Tim Schwartz and Sandy Skoglund: Creative Conversations on the Library

Creative Conversations on the Library

The book on paper may seem a relic. But does that mean books have lost their purpose? DU’s choice to house less-frequently borrowed books offsite redefines library space for other academic and social purposes; research reveals a similar history of controversy over the use of libraries and the place of books on campus going back to the 1930s. Tim Schwartz and Sandy Skoglund worked with student teams to engage in these historic contemporary conversations on the use of University library space. The VMG celebrates the re-opening of DU’s library (Anderson Academic Commons) with these two artist projects.

Sandy Skoglund’s visually striking theatrical installation and Tim Schwartz’s data-driven interactive environment explore questions surrounding the debate about digital books versus bound volumes. How do we realistically plan for the future of our libraries while responsibly protecting the past? What are the risks we face when the written word is transformed into electronic data and the original document is no longer accessible? With fewer books left on shelves to browse, what role will the library play? What are we in danger of losing when we transition from the physical to the facsimile?

Book Marks © Sandy Skoglund

Sandy Skoglund: Book Marks
Opens Thursday, April 11, 2013
Artist Performance: 5-5:30PM
Project Reception with Artist Talk: 5:30-7PM

Installation artist Sandy Skoglund turns the familiar into something strange and unknown through object placement, repetition and coloration. Her installation focuses on the reuse and reinvention of books that have been discarded. No longer do books sit idly on the shelves; they take on lives of their own.

schwartz books

Tim Schwartz: Materials on Reserve
Opens Thursday, April 18, 2013
Project Reception with Artist Talk: 5-7PM

Conceptual artist Tim Schwartz is known for blending old and new technologies, often studying the losses that occur with digitization—and what are the effects of this loss? Mastering the very system that he often critiques, he creates algorithms that help us to highlight gaps in the transfer of information. In this installation, Schwartz’s work reflects upon what is lost when libraries go digital.

Compromising Positions

In conjunction with the installation, we’re featuring a series of casual talks at the gallery every Thursday evening through the run of the show. The series, “Compromising Positions,” features two professors speaking on different topics, with opportunities for discussion and refreshments. Schwartz has planned these talks, much like the rest of the space, to entertain, enrich, and provoke thought. He wants to bring people together in ways that are unique to offline environments, calling to mind the true differences between reality and digital simulations of it.

May 2, 6 -7 pm:

Roddy MacInnes, Associate Professor of Photography
Dr. Scott Montgomery, Associate Professor, Medieval and Renaissance Art

Creative Conversations on the Library will remain on view through May 5, 2013.

Image: Bookmarks installation mock up by Sandy Skoglund; Materials on Reserve by Tim Schwartz.