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O-R-G

Bulletins of The Serving Library #6, Winter 2013

The Serving Library

Bulletins of The Serving Library #6, Winter 2013

Price: $20

David Reinfurt, Stuart Bailey, and Angie Keefer organize The Serving Library. An itinerant structure, it can be a library, exhibition, or set of actions, in different places that may provide a contextual backdrop for varied information.

Bulletins of The Serving Library are published as individual PDFs in the six months prior to formal distribution as a published compilation. The content is variable, but our take is that most contributions limn the fissures within cultural practices. Historical, contemporary, maudlin, and frighteningly close. The itches you can't scratch and the shadows you never saw.

This fashion issue, also serving/related to the exhibition White Petals Surround Your Yellow Heart, Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania (Feb-July 2013) organized by Anthony Elms. With Angie Keefer, Robin Kinross, Joke Robaard, Brian Eno, Nick Relph, Eli Diner, Chris Fite-Wassilik, Stuart Bailey, Sarah Demeuse, Adolf Loos, Kuki Shuzo, Sanya Kantarovsky, Perri MacKenzie, Anthony Elms. 

The Curse of Bigness

Dexter Sinister

The Curse of Bigness

Price: $5

Dexter Sinister (New York, NY) (David Reinfurt, Stuart Bailey) is a sometime bookshop and sometime maker of projects that explore the connectivities between print, object, design, and the ethics and impulses of making. More to the point, it's about the uses of language, its presentation, its value, manipulation, failures and glory.

The catalog made for the exhibition of the same name at The Queens Museum of Art (2010) (Queens, NY), organized by Larissa Harris. 
272 pgs; 8.5" x 6".

O-R-G: Breaking Like Surf on a Shore Until by David Reinfurt

David Reinfurt

O-R-G: Breaking Like Surf on a Shore Until by David Reinfurt

Price: $25

While living with William Burroughs at the Beat hotel on Gît-le-Coeur, Paris, and with the aid of Cambridge mathematician Ian Somerville, poet Brion Gysin designed a simple paper cylinder with periodic apertures surrounding a bare light bulb placed on a rotating turntable at 78 rpm.

The resulting flickering light repeats at a constant frequency between 8 and 13 Hz matching the brain’s alpha-waves present in deep relaxation, such as drifting into sleep. When a viewer closes their eyes, sits close to the machine, and the turntable is started, the flickering light induces waves of color and repeating geometric patterns that form and re-form in the mind’s eye. Ian Somerville described the experience in a letter to Gysin:

Visions start with a kaleidoscope of colors on a plane in front of the eyes and gradually become more complex and beautiful, breaking like surf on a shore until whole patterns of color are bounding to get in. After awhile the visions were permanently behind my eyelids and I was in the middle of the whole scene with limitless patterns being generated around me.

Unlike a pharmacological trip, the experience ends when the user opens their eyelids. Gysin called his vision machine for closed eyes the Dreamachine.

(Text courtesy O-R-G.)

O-R-G: After His Beautiful Machine of 1855 by David Reinfurt

David Reinfurt

O-R-G: After His Beautiful Machine of 1855 by David Reinfurt

Price: $25

Two signals of varying frequency and phase result in a perpetual infinity, drawing and redrawing over and over. The familiar shapes are called Lissajous curves after mathematician Jules Antoine Lissajous and his “beautiful machine” of 1855.

Devised to draw a picture of two superimposed systems falling into and out of phase, the machine was constructed from a pair of tuning forks placed at right angles, each with a mirror attached. A light source is focused through a lens, bouncing off the first onto the second and projecting to a large screen. As the tuning forks are struck, simple vibrations move the mirrors in a regular oscillating pattern. The projected image forms the strange and beautiful curves of a Lissajous figure.

(Text courtesy O-R-G.)

O-R-G: Three Minutes of Doing Nothing by David Reinfurt

David Reinfurt

O-R-G: Three Minutes of Doing Nothing by David Reinfurt

Price: $25

Three minutes of doing nothing, then everything goes black. In 1983, John Socha wrote the first screensaver software to preserve the image quality of computer displays. Published in Softtalk magazine in 1983 and named SCRNSAVE, the simple program turned the user’s screen to black after three minutes of inactivity (the time could be adjusted only by recompiling the program).

Personal computers were becoming affordable and popular, but their high-contrast green phosphor cathode-ray screens were subject to burn-in, where light intensity in one part of the screen left behind a permanent mark. SCRNSAVE was designed to eliminate these ghost-images and preserve the computer’s screen, coining the term and introducing a new software genre along the way.

(Text courtesy O-R-G.)

O-R-G: Three Times (in Blue and Yellow) by Karel Martens

Karel Martens

O-R-G: Three Times (in Blue and Yellow) by Karel Martens

Price: $25

Dutch graphic designer Karel Martens has made clocks for years. Starting somewhere around 1968, Karel attached new faces to existing clock mechanisms to produce graphic compositions, which by their nature, are constantly changing. This screensaver works the same way.

Based on a wall clock designed by Karel for his exhibition at P! (New York), the screensaver software uses three yellow and blue spinning disks to display the hours, minutes, and seconds of the current time. It does very little, other than spin contentedly. But, on the way, the passing of time produces a collection of graphic arrangements as so many discrete moments.

Recently, it was suggested that Karel's persistent interest in clocks was a symptom of working on his own for many years and that a clock might just be a symbol for “the long gestation period of independent ideas.”

(Text courtesy O-R-G.)

O-R-G: Spiral Induction by Tauba Auerbach

Tauba Auerbach

O-R-G: Spiral Induction by Tauba Auerbach

Price: $25

The computer is already a hypnotic device. Staring at a fixed focal length, scrolling, and swiping all induce what hypnotherapist Daniel Ryan calls “subtle learning states.” And on the screen, what we repeatedly learn is a bent set of values including ravenous consumerism, preposterous ideas of hierarchy, race, gender, beauty, and spirituality. We consume these more deeply than we realize.

Hypnotists have used pendulums, repeating sounds, vanishing points, particular vocal cadences, and a variety of other means to produce a state of consciousness and brain activity marked by calm focus and extra sensitivity to suggestion. These tools facilitate what's called “induction.”

Can we use the screen to hypnotize in a kinder way? To prompt specific eye movements, to pulse at certain rhythms, and invoke gestures that calm, or heal, or produce clarity of mind? In EMDR therapy, left-right eye movement has been used with restorative messaging to successfully treat post traumatic stress disorder. Extruding the spiral and making it breathe, this screensaver attempts a similarly benevolent induction.

(Text courtesy O-R-G.)

O-R-G: Tetracono by Bruno Munari

Bruno Munari

O-R-G: Tetracono by Bruno Munari

Price: $25

In 1965, Bruno Munari designed a small black box—the austere 15-cm steel cube housed four aluminum cones, each painted half-red and half-green and set to spin at four distinct speeds on an 18-minute cycle to produce a very slowly turning composite color moving from red to green. Munari called it the Tetracono and its function was to show forms in the process of becoming:

"The art of the past has accustomed us to seeing nature as static: a sunset, a face, an apple, all static. People go to nature looking for images such as these static things, whereas an applie is in fact a moment in the process from appleseed to tree, blossom, fruit."

Tetracono was created as an artists' multiple designed for industrial production and published by Danese Milano. But only 10 were ever made. (An additional run of 100 was produced without motors.) Few sold, and by commercial accounts, the product was a flop. Perhaps it was just ahead of its time.

50 years later, we've moved from the industrial production of objects to the post-industrial production of information. Tetracono was already a post-industrial product—manufactured in steel and aluminum, its purpose was to produce a constantly changing image.

From a small black box to computer softwear, Tetracono is *now* available again.

(Text courtesy O-R-G.)

Below text is taken directly from O-R-G's website, because it's kind of a Sisyphean task trying to make it better. We might give it another shot sometime soon, but for now it's here straight from the source.
****************

16 years ago, O-R-G was incorporated. It was the first business day of the new millennium, an auspicious date for a one-person concern masked as a large organization. From the start, O-R-G worked with a fluid group of collaborators including those now better known as mgmtdesign.com, projectprojects.com, stewd.io, and lifeofthemind.net. But after about six years of quasi-standard practice, O-R-G had had enough. The studio on 39th St was vacated and a Demise Party held to distribute its contents back to the group who helped assemble it.

Emptied out, O-R-G became a holding company for Dexter Sinister, the just-in-time workshop and occasional bookstore set up in a basement on the lower east side of New York. Dexter Sinister ran as a shop for the next five years selling books, staging events, and publishing Dot Dot Dot. By 2011, the bookstore had run its course and The Serving Library was established as a 501c3 non-profit company to publish a semiannual journal and maintain a growing collection of artworks. Dexter Sinister continues actively making art and design projects and The Serving Library continues actively publishing. Meanwhile, the time has come for O-R-G to reassemble itself.

O-R-G is *now* a small software company. O-R-G designs, programs, publishes, and sells apps, websites, screensavers, and other small chunks of code.