The Power Plant

Stuart Bailey and David Reinfurt of Dexter Sinister

Tue Sep 20 2011

3:30 PM – 5:30 PM


The Drake Hotel, Underground
1150 Queen Street West
Doors open at 7 PM

"When too much is made of graphic design with Dexter Sinister, consider one of Sol LeWitt's 'Sentences on Conceptual Art' (1969): 'If an artist uses the same form in a group of works, and changes the material, one would assume the artist's concept involved the material.' The material of Dexter Sinister is not the format or the design, but the language used in the formats, and think of the differing formats as one material: communication. Dexter Sinister transform what can be plainly transformed, industrially produced and/or distributed. Whatever offers an opportunity for formalised release, proving that a material in use equals a form in flux. This opportunity is manifested in multiplication: distribution and publishing an economy of making public, making multiple the locations of encounter and interpretation through changes in tone, style, format and context. In the Just-In-Time Workshop & Occasional Bookstore, soon to be packed up for The Serving Library Company, Inc., Dexter Sinister worry, like the nuns in The Sound of Music, 'How do you find a word that means "Maria"?' In the digressive cadences of the Dexter Sinister songbook, once called Dot Dot Dot, soon the Bulletins of the Serving Library, what is demonstrated? Oh, so much reiteration, let rapper Jay-Z answer: 'The danger is that it's just talk; then again, the danger is that it's not. I believe you can speak things into existence.'"

Co-operated by Stuart Bailey & David Reinfurt, Dexter Sinister constitutes a triangle of activities: (a) a publishing imprint, (b) a workshop & bookstore, and (c) a pseudonym making site/time-specific work in art venues. David graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1993, Yale University in 1999, and formed the design studio O-R-G in 2000. Stuart graduated from the University of Reading in 1994, the Werkplaats Typografie in 2000, and co-founded the journal Dot Dot Dot the same year. Dexter Sinister was originally set up to model a "Just-In-Time" economy of print production, counter to the contemporary assembly-line realities of large-scale publishing. This involves avoiding waste by working on-demand, utilizing local cheap machinery, considering alternate distribution strategies, and collapsing distinctions of editing, design, production, and distribution into one efficient activity. Since then, their work has branched (pragmatically) into many different contexts and venues.

The talk is available as an mp3 here and an m4a here.

Co-presented with

C Magazine / C School