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You may have noticed I didn't bother to transcribe all of the text in the book portion of the catalogue. I suppose by the time I'd done everything else I was feeling a bit fatigued, but also it felt less pressing —the box set and Flash website felt more in danger of being lost to time. If I ever get around to it, I'll add it here but, welcome the help. Email me if you complete that task and I'll share docs w/ attribution here.
As the Whitney no longer sells this catalog, I don't believe I've negatively impacted anyone’s potential earnings here, nor have I presented information in any way that would be detrimental to the individual artists' reputations.
The project is largely text-based, and intended to be educational and fun. I hope that by calling attention to what a deal this catalog is, some used book shops get some business from folks who want to see and hold all the stuff IRL, and art fans learn more about this collection of over 100 artists from a particular moment in history.
When looking at the box set works, poster sizes were rounded up. I initially measured 3-4 decimals out, but my assumption is that the very slight discrepancies in sizes were likely the result of full-bleed prints having been trimmed down.
Atop the Whitney’s original numbering of artists projects, I implemented my own system to keep track of files; so you'll see a bunch of stuff starting with WB04- (for Whitney Biennial 2004).
The projects box lists 107 works. However, one of those works is a collaboration between Harrell Fletcher & Miranda July. To account for the discrepancy between 107 projects and 108 artists, Fletcher & July are categorized as numbers 030a and 030b.
In the original box set, some artists’ names are out of alphabetical order:
I took screen-captures of all website content, combined multiple images (when scrolling was required to view), converted them to B&W & increased contrast, and finally processed them with Free Online OCR. These were opened in Open Office and finally exported as PDFs. Sadly I don't seem to have the Open Office docs anymore.
After processing screen-captures with OCR, I proofread them lightly to ensure that the correct line-breaks were present and that author initials had been transcribed correctly. I tried to also find glaring errors such as “the artist’s wort”, which should have been "work", etc.
There were some typos to begin with, such as Noémie Lafrance’s name not being written correctly with the é character, or the characters “naïve” appearing on Eric Wesley’s bio in the original website.
You might notice some areas where folders contain fewer than 107 artist examples; I think the "Links" section is one of them. When I looked at the original website, there were some pages missing.
Of the multiple catalog copies I own, I noticed one is clearly a lighter-shade of gray. Inside this particular box, I noticed differences in printing, namely the poster of The Weather Underground (WB04-036). It is usually printed on a medium weight, matte stock - but in the case of the lighter-box, it’s a thin high-gloss stock. I’m not sure if the set was printed at multiple locations or in editions ... but it seems like an error of sorts.
Whitney Biennial 2004 Website Today
At the time of my publishing this website (June 25, 2017) the original Whitney Biennial 2004 website seems to be inaccessible. I've tried opening the url [whitney.org/www/2004biennial/flash/main.swf] with Chrome Version 58.0.3029.110 (64-bit) and Version 8.0.6 (10600.6.3), and neither will open it. Chrome just suggests downloading the file main.swf.