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What is the sound of two heads reading?
On Tuesday, in a hushed sixth-floor reading room in New York University’s Bobst Library packed with students cramming for final exams, the answer might have seemed to be: nothing much.
But for three pairs of readers scattered among the laptop-laden tables, wearing special headphones hooked up to iPod Nanos and shuffling through a pile of suspiciously literary books, the act of reading was transformed into a strange — and sometimes very loud — drama of turning pages, pointing fingers and eerily drifting thoughts.
“The first thing you notice is that for a place dedicated to silence, there’s not really that much silence at all,” a British-accented voice whispered into the readers’ ears. “After a while you start to think that it might be better considered as a place dedicated to the collection of sounds.”
The readers, who had signed up in advance, were both the audience and the stars of “The Quiet Volume,” a 55-minute stealth performance piece by the British artists Ant Hampton and Tim Etchells being staged through Sunday by Performance Space 122 as part of the PEN World Voices Festival. (The piece, which also comes in a Spanish-language version, is also running at the Schomburg Center in Harlem.)
“The whole thing made you think about the nature of your sensory experience while reading, the relationship between the voice in your head and the words on the page,” said Jessica Harris, a graduate student who had just finished performing the piece with a friend.
An artist who helped paint the community-created Victor Jara mural on Bernal Heights Branch Library today asserted her rights to 90-day notice prior to destruction of the mural so that she may have an opportunity to remove it. Story from Indy Media.
Nora Roman, whose name is listed on the mural as one of the artists, sent a letter to the City Librarian Luis Herrera and other San Francisco officials asserting her rights under the California Art Preservation Act (CAPA).
CAPA provisions include a requirement that the owner of a work of art that is to be destroyed must give 90 days notice to the artist so that he or she may remove the work. No such notice had been given to Ms. Roman as of yesterday, October 2, the date the City Librarian announced that the mural would be painted out in two days, October 4. He spoke in the Bernal Heights Branch, during one of 11 previously-scheduled meetings citywide to discuss with the public the library’s open hours for the next five years.
Peter Warfield, Executive Director of Library Users Association, said it appeared that the library had made no effort to locate Ms. Roman, to offer her, as one of the artists, an opportunity to remove the mural. “Even though Nora Roman’s name is on the side of the mural as one of the artists, the library did not bother to let her know what it planned for the mural – namely complete destruction followed by replacement with something that leaves out any reference to the most important elements of the existing mural,” he said.
Mr. Warfield said the planned replacement gives an unexplained “financial fee” of $16,800 to the Friends of SFPL, where no such fee was involved in an original refreshment plan previously approved by the Library Commission in 2009.
From Colossal: I can’t remember the last time I saw the actual use of a rubber date stamp, most libraries exchanged them for fancy barcodes and other digital systems a decade ago.
But Italian artist Federico Pietrella who lives and works in Berlin has a fantastic use for them in his paintings made from thousands of densely stamped ink dates. In his enormous ink artworks Pietrella always stamps the current date, thus each of his pieces contains a clear timeline of the days he worked on it, often spanning two months. You can see much more on his website and watch a brief interview with artist courtesy of Deutsche Welle. (via visual news)
A Home for Sketchbooks of the World
For $25, any doodler, student, parent, graphic designer, architect (like Ms. Sumayang) or would-be artist with an idea can fill a 32-page sketchbook and add it to the collection. Some, like Ms. Sumayang, drop in; others sign up online. “I thought, ‘Why not?’ ” Ms. Sumayang said on a recent visit. “It’s down the road.”
For six years, the Sketchbook Project has been offering intimate glimpses into the imaginations of its worldwide contributors. Steven Peterman, a printmaker, and Shane Zucker, a Web developer, founded the project in Atlanta in 2006. They moved it to Brooklyn in 2009: first to Red Hook, then to Williamsburg in late 2010.
From the New York Times: Next year is the centennial of America's great folk legend, Woody Guthrie, and fortunately for all of us, and thanks to a grant from the IMLS, we will be able to view some of the artifacts he collected over the years.
Woody Guthrie saved paperwork documenting his peripatetic life, from utility bills for New York apartments to fliers protesting shanty demolitions in Seattle and lyrics for folk songs performed at a Los Angeles radio station. He and his family put some of the artifacts in scrapbooks, but that did not fend off damage over the years.
A scrapbook page with a letter from Woody Guthrie to his sister. Grants are helping preserve deteriorating scrapbooks.
The glues and album bindings weakened and failed. The page edges turned brittle and crumbled. Newspaper clippings yellowed and tore.
The Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives, which the family helps run at a tiny office in Mount Kisco, N.Y., has long had to keep researchers away from the more fragile scrapbooks. “Anytime anyone looked through, I knew we would lose a portion of it,” said Tiffany Colannino, the collection’s archivist. -- Read More
An upturn in graffiti nationwide has renewed debates about whether its glorification contributes to urban blight or is a sign of despair in a struggling economy.
As galleries, libraries serve artists and art-lovers
For studio artists of all kinds, finding opportunities to exhibit their work can sometimes seem like a lifelong quest. The popular and well-trafficked exhibit spaces in local libraries are one way that artists can catch a break and have their worked viewed by the public. Among the locals benefiting from this opportunity to exhibit their art this month are a painter from Hudson and a group of photographers based in and around Wrentham.
A really great artist can create wonderful things almost anywhere – on walls, grounds, lips, eyelids, or on book pages. Look at these paintings from Mike Stilkey, I bet everyone would think of one same word “wow”. But wait, and imagine what will happen when these books fall apart onto the ground…
Rachael Morrison: Having a job as Senior Library Assistant at The Museum of Modern Art Library has been a big influence on my artistic practice. I use the library for research and inspiration, and as a site of investigation. In early 2010, I began the performance “Smelling the Books“, which consists of me smelling every book in the MoMA Library collection. This performance was recently highlighted in New York Magazine as one of the many reasons to love New York.
My performance started with the first call number in the Library of Congress classification system AC5.S4 1934, Sermons by Artists, and I will smell until I reach ZN3.R45, Bibliography of the History of Art. I document the performance in a ledger, recording the call number, title, and a description of the smell of each book. The goal of this personal olfactory exploration is to foster a discussion of the future of print media, the ways we read, methods of classification, and the way in which smell is entwined with memory.