From The Library of Babel Vol. II

Video and sound on 4 screens
Dur. 04:00 min. loop.

Video documentation, 1 min. excerpt.



The work’s title stems from the novel “The Library of Babel” written by Jorge Luis Borges in 1941. Borges describes a library so large that it contains all the books that have ever been written, all the books that will come to be written, and all the books that never will be written. This infinite library has neither beginning nor end, neither centre nor circumference. Consequently, order becomes chaos, memory becomes forgetting, and the search for one consummate book becomes an obsession.

Technology and the revolution in pictorial production methods has left us with a world over-filled with information and infinite possibilities from which to choose. In a social reality where technology is democratized, singular phenomena and the private sphere are also constantly being archived through social media, digital pictorial production, blogs, webpages and cell-phones. It is a memory model involving the storing of information but without organization or categorization. Categories of ‘trivial’ and ‘valuable’, ‘important’ and ‘unimportant’, ‘large’ and ‘small’ become diluted. ‘Private’ and ‘public’ become difficult to distinguish. Hierarchies become networks. Questions about copyrights become muddled.

This predicament resembles Borges’ scenario in several respects.
The universal narratives crumble and we lose an overview of the intellectual terrain. It is up to each of us to create our own history out of the cacophony of religion, philosophy, science, quackery and self-help literature.