The zip file was created by sorting the two data sets by date. The first jpeg was renamed with the first sentence from the letters. Then the second was renamed with the second sentence. And so on across 1,860 files. When a personal name appeared it were replaced with the original jpeg file name.
Read an essay by Paul Soulellis, Rhizome Contributing Editor about the work and download the file.
Library of the Printed Web published a zine of me performing the zip file. I open it. Read. Sort. Drag. Preview. Resize. Cleans up. And finally trash all 1,860 jpegs causing the computer to crash mid-way.
Spreads from the zine were enlarged and editioned into photographic prints. Here exhibited at Galerie Andreas Schmidt, Berlin.
Each jpeg icon in the zip was printed onto a sheet. All 1,860 sheets were inserted into plastic sleeves and collated chronologically across 10 binders. I sell individual sheets as a way to disrupt the grand narrative and recirculate the jpegs outside the context of the original zip.
The binders were used in several performances. For Re: Art Show in Brooklyn they were placed on music stands and installed across 10 rooms in a decommissioned Pfizer building. A mic and speaker accompanied each book. The audience was asked to browse, read, and listen. By the end of the exhibition most of the binders had intentionally split open — spilling jpegs onto the floor.
As a final act the zip file was saved onto a metal thumb drive and then intentionally rusted. The USB comes with a warning, “connecting it to a computer or other electronics may result in an excessive electric current to pass through the network and may potentially cause damage, overheating, fire and/or explosion.”
Versions of the project, including the USB have been acquired by MoMA, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Walker Art Center, and the International Center of Photography. Sorry to dump on you like this.zip was the center spread in Printed Web 4 — seen here in MoMA's library at the head of the table.
Paul Soulellis and I have read from the zip file for The Classroom at the NY Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1, Queens, Conceptual Poetics Day at MISS READ in Berlin, Zine and Self-published Book Fair at the Baxter Street Camera Club of NY, and WordHack at Babycastles Gallery in NY.