Aram Bartholl - The Speed Book
The title “The Speed Book” might not only refer to the exhibition format “Speed Show”, that was invented by Aram Bartholl and is carried out many many times worldwide, it also speaks for a fast & dynamic book, which was made within weeks. I can remember Bartholl coming to my studio with a harddisk (on it the fragmentary documentation of his projects) and a general inquiry: “Gestalten wants to make a book with me - can you help me.” And so the story began and I'm pretty happy to have realised together with Domenico Quaranta, the editor, an unconventional and entertaining monograph for Gestalten.
Aram Bartholl's workscope is pretty brought and therefore 5 chapters divide them*. The more picturesque projects were classified in “Internet Aware Art” (Chapter A), “Out of the Game” (Chapter B) & "Picture Elements" (Chapter C) and designed in a reduced layout with space for images & tiny, beautiful type details. In between these parts different other projects, playing significantly in a social space (for example “Speed Show”) are shown in a newspaper-ish, even fanzine-ish look (on uncoated paper) to maintain their communicative aspects as they are looking mostly for participation.
The book features an interchaning dynamic with its both paper qualities and different design approaches. It's rising speed and still offerning wider gaps to look closer or read deeper into the topics of Bartholl’s work.
* "So: what a weird kind of artist Aram Bartholl is? This question resurfaces in some of the texts in this book. Bruce Sterling compares him to Max Ernst, discusses Dead Drops as art, but then calls Aram an architect and a curator, and ends up saying that, as an artist, he doesn't either belong to the net or to the white cube, but “in a self-created twilight zone”. Discussing Dead Drops and Speed Shows, Brad Troemel talks about their usefulness, because “through their usefulness we may evaluate their quality”. But wasn't art supposed to be useless? Evan Roth talks about Aram as an hacker, and Josephine Bosma, from the first to the last question of her interview, seems really interested in Aram‘s background in architecture." Domenico Quaranta, editor of Speed Book
Excerpt of an Interview: “AB: Digital space is very much an extension of ourselves (like McLuhan put it) and it is becoming massively big in that sense currently. It is not so much about wearing AR glasses to see hidden layers of the city or cyberspace. It is more the way we think and are emotionally connected through just a tweet or a gif.”