During my year-long MA course at University College London, nearly all of our readings and texts were available at the library, as PDF files, or online, unlike my experience during undergraduate coursework back home in the US. As a result, I had a lot less books as souvenirs to take home with me. However, out of a combination of convenience, intellectual interest, and self-indulgence, I did wind up buying a number of books that ended up being key texts for the papers I wrote this year. As much as I cringe to think about looking back on my dissertation, I imagine myself looking fondly at my bookcase, these bright covers with dog-eared and underlined pages as little reminders of my course.
For my paper on General Idea’s Imagevirus, many of the key readings I used as sources came from the AIDS Riot anthology. I bought the book at the Le Palais de Tokyo giftshop during their conveniently timed General Idea retrospective. I enjoyed Gregg Bordowitz’s One Work title on Imagevirus as well.
Grant H. Kester’s Conversation Pieces served as an important basis for the theoretical framework in a few of my papers, as well as introducing me to some interesting dialogical aesthetic artworks.
I noticed Open Editions‘ Curating Subjects and Curating and the Educational Turn time and time again at art bookshops in London, and finally purchased copies of my own after finding that the University College London library’s copies had long hold lists. I thought I was buying them for fun, but I managed to work them both into my dissertation, which focused on the American collective Temporary Services.
I spent a lot of time discussing Temporary Service’s book Group Work, published by the amazing artist print house and art bookshop Printed Matter. AA Bronson, a former member of General Idea and the current director of Printed Matter, was like a guiding spirit throughout the year, much of his work and ideas informing and inspiring my own studies. Which brings my tenure at Open Enrollment back full circle, as I wrote about the Printed Matter-organized Art Book Fair in my first post. I’ve gained some confidence in the last year, and look forward to my post-grad life. Cheers!