Negotiations is a book that comprises a multiplicity of definitions. In one sense it is a word-for-word reproduction of an antiques auction catalog (Christie’s New York, 1983). In another it is a book about the (re)production of images and text, and in another, it is a book that negotiates the role of the abstraction of value in art and its markets. And in another, it is about encyclopedic information, subjectivity and hermeneutics.
The form of the book is structured by a series of layers or sections. Part one is a modulated facsimile of the catalog itself, including comprehensive descriptions of auction house legalities and warranties, conditions of sales, as well as lot descriptions, provenance and bidding prices. For each lot is a corresponding image of a halftone pattern produced from a magnified section of the lots original photograph as presented in the catalog –an abstraction made from a representation that is itself an abstraction. Next follows of a series of appendixes : a) glossary of technical terms, b) a brief essay on the history and meaning of the halftone pattern, and c) an image atlas.
Negotiations is designed to provide the reader with a set of images, texts and information that enable a dialogical reading of the book, as both a material object and a discursive formation. Sean Micka New York, 2011