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PDF at Why + Wherefore

By Rhizome

Fia Backstrom and Danna Vajda, Conversation between Danna Vajda and Fia Backström 20th of July 2008 in Backström's exhibition That social space between speaking and meaning, detail. Via Why + Wherefore.
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PDF, a group exhibition presented by Why + Wherefore and curated by Summer Guthery, Lumi Tan and Nicholas Weist opened simultaneously this month on 19 July across more than 20 international venues. The exhibition was a reproducible selection of specially commissioned PDF files authored by the invited artists. It was installed at each of its material sites for a single day only, while the PDF files constituting the show remain freely available on Why + Wherefore's website, along with instructions for producing a material exhibition of the work. Adobe's 15 year old Portable Document Format is the successor to several alternative page description formats - like the more print-oriented Postscript (also developed by Adobe) - and has been popularized in the distribution of technical literature, business documents, electronically published texts, and artist portfolios. PDF likewise plays across this technology's many popular uses, with contributions including Fia Backström and Danna Vajda's engaging dialog on the meaning of content and the production of meaning, Bozidar Brazda's single-page concrete poem, Jordan Wolfson's book-length collage of found and original images and texts, Paul Ramirez Jonas' ascii drawing, Rachel Mason's playbill for a morbid re-imagining of the trial of a fallen dictator, Brian Clifton's serial memorial to the known victims of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, Sean Raspet's cryptic assemblage, and an arbitrary selection from Dexter Sinister's library.

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