Housed in a wooden display crate in Long Island, the Library of the Printed Web is ‘a collection of works by artists who use screen capture, image grab, site scrape and search query to create printed matter from content found on the web.’
The collection includes zines of Twitter feeds and photography books compiling images from Google Street View. The proprietor is Paul Soulellis, an artist and creative director based in New York who began accumulating ‘web culture articulated as printed artifact’ in 2013. Soulellis presented a very interesting talk about the Library of the Printed Web at the opening of 57th Venice Biennale and recently published Printed Web #1, the first publication devoted to web-to-print art and discourse. The 64-page tabloid newspaper is available in The Newsagent now for £13 including delivery. Here’s what Paul has to say about the publication:
In October 2013 I invited several web-to-print artists whose work I collect for Library of the Printed Web to contribute new work for an exhibition. The show would take the form of a 64-page publication. The result is Printed Web #1.
These are artists who sift through enormous accumulations of images and texts on the web—hunting, grabbing, compiling and publishing. Nearly all of the artists here (Mishka Henner, Joachim Schmid, Clement Valla, Benjamin Shaykin, Christian Bök, David Horvitz, Penelope Umbrico and Chris Alexander) use the search engine for navigation and discovery, enacting a kind of performance with data. Additionally, pivotal texts by Hito Steyerl and Kenneth Goldsmith suggest a narrative frame for examining the work.
Printed Web #1 does not define a movement or an aesthetic; rather, it implies something spatial, or a new way of working in the world. Perhaps these pages present evidence of an emerging web-to-print practice forming around the artist (as archivist), the web (as culture) and publishing (as both an old and a new schema for expressing the archive).