Categories and order systems : Claude Parent and the Serving Library. Intersections of architecture, art and editorial design

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Blacksell, Ruth (2016)

This paper discusses the work of Claude Parent and The Serving Library, considering the critiques generated by their intersecting of architecture, art and editorial design. Through focus on the ways in which hosting environment, architecture and forms of expanded publishing can serve to dissolve disciplinary boundaries and activities of production, spectatorship and reception, it draws on the lineage of 1960s/70s Conceptual Art in considering these practices as a means through which to escape medium specificity and spatial confinement. Relationships between actual and virtual space are then read against this broadening of aesthetic ideas and the theory of critical modernity.
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    40 Other similar practices include that of Paul Chan, whose self-established publishing activity Badlands Unlimited makes books in what he terms “the expanded field,” via projects like How to Download a Boyfriend, a group exhibition in the form of an e-publication (see http://badlandsunlimited.com); Rhizome and Triple Canopy, whose advanced models of contemporary arts spaces are hinged on the development of publishing systems and depend upon digitally networked forms of production and circulation (see http://rhizome.org and http://www.canopycanopycanopy. com); and Journal, a 2014 exhibition curated by Matt Williams at the ICA, London, which expanded the physical gallery environment though an online space with documentations ranging from digital artworks, performance, screenings and writings (see http://journal.ica.org.uk).

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