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16 Feb 2011

The Banff Centre: Call for Applications

Photo: Dexter Sinister, New York, 2008

Dexter Sinister: From the Toolbox of a Serving Library with Stuart Bailey and David Reinfurt
The Banff Centre


Program dates: July 4 – August 12, 2011 Application deadline: March 7, 2011

Office of the Registrar
1.403.762.6180 or

The Banff Centre
107 Tunnel Mountain Drive
Banff, Alberta

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In 2006 Dexter Sinister (David Reinfurt & Stuart Bailey) established a workshop and bookstore of the same name in New York, and have since explored aspects of contemporary publishing in diverse contexts. As well as designing, editing, producing, and distributing both printed and digital media, they have also worked with ambiguous roles and formats, usually in the live contexts of galleries and museums. These projects generally play to some form of site-specificity, where a publication or series of events are worked out in public over a set period of time.

Dexter Sinister intend to slowly dissolve all such activities into one single institution, The Serving Library. This overarching project is founded on a consideration of how the role of the library has changed over time -- from fixed archive, through circulating collection, to point of distribution. As much about The Library as social furniture as it is a specific model, the project ultimately returns to its point of departure: as a place for learning. Over the past couple of years, Dexter Sinister have set up a number of temporary, model versions of The Serving Library in different places, in order to work out its eventual form. Students or other interested communities are often invited to contribute to this discussion.

The residency at The Banff Centre will be the most fully-realized version of this to date. At this point, the travelling Library comprises a specific set of books -- the shared references of the contributors to Dot Dot Dot (a bi-annual journal published by DS) over ten years -- and a collection of corollary artifacts (cultural residue including record covers, lithographs, photographs, and a ouija board). Both will be set up in The Banff Centre's Walter Phillips Gallery during the residency, and this environment will then serve as the focal point for the rest of the program. The books and artifacts will be put to use, specifically towards a reconsideration of the Bauhaus foundation course. Given that this original foundation was established in direct response to the social and industrial conditions of the time, why is it still so ubiquitous -- largely unaltered -- today, a hundred years on? Starting from scratch, what might a reasonable contemporary version look like? They will take the icon of the Photoshop toolbox (as a simulacrum of any contemporary arts software) as a starting point, and their workshops will consist both of addressing this question and attempting to put any answers to practical use.