-Institut New York Library , join Julieta Aranda, Fia Backström, and R. Lyon for an informal evening with Professor Lydia Liu of Columbia University, who will share some thoughts from her book, The Freudian Robot. She will invite the audience to play some simple yet critical games, such as as “Even and Odd” and “Prisoner’s Dilemma.” Both games are central to the development of computers as we know them today, to game theory, as well as to the thermonuclear bomb. They also relate to the games Jacques Lacan used to theorize the order of the symbolic.


pΓσ₠§§℩η⅁: Julieta Aranda, Fia Backström & R. Lyon
First Inquiry
Saturday, January 5, 2013, 6–9pm
Goethe-Institut New York Library
72 Spring Street, 11th floor

Departing from the library database, Julieta Aranda, Fia Backström, and R. Lyon are working alongside each other in a process—pΓσ₠§§℩η⅁—to query the way that digital repositories structure, mediate and produce knowledge in parallel to analog processes. They are developing alternate methods for relating information through a number of unannounced experiments accessible via the library that will unfold between January 5th and February 15, 2013. The kernel of these processes are exchanges between the three artists that have preceded and will exceed these investigations. They take place in person, over e-mail, on text messages, through file sharing sites, and are being processed into a web page over the course of their time in the library.
The Goethe-Institut New York Library will host the first of this series of inquiries on January 5, 2013 from 6–9pm, which consists of approaches to reading and writing the raw format of the library’s databases. The formats used for these experiments include a live reading, database printouts, search videos, and a proposition for an encrypted keyboard.



BFFA3AE AD BOOK Preview
With performances by Lucky Dragons and The Reanimation Library
Monday, November 26, 2012, 7pm
Goethe-Institut New York Library
72 Spring Street, 11th floor

Join David Horvitz for an evening celebrating books old and new at the Goethe-Institut New York Library . The event will include performances by Andrew Beccone of The Reanimation Library and Los Angeles-based Lucky Dragons, along with the launch of AD BOOK by BFFA3AE on Badlands Unlimited. Horvitz is currently in residence at the library, where he is preparing to make a large donation of digitized artist’s books to the Goethe-Institut’s e-library system.


How Can a Digital be Gift?: David Horvitz
Opening Reception
Thursday, November 8, 2012, 6 - 9 p.m.
Goethe-Institut New York Library
72 Spring Street, 11th floor

As the first in a series of artist commissions for The End(s) of the Library, David Horvitz will address the role of digital rights management (DRM) within the library’s infrastructure. Working with a group of artists and independent publishers, Horvitz will attempt to make a generous donation of artist books to the Goethe-Institut New York Library in digital format. His gift will be contingent upon these materials being available to library users for an unlimited time-frame and without restriction for edition size. Both of these aspects of e-books—their length of use and number of copies—are currently limited within the e-book system, in which each book is understood as a singular object. Horvitz’s contribution, entitled How Can a Digital be Gift?, will explore the challenges of the digital format to the library’s circulation model, emphasizing the important role played by third-party distributors who provide the online platforms necessary for sharing digital content. With these platforms, libraries no longer own the books in their collections, but rather subscribe to them as rented data.
To carry out his project, Horvitz will be in residence at the Goethe-Institut New York, integrating his collecting and digitization work into the library’s everyday existence. He will maintain an active blog documenting various aspects of his project, and will embark upon an extended conversation with the Goethe-Institut New York Library staff and their information providers.

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EXHIBITION IMAGES

DAVID HORVITZ

How Can A Digital Be Gift?
October 30 – December 21, 2012
Image credits: Adam Reich (Installation), JC McIlwaine (Opening)

bffa3ae “ad book” preview on badlands unlimited

With performances by Lucky Dragons &
Reanimation Library
November 26, 2012
Image credits: Cameron Blaylock

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DAVID HORVITZ
HOW CAN A DIGITAL BE GIFT?

(October 30 – December 21, 2012)

As the first in a series of artist commissions for The End(s) of the Library, David Horvitz will address the role of digital rights management (DRM) within the library’s infrastructure. Working with a group of artists and independent publishers, Horvitz will attempt to make a generous donation of artist books to the Goethe-Institut New York Library in digital format. His gift will be contingent upon these materials being available to library users for an unlimited time-frame and without restriction for edition size. Both of these aspects of e-books—their length of use and number of copies—are currently limited within the e-book system, in which each book is understood as a singular object. Horvitz’s contribution, entitled "How Can a Digital be Gift?", will explore the challenges of the digital format to the library’s circulation model, emphasizing the important role played by third-party distributors who provide the online platforms necessary for sharing digital content. With these platforms, libraries no longer own the books in their collections, but rather subscribe to them as rented data.
To carry out his project, Horvitz will be in residence at the Goethe-Institut New York, integrating his collecting and digitization work into the library’s everyday existence. He will maintain an active blog documenting various aspects of his project, and will embark upon an extended conversation with the Goethe-Institut New York Library staff and their information providers. In celebration of the artist books donated to the Goethe-Institut, Horvitz will host a special event and book launch with digital publisher Badlands Unlimited / BFFA3AE, the Los Angeles-based music group Lucky Dragons, and Andrew Beccone of the Reanimation Library on Monday, November 26, 2012 beginning at 7 p.m.
David Horvitz (b. 1982, Los Angeles) is a New York- based artist whose work shifts seamlessly between the Internet and the printed page. His participatory practice, which often involves close collaborations with other artists, as well as a web-based audience, considers strategies of information circulation and the impermanence of digital artifacts. Horvitz has been included in exhibitions at The Kitchen, New York; Art Metropole, Toronto; Or Gallery, Vancouver; and New Museum, New York, among others.

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DAVID HORVITZ
HOW CAN A DIGITAL BE GIFT?

If I told you you were beautiful would you date me on the regular?
December 4, 2012 12:00 AM

Weist, Nicholas. If I told you you were beautiful would you date me on the regular? New York, 2008. 24 pages, 5.5 × 8.5".

– David

Various Printed Matter Catalogs Over the Last Four Decades
December 4, 2012 12:00 AM

In my installation at the Goethe are various Printed Matter catalogs. Printed Matter, founded in 1976, is a non-profit organization/store dedicated to artist-books. Unlike the artist's books I am collecting, these will not get donated to the Goethe's collection. Think of it as a side exhibit, or an exhibit in an exhibit. Or something on the lines of a satellite. It orbits around... Some of these catalogs are still for sale at Printed Matter.

– David

Various Details of Printed Matter Catalogs
December 4, 2012 12:00 AM

– David

Various Details of Printed Matter Catalogs
December 4, 2012 12:00 AM

– David

Various Details of Printed Matter Catalogs
December 4, 2012 12:00 AM

– David

Various Details of Printed Matter Catalogs
December 4, 2012 12:00 AM

– David

Various Details of Printed Matter Catalogs
December 4, 2012 12:00 AM

– David

Various Details of Printed Matter Catalogs
December 4, 2012 12:00 AM

– David

Various Details of Printed Matter Catalogs
December 4, 2012 12:00 AM

– David

Cataloging
December 3, 2012 12:00 AM

– David

Sad, Depressed, People
November 30, 2012 10:00 AM

Sad, Depressed, People is an artist-book of mine that recently was published by New Documents in Vancouver. It is a collection of found stock photographs depicting images of depression. It contains a text by Laurel Ptak and a collective written glossary. This is one of many artist-books on view at the Goethe Library. I've scanned the book and made this PDF as an example of a digital artist-book. Some of the collected digital books will be from print files, some made of scans of the physical books, and others will be books made specifically as e-book formats. What is nice about the scans is the emphasis that it is a copy of something that exists physically. 

Download Sad, Depressed, People.

– David

AD BOOK Preview
November 26, 2012 7:00 PM

– David

Irwan Ahmett
November 18, 2012 12:00 PM

Irwan Ahmett is an artist from Jakarta. I met him in Den Haag, Holland a few years ago. He’s staying at my house in Brooklyn for a few days before he flies back to Indonesia. I took him to the library yesterday. Completely unaware of his intentions, I saw him walk up to a Library staff member and ask he he could do a “small intervention.” I walked over and asked Irwan, “You want to do this right now?” He said, “Yes.” He then changed the Goethe Library’s clock to Jakarta time, by moving it forward 12 hours. Irwan will be doing something at the Goethe Institut in Boston next year.

– David

Untitled
November 16, 2012 12:00 PM

If you want a stamped ex libris cat, send a self-addressed-stamped-envelope to: 

David Horvitz, c/o Library, Goethe-Institut, 72 Spring St 11th floor, New York, NY 10012. USA

I will mail you one. Or come in and make one. 

– David

Ex Libris
November 8, 2012 6:37 PM

We have pretzels. Honey mustard. Beet horseradish. German beer. Gummi bears. I mean Gummibärchen. We are at 72 Spring Street in New York City. On the 11th floor. The Goethe Institut Library. Come. Come. Come. David is here. Taeyoon is here. So is Marley, Jenny, and many others. Come. We’ll get tacos after. I don't know why the font got smaller. I’ll ask the designer, he's here.

– David

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Julieta Aranda, Fia Backström,
& R. Lyon
pΓσ₠§§℩η⅁

(Through February 15, 2013)

Departing from the library database, Julieta Aranda, Fia Backström, and R. Lyon are working alongside each other in a process – pΓσ₠§§℩η⅁ – that queries the way in which digital repositories structure, mediate, and produce knowledge in parallel to analog processes. They are developing alternate methods for relating information through a number of unannounced experiments accessible via the library that will unfold between January 5 and February 15, 2013. The kernel of these processes is exchanges between the three artists that have preceded and will exceed these investigations. They take place in person, over e-mail, on text messages, and through file sharing sites, and are being processed into a web page over the course of their time in the library.

pΓσ₠§§℩η⅁ CHECKLIST

1. pΓσ₠§§℩η⅁, project website: http://theendsofthelibrary.com/#/page/8

2. Recording of a live reading by humans and computer of excerpts from the processed Goethe Institute library raw database, on January 5th, 2013. Text excerpts, stage directions, character reference (table cloth), microphones and amplification, Readers: Brigitte Doellgast, Ronnie Bass, Jenny Jaskey, Malin Arnell, Matthew Vollgraff, Craig Kalpakjian, Shannon Last, Sebastian Black, Sarah Butler, Lea Cetera, Lucy Hunter, Ernst Fischer, Nadja Marcin, Sal Randolph, Valerie Tevere, Julie Tremblay, Paul M. Nicholson, Audra Wolowiec

3. Inkjet prints of the Goethe Institute library’s raw database processed through Safari 5.0.5, vector based image editing software and word processing

4. Video recording of term searches through the processed Goethe Institute library raw database. 3.5 mins loop displayed on the library search terminals and media stations

5. Human Readable Type Downloadable keyboard layout that produces human-only readable text. As you write, the keyboard substitutes roman letters for homoglyphs, so that the writing becomes illegible to automatic search processes. Available for download at: www.HumanReadableType.com

6. Love letter, inkjet print, human readable type

7. 2012 Echelon government search terms, inkjet print, human readable type

8. Taxidermied homing pigeon

9. Proof of the printed first volume for the full set of 102 volumes of the processed Goethe Institute library raw database, to be inserted into the library stacks

10. Photograph of Wretched Worst performing live against the library stacks during library opening hours on February 4th, 2013

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Christian Philipp Müller

(February 26 – March 29, 2013)

In June of 1997, Christian Philipp Müller set out for the Friedrichsplatz in Kassel to trace a path between two extant icons of documenta’s past: Walter de Maria’s The Vertical Earth Kilometer and the first and last trees planted for Joseph Beuys’ 7000 Oaks. In the years since these site-specific interventions were first rooted in the soil of the plaza’s center, new construction eventually shifted the physical relationship envisaged by the artists between their “eternal” works and the city of Kassel. Müller’s performance and subsequent museum installation for documenta X, called A Balancing Act, marked these changes, while contemplated the status of the public works from the retroperspective of their impending obsolescence. As George Baker pointed out in his essay for the work, “It is only with...the ruination of an institution, the break-up of a cultural formation...that its history becomes visible for the first time.”¹
For his current exhibition Elective Affinities at the Goethe-Institut New York, Müller returns to the annals of art history, this time delicately balancing its archival materials across continents and institutions. Drawing his selections from the documenta-Archive in Kassel, as well as the Harald Szeemann archive recently acquired by The Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, Müller crisscrosses historical documents of artistic and diplomatic exchange, while making possible new institutional collaborations in the present.
The exhibition begins with a single vitrine, whose form suggests the slim lines of a sarcophagus. Two massive metal and copper walking sticks given to documenta’s founder Arnold Bode by his great admirer and quintessential documenta artist, Joseph Beuys. According to his widow, Bode received the sticks on his 75th birthday and cherished them until his death two years later, the day after documenta 6 closed on October 3, 1977. The medal of honor Bode received from the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Theodor Heuss, in 1959 sits between Beuys’ gifts.
Müller’s presentation continues in the Goethe library’s galley with a selection of rare archival materials variously drawn from documenta 5 (1972), curated by Harald Szeemann, and documenta 6 (1977), curated by Manfred Schneckenburger. Artists’ correspondence with these curators — including letters from Richard Artschwager, Michael Asher, Vito Acconci, Hans Haacke, and Robert Smithson, among others — make visible the sometimes contentious planning processes behind the first year that documenta hired a single artistic director. Müller’s selections from 1977 include proposals from Marina Abramović, Laurie Anderson, Alice Aycock, Joan Jonas, Maria Nordman, and Gina Pane. These letters and photographs emphasize the increasing presence of new media, video and performance at the end of the 1970s, along with the institutional changes provoked by these emerging formats.
The theme of obsolescence so crucial to a materialist dialectic appears throughout the exhibition, and its most timely occurrence may be Müller’s engagement with analog archival materials like black and white prints and color slides that have been recently transformed to digital media. On a looping slideshow flanking his letter-filled vitrines, Müller presents over 2,400 digitized images of documenta 5 drawn from the Harald Szeemann archives at The Getty Research Institute on a looping slideshow, along with a second video whose content is derived from the remaining analog slides of documenta 5 and 6 stored at the documenta-Archive. The selections are the outcome of a set of search terms the artist gave both institutions when doing his research and correspond to the artists whose physical documents are on view. The available images vary widely by artist and exhibition, and they are presented in the precise order in which Müller received them. Completing this meditation on new and aging technologies, the artist has made a new print that performs as the exhibition’s signage, referencing both digital and letterpress techniques. Likewise, scanned facsimiles of an archived copy of the artist’s flyer for A Balancing Act at documenta X are available free of charge as the exhibition’s take-away publication.
Elective Affinities continues Müller’s context-based approach to art making, as well as his investigations into the self-image of national identity. Works including Grüne Grenze (Green Border) for the 45th Venice Biennial and Histories in Conflict: Haus der Kunst and the Ideological Uses of Art (2012–2013) share his current project’s interest in the conditions of representation from the vantage point of the archive. His exhibition for the Goethe-Institut responds to the shared ambitions of the Goethe-Institut Library and documenta — to reconcile German public life with international modernity by encouraging international cultural exchange — and in so doing, proposes a set of “elective affinities” between the two institutions, as well as a meditation on art’s diplomatic function and its inherent relationship to the politics of exchange
Elective Affinities is the third in a series of artist commissions for The End(s) of the Library, a project curated by Jenny Jaskey on behalf of the Goethe-Institut New York Library . These exhibitions and special events, taking place from October 2012 to June 2013, invite artists to reflect on the potential of libraries, using the Goethe-Institut New York Library as a primary site of these inquiries. Past projects include How Can a Digital Be Gift? by David Horvitz and pΓσ₠§§℩η⅁ by Julieta Aranda, Fia Backström & R. Lyon. From April 1–June 21, The Serving Library (Stuart Bailey, Angie Keefer, and David Reinfurt) will be in residence at the Goethe library , where they will produce the next in their series of Bulletins.

¹George Baker and Christian Philipp Müller, “A Balancing Act,” in October 82 (Fall 1997), pp. 94-118.
Christian Philipp Müller lives in Kassel. Since 2011, he has been Dean at the School of Art and Design, Kassel. His solo exhibitions include the Kunstmuseum Basel, Museum für Gegenwartskunst (2007) and the Kunstverein München, Munich (1992). Müller has participated in Documenta 13 (2012), Manifesta 7 (2008), and documenta 10 (1997) and was Austrian representative at the Biennale di Venezia (1993).

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Christian Philipp Müller: Elective Affinities

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The Serving Library

(April 1 – June 21, 2013 )

In an effort to provoke new ways of thinking about the library’s relationship to publishing, the Goethe-Institut New York Library has invited The Serving Library to take up residence in its Spring Street loft from April 1 – June 21, 2013. Since its founding in 2010 by Stuart Bailey, Angie Keefer, and David Reinfurt, The Serving Library has been building a public archive while publishing texts online and in-print, enabling readers to map the flow of information, objects, and images as they travel between formats. Responding to the library’s changing role as a point of production, as opposed to merely containing a fixed archive or circulating collection, The Serving Library offers one example of how a library might develop its identity around publishing, and publishing around the library.
In practical terms, The Serving Library’s activities consist of 1) an ambitious public website; 2) a small physical library space; 3) a publishing program which runs through #1 and #2. Its house journal, Bulletins of The Serving Library, is produced as a composite print and electronic publication released first online as a series of individual PDF “bulletins” from The Serving Library www.servinglibrary.org] over a six-month period, then assembled, printed, and distributed twice a year in the United States and Europe. Each issue of the journal assembles around a loose theme.
The Goethe-Institut New York Library is both sponsor and catalyst for the fifth issue, whose ostensible theme will be “Germany.” It will be compiled and edited during spring 2013 by The Serving Library ’s founders and will be launched at the Goethe-Institut New York Library at the start of the summer. In advance of this publication, selections from The Serving Library ’s archive of artifacts, variously drawn from previous issues of the journal and its forerunner Dot Dot Dot , will be on view at the Goethe-Institut New York Library.
Stuart Bailey (UK) graduated from the University of Reading in 1994 and the Werkplaats Typografie in 2000, and co-founded the journal Dot Dot Dot the same year. His work circumscribes various aspects of graphic design, writing, and editing, mostly in the form of publications made in collaboration with artists. Since 2006 he has worked together with David Reinfurt as Dexter Sinister. In 2011 he co-founded The Serving Library with David Reinfurt and Angie Keefer.
Angie Keefer (USA) graduated from Yale University in 1999. She works variously as writer, editor, artist, amateur engineer, and occasional librarian. In 2011 she co-founded The Serving Library with Stuart Bailey and David Reinfurt.
David Reinfurt (USA) graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1993 and received an MFA from Yale University in 1999. On the first business day of 2000 he formed O-R-G inc., a flexible graphic design practice composed of a constantly shifting network of collaborators. Since 2006 he has worked together with Stuart Bailey as Dexter Sinister. In 2011 he co-founded The Serving Library with Stuart Bailey and Angie Keefer.

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