Anthony Warnick, The Library
“Ideas, set free from purpose, may in turn liberate readers from destinations, expectations, and disciplinary lenses.”
The Library is a living organism.¹ It produces new books and recycles old ones. The aim of this library is to emancipate ideas and to encourage readers to make and remake new narratives.²
The installation contains the elements one expects to find in a library: books, tables, shelves, and a card catalogue system. Yet the operation of this library space differs greatly. The books’ texts are taken from the Internet and altered by custom software so that they fall into five categories of writing: screenplay, poetry, translation, data, and concentration. Library users can request a text and then print and bind the book with the assistance of the librarian. These books are meant to be consumed.³
The library’s modular organization is an actualization of the suppleness of language and ideas, the recombination of which can produce limitless new narratives. After the death of the author, the text is simply a starting point from which more can be built. These books represent the shoulders of giants on which we stand to reach new heights.
I am an interdisciplinary artist.⁴ I work with humble materials,⁵ sourced through appropriation.⁶ I make objects.⁷
The animus of my work is dialogue, and my projects are about relationships. The recurring ideas in my art are the connections between immaterial labor and society, digital and physical culture, and individuals and the systems they inhabit. I am interested in empowering people through questions.⁸
My work operates in the milieu of the contemporary technological age.⁹ I provide a bridge between digital and physical networks as a way to short-circuit and investigate problematic systems. The final outcome is a humorous juxtaposition that is simultaneously critical and celebratory, leaving viewers with a recognition of the networks they live and operate within and a tool through which to reimagine those relationships.
1. This is the most important law in the five laws of library science declared by S. R. Ranganathan: 1. Books are for use. 2. Every reader her [or his] book. 3. Every book its reader. 4. Save the time of the reader. 5. The library is a growing organism.
2. Just as a book is not completed until it is read, The Library longs for public interaction.
3. This consumption is the revolutionary act that will cleanse us of the muck of ages and make us fit to produce new narratives.
4. The disciplines I work between are printmaking, sculpture, multimedia, and photography. The way I work is interactive, open-ended, and social. These modes are the strings through which I connect the disciplines.
5. Typically these are common building and print materials, such as newsprint and plywood.
6. My source material is mid-twentieth-century art along with sounds, text, and images from pop culture, art history, and philosophy.
7. My definition of “object” encompasses anything that can be made or acted upon, including everything from castings, prints, and ideas to temporary interventions and ephemeral concepts. An art object is created through the thought, deliberation, and labor of its makers.
8. What is labor? Are we social beings? If so, then what is justice? How do we move toward it?
9. My work is strongly influenced by the open source and remix nature of the Internet, and it approaches the world with the belief that information and ideas want to be free and shared. I consider analog objects in this way as well.
b. 1983, Washington, D.C.
works in Minneapolis, Minnesota
mentor: Matt Olson
Anthony Warnick is a multi-disciplinary artist who works and lives in Minneapolis, MN. His practice spans interactive media installation, performative interventions, and printed matter. His work has been exhibited at The Soap Factory, Art Of This, and The Dressing Room. He has been on the board of directors for Gallery 148 and co-director of the Art Of This One Nighter Series, and his writing has published in Not-book and Quodlibetica. He has been the artist in residence at FutureFarmers (San Francisco), YWAM (Australia), and Art Of This (Minneapolis). He has been the New Media Initiatives Intern at the Walker Art Center.