2008. Biennial 2008

"This book was published on the occasion of the 2008 Biennial at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and Pittsburgh Filmmakers, May 3rd - August 24th."

"This book is a hand bound limited edtion and as such has no ISBN nor any place in the Library of Congress. It does, however, contain the hard work of Pittsburgh artists and deserves a special place on your bookshelf, coffee table, computer desk, or in that little basket of reading material in your WC."

The publishers of this, Encyclopedia Destructica, are/were one of my 2 favorite artist bk publishers in Pittsburgh. This came in 2 bks, the above quotes came from the back of the title page of Book 1. In Book 1 the sides of the pages are printed in such a way so that when the bk is closed one can see "2008 BIENNIAL" spelled out on the side opposite the spine. The covers are thick cardboard. 101 pp are printed on, most of it in high resolution color.

The 2nd bk is a box containing a DVD & individual pp folded not quite in the middle in such a way so that the contributor's name shows at the top. One side has an image, the inside, w/ the name, has explanatory txt.

The curators of the Biennial were George Davis & Laura Domencic. The Encyclopedia Destructica publishers were Jasdeep Khaira & Christopher Kardambikis. As far as I know, their press is no longer active, wch is definitely a big shame. When it was active they'd have binding parties at their space where people wd help assemble their many publications in a convivial atmosphere.

This biennial presented the work of;

Matthew Barton

Kim Beck

Josh Bonnet

Edgar Um Bucholtz

Jenifer Cooney

Nicole Czapinski & Bryan Kyckelhahan

Rebecca Einhorn

Vanessa German

Will Giannotti

Hilary Harp + Suzie Silver

Margaret Cox & Michael Johnsen

Sun Young Kang

Greg Karkowsky

Bob LaBobgah

Bovey Lee

Golan Levin

Christopher Lisowski

Denise Mahone

Eileen Maxson

Buzz Miller

Carin Micemoyer

Juliana Morris

Jim Mueller

Gordon Nelson

Greg Pierce / The Orgone Archives

Paper Rad

Ed Parrish Jr. & Carley Jean Parrish

Drew Pavelchak

Robert Raczka

Tom Sarver

Keith Tassick


Dylan Vitone

Barbara Weissberger

Adam Welch

& Encyclopedia Destructica

This catalog (& the 2003 Biennial one also made by Encyclopedia Destructica) is (are) so beautifully produced that it truly bothers me that ED seems to be no more. How cd Pittsburgh allow such an incredible endeavor to go under? I don't know whether the EDitors lost momentum or funding or both. Chris moved away, maybe to continue schooling in LA, & never came back. Maybe that was the beginning of the end. Whatever the case, I treasure the 4 amazing ED publications I have work in & the few other ones that I'm lucky to have copies of.

The curator's Introduction in Book 1 is as follows:

"The current moment is always chaos. Only by looking ahead or behind do we find any order at all and very often, we find that order through art. And as each moment continues to evolve in this chaos, the concept of "what is art" evolves with it. We found that the artistic exchange, the sharing of a thoughtful experience with another person, was our compass in finding this group of powerful artists.

"The 2008 Biennial reflects a moment of the Pittsburgh art scene in a wide array of mediums, themes and styles. As we searched through the abundance of talent in this region, we were impressed by what we found. Astists who embrace tradition in the context of now and master new technology for artistic expression, they offer us glimpses of what was and what the future might be."

I know some of the artists but certainly don't know most of them. People whose work has consistently caught my attn are Bob Labobgäh, Tom Sarver, & Adam Welch but that's misleading b/c I've found something noteworthy about the work of every participant in the exhibit.

Greg Pierce & Michael Johnsen, eg, constituted Orgone Cinema, the 1st people to host my giving presentations in PGH before I even moved here. Orgone ran one of my favorite screening series, a series that made PGH an exceptional place for experimental film. Ditto Jim Mueller & Gordon Nelson, whose Jefferson Presents screening series (done along w/ Adam Abrams) came along after Orgone & continued to carry the projector bulb torch.

Edgar Um Bucholtz has been one of the more advanced music impressarios. Jenifer Cooney, Rebecca Einhorn, Vanessa German, Hilary Harp + Suzie Silver, Margaret Cox, Golan Levin, Buzz Miller, Carin Micemoyer, Paper Rad, Ed Parrish Jr. & Carley Jean Parrish , Drew Pavelchak, Keith Tassick.. these are all people whose work I'd pd some attn to before this Biennial. The ones I didn't know before I shd be paying attn to now.

Such large exhibits pull together groups that can form a strong presence, they can give a sense of what's happening in a city that wd otherwise remain disparate. I'm grateful to the Biennials for that service. Making it even better is when such a fantastic catalog is also produced, one that leaves us w/ such a solid object that prolongs the experience in such a high quality way long after the exhibit itself is a vague memory. I'm very grateful this exists & deeply honored to be part of it. Thank You.

Having now lived in Pittsburgh for over 20 yrs I'm conscious of how fleeting many of the cultural events are here that one might take for granted while they're in progress. Orgone & Jefferson Presents are essentially gone, Jim & Gordon have moved on to different cities. George Davis is no longer a curator for the PCA, Encyclopedia Destructica is no longer publishing. The Biennials were in danger of disappearing for awhile. Don't take these things for granted! Vital things can die away & not necessarily be replaced, culture needs a constant infusion of inspiration & enthusiasm. This catalog presents that inspiration & enthusiasm, let it be a constant reminder of how good things can be.




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