Out of Order: Bad Display III, RVB Books and Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne ECAL, Lausanne, 2018

Out of Order: Bad Display consists of images of screens cropped from used and broken LCD TVs, computer monitors, and laptops found for sale on eBay, Craigslist, and Alibaba. There are thousands of them there, sitting, in a kind of purgatorial state, waiting to be wanted, recounting the failure of their own promising technology. Neither dead nor alive, all screens are invisible until something goes wrong. Descended from order, now out of order, these screens are muted, voiceless, marked by flaw, or by hand, or by their own inner liquid chemical flow.

Here, in their final presentation, ephemeral images of broken material objects materialize once again as ink on paper - digital signal transcribed to ink. Umbrico further emphasizes the materiality of these worn, obsolete and sold-for-parts objects by over-inking the press during printing. This intervention undermines the precision of the press and the slick-ness of the screen, calling attention to the material messiness of both.

While the intervention expresses the particularity of these objects and renders each copy of the book unique, its unbound form further subverts the idea of order. The clean readable screen, the precision of the printing press, and the typically accepted structure of a book, are all in question here: to view the book as a whole, the images are fragmented; to view a whole image, you must take the book apart. Out of Order: Bad Display destabilizes the organizational logics of the book and the screen, requiring incompatible maneuvers to view one or the other.

Printed at:
Linco Printing, LIC, NY on Muller Martini Goss Community cold-set web press, April 2011 (ed.1)
Ediprim, Biel Bienne, CH on Heidelberg XL75-5 press, April 2016 (ed.2)
Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne ECAL, Lausanne, CH, on Heidelberg SX 52-5, June 2018 (ed.3)
This 3rd edition repurposes and combines the two prior editions (100 each saved for this purpose).