The General Public Library is a library/reading room project organized by Art in General Designer in Residence Mylinh Nguyen, in conjunction with the upcoming launch of six 2009-2010 New Commissions publications designed by Nguyen during her residency.
From September 16-November 13, 2010 the Storefront Project Space gallery will be made into a reading room, which will be accessible as an online resource as well. To start the library, Nguyen invited designers, publishers, curators, artists, galleries, and musicians to contribute publications to the project that reflect the donor’s practice, methodology, inspiration and interest. Visitors are encouraged to donate a favorite book to the library during the exhibition.
Nguyen approaches the idea of a library with a unique focus on participation and the formation of community. In contrast to a traditional reading room–which can only be accessed for the duration of the show—the online catalogue of the General Public Library allows each visitor to browse and curate their own library within an existing and continually growing catalogue, beyond the physical installation. Each donation, as it is made, will be logged into the library cataloging system. As libraries begin to form and overlap, each book becomes a link between the book donor and other participants in the library. Inversely, when viewing one book, it is possible to see the interests of other participants.
Throughout the course of the exhibition, as visitors create their own selection of favorite books, the library will filter all donations into a catalog of the top 200 most popular books. These books will be added to the General Public Library permanent collection after the duration of the project.
Contributing participants include Art Metropole, aaaarg.org, Ooga Booga, Fillip, Printed Matter, Nieves, 2nd Cannons Publications, Capricious, Hassla, Golden Age, Medium Rare, Oslo Editions, Gottlund Verlag, Eastside Projects, Bedford Press, Stripe SF, New Jerseyy, Matt Keegan, North Drive Press, Project Projects, split/fountain, STUPENDOUS, The Holster, Bart de Baets, Andreas Banderas, Christian Brandt, Task Newsletter, Robin Cameron, Dante Carlos, ETCAMA, For Further Information, Espen Friberg and Aslak Gurholt Rønsen, GRAPHIC, David Horvitz, Marie Jager, Kingsboro Press, Zak Kyes, Lucky Dragons, Manystuff, Jennilee Marigomen, Miniature Garden, Radim Pesko, Laurel Ptak, Rollo Press, Peter Sutherland, Swill Children, Vance Wellenstein, Jessica Williams and YOU.
The General Public Library website, www.generalpubliclibrary.info, is based on Yours Mine Ours, a shared library designed and developed by Brian Watterson, Hank Huang and Zak Klauck. www.yoursmineours.net
About the Organizer
Mylinh Trieu Nguyen is a designer and artist based in New Haven, CT. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in Design|Media Arts in 2007, was selected as a design fellow at the Walker Art Center in 2008 and is currently pursuing her MFA in Graphic Design at the Yale School of Art. Some of her past clients include UCLA, Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), Golden Parachutes (Berlin). Her work has been featured in Apartamento Magazine Issue #2 (2008), the Live Archive in The Generational: Younger Than Jesus at the New Museum (2009), the Ooga Booga Reading Room at the Swiss Institute (2010), and the Super/Prime PAVILION (Los Angeles, 2010).
Her collaboration, ASDF, with artist David Horvitz explores the ideas of distribution, collaboration and curation. Their most recent project, A Wikipedia Reader, was commissioned by the Art Libraries Society of New York for the Contemporary Artists Books Conference at Printed Matter’s 2009 NY Art Book Fair.
Nguyen is Art in General’s first Designer in Residence and the designer for the 2009-2010 series of New Commissions books including Shana Moulton: The Undiscovered Antique; Guy Benfield: Night Store; Rancourt/Yatsuk: Phase IV; Redmond Entwistle: Monuments; Isola and Norzi: Liquid Door; and Kambui Olujimi: Wayward North. These books will be available for purchase on the Art in General website in November 2010.