I am a handle

This text was commissioned by Dexter Sinister for The Serving Library. It was originally delivered as an iChat “lecture,” from a studio in Manhattan to a library in Banff, Alberta, on 11 August 2011 at 12:32 PM Mountain Time.

Good afternoon.

I am a handle, writing you with the same software that is writing me.

When I carry one idea over to meet another, it’s a metaphor I’m making.

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A message from the Open Reading Group

Yesterday, I received this message from the Open Reading Group:

Fellow readers,

This spring, Dexter Sinister is busy morphing from a “just-in-time workshop and occasional bookstore” into an non-profit institution-of-sorts called The Serving Library. This involves incorporating (The Serving Library Company, Inc.), describing (A Statement of Intent) and fundraising (here):


The idea is to build on the haphazard, contingent clutter of activities assembled during the five-year lease of our basement space on Ludlow Street in New York (which expires just before the summer) towards a more explicit, coherent set of intentions that can be condensed into the following equation:

"The Serving Library is a cooperatively-built archive that assembles itself by publishing. It will consist of 1. an ambitious public website; 2. a small physical library space; 3. a publishing program which runs through #1 and #2."

The longer story involves two collections of books and artifacts, an online and printed successor to Dot Dot Dot called Bulletins of The Serving Library, a speculative Foundation Course modeled on the Photoshop Toolbox, a rotating Guest Librarianship, and a 12-year Black Whisky. Further elaboration is offered in A Statement of Intent, available from our existing library:


"I don’t complain about institutions! I complain about institutions that I don’t like." (Michelangelo Pistoletto)

Please circulate this announcement freely.

Regards, David Reinfurt, Stuart Bailey, Angie Keefer

Please give what you can — one Ben Franklin will go a long way toward supporting The Serving Library and will ensure your copy of the first issue of the library Bulletin.

Update: Funded!