Us. And Them. Over and Over Again.

The insistence on the “here and now” of the artistic event and the refusal to record it are a challenge to the art world (whose institutional character is now becoming indistinguishable from archiving)…. –Nicolas Bourriand, The Radicant, pgs.84-85.

Librarians like to see our collections and services as being lasting, but the ephemeral nature of our interactions with others makes it clear that this is anything but the case. We are challenged by a world where permanence is not a given. The most important thing we can give to our patrons (students, whatever) are those things they can take with them and remake into parts of their world. I think this is part of the problem with the current climate of copyright and how it interferes with research in the arts and humanities. We’re so mentally dependent on obeying the rules of the given system, we lack the imagination needed to move beyond it. Good research is only partially dependent on the materials used, however; the more interesting part is how someone uses them, and if the result is meaningful.

So don’t tie yourselves to any technology, and beyond that, don’t tie yourself to its accompanying ideology if it doesn’t suit you or your patrons. Only develop skills and ideas that you can take with you. Radicant ideas are the most important to pass along.

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