Adam Feldmeth – Project in the Art Library

September 14th, 3 p.m.: public discussion between Adam Feldmeth and Akiko Bernhöft (in english)

On Sunday, September 14th, 2014, artist Adam Feldmeth will  introduce a site-specific installation in the art library at Sitterwerk examining the dynamic order of the near 25,000 book collection in consideration of the physical realities of its architecture. 

The art library functions as a reference space with a unique tracking system utilizing radio-frequency identification technology (RFID). This system allows an internal circulation and inventory wherein no title has a fixed position on the shelves and yet all shelved books are accounted for daily with the aid of automated RFID "readers", one installed on each level of the library. Users generate further rearrangements within the non-categorical collection upon an individual returning research materials to the wall. The RFID readers scan the contents of the bookshelves at the close of each day, cataloging the collection for subsequent online searches.

Through an exacting gesture, Feldmeth will relocate every book found on the ground floor and mezzanine bookshelves to its equivalent position on the corresponding level. This massive undertaking is also conceptually acute. The vertical rotation of the library contents raises questions in how access to knowledge and art history is mediated by a person's tangible access to that content amid abstract communal dynamics. By reordering all of the visible books according to the characteristics of the built-in architectural division, there will be no disruption to any intentionally gathered research material and/or arbitrary titles located in proximity to each other. The shift in elevation, however, entails a new approach in how the space is traversed. Immediately following the rotation, a perceptive awareness of the previous position of each book will be viable in relation to an individual's position when standing adjacent to the shelves. What was the mezzanine when the library last closed is now the ground, and vice versa. Subsequent use of the library constitutes the dissolve of the installation. In addition to the physical movement of books, a postcard expanding the context of the project will be available in the libraries in the city of St. Gallen as takeaway.

On September 14th at 3 p.m. a public discussion between Adam Feldmeth and art historian Akiko Bernhöft will take place in the presence of the rotated levels. Aperitif to follow.

Adam Feldmeth has contributed to exhibitions at TÄT, Berlin, Overgaden Institute for Contemporary Art, Copenhagen, JB Jurve, Los Angeles and the Guggenheim Gallery at Chapman University, Orange, California. Rather than making art objects, he turns his attention to questioning the actuality of artistic discourse through prolonged focus in detail-oriented dialogues. This participation is always supplemental and conditional to the particular context. His investigation and consultation, critically amending the reconstruction of a Blinky Palermo installation during the 53rd Venice Biennale, was the subject of an article in X-TRA Contemporary Art Quarterly in autumn, 2011. An installation for "The Chapel" at the University of Southern California will be realized in November 2014.

(Text: Adam Feldmeth)