Object Lessons: Softcover


Object Lessons
by Joe Scanlan

published by Kunstmuzeum aan Zee, Ostend
designed by Dexter Sinister, New York
printed by Lecturis, Einhoven

One of two books designed to fit together that are currently roaming the earth in search of each other, like mythic lovers navigating the global book sales, distribution, and tracking systems.

Joe Scanlan’s columns on art and design from the past twenty years of frieze and Artforum are gathered here as one long, picaresque narrative in which democracy plays the amiable lead role, only to be undermined by capitalism. From the Lumière Brothers’ use of their employees in the making of the first film to Tino Sehgal’s use of museum visitors in the production of his art, again and again we regress to the familiar, not on the basis of its merits but because it puts the most people at ease. However vexed we were by modernist ideology, the products resulting from the current consensus-based, consumer-driven service economy are really starting to depress me. I miss having to accept something whether I like it or not, if only for the bits of stunning genius that single-mindedness made possible. Consumer culture, where is thy victory? Product, where is thy sting?


Which begs the question
It all started 100 years ago when
On the one hand
On the other hand
Of course
Which reminds me
That is why
Speaking of stylists
That being said
I choose
Once upon a time

paperback, 4-color cover, perfect-bound, with four B&W illustrations
17.5 x 10.8 cm, 96 pages
ISBN 978-9-074694-06-3


Object Lessons

Letting object lessons speak for itself isn’t a cliché. It’s a testament to the passion and talent behind everything we do. It means we stand behind our objects with research and experience from actual problems we’ve defined, measured, and solved. Therefore, no decision, from strategy and development to design and user experience, is made lightly. And you’ll always see it in our lessons.

We made this book to provide readers with the most hands on, critical, and rewarding experience possible. The book engenders an atmosphere in which your own creative talent can flourish. We believe that great talent will do great work, so we only work with collectors who want the opportunity to shine. It’s our guiding philosophy, our promise, and our business model. We:

  • Craft provocative experiences
  • Push beyond the comfort zone
  • Take risks to move things forward
  • Stay away from cookie-cutter solutions

From idea to layout to editing to production, collaboration is (and always has been) part of our DNA. By combining our talents with your savvy mind, we’re able to produce object lessons that are functional yet elegant. We’re literally an open book. We know this publication is probably not the safe choice for most readers, and we’re 100% fine with that.

Here is the companion hardcover edition

Here is the original exhibition

Weight 7 oz
Dimensions 8 × 6 × 0.75 in