Hans Ulrich Obrist

The first collected writings by the internationally acclaimed Swiss curator, Hans Ulrich Obrist, referred to in the art world as an “international curating machine.” Obrist, the Zelig of the art world, is best known for the 300 legendary interviews he’s conducted since 1993 with a Who’s Who of contemporary art, science, design, linguistics and architecture. He has also earned wide acclaim for his extraordinary exhibitions, which often take place in spaces not normally used as exhibition venues. Featured in this long-anticipated publication are selected prefaces from past exhibition catalogs and artists? publications, extensive magazine articles on art and architecture, and an introduction by renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas.

Sternberg, New York/Berlin
June 2006, Hardcover, 7 x 9 1/4 inches
128 pp, text only
ISBN: 1-933128-06-2 · Retail Price: $39.00


Heat Island

Isla Leaver-Yap (Ed.)

Touch is the theme of the seventh issue of Book Works’ annual journal for and about experimental art writing, Happy Hypocrite – Heat Island, guest-edited by film curator Isla Leaver-Yap. The act of touching is the body’s only unmediated form of acquiring embodied knowledge and experiencing the texture of the present tense. This issue seeks to understand how hands, as both digital and analogous devices, physically traverse and negotiate knowledge, and bring to our attention the sensation of approaching knowledge. For this issue, Isla Leaver-Yap selected writings by Elaine Cameron-Weir, Allison Gibbs, Will Holder, Duncan Marquiss, Giuseppe Mistretta, Park McArthur, Paul Nash, Francis Sanzaro, Mary Simpson and Dena Yago. Leaver-Yap, independent curator and scholar who organized the influential Naught to Sixty contemporary exhibition series at London’s ICA, recently joined the Walker Art Center as their 2014 Bentson Visiting Film Scholar.

Release Date: October 2014
6 1/2 x 9 inches / 96 pp / 10 b&w and 8 color
ISBN: 978-1-906012-65-6 · Retail Price: $19.95



Hannah Sawtell (Ed.)

Issue 9 of The Happy Hypocrite, #ACCUMULATORPLUS, is the journal’s first issue to solicit sound-based and sound-inspired contributions alongside experimental images and text. Opening the journal to music, and exploring radio as a radical method of distribution, #ACCUMULATORPLUS searches (amidst the crushing effects of a rent- and debt-based economy) for inspiring ways of resisting the cooptation of radical culture—by revisiting recent underground histories spanning rave, pirate radio, Detroit techno and east London grime. The archive pages are dedicated to the memory of the co-founder of Kiss FM, Colin Faver—an organizer, promoter, designer and musical pioneer. This publication, edited by Hannah Sawtell and director Maria Fusco, contains contributions and new work by Morehshin Allahyari, Jennifer Lucy Allan, Franco Berardi, John Cussans, Jlin, John Lawrence, Kieron Livingstone, Angela McClanahan, Louis Moreno, Emily Pope and Ruth Angel Edwards, Anthony “Shake” Shakir, Tai Shani and Jonathan P. Watts.

February 2017 / Issue 9 / Softcover
6 ½ x 9 in. / 98 pp / Extensive color
ISBN: 978-1-906012-77-9 · Retail Price: $19.95


Fresh Hell

Sophia Al-Maria (Ed.)

The latest in The Happy Hypocrite series, Fresh Hell is a rush of full-bleed film stills, war-games images, oil industry pamphlets and sexually explicit female imagery interspersed with interviews, illustrated stories and provocative writings addressing directly and indirectly the subject of oil. Guest editor Qatari-American artist/writer Sophia Al-Maria’s archiving acts as a sort of proto-Tumblr. Adopting an exploded intake methodology, this issue offers a hoarding, brutally accelerative approach that suggests that reading, too, is an unsustainable activity. A substantial interview with science fiction writer William Gibson by Al-Maria, and contributions by several international artists including New Zealand installation artist Judy Darragh, Cairo artist/curator Omar Kholeif and London-based artist/writer Francesco Pedraglio, among others, complete the book. Al-Maria authored The Girl Who Fell to Earth (HarperCollins) and participated in New Museum Triennial 2015. Her first solo show will be at the Whitney Museum in 2016.

2015 / Issue 8 / Softcover
6 ½ x 9 inches / 114 pp / Extensive color
ISBN: 978-1-906012-72-4 · Retail Price: $19.95

Charles Harrison

Looking Back

When Charles Harrison died in 2009, the British art world lost a pivotal figure. From curating the groundbreaking 1969 exhibit, “When Attitudes Become Form” at London’s Institute of Contemporary Art; to co-writing the hyper-influential, three-volume work Art in Theory; to teaching art history to thousands in much-admired “plain English”: Harrison’s influence on the British art scene cannot be overestimated. This collection of autobiographical interviews – a fitting tribute to Harrison – opens a window into the thinking of the tireless critic and riveting professor who railed against second-rate art with his trademark motto, “Better fewer, but better.” Harrison re-caps decades of experience, retrospectively looking at trends, art historical events, institutions and artists, synthesizing it all with the brilliance he was known for. The volume also includes Harrison’s own visual documentation of the art world: a selection of his own images of exhibitions he visited, art works he championed and artists’ and critics’ studios and homes. Former students recall these impeccable photos as one of the delights of his lectures. “Harrison had the gift of making people see things they had not seen before, and even more, to think about what it was they were seeing, and to reflect on the consequences,” wrote The Times of London. Looking Back offers an unprecedented opportunity to experience one of the art world giants of our time. Interviews with Jo Melvin, Teresa Gleadow, Pablo Lafuente, Juliette Rizzi, Sophie Richard, Elena Crippa, Christopher Huer and Matthew Jesse Jackson.

Ridinghouse, London
February 2011 / Softcover / 6 x 8.25 inches / 256 pp / 60 b&w
ISBN: 978-1-905464-29-6 · Retail Price: $39.95


Abstract from the Concrete

Marxist geographer and professor of anthropology and geography at the Graduate Center, City University, NY, David Harvey is featured in the latest addition of Harvard Graduate School of Design’s cutting-edge book series, The Incidents. Harvey’s lecture opens with the fact that between 2011 and 2013 China consumed 50 percent more concrete than the United States did in the entire 20th-century. In Abstract from the Concrete, Harvey investigates why. Spiraling outward—geographically and materially—he travels from the building industry in China to the foreclosed housing market in the United States to the automobile industry in São Paolo and back again. The “why” emerges as a direct result of “anti-value”—of capital in crisis, a situation he contends is intrinsic to capital and capital cities today. Included also is an interview with David Harvey by Mariano Gomez Luque and Daniel Ibañez. The Incidents is an ongoing series archiving events and lectures at the Graduate School of Design between 1936 and tomorrow!

Available / Softcover
5 ¼ x 8 ¼ in. / 174 pp
ISBN: 978-3-95679-261-8 · Retail Price: $19.95


Mo-Leeza Roberts

Mo-Leeza Roberts’s novel Head is like an existential Dickens or satirical version of the film Salo, written, directed and starred in by Barbara Gladstone. Roberts, both critical and complicit, describes a desperate future that clusters around the Head Gallery like cockroaches around a pig’s head. She remakes the art world into a sci-fi tale populated by curatorial artspeak, artists, collectors, hanger-ons and other artworld actors who explode in ecstasy, pain or self-induced eradication—all according to the whims of Head Gallery, an anonymous and inviolate force, overseer of events and selfless accumulator of prestige and wealth. Familiar contemporary artists are reanimated in this imaginative and darkly humorous future, giving the events described an unsettling familiarity. The Head Gallery is based in New York and Shanghai and operates between 2078 and the present.

February 2016 / Softcover
4 ½ x 7 ½ inches / 160 pp / 2 b&w
ISBN: 978-1-906012-67-0 · Retail Price: $25.00



Triple Canopy (Ed.)

Headless is a mystery novel written by the fictional author K.D. When workaday author John Barlow is asked to ghostwrite a novel about secretive tax havens, he assumes the job will be straightforward. Then he learns that his employers, Swedish conceptual artist duo Goldin+Senneby, want him to investigate Headless Ltd., a shadowy company with possible links to French philosopher Georges Bataille, famed for his fixation with human sacrifice. Barlow travels to Nassau, the mecca of offshore finance, to uncover the plot. He is not alone. A beautiful, mysterious woman is also seeking the truth about Headless and Barlow. One day the ghostwriter is happily posting to his travel blog; the next he is implicated in the decapitation of a police officer, consumed by the dark world of covert capitalism and secret societies. Barlow’s probing becomes desperate. The more he grasps at the threads of the labyrinthine plot, the closer he comes to madness. Introduction by Alexander Provan.

Release Date: May 2015
Softcover / 6 1/4 x 10 1/2 inches / 348 pp
ISBN: 978-3-95679-026-3 · Retail Price: $25.00


Contour Biennale 8

Natasha Ginwala (Ed.)

The Contour Biennale 8, Polyphonic Worlds: Justice as Medium, curated by Natasha Ginwala, brings together 25 international and local artists and art collectives working in lens-based media, sound, performance, drawing and installation. Taking place in Mechelen, Belgium (2017), the exhibition embraces the communal spirit of the biennale by including many-sided collective voices as well as discrete, individual creative positions. The accompanying reader, Hearings, like the exhibition, takes a polyphonic approach borrowed from juridical and musical spheres. Originally published as an online journal, Hearings is comprised of 32 texts tracing the artistic processes, conceptual methods and historical research—including textual, images and video-based contributions— of a range of artists, writers, poets, anthropologists and filmmakers. Artists and writers range from Hunter Braithwaite and Trevor Paglen to T. J. Demos, Basir Mahmood and Cooking Sections. This is not a traditional reader but complements the biennale, engaging current ideas and discourses, reorienting relationships around the artwork as a site of evidence and as a testimonial record.

October 2017 / Exhibition catalog / Softcover
6 x 8 ¾ in. / 248 pp / Extensive b&w and color
ISBN: 978-3-95679-297-7 · Retail Price: $25.00


The Uncertainty Principle

Within the realm of science, the uncertainty principle speaks of the fundamental limits of knowledge and measurement vis-à-vis the external world. Critic Martin Herbert’s compact collection of essays examine layers of unknowing and open-endedness within a diversity of contemporary art practices since the 1970s. If a work of art is always completed by the viewer, as Marcel Duchamp put it, then the works considered here equate completion with construction. In navigating us through a succession of artists’ approaches, Herbert, an associate editor for ArtReview and frequent contributor to Artforum and Frieze, discloses how constructed experiences of “not knowing” can lead to deep engagements to themes from history to politics, epistemology to our own mortality.

July 2014 / Softcover
5 x 8 1/4 inches / 184 pp / 39 b&w
ISBN: 978-3-95679-001-0 · Retail Price: $26.00