TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINT March 2003

OUTSIDE THE BOX: UNPACKING CRAIG OWENS’S SLIDE LIBRARY

For a critic, a slide collection is the most personal of artifacts. These are the images set aside to remember; here is the record, in miniature, of a life in art—slides acquired in the process of writing review after review or making ubiquitous visits to the galleries. A slide box is a seedbed of the imagination, a record of memory, a resource. Its contents beg to be arranged into so many narratives of art history—articles, books to be written one day. Most never come to pass. The idea doesn’t test out. The art suddenly looks stale. Time is short.

The slide is a passé technology. The last vestige of the bulky, black-and-white lantern plates of the nineteenth century—still found in the grand art-history departments, which do not quite know what to do with them—the Ektachrome is rapidly being replaced by the thumbnail jpeg, the carousel projector by PowerPoint. Next to the digital image the

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