In this video-interview, Stuart Bailey, a founding editor of Dot Dot Dot and person behind New York’s Dexter Sinister, gives substance to the words and references in this list, while talking about his multi-faceted work as editor, writer and graphic designer, and his research for pertinent new economic models for publishing and distributing books today.
The scale of Dexter Sinister is modest: 16m², three shelves and a handful of books for sale. But what’s at stake in this small basement space on the Lower East Side is inversely proportional to its size. It is in this “Just-In-Time workshop and occasional bookstore” that Bailey, with his accomplices David Reinfurt and Sarah Crowner, formulates an informed criticism of the classical production chains, exploring the mechanisms of print-on-demand, and redefining strategies for the dispersion of printed material. At Dexter Sinister, the division of roles and tasks on which publishing usually rests – between writing, designing, curating, editing, printing, distributing – has been abandoned for new schemes that change according to the projects to fit their ideas and conditions best. Call it “beyond fanzine” or DIY (even if the same tools can be used sometimes), if Dexter Sinister continues to favor paper, it does so without narrow-mindedness, foraying also into exhibition, radio or performance… and composing new material, in stasis and fluid at once.
Stuart Bailey also publishes twice a year the journal Dot Dot Dot., which he and Peter Bilak founded in 2000. With 15 issues produced, DDD probably stands out as this decade’s most exciting periodical. Covering art, music, writing and graphic design, expanded to other territories, DDD plays with the discrepancy between austerity and playfulness in a carefully designed non-design style, undermining the concept of “visual culture” thanks to extreme attention to detail, a constant tension between subjects of study, enlightening references, and, above all, a generative energy.