artists & participants
The latest block of Charlottenborg’s Research Programme operates under the auspices of New York designers Dexter Sinister, working with the American writer Angie Keefer and the Danish art historian Lars Bang Larsen and employing the compound name ‘Dexter Bang Sinister’. The centerpiece of the programme is a ‘sensorium’ – a psychedelic installation that the collaborators have created in one of Charlottenborg’s galleries.
Dexter Sinister is a designer-editor-publisher duo established in 2006 by Stuart Bailey and David Reinfurt. Their activities, which include a workshop and bookstore in New York, explore the possibilities of publishing in both printed and digital form – and often in relation to art production. Many of their projects are site-specific and time-sensitive, including publications and events produced live in galleries over set periods of time.
The sensorium that Dexter Sinister and their collaborators have created for Charlottenborg takes the form of a freestanding room, a ‘stimulation box’ offering an immersive experience of experimental artworks and artifacts. The contents includes a number of works by Dexter Sinister, including carpet tiles, silkscreen wallpaper and a looping 16mm film; along with examples of Scandinavian psychedelic experiments collected by Larsen, including: metamorphic slides by Steen Thure Krarup (a member of the Danish psychedelic light group King Kong, 1969-1972); digital prints by Charlotte & Sture Johannesson from The Digital Theatre (1972-1986); and a lava lamp quoting Jes Brinch's exhibition Funky Groovy Chill-Out from 1997.
All of these works were originally created in black-and-white: a stripped-down, low-grade expression at odds with our received understanding of psychedelia. As Larsen ponders, "The question remains, how to combine idealism with the skepticism and self-reflection that turns it into an artistic tool rather than an end in itself?"
The sensorium will remain in situ for nine months, during which time the collaborators will stage a symposium and other events, and produce a journal that reflects their psychedelic research. The latter will form part of a series of bulletins produced by Dexter Sinister and Keefer – previously in collaboration with organisations such as MoMA and the Banff Centre – under the title of The Serving Library. Texts can be downloaded as they are produced (see www.servinglibrary.org) while the final publication will be launched in the autumn.
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Dexter Bang Sinister
Dexter Sinister (Stuart Bailey & David Reinfurt), Angie Keefer, Lars Bang Larsen