LIBRARY PROJECTS



New Haven boasts a large number of notable, unconventional and historic libraries. The following New Haven-area artists were selected from an open call requesting proposals for site- and situation-specific projects that engage library users in new ways.
COLIN BURKE


Deliquescence, 2011 (installation view)
Site-specific interactive installation
Photograph by Mia O.


Deliquescence, 2011 (installation view)
Site-specific interactive installation
Photograph by Mia O.


Colin Burke repurposes media from Connecticut libraries into Deliquescence, a site-specific and interactive installation that explores how our engagement with library archives has been transformed by the transition from analog to digital.

The Whitney Library of the New Haven Museum focuses on the history of New Haven and its families from the 17th century to the present.

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Colin Burke is a visual artist who uses analog, antique photographic processes and methods, notably cyanotype photograms, using sunlight for exposure. He was born on the first day of summer, the longest day of the year, which he took quite literally until he figured it out. His birth announcement was an IBM computer punch card listing his father as project manager, his mother as programmer and himself as the project. His first memories of artmaking and drawing are associated with the shapes and grid pattern of IBM green plastic flowcharting templates. He is confident that anyone born after 1985 has no idea what that means. He has been obsessed with mid-century design, grid paper and process ever since.

Whitney Library of the New Haven Museum
114 Whitney Avenue
(203) 562-4183
Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 10am-5pm; Saturday, 12-5pm
ANDY DECK & CAROL PADBERG


Augmented/Obstructed, 2011 (installation view)
Altered books, smart phones, ink on paper and ancient clay tablet
Special thanks to Ulla Karsten, of the Yale Babylonian Collection, and Amanda Patrick, Sterling Memorial Library
Photograph by Mia O.

Augmented/Obstructed, 2011 (detail)
Altered books, smart phones, ink on paper and ancient clay tablet
Special thanks to Ulla Karsten, of the Yale Babylonian Collection, and Amanda Patrick, Sterling Memorial Library



Augmented/Obstructed, 2011 (detail)
Altered books, smart phones, ink on paper and ancient clay tablet
Special thanks to Ulla Karsten, of the Yale Babylonian Collection, and Amanda Patrick, Sterling Memorial Library


Augmented/Obstructed playfully intertwines the physical with the digital, resulting in a reactivated card catalogue room that is enhanced through the medium of machine vision. Artists Andy Deck and Carol Padberg explore the nuances of augmented reality in their first ever collaboration. Incomprehensible to the human gaze, but perceptible with the assistance of software, the designs of commerce and culture combine in the form of reinvented card catalogue labels, altered books, and an ancient Babylonian clay tablet. Referencing key moments in the history of language and technology, the work invites viewers to consider the consequences of our cultural journey from clay tablets and the printing press to digital tablets and the Internet. Using a poetic and yet industrialized visual language, the artists probe questions of intellectual property, authorship, the public domain, and access to knowledge. Augmented or obstructed? It's not all in the eye of the beholder.

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Carol Padberg creates work that integrate digital technology with tactile studio practices such as textile forms, collage strategies, and painting and drawing. Recent solo shows include the New Britain Museum of American Art (New/Now: Interactive Crazy Quilts, 2011) and La Cova in Barcelona, Spain (Woven Code, 2010). Other venues include Real Art Ways In Hartford, Connecticut; the Kathryn Markel Gallery in New York; the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; the Living Art Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland; Kunstlerhaus, Hamburg, Germany; and Gallery Woong in Seoul, South Korea. Carol Padberg is part of Jen Bekman’s project 20x200 in New York. She has been awarded a Skowhegan Fellowship, grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, and an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Greater Hartford Arts Council, as well as numerous residencies. Carol Padberg has been a visiting lecturer at the Foundation for Contemporary Art in Accra, Ghana, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, and the University of Connecticut, Storrs. She is an Associate Professor at the Hartford Art School, University of Hartford.

Andy Deck is an artist specializing in art that is interactive and accessible via the Internet. His work addresses the politics and aesthetics of collaboration, interactivity, software, and independent media. At his website ARTCONTEXT.NET, Deck combines code, text, and image to demonstrate new patterns of participation and control that distinguish online presence and representation from previous artistic practices. He is a co-founder of Transnational Temps, an arts collective concerned with making Earth Art for the 21st Century. Deck's works have been shown in numerous online exhibitions and at venues such as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona; Machida City Museum, Tokyo; Moving Image Gallery, NYC; MediaNoche, NYC; HTTP Gallery, London; Postmaster's Gallery, NYC; Location 1, NYC; Mejan Labs, Stockholm; Plato Sanat, Istanbul; Wood Street Gallery, Pittsburgh. Notable exhibitions include net_condition (ZKM), Let's Entertain (Walker Art Center), Unleashed Devices (Watermans Art Centre), and Animations (PS1-MoMA). Deck’s work has been awarded prizes and mentioned in various contexts, including Prix Ars Electronica, the Webby Awards, VIDA 4.0, the Biennial of Ibiza, and the Web Biennial of Istanbul. In 2011 his work received first prize in the interactive division of the LÚMEN_EX Digital Art Awards. His work has been commissioned by the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Tate Online. In 2012 Deck begins work on his third Turbulence.org commission. He lives and works in New York City.

Housing approximately 4 million volumes, Yale’s Sterling Memorial Library is the largest on campus and serves as the center of the University’s library system.

Yale's Sterling Memorial Library
120 High Street
(203) 432-1775
Hours: Sunday, 12-11:45pm; Monday-Thursday, 8:30am-11:45pm; Friday 8:30am-3:00pm; Saturday 10am-4:45pm
HEATHER LAWLESS


iLibrary, 2011
Site-specific multimedia performance at New Haven Public Library
Courtesy of the artist
Photograph by Mia O.


iLibrary, 2011
Site-specific multimedia performance at New Haven Public Library
Courtesy of the artist
Photograph by Mia O.


How does mobile technology affect how we read, research, and learn? Heather Lawless's iLibrary invites participants to use smart phones, podcasts, and text messages to navigate the spaces within the New Haven Free Public Library. The installation re-examines the relationship between the library institution and the city of New Haven and explores the connections among library patrons of the past, present and future.

Our bond with data is intimate. When we have easy access to knowledge, we feel empowered; when we don't, we feel disconnected. Archives and inquiries transcend the walls of the library institution as we tuck our own personal libraries into the pockets of our jeans. iLibrary is a multimedia, participatory event that invites visitors to seek and receive information the contemporary way: immediately, through a hand-held device.

The iLibrary takes several forms. A slideshow at ilibraryproject.org highlights the history of the library and its patrons. At the library, patrons can borrow an iPod and follow a podcast that uses elements of time, the library catalogue database, and library media to create and map an audio tour that is unique to them. Through a series of workshops, visitors are invited to explore the future of publishing by constructing electronic or printed books using print-on-demand technology.

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Heather Lawless lives and works in Hamden, Connecticut. She holds a BA from Wheaton College and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Studio Art from Maine College of Art. Science was Heather’s first calling—she completed an undergraduate program in Pre-Medicine and worked as a medical research assistant for projects funded by the National Institutes of Health. Today, Heather’s art revolves around her inner scientist and life-long academic. As the daughter, niece, and great-niece of librarians, a love of research runs through her veins. Heather’s recent works examine future possibilities of human evolution by considering current trends in the shifting human genome, collective social behaviors and our ever-changing physical environment. Her research has sent her to museums and libraries all over the United States, including extensive explorations of the American Museum of Natural History Institutional Archives.

The New Haven Free Public Library boasts several Works Progress Administration murals and was among the first in the country to create a dedicated Children’s Room.

New Haven Free Public Library
133 Elm Street
(203) 946-8130
Hours: Monday, 12-8pm; Tuesday-Thursday, 10am-5pm; Friday, 10am -5pm
TYLER STARR


Burning Wants, 2011 (installation view)
Single-channel video
10-minute loop
Courtesy of the artist
Photograph by Mia O.


Burning Wants, 2011 (stills)
Single-channel video
10-minute loop
Courtesy of the artist


video


Unintended consequences and contradictory intentions that commonly appear in politics, protest movements, construction projects, and everyday desires are the subjects of Tyler Starr’s artwork. These areas all include concrete examples of attempts to “fix” things considered wrong in the world—attempts which, even when monumental, go awry. In particular, Starr’s work is influenced by the way printed media has been used from its very beginnings to impose order on the confusion of human events. The incongruities between a plan and its results are open to interpretation and typically “spun” by policymakers, storytellers, and historians. As an artist, he also participates in this process of interpretation. Starr does not see this condition of unfortunate results as hopeless. Rather, it encourages him to take to heart the endless process of trying to improve the world. This perspective was enforced by Starr’s experience working on an ambulance as an Emergency Medical Technician, where he was involved in picking up damaged people and transporting them to hospitals for treatment. Though the human body is amazingly durable, we all know that each one will eventually break down—permanently.

The word “wallowing” encapsulates a critical element of Starr’s work, and has several definitions. One is to revel in an emotion. Another is to struggle through something like mud. His artwork commemorates these dual human conditions.

Life in Tokyo has colored Starr’s most recent work. After the March 2011 earthquake events in the city made apparent areas of opposition between embattled local issues and centralized authority. The imagery for his installation of Burning Wants at the Haas Family Library at Yale is based on its archives and free associations that came from the process of exploring the library in person and digitally while still in Tokyo.

The narrative structures of the animation and the booklet are inspired by the Rollo Peters' collection of stage designs on hotel stationery. A key part of Starr’s imagery comes from his performance in "The Age of Innocence" as Newland Archer, who yearns to run off with Ellen to Japan. Additional imagery comes from an event in the neighborhood in Tokyo where Starr lived: the Yanaka Five-Storied Pagoda Double-Suicide Arson Case, Paradise Alley (one of the red-light districts outside of U.S. military bases in Japan), and, separately, the fire that occurred in Paul Rudolph Hall in 1969 amidst great political tensions. His artwork reflects the train of associations and rapid discoveries made possible by the digital dissemination of library materials. The installation is a collaboration between the quirks of search engine results, the librarians’ choices of uploaded images, and the artist’s agendas.

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Tyler Starr was born in 1974 in Hartford, CT. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota. In 1998, Starr was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the Academy of Fine Arts, Krakow, Poland. In March 2011, he graduated with a PhD in Studio Arts from the Tokyo University of Fine Arts, where he was a recipient of the Japanese Ministry of Education Scholarship. His work has been featured in numerous exhibits including the International Biennial of Contemporary Prints-Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Liège, Belgium, the 2nd Bangkok Triennial International Print and Drawing Exhibition, and the Tokyo Wonderwall 2009 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo Japan. Tyler is currently a Grant Wood Fellow at the University of Iowa where he is developing a new body of artwork using skills and concepts learned in Japan, applied to American subject matter.

The Haas Family Arts Library contains approximately 125,000 volumes on art, architecture and drama, as well as related rare and unique materials. It serves as the working library for Yale’s schools of Art, Architecture, Drama, the History of Art Department and the Yale University Art Gallery.

Haas Family Arts Library
180 York Street, (203) 432-2645
Hours: Monday, 8:30am-5pm; Tuesday, 8:30am-7pm; Wednesday & Thursday, 8:30am-11pm; Friday, 8:30am-5pm; Saturday, 10am-6 pm

THE INSTITUTE LIBRARY



little libraries, November 12 – December 10, 2011
MEREDITH MILLER & ROB ROCKE


Meredith Miller
Untitled (globe, Elaine I. Sprauve Public Library, St. John, USVI), 2011
Archival inkjet print
20 inches x 16 inches
Courtesy of the artist


Rob Rocke
Untitled (Take A Book Along, Hunter Public Library, Hunter, NY), 2008
Archival inkjet print
20 inches x 16 inches
Courtesy of the artist


Organized in association with Library Science, Meredith Miller and Rob Rocke present little libraries, a series of photographs taken in rural communities in the Catskills and New England that focus on the well-worn details of libraries such as plaques, children’s corners with stuffed animals or photographs that celebrate the towns in their heyday and honor local heroes.

The public library is a fixture even in the smallest hamlets and towns in America. Sometimes it’s an old building, other times, a re-purposed storefront. It can seem far removed from the slick online technologies of the 21st century. Of course, there are always books—lots and lots of books. But among its well-worn carpets and faded signs there are also plaques and certificates recognizing local heroes, historic photographs of the town in its heyday, genealogy archives, and children’s corners with beanbag chairs and worn stuffed animals.

Despite its vintage appearance, not all is old-fashioned. You see literature 
on contemporary regional issues. Sometimes the library provides the only free Internet in town. And for some, it may be the only source of contemporary entertainment and educational media, as free rentals of DVDs and CDs have replaced—or at least coexist with—VHS tapes and audio cassettes.

Meredith and Rob have become enamored of the public library, especially the small town libraries they encounter during their travels. Public libraries promote a sense of shared identity. They provide access not only to books, but also to social and cultural programs. They are a resource for job seekers. You can access many of their services even without a library card. In the end, public libraries are one of the few places where we are all equal.

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Meredith Miller lives and works in New Haven, Connecticut. She received her undergraduate degree in Visual Art from the University of Chicago before earning an MFA in photography from Yale School of Art, where she also won the Blair Dickinson Memorial Prize. She received an artist's fellowship from the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism in 2006. Meredith's work has been exhibited in group exhibitions throughout New England as well as in New York and in California. Her photographs are included in the collections of the Danforth Museum of Art and the Yale Art Gallery. She has attended artist residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, the Artist's Enclave at I-Park, and Wilson College. She currently works as a photographer at Yale Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library and teaches digital photography at Southern Connecticut State University.

Before seriously pursuing photography, Rob Rocke was working on a Ph.D. in Music Theory at Yale University. While at Yale, he studied black and white darkroom photography with Harold Shapiro at the Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven and color darkroom photography with David Hilliard at Yale. His recent exhibitions include "Just Look at Yourself," at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockport, Maine (2009) and "Self-Evident," at Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky (2007). Rob recently attended an artist residence in upstate New York through the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development. His upcoming exhibitions include the "Biannual Artist in Residence Exhibition" at the Erpf Gallery in Arkville, New York (2011) and "Our Daily Rite," at Artspace in New Haven, Connecticut (2012).

Founded in 1826, The Institute Library is Connecticut's oldest living independent literary institution and one of the last remaining membership libraries in North America.

The Institute Library
847 Chapel Street
(203) 562-4045
Hours: Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm; Saturday, 11am-2pm