Library Excavations #13: Indoor Dining

Half Letter Press

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This issue of Library Excavations draws on details of photos from 1980s issues of the food industry periodicals Institutions, Restaurants & Institutions, Quick Frozen Foods, and Restaurant Management found at Harold Washington Library. It was inspired in part by Erving Goffman’s book Gender Advertisements about advertising and gender stereotyping. For my part, I added examples of sexual innuendo, racial stereotyping, and capitalist surrealism, all of which were common in 1980s ads.

The food industry has been fully transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly 200 Chicago restaurants have closed forever, including many near the library. Restaurants constructed strange new outdoor, semi-enclosed eating spaces. Our entire relationship to indoor dining has changed. — Marc Fischer

Dimensions:  5.5 x 8.5", 30 pages
Materials:  Full color offset printed booklet


Half Letter Press

Library Excavations is a project and publication series by Public Collectors that highlights and activates physical materials found in public libraries. Library Excavations encourages intensive browsing of paper and print resources, particularly those that are under-utilized, or at risk of being withdrawn and discarded.

Half Letter Press is a publishing imprint and online store initiated by Temporary Services—Brett Bloom & Marc Fischer, who have published booklets as an element of their collaborative work since 1998. Half Letter Press was created to publish and distribute book and booklet length works by themselves and others, and to use this endeavor to build long-term support and expanded audiences for people that work creatively in experimental ways.