David Reinfurt

Two signals of varying frequency and phase result in a perpetual infinity (figuratively and literally as it actually constructs itself in the shape of the infinity sign given the right starting values), drawing and redrawing itself over and over, a picture of timing and sequence in the center of the screen. The familiar resulting shapes are known as Lissajous curves after French 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, Lissajous’ machine was constructed of a pair of tuning forks placed facing at right ...

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A recent Opinion piece from the New York Times (“Scorched Earth” by Robert L. Park) eulogized the political death of what had been derisively called “Al Gore’s Screensaver.” Since his vice presidency, Gore actively advocated The Trius Project — a satellite to be put into orbit around the Earth on a geosynchronous path (at position Lagrange 1) which would send back live images of both the whole Earth and the full Sun. This project was intended to feed a series of real-time displays, installed as screensavers on computers in U.S. public schools. Al Gore woke up one morning wondering if ...

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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 ...

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An expansive statement of intent, broadly concerned with Libraries, Media, and Time (though not necessarily in that order) Angie Keefer: AN OCTOPUS IN PLAN VIE I. The etymology of the word “octopus” Octopus. Noun. A mollusk with eight sucker-bearing arms, a soft sac-like body, strong beak-like jaws, and no internal shell. A taxonomic genus within the family octopodidae. Origin: Greek, from OKTO-, meaning “eight,” plus -POUS, meaning “foot.” Plural: debatable. Rob Giampietro, David Reinfurt: FROM 1 TO 0 0: May I speak now? 1: Of course. I didn’t mean to get carried away, but— Dexter Sinister: A NOTE ON THE TIME The time right now is 2011 Feb ...

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Issue #10 is a TEST, containing one choice bulletin from each of the previous nine issues. It is a compendium of sorts, a best-of double-album printed at 50% scale, a sample for what’s next. This issue also includes 140-character summaries of every bulletin we have published previously in the printed journal and online and so serves as a retroactive portrait of the library we are busy assembling. From now on, Bulletins of The Serving Library will proceed in full color and at half its former size—but will be twice as good. To mark this change, 100 complete sets of the previous ...

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This issue is both *in* and *about* COLOR. Starting with ISSUE #10, we have reduced our format and we are printing in all of the available inks. The issue was published in time to inaugurate (finally!) our first physical space for The Serving Library in a storefront on the north side of the majestic India Buildings block in the heart of Liverpool’s once-colorful mercantile district. Bulletins around the edges of color come courtesy Lucas Benjamin on a green screen, Stuart Bertolotti-Bailey on ephemera, Umberto Eco on conditioning, Emily Gephart on a poetry hoax, James Langdon on kitchen cabinetry, Tamara Shopsin on swimming ...

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This issue comprises various outlooks on “perspective.” This might be taken to mean something as specific as a particular opinion or as general as an axonometric projection; in short, different ways and means of looking at the world. And so we find Vincenzo Latronico attempting to get in touch with E.T., a collection of Lucy McKenzie’s illusory quodlibets, a conversation between Jumana Manna and Robert Wyatt on art and ethics, a timely analysis of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” by Sarah Demeuse, along with other points of view from Mark de Silva, Jocelyn Penny Small, Abigail Reynolds, James Langdon ...

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  This issue grew out of two physical incarnations of The Serving Library in 2011. The first took place from July 4–August 10 in the Walter Phillips Gallery of the Visual Arts department at The Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada. Here we set up a model of the library’s projected interior to house a six-week summer school titled From the Toolbox of a Serving Library. The school comprised daily morning seminars, supplemented by a few evening events. Each week was based on a specific component from a (Photoshop-proxy) digital software toolbox, in order to reconsider what a contemporary (Bauhaus-proxy) Foundation Course might ...

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  This issue doubles as a catalog-of-sorts to Ecstatic Alphabets/Heaps of Language, a group exhibition curated by Laura Hoptman at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, from May 6 to August 27, 2012. It is a *pseudo*-catalog in the sense that, other than a section of images at the back, it bears no direct relation to the works in the exhibition. Instead, the bulletins extend in different directions from the same title, and could be collectively summarized as preoccupied with the more social aspects of Typography. In this way we hope to throw some *glancing* light on the exhibition. For ...

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This Issue was produced under the auspices of the research program Dexter Bang Sinister at Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, January 21 – October 28, 2012, curated by Rhea Dall. The program, devised by Angie Keefer, David Reinfurt and Stuart Bailey together with writer-critic-curator Lars Bang Larsen, was based on Lars’s just-completed PhD dissertation at the University of Copenhagen, A History of Irritated Material: Psychedelic Concepts in Neo-Avantgarde Art. In practice, a large part of the so-called research played out in the form of an exhibition set up to explore the notion of *black & white psychedelia*— halfway closing the doors of ...

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This issue was produced as part of The End(s) of the Library, a series of exhibitions at the Goethe-Institut New York Library organized by Jenny Jaskey from October 30, 2012 to June 21, 2013; hence the German theme. The Serving Library was resident for three months at the end of The End(s), from April Fools’ Day on, in the form of a hang of objects from our collection of source material. if all went according to plan, the end of the library show was marked by the launch of this issue. *Wie ein Pfeil lief ich einfach durch.* With many thanks to ...

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This issue poses as a retroactive non-catalog for the group exhibition White Petals Surround Your Yellow Heart at the Institute for Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania curated by Anthony Elms. As such, its nominal theme is Fashion. Bulletins from the edges of that world are from Angie Keefer, Robin Kinross, Joke Robaard, Brian Eno, Nick Relph, Eli Diner, Chris Fite-Wassilak, Stuart Bailey, Sarah Demeuse, Adloph Loos, Kuki Shûzô, Sanya Kantarovsky, and Perri MacKenzie.   AXIS THINKING Brian Eno A LIST OF INCORRECT THINGS Nick Relph A RUNNING COMPOSITION Perri MacKenzie BUTTONED-DOWN Robin Kinross DRY CLEAN ONLY Chris Fite-Wassilik HARDY PERENNIALS Stuart Bailey REGARDING ECONOMY Adolf ...

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This issue loops around NUMBERS and was produced in the ambient glow of a reprogrammed electronic scoreboard clock which first appeared in Venice one year ago. Bulletins this time arrive from Angie Keefer, John Dewey and James Mclellan, James Langdon, Rosie Cooper, Mathew Kneebone, Philip Ording, David Foster Wallace, David Reinfurt, Cory Arcangel, Justin Warsh, Perrine Bailleux, Byron Cook and Tauba Auerbach, Dan Fox, Katherine Pickard, and Vincenzo Latronico.

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The MEDIUM issue was produced with Tate Liverpool’s fall 2014 season Making Things Public, where The Serving Library‘s collection of artifacts (http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-liverpool/display/serving-library) was installed with two related exhibitions: Transmitting Andy Warhol and Gretchen Bender. In addition to our usual PDF and print formats, Bulletins are also available this time as VIDEO, funneled through the form of a speaking asterisk. The asterisk’s Scottish accent is provided by Isla Leaver Yap, assembled into software by Cereproc, Ltd., and coordinated by James Langdon. (You can read more about this at https://sinkhole-audio.net/your-host/.) VIDEOS are linked from each PDF download page, for example, http://www.servinglibrary.org/read.html?id=181250&watch=1. Bulletins arrive from ...

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Issue #9 tackles all manner of SPORTS. It kicks off with a commentary on New England Patriots controversial Quarterback Tom Brady in view of Ancient Greek ideas of heroism, and ends with seminal Liverpool FC manager Bill Shankly’s 1975 interview with Prime Minister Harold Wilson on the radio. In between, the issue slaloms around bodybuilding, bridge, ice hockey, tennis, darts, golf, reporting, running, drugs, rock climbing, basketball, and Pong.   THE SPORTING LIFE Junior Aspirin Records FAIR PLAY Rob Giampietro ENDLESS COMBINATIONS Linus Elmes QUIET EYES, MAGIC GUTS Leila Peacock ERRORS HIT ORIENT Chris Evans ROCK, PAPER, CHISEL James Langdon SERVE AND VOLLEY Justin Warsh and Miguel Abreu ...

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Given the most commonly used criteria of utility for software, it’s not surprising that the screensaver is a debased form. It does nothing, it says nothing and it takes you nowhere. Instead it offers a quiet, even ambient portrait of a system — a simple image, a complex algorithm and an ever-changing picture of their interaction. Still there may be something to doing nothing. The computer, Alan Turing’s universal machine tirelessly capable of emulating the behavior of any other tool, is finally given a rest. After three minutes of nothing, the screensaver kicks in and the software produces the silently ...

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The noisy buzz of the mains electricity power supply has been one of our urban environment’s most persistent background noises. One day in 1996 Dr Catalin Grigoras realised that the electricity wasn’t just making noise, but in fact singing… The UK national electrical grid delivers power across the country. This mains power supply makes a constant humming sound, yet there are tiny changes to the frequency of this sound every second. Most recordings made in the UK have a trace of mains hum on them and this can be forensically analysed to determine the time and date they were made, and ...

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Ten years later, in an interview with PC Magazine, Brian Eno picked up the thread of an ambient composition. To his interviewers’ dismay, he claimed that the only useful quality of computers is their potential as semi-automated compositional systems. He confronted the interviewer, stating that “the only interesting thing about computers is screensaver software”. Software used to move large chunks of data around (such as video editing, page layout or even word processing) were all wrong — the transformative power of software was its ability to create real-time models that automatically generate endless variations. The result of collapsing two simultaneous views ...

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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 ...

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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! this fall in 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 ...

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