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Complementing the exhibition The Serving Library v David Osbaldeston, here we present available copies of a family of publications that continue to feed The Serving Library’s archive of objects; each item in the gallery is the source of an illustration that usually triggered an essay in one of the journals on display.

Founded in 2000 in Amsterdam by graphic designers Peter Bilak, Stuart Bailey, Jurgen X Albrecht and Tom Unverzagt, Dot Dot Dot was published biannually for 20 issues over 10 years, gradually drifting from its founding subject to sprawl across the humanities according to the ebb and flow of its editorial makeup. Albrecht and Unverzagt left after the third issue and David Reinfurt supplanted Bilak in the mid-2000s.

In 2011, Bailey, Reinfurt and Angie Keefer established The Serving Library as a non-profit institution in New York to explore the new possibilities afforded by digital publishing, at which point Dot Dot Dot morphed into the institution’s house journal Bulletins of The Serving Library. The enterprise continues to be powered by, a website that simultaneously distributes and archives component ‘bulletins’ in distinct online and print formats. These bulletins comprise essays and related contributions, assembled and released each season on common themes such as time, psychedelia, fashion, sports, colour and perspective. For practical and conceptual reasons the last three print editions of Bulletins of The Serving Library shrank to half that of the original format.

Francesca Bertolotti-Bailey joined the editorial team in 2016 and helped set up a physical incarnation of The Serving Library in Liverpool as a base for teaching with a regular public programme of talks and events, then in 2017 the name and format changed once more to yield its current incarnation as Serving Library Annual – a hefty A4 volume now published every autumn. This year’s instalment, hot off the press, speaks to the subject of translation.

Featured Items

Ahead of the exhibition we’ll be highlighting just a few of the 100+ framed objects that make up The Serving Library collection over on our blog, along with the accompanying text from TSL’s website.

Founded in New York in 2011 and based in Liverpool since 2016, The Serving Library (TSL) is a non-profit organisation that serves as a publishing platform, a seminar room, a collection of framed objects, and an event space. The enterprise is rooted in a journal published biannually as Dot Dot Dot from 2000–10, Bulletins of The Serving Library from 2011–17, and now annually as The Serving Library Annual, released simultaneously online (for free) and in print (for a fee) every autumn.

This autumn Bonington Gallery will showcase TSL’s collection of framed objects; each one the source of an illustration that has appeared in one of the journals. The 100+ collection includes items as diverse as record sleeves, watercolours, woodcuts, polaroids, drawings, screen-prints, airbrush paintings, a car number plate, and a Ouija board. Together, these varied objects decorate the walls of the library to serve as a toolbox for teaching.

The space will be further populated by a new work by occasional Serving Library contributor David Osbaldeston, who – in response to a theme of translation – has produced a new series of images exploring how visual essentials such as black, white and repeating shapes progress through a sequence of depicted forms. As a system of signs that become open to subjective interpretation, each image is assisted by a single word, which could be seen either as an associative descriptor or erratic linguistic type.

Featured Items

Ahead of the exhibition we’ll be highlighting just a few of the 100+ framed objects that make up TSL collection over on our blog, along with the accompanying text from TSL’s website.

Exhibition photography courtesy of Jules Lister.