Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Idea-sketch for a work in the meeting room of a new media company in Germany.
The images of this work originated when I was working on a proposal for a company working in the development of new media. Digital libraries belong to an emerging new culture. Thereby questions concerning production, collection, classification and dissemination of knowledge arise. How is the integrity and sustainability of these collections economically, technically and culturally guaranteed?
A digital culture does not mean that, say; the culture of the book will disappear. Different media having different qualities do not replace each other; -oral culture did not disappear with the invention of writing or with the appearance printed works.
Libraries, digital or otherwise, are just one element in a larger circle through which infomation travels from production to ultimate consumption. They fuse in a stream of synergy with other authors, publishers, distributors and user communities.
But libraries have to come to symbolize and to exemplify the values we impute to the entire circle.
What we say about digital libraries and how we understand them embodies and signals our attitude toward the place of information in our culture. To this extent, it is potentially of great significance how we construct digital libraries and how we talk about them and who is includedin the conversation.
The photographs for this image were taken the University library of Finland, Helsinki that underwent major changes at this point. It was in a transitory state at which it changed from a functioning library to an architectonical showcase, the books were moving out external storage places and were digitalized. Future plans for the beautiful main room of the library were to completely free it from his previous function. It was meant to become a “piazza academia”- a meeting point for discussion and science- what made it interesting for me to work with.
The high resolute image is a collage assembled by many 100 shots that I took in the summer 98/99 at the location. The images were digitized, puzzled together and forged to a panorama view. The interior was stripped free from reading desks and microfilm units and other irritations associated with functioning libraries. The image doesn’t have a deep sharpness that creates an alienating and artificial atmosphere.
The image was supposed to be printed on an UV resistant material that replaces the sunscreens of the window. With a simple switch the amber colored world would decent and change the atmosphere of the location.