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Of the Subcontract, Or Principles of Poetic Right Nick Thurston

Nick Thurston
Information as Material
Artists' Books
13 × 19.6 × 1.7 cm

Softcover, perfect bound, mirror front and back covers, English text.

Published by information as material (York), August 2013; agented by Coach House Books (Toronto).

Featuring a foreword by McKenzie Wark and an afterword by Darren Wershler.

“The first ‘computers’ were people, hired to do the tedious work of creating accounting systems and tax roles for the administration of newly created bureaucratic structures in post-Revolutionary France. Of the Subcontract presents the poems of their descendants. While this imaginative project extends a line of conceptualist practice that shows us how forms of aesthetic expression take root in the broader culture and what the continuum of amateur and professional work is, it also shows us how poetic acts, like other modes of production, conceal the contradictions and inequities of labour and value in a global world.”

—Johanna Drucker, artist, author and Bernard Breslauer Professor of Bibliography, UCLA

“In an expanded field of writing Nick Thurston is changing the literary landscape. Unlike Francis Alÿs’ workers, who were moving mountains in the desert by shoveling sand,Thurston’s underpaid writers are moving (one spadeful at a time) Robert Smithson’s heap of language from one place to another, leaving us with language to be looked at / things to be read.”

—Kenneth Goldsmith, poet and founding Editor of Ubu Web


  1. Of the Subcontract, Or Principles of Poetic Right

Nick Thurston

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