Make TWO Trips To The New York Art Book Fair This Weekend!

by Paddy Johnson on November 5, 2010 · 2 comments Events

The New York Art Book Fair. Photo via: NYTimes

“You’re coming back right?” a few friends asked me last night at The New York Art Book Fair opening. This was pretty much the topic of the night, as the crowd was full of bookish types making their way through three floors of book vendors. There’s simply too much for the avid reading nerd to get done in such a short period of time.

I gave a lecture to NYU students last night before heading over to the fair, so while I was able to see less than I would have liked, the quality and quantity was such that I still came out with a few highlights. Some preliminary picks:

PS1 is definitely more spacious than the Phillips dePury mall, The New York Art Book Fair had in 2008, but I miss the the free drinks and dance party at the launch. Photo AFC

EAI Video Project Space: Situated in the basement of the fair, this loop is full of videos artists, curators, gallerists and collectors should make a point of seeing. I’m talking, Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson’s Swamp, Lawrence Weiner’s Broken off, Seth Price’s Folk Music & Documentary, Shana Moulton’s Feeling Free with 3D Magic Eye Poster Remix, and much much more. Most videos are somewhere between three and ten minutes, thereby meeting the attention span of the average fair attendee.

Swill Children has a booth which seems comprised only of one guy handing out fliers advertising their performance 5pm Saturday at “the top of the stairs”.  This lacks the kind of specificity one would hope for — there are many sets of stairs in the building — but apparently there will music by Lucky Dragons and a dance inspired by the gradient. I’m interested.

SIDE NOTE: Anyone else notice gradient art is all the rage right now? Scott Lyall at Miguel Abreu, Cory Arcangel’s photoshop gradients, and the yet to be exhibited art I’ve seen in several student studios over the last year.

Gagosian photographer and one time blogger Alec Soth now has small publishing company called Little Brown Mushroom Books. Attendees can get three zines by Lester B. Morrison for 13 bucks. Also available is a limited edition book of photography for $800 put together in collaboration with writer Lester B. Morrison. This photo makes me think Morrison is actually Soth, but this one suggests he’s not.

IFS in action!

The Investment Future Strategy (IFS) collective is worth checking out: Fair attendees have to barter a book of their own to receive IFS’s The Book Trust. Inside the publication is a stock prospectus for The Book Trust, an exploration into the nature of small-scale publishing, a survey of precedented alternative currencies and more. From the release, “The Prospectus is a 160-pg. perfect-bound, one-colour book, offset-printed in an edition of five hundred by GHP printing in West Haven, Connecticut, USA.”

Those interested in Investment Future Strategy might also want to attend Time/Store’s grand opening Saturday 6-8 pm at 41 Essex Street. Here, the good folks at e-flux create a platform where groups and individuals in the art community can trade time and skills. (Disclaimer: I write for art-agenda, an e-flux project, though I like to think I’d mention this event anyway.) Related to this: Timeraiser, a popular Canadian website that allows people to exchange hours worked for art. I’m told that in almost all cases the work sells for the max bid (150 hours!).

As it happens, e-flux Journal and Sternberg Press have just announced the release of Going Public, a new book by Boris Groys. The book launch and conversation will take place at The New York Art Book Fair Sunday November 7, at 12 pm. To re-iterate the often repeated words heard at last night’s opening. I’ll be coming back for that.

{ 1 comment }

Anonymous November 7, 2010 at 9:10 pm

Jct: Thanks for promoting the timebanking. In 1999, under the UNILETS Time Standard of Money, I paid for 39/40 nights in Europe with a timebank IOU for a night back in Canada worth 5 Hours which I recorded on my public do-it-yourself timebank account at So I’m really pleased to hear of your timebank. Wanna trade accommodations with Canadian timebanks?

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