The General Public Library is a library/reading room project located at Art in General‘s Storefront Project Space. The project opens September 16-November 13, 2010 and will be accessible as an online resource as well. To start the library, I invited designers, publishers, curators, artists, galleries, and musicians to contribute publications to the project that reflect the donor’s practice, methodology, inspiration and interest. Visitors are encouraged to donate a favorite book to the library during the exhibition.
I approach the idea of a library with a focus on participation and the formation of community. In contrast to a traditional reading room–which can only be accessed for the duration of the show—the online catalogue of the General Public Library allows each visitor to browse and curate their own library within an existing and continually growing catalogue, beyond the physical installation. Each donation, as it is made, will be logged into the library cataloging system. As libraries begin to form and overlap, each book becomes a link between the book donor and other participants in the library. Inversely, when viewing one book, it is possible to see the interests of other participants.
Throughout the course of the exhibition, as visitors create their own selection of favorite books, the library will filter all donations into a catalog of the top 200 most popular books. These books will be added to the General Public Library permanent collection after the duration of the project.
Contributing participants include Art Metropole, aaaarg.org, Ooga Booga, Fillip, Printed Matter, Nieves, 2nd Cannons Publications, Capricious, Hassla, Golden Age, Medium Rare, Oslo Editions, Gottlund Verlag, Eastside Projects, Bedford Press, Stripe SF, New Jerseyy, Matt Keegan, North Drive Press, Project Projects, split/fountain, STUPENDOUS, The Holster, Bart de Baets, Andreas Banderas, Christian Brandt, Task Newsletter, Robin Cameron, Dante Carlos, ETCAMA, For Further Information, Espen Friberg and Aslak Gurholt Rønsen, GRAPHIC, David Horvitz, Marie Jager, Kingsboro Press, Zak Kyes, Lucky Dragons, Manystuff, Jennilee Marigomen, Miniature Garden, Radim Pesko, Laurel Ptak, Rollo Press, Peter Sutherland, Swill Children, Vance Wellenstein, Jessica Williams and YOU.
The General Public Library website, www.generalpubliclibrary.info, is based on Yours Mine Ours, a shared library designed and developed by Brian Watterson, Hank Huang and Zak Klauck. www.yoursmineours.net