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University of Reading

by Dexter Sinister



University of Reading is a practice-based Philosophy Doctorate that broadly surveys Dexter Sinister's work since 2006 in light of a variety of other writers and artists' thinking and doing using Umberto Eco’s ‘Form as Social Commitment’ as a launching point. University of Reading was originally assembled by Stuart Bertolotti-Bailey, and submitted in September 2014 to the Department of Fine Art at The University of Reading under the title “Work in Progress: From as a Way of Thinking”. Now, three and a half years on, it is being made available under Badlands Unlimited’s “Files" series under the shared DS pseudonym (though still in the first person—a kind of “royal I") and with a slightly shifted title.

Beyond a few cosmetic changes, the PDF remains the same as when first submitted. For better or worse, it looks like what it is – a very long semi-academic, black-and-white A4 document built in Microsoft Word that complies with university house style. Given that one of the key ideas it examines and promotes is how formal containers and distribution channels can carry as much information as their ostensible content, it seems appropriate to leave the original thesis form intact. The document itself is 482 pages long.

This work is part of the series Files, available exclusively on Badlands’s website. Artists in the 21st century have a multitude of technological options for creating artworks. Using a computer, artists now print paintings, extrude sculptures from plastic compounds, even automate entire performances from a laptop. But whatever the form the work finally takes, it was first and foremost a file—a computer file that the artist created in order to control and direct the devices at her disposal. Artists using technology are all, in this regard, filemakers.

A file is the work before the work. It is the “score” that directs the printer, or projector, or speaker to create the form of expression we experience. And as such, artist files hold immense value and potential in contemporary culture. They are works in their own right that illuminate the sensibilities and ideas of some of the most compelling artists working today.

Each file is created by the artist and is saved as a document derived from the originating software that the artist used to create the file and subsequent work. As an essential element of the final work, the file is unique in how it manifests the “spirit” of what the work ends up becoming.

Please read the terms of agreement before purchasing. By downloading this file you have declared that you have read and agreed to the terms.

If you are an institutional purchaser, the cost of a digital license is $1000 for a ten (10) year license. Please select Institutional purchase on BUY NOW button above. If Purchaser’s institution intends to use a Download as a college course offered for credit or non-credit, whether in an online, hybrid, broadcast, or video based format, then payment of Course License Fees or Student Only Fees will apply.


PDF, JPEG, TextEdit file

115.4 MB

Downloaded as a specially designed disk image installer (.dmg). Recommended for Apple computers.


Dexter Sinister

Dexter Sinister is the working name of Stuart Bertolotti-Bailey and David Reinfurt. In 2006, Dexter Sinister established a workshop and bookstore of the same name in New York, and have since explored aspects of contemporary publishing in diverse contexts. As well as designing, editing, producing, and distributing both printed and digital media, they have also worked with ambiguous roles and formats, usually in the live contexts of galleries and museums. These projects generally play to some form of site-specificity, where a publication or series of events are worked out in public over a set period of time.