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Middletown, CT: The Library Project

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  • rprice@wesleyan.edu
    Mainly of interest to regional PPLers-- The wonderful installation at Wesleyan Library (and at 100s of sites on campus and in the town of Middletown) runs
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 9, 2003
      Mainly of interest to regional PPLers--
      The wonderful installation at Wesleyan Library (and at 100s of sites on campus and in
      the town of Middletown) runs through Nov 30th, and the intriguing symposium is this
      Thursday, Nov 13th.
      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
      The Library Project at Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
      The Library Project is an installation of artworks that explore the
      nature of the library: its vastness, its continuing proliferation, and the
      peculiarities of its organization. The project is by Professor of Art
      Jeffrey Schiff with students James Jacobus '03, Myra Rasmussen '04, and Aki
      Sasamoto '04. On display through November 30th, 2003. For more
      information, see http://thelibraryproject.wesleyan.edu/.

      [also: press release follows below "Where Numbers Equal Books in the Name of Art"--rp]
      - - - - - - - -



      a symposium on the organization of knowledge in the library and the disciplines

      Barbara Jones, Caleb T. Winchester University Librarian, Moderator

      Suzy Taraba, University Archivist and Head of Special Collections
      Every Book Its Reader: A History of Library Classification

      Andrew Curran, Assistant Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures
      Classifying Monstrosities

      Barry Chernoff, Director of Environmental Studies Program
      Is Biology Putting Organisms In The Right Shelves?

      Jeffrey Schiff, Professor of Art and Art History
      The Ecstatic of the Library

      THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2003

      OLIN MEMORIAL LIBRARY, Smith Reading Room

      Free And Open To The Public

      For more information, contact Suzy Taraba at (860) 685-3375 or

      Sponsored by Olin Memorial Library, the Department of Art and Art History,
      and the Mellon Center
      - - - - - - -
      [press release on Jeffrey Schiff's Library Project]

      Where Numbers Equal Books in the Name of Art

      (MIDDLETOWN, CT) -- There is something strangely
      familiar about the string of numbers and letters
      on the wall at Neon Deli in Middletown. A similar
      string is posted in O'Rourke's Diner. And at the
      Destinta Theater. And all over the Wesleyan
      University Campus.

      Secret code? A new Homeland Security initiative? International phone numbers?

      Library books.

      New numbers are part of an intriguing art
      installation created by Jeffrey Schiff, a
      professor of art at Wesleyan. Each number - there
      are more than 500 of them - corresponds to a
      specific book in the Wesleyan's four on-campus
      Libraries. The books, in turn, relate to
      something about the physical location where the
      call numbers were placed.

      For example, the number placed above the meat
      slicer at Neon Deli, GT2860 R36 2003, is the call
      number for How we eat : appetite, culture, and
      the psychology of food by Leon Rappoport. The
      call number at O'Rourke's - NA7855.G87 2000 is
      the number for American diner : then and now by
      Richard J.S. Gutman. A number on a tree by a
      local parking lot, QK477.2.6 T73 1999 refers to
      Tree-ring analysis : biological, methodological,
      and environmental aspects edited by R. Wimmer and
      R.E. Vetter. A number on the front of Wesleyan's
      Olin Memorial Library, LC 3.4/2: 92/2003 is a
      match for a series of copyright information
      circulars from the Library of Congress. Copyright

      And there are more than 500 others.

      Schiff says the installation in part came out of
      his desire to do a project that would "explore
      the institution of the library as an index to the
      larger world." It is also has roots in a project
      he did in the mid-1990s that used art to explore
      the foundations and presuppositions of Diderot's

      The idea is to challenge people to see the
      profound influence of the library on their daily
      lives and draw them into the library.

      "The basic strategy has been to mark the world in
      terms of the library," Schiff says, "This project
      aims to reverse the customary view that the
      library is an index to the world, and instead to
      see the world as an index to the expanding
      universe of the library."

      It also offers a clear element of fun.

      More than two years in the making, the
      installation was created by Schiff and three of
      his students. It is one of eight art exhibits
      created by his group for the Olin Library. The
      others are titled "Planet," "Yeast," "Deluge,"
      "Number," "Worlds of�," "Masterpiece,"
      "Excavations" and "Index." The projects are
      supported by The Christian Johnson Foundation,
      Wesleyan's Office of Academic Affairs, and Olin
      Memorial Library.

      For more information contact Jeffrey Schiff at
      860-685-3525 or jschiff@...

      Robin Price, Printer & Publisher
      Starr Mill, Beverly Heights
      Middletown, CT 06457
      tel 860-344-8644 fax 860-344-0344
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