object / art / document

observations on all things book-ish

The End(s) of the Library - opening tonight in NYC

The End(s) of the Library:

David Horvitz
How Can a Digital be Gift?

Launching November 8, 2012

Goethe-Institut New York Library
72 Spring Street, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10012


As the first commission for The End(s) of the Library, artist David Horvitz will address the role of digital rights management (DRM) within the library’s infrastructure with his project entitled How Can a Digital be Gift? Working with a group of artists and independent publishers, Horvitz will attempt to make a generous donation of artist books to the Goethe-Institut New York library in digital format. His gift will be contingent upon these materials being available to library users for an unlimited timeframe and without restriction for edition size. Both of these aspects of e-books – their length of use and number of copies – are currently limited within the e-book system, in which each book is understood as a singular object. Horvitz’ project will explore the challenges of the digital format to the library’s circulation model, emphasizing the important role played by third-party distributors who provide the online platforms necessary for sharing digital content. With these platforms, libraries no longer own the books in their collections, but rather subscribe to them as rented data.

To carryout his project, Horvitz will be in residence at the Goethe-Institut New York, integrating his collecting and digitization work into the library’s everyday existence. He will maintain an active blog documenting various aspects of his project, and will embark upon an extended conversation with the Goethe-Institut library staff and their information providers. In celebration of the artist books donated to the Goethe-Institut, Horvitz will host a special event and book launch with digital publisher Badlands Unlimited, the Los Angeles-based music group Lucky Dragons, and Andrew Beccone of the Reanimation Library on Monday, November 26, 2012 beginning at 7:00pm.

David Horvitz (b. 1983, Los Angeles) is a New York-based artist whose work shifts seamlessly between the Internet and the printed page. His participatory practice, which often involves close collaborations with other artists, as well as a web-based audience, considers strategies of information circulation and the impermanence of digital artifacts. Horvitz work has been included in exhibitions at The Kitchen, New York; Art Metropole, Toronto; Or Gallery, Vancouver; and New Museum, New York, among others. 

Handling Rare Materials (by FolgerLibrary)

informative AND a nice treat to see some materials/shots of stacks from the Folger Shakespeare Library!