"'The Alchemy of...Stupid' documents Los Angeles-based artist Edgar Arceneaux's multi-channel video installation of the same name, which was commissioned and exhibited by Gallery 400, College Architecture and the Arts, University of Illinois at Chicago. Centered on video footage of popular comedian David Alan Grier performing at three sites in Chicago, the resulting artwork calls into question the relationship between performer and audience, comedy and comedian, and laughter and pathos. Alongside stills from the video, the book presents facsimile reproductions of pages from a notebook kept by Arceneaux during the production of the work, as well as transcripts of some of Grier's routines. Together, the materials offer a revealing look into the formative processes of both comedy and art." -- publisher's statement.