Last night I went to the launch of 'The Reader' by Guestroom, an artists edition book on the subject of Libraries, that is part of a greater body of work Guestroom are creating around collections, and libraries, including the Laswon Park Electronic Library that I've been asked to collaborate on. My first involvement in this is also my contribution to the book: an email of my initial thoughts on creating the library.
The book itself is beautiful fulfilling all of my book-as-fetish-object desires, from the lovingly screen printed cover designs that reflect my images of 'real' book covers, the patterns used inside it, the weight of the paper and the typesetting.It seems a crime to read it, to thumb through it and break the spine, to carry it with me to allow me ot absorb it and for it to be battered by that journey. But it is useful art to me, as well as beautiful art, and so it will be read, absorbed, and re-contextualised. It's use adding personal value to the object, whilst (perhaps) removing it from the art object.
The content is inspiring. From reading through the first couple of pages, and dipping into some random pages, it's made me consider ideas and directions, ways of using and presenting the Lawson Park Electronic Library that had previously been unformulated seeds, and are now blossoming in my mind. Let's hope we can do a fraction of them.
It's also nice seeing my email, in print. It made me re-appraise what I'd written, and think of it in a different context. It being the end of the book, but the start of the process of creating the library, was very poignant for me, spurring me on in my drive to make something unique, because of the feeling of something virtual becoming something real.
The reuse of my email, intended to introduce and start a process, full of typos, spelling mistakes, and wording I might not have used in a published piece is also nice. The permanence of it, the fact that I can not go back and edit it, might forever change the way I write emails, the way I compose myself.Â
This is a task I'd already set of myself of late in the gathering of my output onto the web, which now has much more of a sense of permanence than it did when I started this website. The content of this database, my personal public library of thoughts, actions and events, is no longer in my control, it's indexed and aggregated and archived elsewhere, in servers I can only imagine the location of, owned by companies and people I will never meet, perhaps one day becoming the knowledge of a singularity I will never know.
â€¢ Review at ArtVehicle