A.R.T. Notes expand the conversation with short articles by artists, publishers, educators, librarians, and readers in the A.R.T. Library Program network. Broadly addressing topics of literacy, community, and the archive, Notes provide insight into the resources we distribute and the work of people and organizations who make our distribution program possible.
A.R.T. interviews Calder Zwicky of Artistic Noise
"The space of reading extends. We have young people who bring their children into our space. Having books for them to read to their children is beautiful. I have been teaching many brilliant artists, but I can't give them all the resources I want... It’s amazing collaborating with A.R.T. on helping our young people begin to receive the artistic resources they need and deserve."
Elisa Adami: How to Perform a Truth?
"How to perform a truth about traumatic and contested events such as those that go under the name of Lebanese Civil Wars? How to reconstruct a truth which has broken down into many fragmentary and contradictory splinters of archival evidence? ... Through performance and storytelling, Raad reveals how truth is neither definitive nor incontestable. He urges us to rethink what we understand as “the truth” and to reclaim the many other truths we might have neglected in its place."
Maxine Henryson on I-DEA, The Goddess by Hunter Reynolds
For over 25 years, Hunter Reynolds explored issues of gender, sexuality, HIV/AIDS, politics, mortality, and rebirth through performance, photography, installations, and his alter ego, Patina du Prey. Reynolds collaborated extensively with photographer and bookmaker Maxine Henryson, who documented Reynods' guerrilla-like street performances and interventions in Berlin, Antwerp, Los Angeles, New York. These collaborations are now documented in a new artist book I-DEA, The Goddess Within, available through the A.R.T. Library Program. Here Henryson shares her reflections on Reynolds, as Patina, in the process of their collaborations.
A.R.T. Interview with Michelle Dillon of Books to Prisoners Seattle
"We started way back in 1973, and at that point it was just our group in Seattle and a group in Quincy, Massachusetts. Now there are about three to four dozen prison book programs across the country all working with the same mission. Books to Prisoners, Seattle is proud to be one of the oldest and largest of those... We're hoping to build all of these organizations into an actual working alliance."
Luis Camnitzer on Art and Literacy
"Literacy from the vantage of art prioritizes writing over reading, and artistic production as a process of creating forms over the appreciation of artworks. If we are good at fostering literacy from this point of view, we will prompt readers to shift from being consumers to authors. Books, like works of art, should be meeting places where power is not displayed but redistributed."
Parker Allen and Stephen Housewright on "Partners: A Biography of Jerry Hunt"
"... I found as I wrote, and this is something I think everyone who writes a memoir or autobiography knows; the more you write, the more you remember. Somehow just the actual process of writing a memory down evokes other memories. Like Proust’s madeleine... And then when I finished the book, I thought, 'Okay, you have done something for him. You started out doing it for yourself and it maybe ends up being for him'."
Catching up with the Prison Books Collective: an interview with Samah Majadla
"It's uncomfortable to step into areas where you are not
familiar and incarcerated people are forced to do that in every aspect of their lives, including
reading. As people on the outside, we're never going to have the same stressors or reasons for
reading as people who are incarcerated. And we should all be very grateful for that. But I think
we can be inspired to expand our interests, and perhaps question our confidence in different
contexts. Incarcerated people have to do that every single day."
The Virtual Shelf: Discovering and Accessioning Digital Publications
"This evolving lending library combines the legacy concept of bookshelf-as-architecture with the present-day architecture of digitality, connecting authors, artists, designers and readers through the polyphonic protocols of library science. The system will grow to help support a public digital metacommons that scaffolds new social formations."
Imane Boukaila and Chris Martin on Unrestricted Interest
"On any given Friday, during our one-hour session through Unrestricted Interest, we might talk about anything from poetics to neologisms (“hacking language norms”) to tramp life to the kindredness of fish to neurodivergent revolution. I support her with her writing and she supports me with my thinking."
Lisa Pearson on "Felix Gonzalez-Torres: Photostats"
"Most people encounter a Felix Gonzalez-Torres work in a museum, and it can be a revelatory encounter. But not everyone goes to a museum, and there are certain kinds of experiences that are difficult to have in that space... Books can do something different: they give you time and the ability to return, again and again."