Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Apricot Bar Code Architecture

According to a new Vice Magazine story, Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited Young Adult Romance bestseller list was dominated by dozens of AI-generated books, yesterday and Monday. 

Jules Roscoe reports on titles such as When the Three Attacks, Apricot Bar Code Architecture, The Journey to Becoming Enlightened is Arduous and Department of Vinh Du Stands in Front of His Parents’ Tombstone. 

The article quotes a twitter post from Indie author Caitlyn Lynch: “The AI bots have broken Amazon. Take a look at the Best Sellers in Teen & Young Adult Contemporary Romance eBooks top 100 chart. I can see 19 actual legit books. The rest are AI nonsense clearly there to click farm.” 

By Tuesday afternoon they had been removed from the bestseller list (or fell off, naturally) but remained available to purchase. As of today, Amazon appears to have removed the bulk of them. 

“This will absolutely be the death knell for Kindle Unlimited if Amazon cannot kill this off. The KENP payout will halve and writers will pull their books in droves,” Lynch continued in a thread, referring to the payout that publishing writers get based on how many pages of their book were read by Kindle users. I honestly thought Amazon had a handle on the click farms. CLEARLY NOT.”

She followed with a screenshot of the bestseller list at that time, where only two out of sixteen titles were real. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

You're the Guy I Want To Share My Money With

Laurie Anderson/John Giorno/William S Burroughs
You're the Guy I Want To Share My Money With
New York City, USA: Giorno Poetry Systems, 1981
Vinyl LP/Audio Cassette
Edition size unknown

A cassette and double LP released in 1981, with the CD following in 1993 (with inconsistent track listing across the three formats). The recording was the tenth release from the Giorno Poetry Systems, and the second to feature Giorno and Burroughs. It was was recorded during the "Red Night" spoken word tour of 1981. Most of Anderson's material came from her magnum opus United States, and live versions of some tracks, such as "It Was Up in the Mountains", would also be included in her later 5-LP release, United States Live. This was Anderson's first major album release predating her solo debut, Big Science, by a year.

Whereas many of the Giorno Poetry Systems LPs had covers designed by visual artists (Les Levine, Keith Haring, Gary Panter, Robert Williams, etc.), this record was designed by George Delmerico, the late art director for the Village Voice newspaper.

Anderson's contributions to the LP include "Born, Never Asked", "Closed Circuits", "Dr. Miller", "It Was Up In The Mountains", "For Electronic Dogs", "Structuralist Filmmaking" and "Drums." Burroughs' tracks include "Introducing John Stanley Hart; He Entered The Bar With The Best Intentions", "Progressive Education", "The Wild Fruits", "Mr. Hart Couldn't Hear The Word Death" and others. Giorno is represented by two longer tracks: "Completely Attached To Delusion" and the epic "I Don't Need It, I Don't Want It, And You Cheated Me Out Of It".

The LP was a multi-grooved record, so depending on where the needle landed on the record listeners would hear either an Anderson, Burroughs or Giorno track.

"I toured with William Burroughs and John Giorno in 1981 when our collaborative double album, You’ re the Guy I Want To Share My Money With, was released and I loved hanging out with them. This is when I learned to talk to audiences directly. Burroughs was a master of this. In his Thanksgiving Prayer, he recites a litany of American acts of violence, ignorance and hatred, and at the very end intones in his most condescending voice, “You always were a headache and you always were a bore.” This sudden and jarring use of “you” was shocking. I began to try it out in my own work: This is your captain. Have you lost your dog? It suddenly opened new realms. Jump out of the plane. There is no pilot. Language that could boss, instruct and command. I was suddenly in touch with the audience in a whole new way."
- Laurie Anderson

Monday, June 26, 2023

Douglas Gordon | Punishment Exercice in Gothic

Douglas Gordon
Punishment Exercice in Gothic
Stuutgart, Germany: Oktagon, 2001
[unpaginated], 17.4 x 19.2 cm., softcover
Edition of 1000 signed and numbered copies

A single image of Gordon is repeated throughout this book on the right-hand page, accompanied by short texts on the left: “i need to sleep”; “low”; “the last thing i felt”; etc. 

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Sophie Calle | The Tie

Sophie Calle
The Tie
Zurich, Switzerland: Parkett Editions, 1993
79.7 x 21.2 cm.
Edition of 150 signed and numbered copies

Continuing Calle's voyeuristic engagement with strangers, this brown silk ties recounts a one-sided correspondence:

"I saw him for the first time in December 1985, at a lecture he was giving. I found him attractive but something bothered me: he was wearing an ugly tie. The next day I anonymously sent him a thin brown tie. Later I saw him in a restaurant; he was wearing it. Unfortunately, it clashed with his shirt. It was then I decided to take on the task of dressing him from head to toe: I would send him one article of clothing every year at Christmas. In 1986, he received a pair of silk grey socks; in 1987, a black alpaca sweater; in 1988, a white shirt; in 1989, a pair of gold-plated cuff links; in 1990, a pair of boxer shorts with a Christmas tree pattern; nothing in 1991; and in 1992, a pair of grey trousers. Some day, when he is fully dressed by me, I would like to be introduced to him."

Saturday, June 24, 2023

GuyGuyGuy | Blue Sky Shirt

Blue Sky Shirt
Toronto, Canada: Self-published, 2022
Sizes vary
Edition size unknown

Available from the artist for $36.10 CDN, here

Friday, June 23, 2023

David Shrigley | Centre-parting

David Shrigley
Toronto, Canada: Art Metropole, 1998
16 pp., 20 x 12.7 cm., staple-bound
Edition of 1000

My predecessor at Art Metropole, Roger Bywater, had a good eye for artists who were about to go from unknown to very well known. One trip to the UK, for example, led to projects with both David Shrigley and Martin Creed. 

This booklet (produced as part of the Little Cockroach Press series, which also included Stan Douglas, Emma Kay, John Waters, Zoe Leonard, Sonic Youth, Linda Montano, Maurizio Nannucci, etc.) was one of the earliest publications by Shrigley, who has now produced countless book and object editions. 

Initially distributed in the mail free of charge by Art Metropole, twenty-five years ago, the title is now exceedingly rare. 

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Sara MacKillop | Envelope Clock

Sara MacKillop
Envelope Clock
Self-published, 2013
12 pp., 11.5 x 16.4 cm., softcover
Edition of 40 signed and numbered copies

Created for the Wysing music and Arts festival in 2013, this series of found envelopes have been clasped in the corner  in a way that allows them to fan out like a sample. With each envelope marked from one to twelve, this fanning produces a kind of clock. 

See also, Tim Hawkinson's work of the same name, here

Envelope Clock is available for $61.00 CDN at Art Metropole, here

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Speaking volumes: Women Artists’ Books

[Lucy Lippard]
Speaking volumes: Women Artists’ Books
New York City, USA: A.I.R. Gallery, 1980
10.2 x 15.2 cm.
Edition size unknown

A postcard invitation for an exhibition of Artists' Books by female artists, curated by Lucy R Lippard, which presented a hundred and fifty books by a hundred artists. The exhibition took place at A.I.R. Gallery in New York, from June 3rd to the 21st,  1980.

A partial checklist of the exhibition is below. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Takako Saito | Würfelstuhl

Takako Saito
Düsseldorf, Germany: Edition Hundertmark, 1979
3.2 x 7.2 x 5.1 cm.
Edition of 75 signed, dated and numbered copies

The 63rd boxed work published by Armin Hundtermark contains three cube chairs, which are filled with small balls.

Valued at approximately $800 US. 

Monday, June 19, 2023

Larry Clark | Untitled Notebook

Larry Clark
New York, USA: Self-published, 2013
[32] pp., 12.7 x 8.8 cm., staplebound
Edition size unknown

Ten years ago Larry Clark self-published this blank notebook as a promotional item for his website, which is already defunct. 

The cover portrait drawing of the artist is by photographer Tobin Yelland, whose skateboard photography is clearly influenced by Clark.

Signed copies were made available through Printed Matter, and sold out almost instantly. 

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Endre Tót | Ten Questions

Endre Tót
Ten Questions
Budapest, Hungary: Galeria Adres Lodz, 1973
10 x 18 cm. 
Edition size unknown

Friday, June 16, 2023

Raymond Pettibon

Raymond Pettibon turns 66 today. 

Marianne Vitale | Train Wreck

Marianne Vitale
Train Wreck 
Kiito-San, 2016
10 pp., 10.2 x 1.3 x 10.7", softcover
Edition size unknown

"Train Wreck is the artist's wry look at the infancy of the American railroad, an age mythologized even in its own time as a period of industrial progress and the heroic conquest of the American frontier. But this progress was fitfully achieved, punctuated by incredible, shocking disasters. In a new artist’s book, New York–based artist Marianne Vitale (born 1973) reproduces black-and-white archival photographs of train wreckage on soft, plastic pages, creating an incongruous merger of content and container in a sculptural, compulsively tactile object. Each of the waterproof, pliable plastic pages of this book features a different locomotive carcass or caboose skeleton for readers to re-contort at their leisure. The contrast between the indestructibility of this playtime "bath" book and its imagery depicting the tragic frailty of industrial America's iron workhorses is at once striking and amusing."
- publisher's blurb