Yesterday morning, on a whim of curiosity, my boyfriend and I attended the ‘I am making art’ morning at Spike Island – with Howling Owl Records. This was the first time, in a very long time, that I have put pen/charcoal/paint/rollers to paper, and it was a lot of fun. The aim was to get people involved and interacting with the art environment at spike (check), and also to create some fun prints to grace howling owl’s next party piñata (sort of check). Sitting in the gallery’s cafe, it was great to meet so many people taking advantage of getting involved, and hopefully – many more to come.
Later on in the afternoon, we stumbled upon an installation at Bristol library. It’s a shame there has not been more publicity around this work, because it’s really fantastic. Walking into the library’s turquoise tiled, vaulted entrance hall, one is greeted with row upon row of closed books. Clips, censors, shelves and some clever robotic technology also wave hello. On approaching closer they begin to flutter, and if you reach out to the books, they open with a mesmerising clatter of leaves and covers. It’s an incredibly fitting piece for promoting interaction with the cities libraries, beautifully highlighting the connections between art and writing, art and interaction, art and theory, art and technology.
Even more appropriately, the word technology comes from the ancient Greek words for the systematic treatment of art (technē) and logic (logia)). This logically constructed piece of art, storing the books in their static order, much in the same way a library categorises it’s stock encourages the viewer to interact and automatically think afresh on the ‘closed book’. Mirroring the problems of today’s libraries though, walking past on the street, one would not automatically realise the treasures inside. Lesson for the day: always explore the closed book, door, printing session or library!